The A-Z of Content Marketing Terms


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27 min read

View this as your complete guide to content marketing terms as we unpick some of the jargon and acronyms used in the world of content.

This type of language can make simple things sound complicated when they don’t need to be.

Take the sentence below for example:

You need to put more effort into your SEO strategy to appear higher in the SERPS.

Translated into basic terms this means:

You need to put more effort into your search engine optimisation strategy to appear higher in the search engine results pages on Google.

It was never a difficult concept, but by using acronyms instead of explaining what the letters mean, you can confuse and alienate your audience. Once you have explained these terms fully, you can continue using acronyms throughout your content as your audience understands them.

On the Canny blog, we always try to write in an easy and understandable way. We want you to be able to fully engage with our content, but there might be some words which have slipped through the cracks.

That’s why we’ve put together a comprehensive guide of A-Z content marketing terms for you to refer back to if you’re unsure what certain words mean.

Let’s take a look.


Alt tag

Alt tag is short for alternative text and is a short written description of an object or image on a web page. Search engines use ALT-tags to find images, and some ALT-tags use text-to-speech tools to allow users who are visually impaired to access a site.


Every page on a website needs to be accessible, so that they are viewable and usable for every visitor. Accessibility means that, no matter what type of device or browser the user is using, that person will be able to access the site.

Affiliate marketing

When advertisements are placed onto a site through an agreement with the web site owner so that visitors are directed to the advertising company’s site, this is called affiliate marketing. The site owner earns income whenever a visitor either visits or buys from the advertising company’s site after clicking on the advertisement.

Anchor text

Anchor text is the text used in a hyperlink. This enables users to hover over the words that are usually underlined or highlighted and they are taken to a new page. Anchor text is also used by search engines in terms of rankings and pulling search results. You should use descriptive anchor text to tell you readers what to expect before they click.



Blogs are short-form publishing platforms used by both individuals and businesses. They are a highly effective way to share news, content, information and editorial pieces. Having a blog also positions your brand as an expert in the industry and gives you the space to educate your readers.

B2B Marketing

This stands for ‘business to business’ marketing and is essentially one business selling their products or services directly to another business.

B2C Marketing

This stands for ‘business to consumer’ marketing and contrasts with B2B marketing. In this practice, businesses market their services or products directly to the public or general consumer rather than to a business.


These are links from other websites that bring traffic to your website. They are a highly valuable way of attracting new leads and also help to build up your site’s authority.

Brand awareness

This refers to how well people know your brand. ​You can measure brand awareness by finding out how many visitors come to your site through a search query by searching terms that include the actual company name versus general words.

Brand visibility

This refers to the amount of exposure your brand gets. If you want to increase your brand visibility, you should start producing quality content and diversifying your online marketing strategies.

Buyer’s journey

There are different stages of a buyer’s journey before they purchase your product or service. Firstly, they need to find your company online before becoming a loyal customer. Devices exist to measure and gather data on these stages to trace out the buyer’s journey, as a means to help market better to similar future customers.



Content is used to attract, engage, and retrain your audience. It includes blog posts, news articles, videos, images, infographics, whitepapers, ebooks, podcasts, and other forms of media.

Content marketing

This blog post is an example of content marketing. Just like every other post on the Canny blog. Content marketing is the strategy of creating content and publishing it with the purpose of marketing activities, promoting a product or image and reaching audiences and consumers.

Content strategy

Content strategy refers to the planning of content creation and promotion for purposes of making sure that it is effective in reaching customers and meeting their requirements.

Content gap analysis

This is the process of finding gaps in your existing content. It involves identifying missing content pieces that could align with the various stages of your target audience’s buyer’s journey.


You might see this acronym often and all it means is ‘click through rate.’ This is the measurement of how many readers or viewers will “click through” the link given on a piece of content and perform the desired action intended by this link.


This is an example of a dreaded acronym and simply stands for calls-to-action. This is a technique used in online marketing to turn potential customers into real customers. When designing a page, marketers will ask their clients what the goal of their site is and what kind of action they would like a customer to take.


CMS is short for a content management system, and is a program or product used to manage the content on a site. At Canny, the CMS we use is WordPress, but there are lots of different CMS systems each with their own pros and cons.

Content brief

Before content can be created, it must be briefed to ensure all of the relevant information is included. A content brief also covers why the content is needed, its purpose, and its intended audience.


Unfortunately no, we’re not talking about dessert here! Cookies are files created on a person’s computer after they visit various web sites. You may not realise these are active on your computer but cookies allow sites to recognize when a visitor is returning to the site, making it possible for the site to create a profile on that person’s interests and habits.

