Online Marketing Terms, Decoded: SEO, CTR, ROI, and All the Rest

We Americans have always loved using codes of all kinds to communicate, and maybe that’s the reason that you can’t go five minutes without hearing someone use an acronym these days.
In any technical field, and especially where it applies to online marketing and business, you will constantly come across terms and acronyms that you’re either familiar with already, or you’ve never heard of.
Even if it drives you crazy, it’s important to understand what these terms mean if you want to be able to function and communicate within the realm of online marketing. Let’s take a look at a few of them.


SEO—Search Engine Optimization

If you’re mystified by this term, then you might as well accept it—you are one lost puppy. SEO represents the underlying mantra and driving force of the vast majority of online content.
In a nutshell, SEO is the pursuit of creating online content that will give you the highest possible ranking in search engines—namely, Google—consequently drawing traffic to your website.


CTR—Click-Through Rate

The calculation derived from looking at how many people click on your ad, out of the total amount of people who saw the ad.
This is also a useful metric in other areas, including testing such as an A/B test, wherein you would look at CTR for an individual element of your website.


CR/CRO—Conversion Rate Optimization

First of all, you have to understand what conversion is (once again, this is only for those who have been living under a rock).
Conversion happens when you turn a visitor to your website into a customer. CR is the rate at which something converts, and CRO is the optimization thereof.


CAC—Customer Acquisition Cost

This can be a very complicated definition because there are so many different factors that go into this figure, but in the most basic terms, this is an extremely important number for startups, due to its representation of the entire cost associated with gaining a new customer.
Even when it seems like your customers just fell into your lap, there is almost always a CAC.


ROI—Return On Investment

An investment does not have to be a huge sum of money that you put into some company, to gain back ROI. This applies to anything into which you have put time, money, or energy.


CPC—Cost Per Click

Also referred to as PPC (Pay Per Click), CPC is the amount of money you are charged for each time someone clicks on your ad.
This is the figure that can help you decide whether an online advertisement is worth the investment, depending on whether or not the revenue generated from the new customers gained from an ad is greater than the CPC.


CRM—Customer Relationship Management

CRM has always an important point of interest for businesses, but it has taken on a new meaning recently, due to the enormous need for online customer service. CRM involves optimizing the entire experience of the transaction between a business and its customers.



Usually a button on your website, the CTA is anything that compels someone to take action and decide to buy a product or sign up for a service.
This is one that, if you’re seeing it for the first time, you should burn it into your memory because it comes up all the time when designing and managing the content on your website or marketing program, even sometimes without realizing it.


SMM—Social Media Marketing

Fairly self-explanatory, SMM is anything related to how you go about promoting and marketing your business or organization on social media. There are entire schools of thought which are devoted to coming up with new ways of social media promotion.


UV—Unique Visitor

This term attempts to identify how many visitors are actually finding a given site, as opposed to the number of times they have visited, which can be a deceiving number.


UX—User Experience

User experience is an area that cannot be stressed enough, as it includes every aspect of how users interact with online content. There is a lot of debate over defining UX because people have apparently differing opinions of what it is.
Seemingly straightforward, UX is generally how intuitive your website or web app is, and how easily users are able to navigate and interact with it.




Stephanie is the Marketing Director at Talkroute and has been featured in Forbes, Inc, and Entrepreneur as a leading authority on business and telecommunications.

Stephanie is also the chief editor and contributing author for the Talkroute blog helping more than 100k entrepreneurs to start, run, and grow their businesses.

StephanieOnline Marketing Terms, Decoded: SEO, CTR, ROI, and All the Rest