Niche Digital Marketing 101
Enrollment Insights Blog

A Digital Marketing Glossary

Part of the 101 series, an introduction to various topics for enrollment marketers.


A/B Testing – 

The process of comparing two versions of a webpage, email, ad creative, or other marketing asset and measuring the difference in performance. Learn more about A/B testing here.

Ad Extensions – 

Additional information you can add to your ads within Google Adwords. Including, but not limited to, reviews, address, phone number, and app downloads. These extensions allow the advertiser to create more informative ads that take up more on-page real estate.

Analytics (Google Analytics or GA) – 

A Google platform that allows you to collect statistics and data about your website visitors. You are able to see where your site traffic is coming from and how visitors behave once they’re on site. *Universal Analytics is sunsetting in Summer 2023. Google Analytics 4 will take its place. Learn more about setting up Google Analytics 4 in our blog post here.

Average Position – 

A metric in Google Ads that helps advertisers understand where, on average, their ads are showing in Google search results pages.

Average engagement time per session –

Engagement time for “engaged sessions” (defined later in this glossary). This is a measurement metric in Google Analytics 4.


Banner Ad – 

A popular type of digital image ad that can be placed across various websites. On Google’s ad network, these are common sizes:

  • 250 x 250 – Square
  • 200 x 200 – Small Square
  • 468 x 60 – Banner
  • 728 x 90 – Leaderboard
  • 300 x 250 – Inline Rectangle
  • 336 x 280 – Large Rectangle
  • 120 x 600 – Skyscraper
  • 160 x 600 – Wide Skyscraper
  • 300 x 600 – Half-Page Ad
  • 970 x 90 – Large Leaderboard

Bounce Rate – 

The percentage of visitors to a website that leave before clicking or interacting with the page. You should aim to have your bounce rates as low as possible.


Call to Action (CTA) – 

An element on a webpage, or ad, to guide a visitor towards a specific action or conversion. Ex. Learn More, Apply Now, etc. 

Click Through – 

The process of clicking through on a digital advertisement to the advertisers destination URL. 

Click Through Rate (CTR) – 

The average number of click-throughs, expressed as a percentage. You can calculate your CTR by dividing your total number of clicks by your total number of impressions.

Conversion – 

The completion of a pre-defined goal. Conversions are usually used to track the number of site visitors that complete a high value action on site. For example, a site visitor that comes to your website and fills out an application.

Conversion Rate – 

The rate at which website visitors complete a predefined goal. You can calculate your conversion rate by dividing the total number of completed conversions by the total number of website visitors.

Cost per Acquisition (CPA) – 

A metric in paid advertising platforms that measures how much money is spent in order to acquire a new lead or customer.

Cost per Click (CPC) – 

The amount of money spent for a click on an ad in a Pay-Per-Click campaign. In the Google Ads platform, each keyword will have an estimated click cost, but the prices change in real time as advertisers bid against each other for each keyword. Average CPCs can range from less than $1, to upwards of $100 per click for competitive terms.

Cost per Impression (CPM) – 

CPM stands for Cost per Thousand. This is the amount an advertiser pays for 1,000 impressions of their ad. Measuring ad success using CPM is most often used in brand awareness campaigns where the number of impressions is more valuable than the number of conversions.


Direct Traffic – 

Visitors that come to your website without a referring URL. They can click on a bookmarked link, or type in the URL of your website.

Display Ad – 

Made up of text-based, image or video advertisements that encourage a user to click-through to a landing page and take action. Learn more about display ads here.

Display Network – 

A group of more than 2 million websites, apps and videos where ads can appear. There are many different display networks, but the largest are Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Yahoo, Taboola, and mMedia.


Engaged sessions –

The number of sessions where visitors are on your website for more than 10 seconds and visit two or more pages or have a conversion event. This is a measurement metric in Google Analytics 4.

Engagement rate –

The number of engaged sessions divided by the number of total sessions. This is a measurement metric in Google Analytics 4.


Factorial Testing –

A factorial test typically involves running an experiment with multiple versions of copy (the text in the ad or landing page) with multiple assets (the visuals) simultaneously. This allows you to quickly optimize your experience without running one A/B test after another. Learn more about factorial testing here.


Google Ads Goals – 

When you create a campaign within Google Ads you can select a campaign goal that aligns with the main thing you want to achieve for your business. 

Google ads goal options:

  • Sales: Drive sales online, in app, by phone or in store.
  • Leads: Generate leads and other conversions by encouraging users to take an action.
  • Website Traffic: Get the right people to visit your website.
  • Product and Brand Consideration: Encourage people to use your product or explore your services. This goal can only be used with video or display campaigns. 
  • Brand Awareness and Reach: Show your ads to a very broad audience and build awareness.
  • App Promotion: Promote more app downloads. 

Google Analytics (UA) and Google Analytics 4 (GA4) Goals – 

Within Google Analytics and GA4 you can create goals to better understand and track the actions users are taking once they get to your website. Learn more about Google Analytics goals here and learn more about Google Analytics 4 goals here.