Case study

This is where companies share the experiences of a client, customer, or reader. By telling the positive story of other customers who have come into contact with your brand, it adds credibility and authority to your offering as other customers will trust you.

Competitive analysis

By analysing your competitors content strategy, you can uncover their top-performing content and weak spots and identify your competitive advantages over them.



This is the way in which you share your content. For example, if you create videos then you should be sharing them on YouTube and Instagram. Similarly, images and infographics should be added to your Pinterest board. Your blog headlines should automatically populate your Twitter feed. These content-sharing platforms are used by your audience and they have the potential to reach a new audience.

Direct traffic

Direct traffic means all users who have entered the URL of a website directly into a search bar. Direct traffic also includes users who have clicked on a site’s link through the “Favourites” categories of a browser.

Domain authority

Domain authority is the measure of a website’s trust by a search engine. The higher the domain authority, the more likely it is to be trusted.


Drupal is a content management system used by nonprofits or charities.

Digital marketing

This is just one of many different marketing roles! The job of anyone working in this field is to promote a company’s services or products through digital marketing. This includes social media, advertisements, and email marketing.



Evergreen content never goes out of date. Content that establishes itself in Google and sticks around for the long-term is highly valuable. When producing content you should avoid referencing dates or anything that restricts it to a particular time. This means even years after existing on your website or blog, the content will keep attracting leads.


A book that is solely published in a digital format and read through an eReader, Kindle or Nook.

Email marketing

Any campaign which uses email to market a product or service.


Embedding involves inserting blocks of code to a site or page to allow insertion of videos or other content in order to allow it to be viewed by visitors to the page.


An email that is sent by email that includes news and information along with advertising information.

External linking

These types of links go between two different websites. The number of quality external links can improve a site’s ranking so make sure you check a website before linking to it from your own.


Facebook marketing

Using social media platform, Facebook, as a way of marketing your business or organiSation.


This is short for ‘Frequently Asked Questions’. Lots of websites use this feature to provide their visitors with quick answers.


Formats are the designs and forms used to create and present content. These different formats can be long or short-form, images, or videos.


This refers to how often content is published.


A funnel represents the various stages a lead goes through when first coming into contact with their company to when the prospect becomes a customer.


Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a Google service that produces statistical data on a web site’s success and includes information such as visit numbers, location, traffic and income earned.

Google AdWords

This is another advertising service offered through Google that lists advertisements that are most relevant to the keywords entered in a search query.

Google Search Console

This is a free tool from Google that can help anyone with a website to understand how they are performing on Google Search, and what they can do to improve their appearance on search to bring more relevant traffic to their websites. Search Console provides information on how Google crawls, indexes, and serves websites. This can help website owners to monitor and optimise Search performance.

Google Search Algorithm

The Google search algorithm is a combination of mathematical formulas and rules designed by the Google company to ensure that Google users receive the most relevant search results when performing a keyword search query.

Guest blogging

This is when someone else publishes content on your website, or similarly, you publish content on theirs.


H1 tag

This is a type of HTML tag and identifies the strongest heading on a page.

H2, H3, and H4 tags

These tags identify headings on a web page. They are hierarchical ranging from H1 to H6. The lower the number, the more important the heading.


HTML is the computer code that creates web sites and is short for hypertext mark-up language.

HTML sitemap

An HTML sitemap lists the page’s URLs or web addresses for a web site.


HTTP is short for hypertext transfer protocol and it controls the transfer of data between computers and servers.


Hubspot is a marketing software platform and system for inbound marketing.


A hyperlink is a link you can click on in a web page or document that will move the user from page to page or within the document.

House style

These guidelines ensure every piece of content is consistent and is aligned with your brands ‘style’. This should be adhered to by everyone in your organisation and should be shared with any external agency working on your brand. Consistency of tone, language, and spelling is important to create a coherent brand message.


Hosting is the storage of a website on a server. Hosting a site can allow other users to access it from many other locations.


By using a hashtag in a social post, you signify to others that you’re joining a certain conversation (as opposed to using a common word). This makes it easier for your audience to find your posts.


Internal links

An internal link is a link between two different pages located on the same domain or web site.

Indexed pages

Once a page has been visited by a search engine’s crawler or robot, that page has been indexed, meaning it will be able to be retrieved easily by search engines in the future.


Instagram is a popular social media network where users can post, share, edit and tag their own personal photos.

Integrated marketing

Integrated marketing is a strategy that attempts to unify several different marketing techniques to make sure that a brand is presented consistently across the board.



