Digital Marketing Jargon Buster

When it comes to marketing, especially digital marketing, you will find it littered with jargon, acronyms and well, let’s be honest – confusion. We’ve created a handy guide to help you understand the ‘lingo’ of digital marketers with an overview of what it really means in the legal sector. You can also download your own copy of the guide here.

We’ve tried to make our guide as comprehensive as possible whilst also keeping it relevant, so we’ve glossed over some of the areas that are less relevant for law firms. Having said that, if there’s anything we haven’t covered that you’re eager to know more about feel free to drop us a line at [email protected].

Analytics or Web Analytics Tools The analysis of data generated by people’s activity on websites or mobile apps, for the purpose of discovering ways to improve websites and marketing campaigns.

If you don’t understand how potential clients are engaging with your website, then you can’t maximise performance or even understand if it is working as it should be, which means lower performance and less return on investment (ROI) from your marketing activities.

There are a multitude of different tools and services that you can use to monitor the performance of your website. Some things, like Google Analytics are free and are a must, but you can get a range of other tools at varying prices to suit your budgets and needs. You can find out more about marketing analytics and how they can boost your return on investment (ROI) in our guide

Application (App) ­A program designed to run on smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices rather than having to visit a website direct.

Apps can be very useful when you have repeat client engagement with a customer. If you regularly order food from a restaurant or service or want to check on your bank account regularly then an App is incredibly valuable. However, if you are offering a one-time service then they offer less value, unless there are lots of mini transactions involved in the customer journey. Conveyancing is a good example of where Apps would work well in the legal sector.

Banner Ad A form of advert found on web pages and mobile applications, usually in image format. It appears on websites more like display adverts that you associate with newspapers and magazines.

A banner advert can be driven by a number of things. You can either purchase space with individual websites where you think your customers may be or you can use automation to seek out and find the ideal customer. There are many ways to tackle this type of advertising. It is often a cheaper way to get your message out but conversely comes with much lower engagement and conversion rates.

Blog ­A regularly updated website written by an individual, typically in a conversational style, and focused on a specific subject.

By running a blog,  you are always providing fresh content and opinions which not only helps your target audience but is great for Google, which will view you as keeping your website current, informative and up to date. You can see more about what Google looks for in our marketing resources articles.

Browser ­A computer program used to navigate the internet on computers, tablets and smartphones. Examples include Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer and Safari.

Depending on what browser someone is using (and they can often be default depending on the device they have) will impact and change the way your website works and looks. As such, it is essential to test your website across various browsers or use tools such as BrowserStack.

Click­-through Rate (CTR) ­The number of times people click on an item of interest, like an advert, in comparison to the number of times users are exposed to that item.

For example, if you run a PPC advert (see section on Pay­ Per­ Click)  which is seen 100 times (impressions) and it is clicked on 5 times during those impressions, you are getting a CTR of 5%. CTRs can vary quite wildly between advertising type and platform. Display CTR can easily be less than 0.5% because of the volume of audience that is seeing it whereas more targeted activity can see much higher CTRs.

CTRs shouldn’t be viewed in isolation. It is really important to consider them against audience size, spend and the end conversion rate.

Content The digital material available to users, including text, video, audio, images, etc.

Content is not only added to your website, but through your social marketing channels too. You need to be thinking about fresh, engaging content that is relevant to your audience. Content isn’t a once-a-year job and forget about it for 18 months. You need to be continuously reviewing and adapting it to ensure it remains current and send positive signals to customers and search engines alike.

Content brings your digital marketing to life and in turn represents the tone of voice and personality of your law firm, so think about the content that is important to you as well as your clients and target audience.

Conversion or Goal ­The actual action you want visitors to perform and not necessarily a sale. It could be form submissions, phone calls or video views but is a defined goal of what you are looking to achieve.

Most law firms’ main goals will be lead generation or to receive an enquiry, however you may have many goals on a website – record them all separately and assess which perform better then focus on improving these.

