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Digital Marketing Glossary

Below we have defined a list of unique terms and acronyms commonly used in our website content and throughout digital marketing and web development industries. For those interested in Web Accessibility, we have also created a Web Accessibility Glossary

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Graphics, animations and web environments which are virtually rendered in three dimensions.

A/B Testing

Also known as split testing, A/B testing is the process of testing two different groups simultaneously and analyzing the result. A common A/B test involves showing 2 ads with a slightly different headline and seeing which drives more sales.


An application programming interface (API) is a set of protocols that allow two different applications to communicate. APIs are critical to the idea of software “integration.”

Accessible Rich Internet Applications Suite (ARIA)

Guidelines from the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) which designed to help make websites and applications accessible to persons with disability.


An open source, JavaScript-based web framework for development of single-page web applications.


An open-source, JavaScript-based web application framework used for the development of single-page web applications.


Also called Apache HTTP Server, Apache is an open source, cross-platform web server.


Business-to-Business (B2B) denotes businesses whose primary customers and clients are other businesses.


Business-to-Consumer (B2C) denotes businesses whose primary customers and clients are the average consumers.


A backlink is simply an inbound link from another website. Backlinks are important for SEO in that the quality and quantity of backlinks are an important ranking factor in search engine results.

Beta Testing

Beta Testing is the process of releasing a software program or websites for use by the general public or a select list of beta testers. This is generally the final test phase prior to full release of the software. All of our development projects have a beta period where our customers can test the software and offer feedback.

Bounce Rate

The percentage of visitors who exit a website after viewing only one page.

Browser Testing

Browser testing is the process of testing websites and apps across multiple web browsers and mobile devices. This ensures that software and websites work regardless of the browser.


A Content Delivery Network (CDN) is a system of distributed servers that deliver web pages and other content to the end user.


A content management system (CMS) is a software which facilitates the creation and editing of content within a website. WordPress, Drupal, Magento, Squarespace, and Weebly are all common CMSs.


A Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system is a software package to manage data, track interactions with customers, and manage the relationships with both existing and potential customers.


Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) is a language for describing how the elements of a web page are to be displayed, primarily dealing with the look and feel of the site.


A cookie is a small snippet of data which is sent from a website and stored in the computer’s browser. They are used for tracking user interaction with the website.


Digital Business Solutions. DBS Interactive was founded in 2000 as Digital Business Solutions, Inc. Our company rebranded in 2007.

Screen Reader

A software program used to allow reading of content and navigation of the screen using speech or Braille output. Used primarily by people who have difficulty seeing. JAWS and NVDA are examples.


Domain Name System (DNS) is a hierarchical naming system which is part of the Internet Protocol Suite, in which unique domain names (which users easily remember) are translated to the corresponding IP address that computers need to establish connection.


A collection of data that is organized, stored and structured for access.

Digital Animation

Animated graphics which are generated by computer.

Digital Audits

A digital audit is a comprehensive, customized report designed to help your organization use digital to most effectively meet your goals. The different analyses, recommendations, and strategies that can go in a digital audit vary widely but should include quantitative and qualitative analysis.

Display Ads

A type of paid advertisement which may feature banner ads, images, audio or video.


A domain is simply all parts of a unique network address, or IP, and its sub-networks. It is commonly known by its domain name.

Drip campaigns

Automated, direct marketing email campaigns in which emails are either sent in a pre-planned schedule.


A free, open-source content management platform widely used by businesses and higher education organizations.

WCAG 2.0

The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 is focused on providing an international technical standard for web content. It has 12 guidelines that are organized under four principles: perceivable, operable, understandable, and robust. The guidelines each have testable success criteria outlined in three levels: A, AA, and AAA.


Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems are software programs that allow an organization to wholly manage business activities. Quite often operated in real-time, an ERP facilitates communication between various departments and tracks such business activities as sales, purchasing, production, and even payroll.