Google analytics goal options:

  • URL Destination Goals: track conversions when users land on a specific page on your website.
  • Visit Duration Goals: track people who remain on-site for a certain period of time.
  • Page/Visit Goals: track the number of people who view a specific number of pages or screens.
  • Event Goals: track when users take a defined action, ie. playing a video or clicking a button on site. 

Google Tag Manager – 

A tool that allows you to easily manage and deploy marketing tags on your website without editing the code of your site.

Google Display Network (GDN) – 

A group of more than 2 million websites, videos, and apps where your ads can appear. The GDN reaches more than 90% of internet users worldwide.


Impression – 

An impression is counted each time your ad is shown. This differs from reach, which are the number of individuals who saw your ad.

Impression Share – 

The number of impressions you have received divided by the estimated number of impressions you were eligible to receive. A low impression share tells you you are able to spend more money showing ads to your target audience.


Keyword – 

Words or phrases that describe your product or service that you choose to determine when your ad will show. When someone searches on Google your ad will be eligible to appear based on the similarity of your keywords and the users search terms.


Landing Page – 

A web page that appears in response to clicking on a marketing promotion, marketing email, or an online advertisement.

Lead Generation – 

The marketing process of stimulating and capturing interest in a product or service for the purpose of building your funnel or prospect list. Learn more about lead generation campaigns here.

Lookalike Audience – 

Audiences that have similar demographics (age, gender, location) and interests to those of your existing audience.Within Facebook Ads you can make a lookalike audience of an email list or of an existing custom audience. Lookalike audiences are a great way to reach new potential customers because they are similar to your best existing customers. Learn more about creating and using lookalike audiences here.


Organic Traffic – 

Traffic from search engine results that is not paid traffic.


Pages/Session – 

The average number of pages viewed during one session on your website. A higher pages/session means that your website users are more engaged and exploring more pages on your website.

Paid Traffic – 

Visitors that make it to your website from a paid advertising campaign.


Referral Traffic – 

Visitors that make to your website from other sites, without searching for your website on Google.

Remarketing – 

A digital marketing strategy that allows you to connect with people who have previously interacted with your website or app. Learn more about remarketing here.

Return on Ad Spend (ROAS) – 

A metric that is used to determine how much revenue your business makes for every dollar that is spent on advertising.


Search Ad – 

A type of ad that appears above the organic results on a search engine page such as Google or Bing. Learn more about search ads here.

Search Engine Marketing (SEM) – 

The process of acquiring traffic and visibility from paid advertising. SEM is driven by various bidding options and quality scores. Learn more here.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – 

The process of developing a website to get traffic from organic search results. The stronger your web pages are, and the more times it is linked to from high-quality sites, the higher it will rank in organic SERPS (search engine result pages). Learn more here.

Search Network – 

A group of search-related websites and apps where your ads can appear. Learn more about running ads on the search network here, and optimizing search ad campaigns here.

Search Query – 

The words and phrases that people are searching for that resulted in your ad showing. You can use the search queries report in Google Analytics to determine if you are bidding on the most relevant keywords. 

Session Duration – 

The average session duration is calculated by dividing the total duration of all sessions by the total number of sessions in a given time period. A longer session duration tells you that your website visitors are more engaged and spending more time on your website. 

Sessions – 

A group of interactions that take place on your website within a given time period. One session can incorporate multiple screen or page views, social interactions, events, or transactions.


Targeting – 

The marketing strategy where you break your target market into smaller segments to concentrate on a specific cohort of your target market. You can target based on interest, demographics, geography, etc. 


Unique Visitors – 

The number of distinct individuals visiting your website.

Users – 

A visitor who has initiated a session on your website. When a visitor lands on your website Google Analytics differentiates them between a new or returning user based on the visitors browser cookies.

UTM Parameters – 

Urchin Tracking Module (UTMs) are tracking parameters that allow marketers to track the effectiveness of their digital marketing. When someone clicks on a URL with UTM parameters the specific tags are sent back to Google Analytics for tracking.  Learn more about UTM here.

  • utm_source: Identifies which site sent the traffic, and is a required parameter.
    • Ex.
  • utm_medium: Identifies what type of traffic brought the user to your site.
    • Ex. utm_source=cpc
  • utm_campaign: Identifies the specific product or campaign.
    • Ex. utm_campaign=niche_remarketing
  • utm_term: Identifies the search terms you are using
    • Ex. utm_term=best+colleges
  • utm_content: Identifies what was clicked to bring the user to your website. It is often used for A/B testing.


YouTube Advertising – 

Online video advertising campaigns where you are able to reach potential customers while they watch or search for videos on YouTube.

Meghan Root is the Senior Manager of Digital Marketing Services at Niche. Her team creates, monitors and optimizes digital campaigns on behalf of Niche's K12 and College partners.