Ironically, the content marketing term I can find beginning with ‘J’ is Jargon! As I’ve already ranted about in the intro, Jargon is a way of describing words used within a specific industry. Those who are not active in that industry are less likely to understand the meaning behind the words.



A KPI or a Key Performance Indicator is a measurement of how well a product or company is doing. It could involve income or sales, customer complaints, etc.

Keyword density

Keyword density is the measurement of the number of keywords included in content compared to the number of total words in the piece. You should include keywords in your content but including too many of them can bring about penalties for trying to over influence rankings.

Keyword frequency

This refers to how many times a keyword is included in content.

Keyword ranking

The keyword ranking of content is where a certain keyword ranks amongst others in a search engine. You want higher ranking for keywords where possible.

Keyword research

Searching for the most appropriate keyword with the highest ranking is known as keyword research. These keywords are what your audience is searching for when they type into Google.

Keyword stuffing

Keyword stuffing is the practice of trying to stuff as many keywords as you can into a web page. This practice is frowned upon as it can make the content difficult to reach and considered low-quality. It also does not make for good reading if the audience is overwhelmed with a repetitive keyword.


Keywords are words typed into a search engine when a user is trying to find web pages involving a certain subject. Keywords are of extreme importance with content marketers when trying to create content that is useful for users.


Landing pages

A landing page is a page on a site that is intended to capture a visitor’s contact information or to get them to sign up for a feature on the site. This could be signing up to a newsletter or a whitepaper.

Lead generation

Lead generation involves the effort of finding new potential customers. This can be done by the company running a site or by a third party agency.

Lead nurturing

Once you get a lead it is important you nurture it, which means communicating with them and attempting to convert these leads into paying customers.

Lead scoring

This involves taking new leads, assessing them and ranking them in hopes of determining which leads will become new customers, as well as determining the best ways to engage them.

Long tail keywords

When a user enters a longer, more specific keyword phrase into a search engine, it is known as a long-tail keyword search. These types of searches usually produce more relevant results and narrow down the information for which the user is searching.


Meta description

This is a 160-character summary of the content of each page on your website. These descriptions are what users look at when they’re trying to decide which result to click on. They should include enough information to engage users to click and should also include your chosen keywords.

Meta title

This describes the main contents of the page and appears in SERPs. A well-written meta title is an important search engine optimisation. The title is displayed on your browser tab and tells you what page you’re on. Meta titles are also read by search engine robots and are seen by users searching the web.


This is a unit of measurement used to determine success. One example of a metric is the number of visitors to a web site. Metrics are important in evaluating the success of a web site or the brand.

Marketing automation

This involves the use of software to handle marketing and repetitive jobs or tasks. Analytical features are normally the main appeal of this software and can be used to improve efficiency in your marketing strategies to save you time and resources. Types of marketing automation tools include Mailchimp, Hootsuite, and Buffer.

Marketing mix

The marketing mix involves four elements of marketing, which are the product, price, place where it will be sold and the method through which it will be promoted.

Marketing plan

This written document or set of documents that detail how a company intends to market itself or a product and how it intends to measure objectives or its success.



This relates to your brand story and the way you communicate your content. Are you presenting information which is educational, informative, humorous, and something totally different? This goes back to branding, and your content should be fully aligned to these things.

Native advertising

This is a method where online advertisements are included in a way that is less intrusive, making it appear as if it is a natural and original part of the site on which they appear.


Navigation refers to how someone moves around a website. It is important to understand how users choose to navigate their way through a site in order to improve content and the way it is presented.

NoFollow link

This type of link is something that can be assigned to the HTML part of a link. It essentially tells the search engines to disregard the link when determining page rank. It can still be used by the search engines to discover and index the page, however.

NoIndex link

Similar to a NoFollow, a NoIndex link is something that can be added to the HTML meta element of a web page, telling a search engine to not index that specific page. If a website owner does not wish to be visible or wants to prevent the indexing of irrelevant pages, he or she can add a NoIndex attribute to the HTML code.


Organic traffic

This term is used for referring to the visitors that land on your website as a result of unpaid (“organic”) search results. Visitors who are considered organic find your website by using a search engine such as Google or Bing. The easiest way to maximise the organic traffic to your website is to regularly publish quality content on your blog. That’s why at Canny we always say ‘CONTENT IS KING!’

On-page SEO

We’ve covered what is meant broadly by SEO but this specific type involves SEO tactics that are applied to a web page instead of doing so internally. It includes inserting keywords and placing HTML page meta tags to help boost SEO.

Open rate

This is the measurement of how many emails that have been sent as part of an email marketing campaign are actually opened by recipients.

Open source

This is a type of code that is free to be used and changed by other developers under a Creative Commons or other similar license.