File Transfer Protocol (FTP) is network protocol for the transfer of files between a server and the end-user, or client. The controls and commands for FTP are separate from HTTP.


Git is a control system for tracking changes in computer files among multiple users. It is free, open source software.


An open source JavaScript toolkit developed by Fractal Innovations and GitHub. It is used as a streaming build system for Front-End development.


The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) sets required security measures for healthcare organizations to achieve on their websites and software.


Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) is a computer programming language designed for website creation. It is one of the main protocols for the World Wide Web. The current version is HTML5.

Hybrid App

A hybrid app is essentially a native app embedded for use in a mobile platform. It has the advantage of reduced development cost, easier integration and improved user experience.


Internet Protocol (IP) is one of the sets of technologies that allow the transmission of data from one computer to another over the internet. Identified with the IP address.

IP Targeting

IP Targeting is the practice of delivering relevant ad content to users based upon their physical IP location.


Visual imagery such as charts, diagrams or interactive web pages which present data or information in a visual format.

Information Architecture (IA)

The practice of structuring, labeling, organization and search systems for websites and online content with a focus on content, context, and audience.


Unlike the Internet, an Intranet is a website network designed for the specific use of an organization’s staff and members.

Ionic Framework

An open source software development kit with tools for developing hybrid mobile applications.


JavaScript is an object-oriented programming language which is used to facilitate interaction on websites for such features as special effects, interactive animation and streaming video content.


jQuery is an open-source JavaScript library available for use across multiple platforms.

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

A set of measurement indicators designed to illustrate the effectiveness of an online marketing campaign or other organizational objectives.


In terms of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) keywords are the keywords, or phrases, used in web content that search engines use to determine relevance to user searches.

LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL & PHP)

LAMP is a web development platform which uses Linux as the operating system, Apache as the web server, MySQL as the database, and PHP as the scripting language.

LEMP (Linux, Nginx, MySQL, & PHP)

LEMP is a web development platform which uses Linux as the operating system, Nginx as the web server, MySQL as the database, and PHP as the scripting language.

Landing Page

a designated page that is directly reached through linked search results or paid advertisements and has content developed specifically for the purpose of creating conversions.


An open source framework created for the development of web applications.

Load Balancing

Is the practice of distributing web traffic across multiple servers in order to improve reliability and performance.

Long-Tail Keywords

Are keywords of three or more words which are highly specific to the product or service being promoted in web content.

MVC application

Model-View-Controller (MVC) is an architecture that separates the application into three sections: the model, the view, and the controller.


An open-source e-commerce platform with rich features suitable to enterprise organizations.

Meta Tag

Meta Tags are small bits of text which are hidden from website visitors but describe a web page to search engines. The purpose of Meta Tags is to allow search engines to properly recognize web content and match relevance to the search keywords. The information from Meta Tags is displayed as part of the search result.

Mobile Ads

A form of digital advertising where the ads are targeted specifically to mobile devices.


Mockups are a flat, visual representation of a proposed website. Mockups combine style tiles and wireframes to give a two-dimensional view of a website.


An open source relational database management system (RDBMS) and is a central component of the LAMP development platform.

Native Advertising

A method of paid online advertising where the form and function are designed to emulate the platform on which they appear.

Native App

An application that is developed specifically for a particular platform or device. Because the native app is designed for a specific platform it has the advantage of better functionality.


Node.js is an open source JavaScript run-time environment that allows developers to use server-side scripting to create dynamic web content that is created before it is sent to the end-user.

Open source

Software for which the source code is made freely available and is open for modification and distribution by others. All of our programming at DBS is open source.


Originally called Personal Home Page (PHP) and developed for the creation of Dynamic Web Pages, PHP now stands for Hypertext Preprocessor and is a server-side scripting language for website development.


Pay-Per-Click (PPC) is an advertising model in which the advertiser only pays when a user clicks on an ad, not if the user only sees the ad.


Public Relations (PR) is the practice of dissemination of information about individuals or organizations to the general public.

