Common Internet Marketing Acronyms Defined


How is PPC different than SEO?  What exactly do “CTR” and “CRO” mean? The world of digital marketing is changing and we can help you stay on top of it! We’ve compiled this list of resources to help business owners, HVAC & Plumbing contractors and marketing executives make better marketing decisions.

The world of marketing is going through revolution. Traditional advertising strategies like direct mail, yellow pages and newspapers are being (quickly) replaced with email, pay per click, search engine optimization and social media marketing. As a business owner, you probably find it difficult to keep up with all the new lingo, but you’re going to have to try if you want to maximize your marketing ROI.

In the coming months, we’ll be publishing a comprehensive list of marketing resources – created specifically for the owners of small (and not so small) businesses. Check back often and if you have something you’d like to contribute, please contact us through the “Contact” link above.

B2B – Business to Business – Companies that market themselves to other businesses (vs. marketing directly toward consumers).

B2C – Business to Consumer – Companies that market themselves to consumers (vs. other businesses).

CRO – Conversion Rate Optimization – Typically used in reference to online marketing and website optimization. Conversion rate optimization is the process of making changes to your ads, marketing strategies or website with the goal of turning more viewers or visitors into conversions. What constitutes a “conversion” varies from company to company. A B2B company may say that a conversion has occurred when a website visitor downloads a case study, registers for a webinar or subscribes to an email newsletter. A B2C company will typically refer to an inquiry or lead as a conversion. Ecommerce websites might call an online sale a conversion. A common mistake made by many business owners is spending money to generate website traffic (via strategies like PPC, SEO, etc.), but not allocating any budget to improve their website’s conversion rate. You want traffic, but you need conversions!

PPC – Pay Per Click – Pay per click is one element of search engine marketing. Advertisers select and bid on keywords for which they would like their ad to appear when a query is performed on a search engine. The most common Pay per click platforms exist on Google (AdWords), Yahoo (Search Marketing) and Bing (Microsoft AdCenter).

PPL – Pay Per Lead – Pay per lead advertising is self-explanatory. Most home service businesses have heard of Service Magic. This is a popular pay per lead campaign where the publisher (Service Magic) pays to generate the leads and then sells them to (multiple) advertisers. Some pay per lead platforms sell the same lead to multiple companies (like Service Magic) while others are exclusive to one advertiser.

ROI – Return on Investment – The percentage of profit or revenue derived from a particular advertising or marketing campaign / strategy. Broadly speaking, small medium sized businesses are best served using profit (vs. revenue) and focusing additional marketing budget on the advertising strategies with a positive ROI (those generating profit in excess of the advertising cost). NOTE: It is impossible to calculate an accurate ROI for advertising if you are not accurately tracking your advertising results!

ROAS – Return on Ad Spend – Related to ROI, ROAS is the revenue generated per dollar spent. ROAS can be a useful metric when you want to compare the performance of two different advertising strategies. Cost per lead can be misleading. Suppose one Yellow Page ad has a cost per lead of $90 and the other has a cost per lead of $50, but the YP ad with the $90 cost per lead generates $700 jobs while the ad with the $50 cost per lead generates $300 jobs. Alternatively, what if one advertising strategy generates leads that convert to sales at a much higher rate? In both of these cases, calculating the ROAS would be helpful for determining which ad is actually more effective.

SEO – Search Engine Optimization – The process of changing your website’s code, structure, on-page and off-page content in a way that allows search engines to more easily find, index and rank your site relative to your competitors. Search engine optimization is typically thought of as a search engine marketing strategy (along with pay per click). For example, if someone searches for Chicago SEO companies, the companies that come up organically have invested years in optimizing their websites for this particular search term (whether it’s the right term or not is another issue!). + Learn more about SEO – Read our Local SEO.

SEM – Search Engine Marketing – At the end of the day, each page of search results on Google, Yahoo, Bing and the other search engines is real estate. As a business owner, you want to maximize yours – more search engine real estate equals more (qualified) visitors, leads and sales! Search engine marketing is the process of increasing your search engine real estate using tactics such as SEO, PPC and Local Optimization (ex. adding your business to Google maps).   Looking for something else? Got a marketing term you need defined or explained? Contact us with your questions – We dare you to stump us!