One method used by companies to disburse content to users is to offer an “opt-in.” This allows the web site visitor to subscribe to a specific service or authorise a contact method to receive messages. It should be noted that, in the United Kingdom, contacting users who have not chosen to opt-in breaches the marketing guidelines of the Information Commissioner’s Office.

Opt -out

If a person does not want to be on an email mailing or contact list, an opt-out allows that person to unsubscribe from receiving future communications. Contacting users who opt-out after they have unsubscribed also violates United Kingdom’s Information Commissioner’s Office marketing guidelines.


Outreach involves engaging with users, visitors and prospects by asking for their opinion. If a company wants to create relationships with potential leads, outreach methods can often be the best method for accomplishing this goal. This might include ringing or email a list of relevant contacts.


Page views

Page views are the number of times a page has been viewed by users or the number of times a page has been requested from a server.

Page views per visit

Sometimes it helps to compare how many times a site is viewed per visit to determine how interested users are in the site’s content. Again, this number can be subjective depending on the reasons the user views or exits the page.

Page rank

This is very important when it comes to content marketing. It is the purpose behind the Google algorithm and is used in determining where a site is positioned in search results. The higher the page rank, the more successful the site is.

Paid search

Paid searches is an advertising technique where search engine providers can pay advertisements on their search results. It is the opposite of natural or organic searches.


This is a social media platform that allows users to share visual content and ideas.


This involves taking someone else’s work and putting it out there as your own. It is considered a dishonest act and can lead to penalisation by search engines.


These are a type of software that help extend the functionality of a piece of software. Internet browsers often have plug-ins that add helpful features like password management.


This is an audio file normally part of a series. Podcasts are used for many purposes including informational purposes, education or news. They can be both downloaded and listened to at a later time or heard immediately.

Pop up

When a smaller window suddenly appears in front of the page you are currently viewing, this is called a popup. They normally involve advertisements or calls-to-action. Most popups are unsolicited, and many users opt to install popup blockers to avoid this inconvenience.


This is short for Pay Per Click and is an advertising technique where sites are paid for advertisements included on their pages, paying each time an advertisement is clicked on by a user.

Promoted content

This is when a company pays a third party to have content included on their site. It is also called sponsored content.


This refers to a marketing campaign where a company issues an offer to attract public interest in hopes of acquiring new customers. Promotions are widely used and have had a great deal of success, especially in gathering interest regarding a new item or product.


Qualified lead

This is a potential customer who has given interest in a company’s product or service.

Qualified traffic

This is defined as visitors who arrive at a web site and are interested in the service or product offered through the site. Marketing firms aim to attract this type of visitor.

Qualitative data

Any type of data that cannot be measured with numbers but is descriptive in nature is considered qualitative data. This would include people’s thoughts, opinions, interests or views.


When creating content whether it’s a news story or a press release, you should include relevant quotes to add expertise and credibility to the piece.



This describes the position a web page is given when included in a list of search engine results. SEO techniques are used to improve a page’s ranking, ensuring that the page is easily viewable to a user attempting to locate information on that topic.


The ability of an advertisement to be seen by the public describes the reach of that advertisement.


Content must be readable for all people in order to be effective. When producing content, make sure that it is easy to understand.


Taking existing content and allowing it to be used in other places is repurposing. One example of this is taking a news article and turning it into a blog post or tweet.


A referral is a visit to a site obtained through an external source, like another site or blog.


This helps you analyse various metrics to demonstrate how your content is performing. It allows you to view what campaigns are working and makes you aware of what content needs to be changed or improved. By understanding what to include in a marketing report, it acts as a very valuable tool.


Reddit is a social bookmarking site that calls itself “the front page of the internet.” Users share links to their favourite content and have detailed discussions.



This is messages or content that is unsolicited and normally contains a low quality, obvious sales message.


A spider is one example of a program used by search engines to go through and index web pages.

Sponsored links

Sponsored links are a form of advertising that involve paid-for-search results.


I’ve already covered this in the intro but SEO stands for ‘Search Engine Optimisation’. This is the way in which your content is discovered and seen by your audience. It is the process of improving the quality and quantity of website traffic from search engines. SEO targets unpaid traffic rather than direct traffic or paid traffic (which we’ve also covered in this guide!)


I’ve touched on this too, but ‘SERPS’ stands for ‘Search Engine Results Pages’. These are the pages your search engine serves you when you type a query into the search bar.

Split testing

This is a solution for carrying out A/B tests. By comparing different versions of your web pages, such as your landing pages or homepages, you can identify which one has a better conversion rate for your visitors.