Conversion Rate (CVR) ­Usually the ratio of conversions to visits on your website but can be used across all platforms where there is a conversion opportunity. Generally, you look at the headline rate across your website. You may have an enquiry form, telephone number and live chat function. If 100 people visit your website, five fill in the enquiry form, four use the telephone to contact you and two people live chat, that that would give you a conversion rate of 11% for the website. If you know what marketing drove them then you can overlay that data to give the conversion rate of the campaign.

Ultimately the end goal is new fee earning clients, but it is important to break down metrics at each stage of the marketing funnel. Are people engaging with you (CTR)? Are they then enquiring (CVR)? And ultimately are they becoming a client (ROI)?

Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) ­The process of increasing the percentage of visitors who complete your goals. CRO involves many different elements. It can be something  as simple as changing the colour of a call-to-action button, to what you call it, through to more detailed tests which could include navigation and structure changes.

It’s important to set your goals and objectives and then split test the change so half of visitors receive the test version (variant) and the other half receive the original (control). You must then review the outcomes at fixed intervals until you see which performs better against your objectives. If the variant performs better then you implement this across the entire site and you should see an improvement in the goals you have set.

In Personal Injury law for example, you may have an enquiry button to a form for people to contact you. It may say ‘Enquire here’ but you could test this against a number of variants such as ‘Start your claim’, ‘Claim now’, and ‘Contact us’. As long as you have enough visitors to your site (or run it for longer) then you can test them all against each other to see which works best.

Top tip - don’t run too many tests at once otherwise you will find it more difficult to determine which ones are driving the improvement.

Cost per Click (CPC) With many forms of performance marketing (Paid search, Display or Facebook) you pay when someone clicks on your advert or banner. The amount of money required to produce a single click on a digital advertisement is the cost per click.

Too often people can be transfixed on the cost per click. A high CPC doesn’t always mean that it is a waste of money, but they should be used to help steer your strategic thinking. In PPC (see section on Pay-Per-Click) a really valuable search term may drive a lot of customers but if the search volume is low, it will more than likely drive up the CPC. As long as that cost (and ultimately the cost of the final conversion) isn’t more than the cost of sale then you may decide it is worth it.

Monitoring CPC alongside other metrics should help you highlight when the best time is to push activity or hold off. For example you may see that CPCs seem to be higher during weekends, so only run campaigns during the week. Alternatively, they are really low at weekends but don’t convert into clients because your core staff only work weekdays.

Crawler or Spider ­A program designed to systematically browse content on the internet and collect information about it to help searchers find what they’re looking for. Google will crawl your website all the time as part of the process it uses to rank your site when people search for keywords.

There are probably areas and things you don’t want, especially if you are running landing pages for specific marketing campaigns that may have duplicate content. Therefore, you need to put blocks on these pages being searched but never block your entire site otherwise you will never rank organically.

Desktop­ A non­mobile device like a personal computer or laptop computer used to access your website. You will have different conversion and engagement rates depending on what type of device people use to visit your website. Again, like browsers, depending on the type and size of the desktop will impact how your website looks therefore it is essential that you test in various screen sizes.

Email Marketing ­The process of using email messages to share information and promote products and services. Email marketing can be used for all aspects of marketing but there are some very stringent data protection rules in place.

It is essential that you obtain express permission from the recipient before you add them to any of your mailing lists. Done correctly, email marketing is a very useful way to cross-sell services to existing clients.

Home Page ­The introductory or ‘main’ page of a website under the main domain name.

People wrongly assume that this is the most important page of the website as all visitors will see it. The reality is if you have a well optimized site that most visitors will land on a page more relevant to what they are searching for.

Your home page is still important because people are more likely to navigate to it during their time on your site and it is often the best place to promote the pertinent message about your business or offering.

Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) A language used by web developers to create websites. It’s a way of marking text so it can be seen on the internet.

Impressions ­Often this indicates the number of times an advert is displayed and is different to actual search volume. If you only run adverts Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm then the number of impressions will relate to the time you are advertising and not all available adverts.

