A/B Testing

This is the process of comparing two variations of a single variable to determine which performs best in order to help improve marketing efforts.

Analytics

Analytics is essentially the discovery and communication of meaningful patterns in data. When referred to in the context of marketing, it’s looking at the data of one’s initiatives (website visitor reports, social, PPC, etc.), analyzing the trends, and developing actionable insights to make better-informed marketing decisions. A common form of analytics is called Google Analytics.

Blogging

This is short for web log or weblog. A personal blog or business blog will traditionally include regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material, such as photos and videos. Blogging is a core component of inbound marketing, as it can accomplish several initiatives simultaneously –  like website traffic growth, thought leadership, and lead generation.

Bottom of the Funnel (BoFu)

The bottom of the funnel refers to a stage of the buying process leads reach when they’re just about to close as new customers. They’ve identified a problem, have shopped around for possible solutions, and are very close to buying. Typically, the next steps for leads at this stage are a call from a sales rep, a demo, or a free consultation.

Buyer Persona

A semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on market research and real data about your existing customers. While it helps marketers like you define their target audience, it can also help sales reps qualify leads. 

Call-to-Action

A call-to-action is a text link, button, image, or some type of web link that encourages a website visitor to visit a landing page and become of lead.

Content

In relation to inbound marketing, content is a piece of information that exists for the purpose of being digested, engaged with, and shared. Content typically comes in the form of a blog, video, social media post, photo, slideshow, or podcast, etc.

Context

If content is king, then context is queen. Serving up valuable content is important, but ensuring that it’s customized for the right audience is equally (if not more) important. As buyers become more in control of what information they digest, it’s important to deliver content that’s contextually relevant.

E-book

Ebooks are a common type of content that many marketers use, often to help generate leads. They are generally a more long-form content type than, say, blog posts, and go into in-depth detail on a subject.

Evergreen Content

Evergreen content is content that continues to provide value to readers no matter when they stumble upon it. In other words, it can be referenced long after it was originally published, and even then, it's still valuable to the reader. Typically, a piece of evergreen content is timeless, valuable, high quality, and canonical or definitive.

Inbound Marketing

Inbound marketing refers to marketing activities that draw visitors in, rather than marketers having to go out to get prospects' attention. It's all about earning the attention of customers, making the company easy to find online, and drawing customers to the website by producing interesting, helpful content. By aligning the content you publish with your customer’s interests, you naturally attract inbound traffic that you can then convert, close, and delight over time.

Infographic

A highly visual piece of content that is very popular among digital marketers as a way of relaying complex concepts in a simple and visual way. (Learn more about how to create a knockout infographic here.)

Key Performance Indicator (KPI)

A type of performance measurement companies use to evaluate an employee's or an activity's success.

Landing Page

A landing page is a website page containing a form that is used for lead generation. This page revolves around a marketing offer, such as an ebook, service or geographic location, and serves to capture visitor information in exchange for the valuable offer. Landing pages are the gatekeepers of the conversion path and are what separates a website visitor from becoming a lead.

Long-Tail Keyword

A long-tail keyword is a very targeted search phrase that contains three or more words. It often contains a head term, which is a more generic search term, plus one or two additional words that refine the search term.

Marketing Automation

Think of marketing automation as the platform with associated tools and analytics to develop a lead nurturing strategy. Marketing automation is the paintbrush, watercolors, and blank canvas where lead nurturing is the artist that makes it all come together.

Middle of the Funnel (MoFu)

This refers to the stage that a lead enters after identifying a problem. Now they’re looking to conduct further research to find a solution to the problem. Typical middle of the funnel offers include case studies or product brochures – essentially anything that brings your business into the equation as a solution to the problem the lead is looking to solve.

Pay-Per-Click (PPC)

PPC is an advertising technique in which an advertiser puts an ad in an advertising venue (like Google AdWords or Facebook), and pays that venue each time a visitor clicks on the ad.

Responsive Design

This is the practice of developing a website that adapts according to how someone is viewing it or responding to the device and browser window size.

Return on Investment (ROI)

A performance measure used to evaluate the efficiency and profitability of an investment, or to compare the efficiency and profitability of multiple investments.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

The practice of enhancing where a webpage appears in search results. By adjusting a webpage's on-page SEO elements and influencing off-page SEO factors, an inbound marketer can improve where a webpage appears in search engine results. There are a ton of components for improving the SEO of your site pages. Search engines look for elements including title tags, keywords, image tags, internal link structure, and inbound links – and that's just to name a few. Search engines also look at site structure and design, visitor behavior, and other external, off-site factors to determine how highly ranked your site should be in the search engine results pages.

Social Proof

Social proof refers to a psychological phenomenon in which people seek direction from those around them to determine how they are supposed to act or think in a given situation.

Top of the Funnel (ToFu)

ToFu refers to the very first stage of the buying process. Leads at this stage are just identifying a problem that they have and are looking for more information. As such, an inbound marketer will want to create helpful content that aids leads in identifying this problem and providing the next steps toward a solution.