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Marketing Abbreviations and Acronyms

Kalee Raisor
Kalee Raisor Marketing Tips

Over the years we've had a lot of questions about the meaning of various internet marketing abbreviations and acronyms, so we decided to put a list together! It’s undoubtedly unfinished, so please, let us know if we've missed any.

A/B Testing – In A/B testing, you unleash two different versions of a keyword, advertisement, website, web/landing page, banner design or variable and see which performs the best. You test version A vs. version B to see how different versions perform.

B2B: Business to Business – Advertising or sales intended for consumption by businesses.

B2C: Business to Consumer – Advertising or sales intended for consumption by consumers.

BTF: Below the Fold – The “fold” is the bottom of the page once it first loads. Anything underneath this line in the page is considered “below the fold.” The most important information on your page should, ideally, be located above the fold.

Bot – Abbreviation for robot (also called a “spider”). It refers to software that scan the web. Bots vary in purpose from indexing web pages for search engines to harvesting e-mail addresses for spammers.

CTR: Click-Through Rate – Rate at which a user responds to an advertisement by clicking on the ad. Click-through is based on the idea that online promotions that do what they’re intended to do will elicit a click. CTR is one metric Internet marketers use to measure the performance of an ad campaign.

CR as in CRO: Conversion Rate – This is the percentage of your clicks that generate sales or leads. This number is determined by dividing the number of sale/leads by the number of clicks you send to the offer. For example, if 100 clicks generated 100 visitors to your site, and they generate 5 sales/leads then your conversion rate would be 20%

CPA: Cost Per Action – A form of advertising where payment is dependent upon an action that a user performs. The action could be making a purchase, signing up for a newsletter, or asking for a follow-up call. An advertiser pays a set fee to the publisher based on the number of visitors who take action. Many affiliate programs use the CPA model.

CPC: Cost Per Click – The amount of money charged per-click in a PPC campaign.

CPL: Cost Per Lead – Similar to CPA, this refers specifically to the cost of acquiring a lead from advertising.

CPM – CPM is the cost per thousand visitors or pageviews for a particular site. The advertiser is charged for display of the ad whether a visitor clicks or not. The fee is based on every 1,000 ad impressions (M is the Roman numeral for 1,000). Most display ads, such as banner ads, are sold by CPM.

DNS: Domain Name System – Translates domain names ( to IP addresses ( When a domain name is delegated to a name server, the domain name system ensures the name can be translated to the IP address of the web server.

EPC: Earnings Per Click – This number is given by dividing your revenue earned by the number of clicks you sent to the offer. For example, if you send an offer 100 clicks and earn $5.00 then your EPC would be $0.05.

HTML: Hyper-Text Markup Language – The markup protocol standard in all web pages, HTML ensures that browsers interpret information correctly and allows a document to be read easily by machines.

HTTP: Hyper-Text Transfer Protocol – This refers to the protocol by which connections are made between websites.

ICANN – Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers is a global non-profit corporation formed to oversee a select range of Internet technical management functions currently managed by the U.S. Government, or by its contractors and volunteers.

KPI: Key performance indicator – KPIs are established by business owners depending on the campaign. KPIs are generally the most important metrics in measuring a particular ad campaign. While a KPI can be either a count or a ratio, it is frequently a ratio.

MVT: Multivariate Testing – A process by which more than one component of a website may be tested in a live environment. It can be thought of in simple terms as numerous A/B tests performed on one page at the same time.

PPC: Pay-Per-Click – An advertising pricing model in which advertisers pay based on how many consumers clicked on a promotion.

PPI: Pay-per-Impression – An advertising pricing model in which advertisers pay agencies based on how many times an ad is viewed.

RFP: Request for proposal – An RFP occurs when a company requests agencies or other companies to pitch them an idea or strategy for a particular need.

ROI: Return on investment = (Revenue – Cost)/Cost, expressed as a percentage. This term refers to the monetary return on an investment, whether the investment is advertising spend or wages allocated to a specific practice or task.

RSS: Really Simple Syndication – RSS is an XML (extensible markup language, similar to HTML) format for distributing news headlines on the Web, also known as syndication.

SEM – Search Engine Marketing – The process of building and marketing a site with the goal of improving its position in search engine results. SEM generally refers to paid methods of marketing, like pay per click (PPC) or display advertising.

SEO: Search Engine Optimization – Search engine optimization is the ongoing process of making a site and its content highly relevant for both search engines and searchers. SEO includes technical tasks to make it easier for search engines to find and index a site for the appropriate keywords, as well as marketing-focused tasks to make a site more appealing to users.

SERP: Search Engine Results Page – The page searchers see after they've entered their query into the search box. This page lists several Web pages related to the searcher’s query, sorted by relevance.

SMM: Social Media Marketing – Social media marketing is the practice by which products are sold or promoted via social media channels, ranging from blogs and videos to direct outreach via Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and other social networking websites.

SMO: Social Media Optimization – SMO refers to the improvement and perfection of social media activities related to a business.

URL/URI: Universal Resource Locater or Universal Resource Identifier – This is the domain name you see in the address bar of your browser, and represents an encoded form of your website’s IP address.