Let’s face it, a lot of people tasked with doing marketing for their companies don’t come from a marketing background. Maybe you’re one of them. You’re expected to produce good marketing results, but sometimes it sounds like other marketing people are speaking a foreign language. And let’s face it, marketing (and marketing terms) has changed over the last few years. So a lot of what you may have learned in your basic marketing classes in college can be pretty outdated.
Here are some brief explanations of key marketing terminology for those of us tasked with coordinating marketing efforts at our companies in today’s online business environment.
1) Long-Tail Keywords: Sounds like some kind of exotic bird, but it’s not! A long-tail keyword is a word (or a phrase) that is likely to keep showing up when people search the Web for whatever it is you do. Let’s say you’re a remodeler. “Remodeling” is a good keyword, but “avoiding kitchen remodeling disasters” is a better long-tail phrase. It’s more specific and is likely to keep pulling interested leads in.
2) Above the Fold: This actually goes back to newspaper and letter days when the content that was above the fold got read first. In today’s marketing it refers to content that visitors to your site can read without scrolling. Why is it important? A lot of people won’t bother to scroll. If they don’t see it immediately, they won’t read it (or act on it).
3) Meta Description: This is a text description of what is on your page. Search engines use this so that when someone does a search (Google, Chrome, etc.) what you’ve written about surfaces. This is big for search engine optimization because these descriptions help direct the search engines to your links and pages.
4) Alt Text: When you use images in your posts or on your web pages, Google doesn’t see them. Alt text is essentially a caption that describes what the picture is trying to communicate. It’s another way for the search engines to find what you’re writing about online.
5) Algorithms: This is basically a formula that search engines use to determine how to rank your content when people are searching for it. A lot of marketers have tried to “outsmart” the algorithms and load their content with key words that will cause the content to be ranked higher. That’s a waste of time. It’s more important to make sure your keywords and your content is accurate and actually matches the intent of what people are looking for.
6) Personalization: The idea behind personalization is to show return visitors more of the kind of things that they’re interested in: “People who bought this, also looked at this.” This can be helpful, but you need to be careful. People don’t like to be manipulated and they also don’t like the idea that some business thinks they know what’s best for them.
7) RSS: There are a couple of meanings for RSS: One is Rich Site Summary, and another is Real Simple Syndication. Either way, RSS feed allow visitors to your website to subscribe to the content you produce so that they automatically receive it rather than having to return to your website to see what’s new.
8) UX (User Experience): This tells you (as the website host) what kind of experience visitors had on your site. What makes a website visit “good”? It’s when people can easily find what they are looking for and when the information they find actually helps them solve a problem or make a decision. If your website is confusing or difficult to navigate or takes too long to load, visitors won’t return—and they won’t buy from you.
You’ll probably still run into terms that you haven’t heard before (modern marketing is changing all the time), but these eight terms will give you a good start on the basics that are essential to succeed with inbound marketing. If you’re looking for more detail, download our free Inbound Marketing 101 e-book. It’s a great way to get a good foundation for marketing in today’s business environment.