So you came across an inbound marketing term you don’t know. That’s okay: even experienced inbound marketers have issues with jargon from time to time, whether it’s new industry terms or just old ones we never saw before.
Usually, the jargon is just a different way of saying something you already understand or talk about. For that reason, we wrote this easy-to-use inbound marketing glossary to get you over the hump. We also did our best not to use jargon when explaining jargon, so don’t be afraid to jump right in and fix your wording woes.
Keep this article defining the must-know inbound marketing terms on hand as a dictionary for all things inbound marketing.
The 22 Inbound Marketing Terms You Need To Know
A/B testing is where we look at two versions of something on your marketing page, like a button for people to click when they are done reading your blog. The main thing to remember is that in A/B testing, whatever two versions of something you are testing, everything else on the page should stay the same. This way, you know that only the button, for example, had an impact on your test.
Analytics are just the numbers that tells you how your marketing content is doing. Usually, analytics look at how many people see your content, how people interact with your page, and how your numbers have changed over time.
Here's a resource to help you understand analytics for your business website:
BOFU - Bottom of the funnel
The bottom of the funnel is an industry term for when people are ready to make a purchase decision about your company or product. The term “bottom of the funnel” can basically be used to say “every lead who is likely to purchase now.”
A conversion is when a potential customer buys your product or progresses closer to buying your product by taking a specific action. For example: If part of your sales process is getting marketing qualified leads to do a free consultation with you, the consultation converts them into a sales qualified lead.
CTA - Call to action
A call to action or CTA is the point at which a business openly asks the audience to take the next step on the path to becoming a customer. Usually positioned at the end of your text, a CTA might ask the audience to do anything from “Find Out More” to “Buy Our Product Now.”
Here are two free resources to help you create awesome calls-to-action:
- [Ebook] How To Create Killer Calls-To-Action
- [Blog Article] 4 Simple Ways To Create CTA Buttons (No Design Experience Needed)
While there are many different uses for the term “content,” in most marketing circles the word simply means “words on the page.” Content is separate from pictures, formatting, and comments because it is the fixed words on a given print or online page.
Here's a free resource to help you create better content:
- [Ebook] How To Create Killer Marketing Content
- [Blog Article] A Simple Way To Create Great Blog Topics For Any Industry
The funnel is an illustration of the path your leads take from the moment they first interact with your business all the way until they become a customer. A funnel is a useful image because each stage in marketing will get smaller with fewer leads as it goes, just like a funnel’s shape gets smaller from top to bottom.
HTML is the basic language that websites are written in. It stands for Hypertext Markup Language, and some skill with HTML may be required to manipulate a marketing website or post marketing content.
Inbound marketing is an approach to getting new customers that focuses on marketing to an audience that is actively trying to find solutions. Inbound marketing is different from other kinds of marketing because inbound marketing creates useful content for people to find when they have a problem, rather than bombarding them with brand messages.
A landing page is a special type of webpage designed just to take in people’s information through an online form. If people can enter in their information on the page (typically through a form), and that’s the entire point of the page, it’s a landing page. Many times landing pages are used to promote an ebook, whitepaper, special offer, or anything else where you want your website visitor to take one specific action (like to download something or contact you).
Keywords are words or phrases that people type into search engines like Google in order to find a website they’re looking for. On the other end, marketers try to figure out what relevant keywords to put into their webpages so that Google will recognize the connection and send people over when they look for the term.
Here are some resources to help you figure out your best keywords:
- [Article] How To Choose Target Keywords To Spark A Traffic Frenzy To Your Blog
- [Article] Contnet Marketing Keyword Research Using Google Keyword Planner
Lead nurturing is the process of building a relationship with a potential customer at every stage on the journey from Stranger to Buyer. Nurturing a lead means being aware of the problems a lead has and offering solutions for those problems. Lead nurturing is about delivering value and being helpful at specific points in time, as a person goes from being a stranger to your company to a customer.
Here's a video to help you understand lead nurturing using HubSpot workflows:
Marketing automation is when a company uses software (like HubSpot!) to make repetitive tasks easier. Some examples of repetitive tasks are sending customer emails or posting on Twitter. Any tool or technology that makes marketing easier by reducing total work can be considered marketing automation.
MOFU - Middle Of The Funnel
The middle of the funnel is where a potential customer has already interacted with your company and is learning more, but is not ready to make a purchase decision. Anyone in the middle of the funnel is interested, but probably not ready to buy something just yet.
An offer is a piece of helpful writing that a company allows its audience to download in order to foster a good relationship. Offers might include helpful guides in your company’s area of expertise, or something written about your company that potential buyers might genuinely be interested in. Some synonyms for offer are: ebook, whitepaper, or downloadable.
Here are some great example of content offers:
On-page optimization is the category of things you can do on a webpage to improve your search ranking by helping the software that reads your webpage figure out what your page is about. Since software can’t understand the point of text, on-page optimization means including keywords in your page’s title, text, meta tags, and image tags. On-page optimization has to do with things happening ON your website.
Off-page optimization is a group of actions that you cannot manipulate on the webpage but that still affect your webpage search rankings. Social media and links make up the majority of off-page optimization. For example, if any company creates a link to your webpage or you share your post on Facebook, you may still improve your place in search results without changing anything about the webpage itself. Off-page optimization has to do with things happening OFF of your website.
A persona is a summary of one segment of your audience. Personas can usually be defined by demographic and psychographic details that set up their likes and dislikes. Companies use persona information to tailor their marketing. Synonyms for persona are: Buyer Persona, Avatar and Ideal Customer.
Here are some great articles about Buyer Personas, as well as a free HubSpot resource:
- [Blog Article] The Secrete To Better Marketing: Know Your Customer Better Than You Know Your Spouse
- [Template] Create Buyer Personas For Your Business
PPC- Pay Per Click
PPC advertising includes any marketing where a company spends money to appear at the top of search results or on someone else’s website. PPC can be anything from a simple link to an image banner or pop-up advertisement. An example of PPC advertising is Google Adwords.
Search engine optimization: SEO or search engine optimization is figuring out what to do with your webpage to help it appear higher on search engine results when people search for certain terms. For example, if you want to appear higher when someone Google searches for “Atlanta pizza,” SEO would say to include the words “Atlanta pizza” frequently on the webpage and in the webpage name.
SERP - Search Engine Results Page
A SERP is simply the page of results someone sees after searching for certain keywords in a search engine. For example, if you’re looking for “Atlanta pizza”, the SERP for that phrase would include a list of restaurants who are selling pizza in Atlanta. For marketers, appearing higher on a SERP is critical to helping potential customers find your company (because searchers tend to click on the results that are highest on the SERP).
TOFU - Top Of The Funnel
When a potential customer is at the top of the funnel, he or she is still only looking for information and is not ready to make a buying decision. The top of the funnel represents everyone who is at this early awareness stage with your company.