29 Internet Marketing Terms You’ll Need At INBOUND 2015


As you may know, HubSpot’s INBOUND 2015 conference is next week—maybe you’re even lucky enough to be going! You may also know that the folks at HubSpot (and all marketers, really) love their buzzwords, so it’s likely you’ll hear a few while you’re there.

For that reason, we thought now would be a great time to pull together a comprehensive list of internet marketing terms.

Anytime someone uses one—whether it’s a speaker or a new acquaintance—you can quickly reference this handy guide to make sure you don’t get lost in the marketing jargon. From the very basics to the most complex inbound marketing terms, this list has you covered.

29 Internet Marketing Terms

1. Inbound Marketing Methodology

As opposed to traditional outbound marketing, the inbound marketing methodology focuses on customers finding you, instead of the other way around. Inbound marketing is about creating high-quality content that attracts visitors, converts leads, closes customers, and delights readers so much that they become promoters of your brand.



2. Inbound Sales

Similar to inbound marketing methodology, inbound sales focuses on the customer and their needs rather than what the company is trying to sell them. Inbound salespeople look at a potential customer’s personal needs, pain points, frustrations, and goals to determine if that prospect could truly benefit from the product or service before actually trying to sell them anything. Instead of cold calling and assuming the person on the other end wants your product, you wait for the right person to come to you.

3. Content Marketing

The purpose of content marketing is to attract and retain customers by consistently creating and curating valuable, relevant content for a specific audience in the form of blog posts, offers, webinars, and more. To be effective, it should be an ongoing process that is integrated with your inbound marketing strategy as a whole. (If you’re curious about the difference between content marketing and inbound marketing—or whether or not there even is one—read this article.)

4. Content Strategy

A content strategy is the plan you create for developing, distributing, and managing your marketing content, so it aligns with your business goals. Essentially, it’s about getting the right content to the right people at the right time. As you come up with a content strategy, you often create a content calendar with a brainstormed list of topics and ideas for future content that is relevant to your audience.

5. Business Blogging

Business blogging is a marketing tactic that uses blog posts (short-form content) to get your business more online visibility. Business blogging is different from regular blogging, in that:

  • It’s not a hobby, like a personal blog may be.
  • It’s not the primary way your business makes money.

Instead, it’s a channel to support business growth by offering information relevant to your potential customers.

6. Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing is the process of increasing website traffic or attention through social media sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram. The general goal behind social media marketing is to encourage readers and followers to share your content on their own social networks.

7. Closed-Loop Marketing

Closed-loop marketing relies on data from closed-loop reporting, which simply means that the sales team tells the marketing team what happens with the leads that their marketing generated—thus, “closing the loop.” This helps the marketing team make better decisions about future campaigns.

8. Lead Nurturing

Today’s consumers educate themselves about products and build trust with a brand before they make a purchase. During this sales process, a company must develop a relationship and consistently communicate with the customer, listening to their needs and providing the information they’re looking for along the way. This process is called lead nurturing.

9. Marketing Automation

Marketing automation is the use of technology to perform certain marketing tasks automatically (instead of manually).

It’s essentially like creating a lead nurture process, plugging that data into a software program, then letting that program keep track of the lead nurture process for you. For example, with marketing automation, you could send a personalized email to each of your prospects without actually having to personally create every one of those emails. It’s a huge time (and sanity) saver. (For more information about marketing automation, check out this article.)

10. Workflow

Workflows are a series of events that automatically begin when someone takes a certain action on your website. (Workflows are a form of marketing automation.) When a person downloads an offer or fills out a contact form, you can set up a workflow that automatically sends them a series of emails or notifications, updates contact information, or adds or removes contacts from lists.

11. Persona

A persona (or buyer persona) is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on market research and real data about your existing customers. (Learn how to create buyer personas in our step-by-step inbound marketing guide.)