Traffic sources

This is the way people are coming to your website. The main traffic sources are direct, referral, and search, although you might have traffic from campaigns such as banner ads or paid search.


No we’re not talking about cars, we’re talking about content! Traffic refers to the amount of people visiting your website.


Templates are technical forms that can help improve content efficiency and consistency in format.


This is a person or a business that has expertise in a particular area and is able to produce original ideas on that subject. This person or thing shapes the direction of this topic and has the power to influence others. They are the voice of authority and inclusion of their opinions in content adds trust and credibility to your piece.

Title tags

These include HTML heading tags to inform users and search engines about the heading of a web page. It is visible to visitors to the web site and should include SEO keywords as well as describe the page’s content in a way that makes readers want to stay and read more.

Top of the funnel

The top of the funnel goes along with what is called a sales funnel. This idea describes the stage a lead takes with a company, going from a prospective customer to an actual customer. The top of the funnel is the first step of this process and normally includes the company offering content to attract users to their page.


This is the process of monitoring the progress of your campaign by collating different statistics. You can track lots of different metrics including how many people received an email, whether or not they opened or clicked on it, and most importantly if they became customers.


This is a big buzz word in the world of content marketing. Your aim is to publish content that people will trust as they believe it to be high-quality and informative. Obtaining the trust of your audience is the most effective way of acquiring return customers.


Twitter is one of the biggest social media platforms where users can post short statements no longer than 140 characters. This is a great way of sharing content as you can include links to websites and outside images.


User experience

Content marketers should have a thorough understanding of their users, and need to make sure the content they serve enhances the user experience. This means using the right language, including visuals, breaking up text with headers, and presenting information in the right way. A lot of people use their mobile and tablet users so websites should be optimised to cater towards this demand.


This is short for user generated content and refers to content which has been created by the actual user and not the employee of the company involved.

Unique content

Content must be unique for it to make an impact. Original content is more valuable and considered of higher quality. Furthermore, it has the potential to improve your page’s search rankings as well as bringing in more readers.


URL is short for uniform resource locator, which is the address of a web site. For example the URL for Canny is


This involves how easy it is for a site visitor to navigate their way through a website.

User friendly content

The whole purpose of creating content is that it is consumed by the user. It should be created with the end user in mind and should be understandable. Getting this right ensures customers come back for more and engage with future content.


USP is short for unique selling point, which is the part of a product or service that makes this product stand out from other similar products on the market.


Video blogging

Video blogging is a form of blogging where posts are videos rather than written content.

Video marketing

This involves using videos instead of written content to market or advertise a product or service. Videos can easily be shared and posted via social media and are a great way of reaching large audiences.


Vimeo is a web site that allows users to share videos.

Visual content

Visual content includes images, photos, charts, graphics or videos and is a great way of presenting information in an easily digestible format.


A vlog is a combination of the words video and blog and refers to a blog that consists of video posts rather than written content.


This is the tone or personality of a piece of content. It should stay consistent and align with your brand values. How do you want to speak to your audience? Are you corporate? Relaxed? Conversational? This is your tone of voice.


Web content

This is any content that is accessible online whether it’s written, graphic, images or video.

Web presence

Web presence is the online “real estate” a company has on the web, including their own site and social media accounts.


Webinars are online versions of seminars and allow users to receive education through use of video conferencing.

Web site curation

This is the management of online content and sites. Curators are active in determining which content to produce, promote, and where to advertise it.

White-hat SEO

White hat SEO practices are those that utilise ethical standards and are not penalised by search engines.


Whitepaper marketing involves lengthy content and in-depth reporting on a topic. It can be one excellent method to improve a company’s reputation and authority.


WordPress is a popular platform for content creation and production without the need for a professional web developer. It’s an easy to use and effective content management system which is one of the many reasons why Canny uses WordPress!



XML is short for extensible mark-up language, and is another way of marking data sets and documents so that they can be transferred between applications.



This is one of the oldest and most popular search engines, founded in 1994.


YouTube is one of the most successful video hosting and sharing sites. It was founded in 2005 and later purchased by Google in 2006.


Zero cost strategy

These are marketing tactics that can be done for free. For example social media and blogging.

So there you have it!

Your complete A-Z guide of content marketing terms.

Hopefully that makes life a little easier next time you’re reading a blog and stumble across a word you’ve never heard of.

Content shouldn’t be confusing.

As we’ve covered in the glossary, the whole point of creating content is for it to be consumed by the audience.

If you’ve got more content queries, then why not get in touch with a member of the team?

We provide a complete solution to your marketing needs and our dedicated content team are on hand to answer your most burning questions. So, fire away!