The world of digital marketing can be downright confusing, we know. People who are entrenched in the world can sound like they’re speaking a different language, going on about spiders crawling your website and data that doesn’t sound so ‘meta’ to you.

That’s why we’ve put together this digital marketing glossary of key terms to add to your artillery, so you won’t be stuck nodding your head and pretending to understand what people are saying whenever these topics come up.

Key terms every small business owner should know

301 redirect

This is a permanent way of redirecting visitors of one page to another. For example, if you create a new website or page but there’s still plenty of people going to the old one, and you don’t want to give them a dead end or error page, you can 301 redirect them to the new and improved version.


Ever seen those text ads that pop up around search engine results on Google, YouTube, and even websites? They’re most likely Adwords. They’re run through Google, and they allow businesses to get some exposure (for a price).

Alt text

Alt text (short for ‘alternative text’) is a textual description of an image. For example, if there’s an image of a pineapple dancing under a streetlamp, the alt text could be something like “pineapple dancing under a streetlamp”. It’ll show up if someone’s Internet is going too slowly and the image doesn’t load, or it’ll be read out loud by a text-to-speech reader often used by visually impaired people browsing the web, so it’s super important you are accurate with your alt text.

Anchor text

You’ve probably noticed that when there’s a link on a webpage – within the text on the page, anyway – that it comes up as blue. The actual text that’s being used to link to another page is called the “anchor text”.


People love to talk about Google Algorithms, but what does that even mean? Basically, it’s the rules or guidelines that Google applies to websites to determine which websites rank higher for any given search. There’s been numerous “algorithm updates” over the years, and some of them have even been big enough to earn their own nicknames (notable: Hummingbird, Penguin, and Panda).

Bounce rate

Bounce rate probably sounds more fun than it is, because basically it just refers to the rate at which people visit your site and then leave (aka, bounce).

CTR (click-through-rate)

Your CTR is determined by how many people see something (for example, your website appearing in a Google search), compare to how many people actually click through to it. So if your website shows up 100 times in one day, and 20 people click on it, your click-through-rate will be 20%.

CTA (call to action)

This is an incredibly important factor of digital marketing and should be a big consideration whenever you’re crafting anything for your small business in the digital space. Your CTA is basically whatever action you want your target audience to take – whether that’s calling you, downloading something, reading more, etc.

Duplicate content

As the name suggests, duplicate content is whenever the exact same copy appears in two spaces at once. In the digital world this is a bit of a no-no, because Google has long said they don’t approve of duplicate content. So, if you can, it’s always more favourable to write unique copy across each facet of your website and communications.

EDM (electronic direct mail)

How much do you love receiving those emails from some company you accidentally subscribed to their mailing list 6 years ago? Well, those emails are known as “EDMs” in the digital world, and, of course, can be incredibly effective as a marketing tool (if done correctly).


It’s rare that you’ll ever have to dabble in HTML, but it’s good to at least know what it is. Basically, it’s the code that developers write or edit to make all the things on your website look the way they do.


A keyword is the phrase or term that describes the overarching theme of a webpage. Usually, a website has multiple keywords that describe what they’re about, but all within the same umbrella.

Keyword density

Keyword density refers to how many times a particular keyword is written throughout a webpage. Back in the day, people used to do something called “keyword stuffing” in order to try and rig the system and get their websites ranking first within Google searches. They then came up with arbitrary numbers for what percentage of “keyword density” is ideal (i.e. if you have 500 words on a page, there shouldn’t be more than 15 mentions of a keyword), but, really, focussing on writing that is informative and makes sense is far more important.

Meta description

When you Google something and a whole bunch of websites are displayed, you may notice short descriptions of what the page is about. These have a maximum of 160 characters, and are called meta descriptions. They’re super important, because they help people understand what your website is offering before they click through (and can improve your click-through-rate!)

SEO (search engine optimisation)

This is a big one! SEO refers to any action you take to try and optimise your website to appear higher in search engine results. There are a lot of elements that go into SEO, but quality content is one of the most effective methods you can take (and is just a good thing to have, in general).

Title tag

A title tag appears before the meta description when search results are displayed, and is the overall title of the page. It’s capped by pixel length so can’t be super long, but should just get to the core of what people can expect to find on that page.


A URL is the ‘address’ of the page, like when you type in

If you’re still feeling a bit confused by all these terms, don’t worry! People work in this field for years before it starts to become a second language for them. That’s where using experts comes in handy – like Shuttle Rocket’s team of small business copywriters. We take the confusion out of digital marketing and just deliver well-written, tailored and cutting edge copy. Get in contact with us today!