12. Responsive Design

With today’s rapidly-increasing number of web-enabled mobile devices, having a responsive design is necessary to make sure your website is compatible with any screen format your visitors might be viewing it on. Responsive design gives a website an optimal viewing and interaction experience—including readability and navigation with minimal resizing, panning, and scrolling—based on screen size, platform, and orientation.

13. Landing Page

A landing page is a standalone web page (distinct from your main website) that is designed to accomplish a focused objective—usually to convert a website visitor into a lead.

When a person is interested in specific content you’re offering (perhaps in the form of a white paper or ebook) they will click through to your landing page, where they’ll be asked to give certain information about themselves in exchange for the content you’re offering. You can ask for whatever information you’d like on your landing pages, including the prospect’s name, job title, company, email address, phone number—any information that will allow you to connect with that person.

14. Traffic

When people use the term traffic (in reference to a website), they’re referring to either website visitors or the amount of visits your website receives. You can measure traffic to determine the success of your website (the more visits you receive, the more popular your site is).

15. Pay-Per-Click (PPC)

Pay-per-click advertising is used to direct traffic to websites. Rather than earning clicks organically (doing what it takes to rank within the top few search engine results), the advertiser pays for their ad to be placed in search engine results. They also pay each time the ad is clicked.

16. Bounce Rate

A bounce rate is the percentage of people who visit your website, but leave before viewing a second page. You can use bounce rate to determine whether or not your website is meeting the needs of your target audience.

17. Analytics

In marketing, analytics are used to measure what’s happening on your website—from where your most valuable customers originally came from, to what your readers do after clicking your emails (and the list goes on). Analytics are the graphs, reports, and numbers you look at to make improvements to your site.

18. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Search engine optimization is the process of improving a website’s or web page’s ability to rank in a search engine’s unpaid results. We talk a lot about SEO, so check out any of these articles for more information:

19. Subscriber

A subscriber is someone who has opted to receive communication about your company or blog, usually through email.

20. Contact/Lead

HubSpot confusingly uses the terms “contact” and “lead” interchangeably. In the inbound marketing world, either term refers to a person who has filled out a form on your website or given you some sort of contact information.

21. Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL)

According to HubSpot, a marketing qualified lead is “a lead judged more likely to become a customer compared to other leads based on lead intelligence, often informed by closed-loop analytics.”

22. Top Of Funnel (TOF)

This is the first stage of the buying funnel. It includes prospective customers that are furthest away from the buying decision. We also call this the “awareness” stage.  

23. Middle Of Funnel (MOF)

This is another stage of the buying funnel. Once prospective customers have discovered some ways to solve their problem and have made time to consider which of those solutions to choose, they move into the “consideration” stage or “middle of funnel.”

24. Bottom Of Funnel (BOF)

This is the final stage of the buying funnel, where prospects have decided they would like to buy from you, but aren’t quite ready yet—they may still have questions about the logistics of working with your company. After this BOF stage, the only thing left for your prospects to do is sign on the dotted line.

25. Click-Through Rate (CTR)

A click-through rate is a ratio showing how often people who see an ad or link on your website end up clicking it.

26. Conversion Rate

Simply put, conversion rate is the percentage of users who take a desired action. This could mean many things, but often describes the number of people who visit a website and become a customer.

27. Impressions

In the marketing world, an impression is when an ad is viewed once by a website visitor. This measure does not take into consideration whether or not the person actually clicks the ad.

28. Call-To-Action (CTA)

A call-to-action is quite literally a “call” to take an “action.” It’s an image or line of text on a web page that prompts visitors to actually do something or take the next step. (Learn how to create effective CTAs here.)

29. A/B Testing

A/B testing (also known as split testing) is a way to compare two versions of a web page (or other marketing element) to see which one performs better. Comparing the two versions allows to you make improvements on design, copy, and more.

Keep This Handy!

If you’re going to INBOUND 2015 (or you just want to brush up on your marketing vocabulary) keep this internet marketing dictionary handy. Use it the next time someone throws out a term you don’t know (i.e., pretend you got an important text, pull out your phone, and discretely scan this page), and everyone will be impressed with your marketing knowledge!

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