Paid Social Media

Paid advertisements, such as display ads, which are run over social networks.


A scripting language used for web development and desktop applications.


Representational State Transfer (REST) is an architectural style that helps improve the performance, modifiability, and scalability of web programs and applications.


Return On Advertising Spend (ROAS) is a measurement of efficiency in a digital marketing campaign. The ROAS is found by dividing revenue by cost (Revenue/Cost = ROAS).


Also known as remarketing, Retargeting is the practice of targeting ads to potential customers based upon their previous online interactions.


Syntactically Awesome Style Sheets (SASS) is a style sheet language used for use in Cascading Style Sheets (CSS).


Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is the practice of promoting websites on search engines. Typically SEM refers to the Google AdWords and Bing Ads platforms.


Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the act of increasing traffic to a website from search engines like Google.

Structured Query Language (SQL) is a programming language for managing data held in a database management system.


Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) is a security protocol for encryption of the link between a web server and the browser, providing a secure connection. Websites which are encrypted with SSL protocol will have a URL prefix of “https.” Every website we launch is encrypted with SSL technology.


A practice in web design to make the website viewable at any resolution across any platform with multiple-browser compatibility.

Is a collaborative organization instigated by Google, Bing, and Yahoo in 2011. The purpose of is to “create and support a common set of schemas for structured data markup on web pages.” Used in markups, the vocabulary of Schema helps search engines to understand the context of a website.

Section 508

An amendment of the United States Workforce Rehabilitation Act of 1973. It requires Federal agencies to make their electronic and information technology accessible to people with disabilities.


Sitemaps can refer to two different items. An XML sitemap is invisible to the user and tells the search engine which pages are available for crawling and indexing. An HTML sitemap is usually a link in the footer of a site and is another way for users to navigate through a website.

Style Tiles

A step in the website development process that looks at the proposed visual elements of a new website, including fonts, colors, buttons, calls-to-action, and images.

Technical SEO

The enhancement of content, design, and code structure to help search engines crawl and index your website pages, while also optimizing your page performance and user experience to serve visitors browsing across multiple devices. Here’s a deep dive on Technical SEO if you want to learn more.


User Interface refers to the means by which a user interacts with the computer, program, website or app. UI is one element of UX.


User Experience refers to a user’s overall experience with a website or app. It includes such things as ease of use, site speed, and even the individual’s emotions and perceptions of the site. User experience is optimized to improve the user’s experience.

User Pathways

A user pathway is the journey, or path, a user takes on a website in the process of completing the desired action. In good website strategy, these are defined before the website is developed.

User Personas

A user persona represents a defined customer for a business or organization. User personas are developed through discussion and research and used for building user-first websites and creating engaging marketing programs.

Virtual Reality

A computer-generated three-dimensional environment designed for immersive user interaction.


The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is an international organization consisting of W3C staff, member organizations and the public for the development of international standards and guidelines for the World Wide Web.


Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 – Provides guidelines on how to make web content accessible for people with disabilities.


What You See Is What You Get (WYSIWYG) is a type of editing program that allows the website administrator to see exactly what the page will look like as it is being developed. Many popular CMSs have WYSIWYG editors built into them for ease of use.

Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI)

The Web Accessibility Initiative is an effort to improve website accessibility for persons with disability from the World Wide Web Consortium.

Web App

A web app is a program which functions from within the website and is designed for user interaction, such as shared calendars, messaging apps or webmail.


A step in a website design process that represents a “blueprint” of the website. Layout and page structure is determined through wireframes.


Designed for WordPress, WooCommerce is an open source plugin for e-commerce.


A free, open-source content management system used by almost half of websites worldwide.

Our Accessibility Experts Are Ready to Help

At DBS, we are passionate about digital accessibility, and we understand it’s not always easy for organizations to implement these best practices. Our experts are here to consult with your team about social media marketing that is more inclusive and accessible for people with disabilities or impairments. Reach out to our team for more information about how we can help you get there.

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