Impression Share This is how often your advert appears as a percentage of all the times it could appear. Therefore, if you only advertise for a period of time and get 2,500 impressions but were off for a period and there were actually 5,000 searches or opportunities, then your impression share would be 50%.

There are a number of reasons that your impression share could fall. Firstly, if you turn off adverts you won’t be seen. Secondly, if you aren’t bidding high enough to appear in adverts you will be ‘bumped’ from the results by your competitors. Thirdly, if the quality of your adverts aren’t deemed good enough you will be penalized.

You can use a combination of impressions and impression share to determine the size of the potential audience you have. This will help you shape the strategy you take to be seen at the right time.  

Index ­A searchable catalogue of web pages and digital content used by a search engine to provide relevant results.

Keyword ­A word or a phrase typed into a search engine when people are looking for a product or service. Law firms can target keyword searches as part of their advertising campaigns.

For example, No Win No Fee is a particularly dominant keyword in the legal sector. As it is multiple words it is classed as a long tail keyword. A single word keyword such as ‘Lawyer’ is known as a short tail keyword. Keywords can be as long and niche as ‘Lawyers specializing in no win no fee accident at work cases.’ The longer the phrase the cheaper they can be depending on your bidding strategy and whether it is ‘exact match’, ‘broad match’ or other variants.

Look out for a future PPC specific guide to marketing for more information.

Landing Page ­The first page on a website that a person usually sees—not necessarily the home page of that website.

If you have a paid search campaign promoting conveyancing, then you may well direct them to the conveyancing pages of your website, rather than the home page, as this makes it easier for the person wanting this information.

You may want to go one step further and build a specific landing page that has much less information but tighter messaging about why to choose your firm for conveyancing, including any special offers and a call to action to get a quote. You will have less links to other areas of your website because you don’t want them drifting off (just yet) into the Wills section if they are wanting conveyancing.

Link ­A text or image that provides a link from one web page or website to another. It helps people navigate around your website easily when you are presenting information to them.

Links are also an essential part of search engine optimization (SEO). You want people to be linking from their website to yours which in turn tells Google that what you have to say is worth reading and boosts you up the organic rankings.

Again, link building and SEO is a standalone topic that we will include in future newsletters.

Mobile Device ­A portable device, such as a smartphone or tablet, capable of connecting to the internet and running applications. In Google Analytics devices will be split between desktop, mobile and tablet.

Mobile devices are smaller than desktops therefore you need to take this into consideration when you are designing content. However, we are often seeing in excess of 60% of web traffic comes from mobile devices so it is essential to have a mobile first web strategy.

Natural Listings or Organic Listings ­Results from a search engine that are not paid adverts. They appear just below the paid search and come in a variety of formats these days from natural listings, knowledge boxes and ‘People also ask’ functionality.

The higher your website ranks in a search engine’s natural listings, the more website traffic you’ll get. People wrongly assume this traffic is free. It often requires a lot of work and investment to get these rankings.

Paid Listings or Paid Search ­These are advertisements that appear on search engine results pages (SERPs) and drive traffic to your website. These adverts often appear above the main organic listings on the SERPs.

Paid search in the legal sector is very competitive and expensive often with 20 to 30 advertisers looking to compete for four advertising slots.

Paid search is a big topic. We’ll be producing a standalone guide which will be included in future newsletters and blogs.

Pay­ Per­ Click (PPC) ­This is the more recognized term for advertising on paid search browsers such as Google and Bing. Advertisers pay every time a user clicks on their advertisement.

Query or Search Term ­An extension of a keyword or phrase. A user types into a search engine in order to find what they’re looking for. Based on the type of search query you can identify what a client may be looking for and where they are in the decision-making process.

As such you can use this information to present results that reflect if they are in an information gathering or sales decision-making process.

Ranking ­This is the position on a search engine results page (SERP) where your search terms appear. Businesses often look to rank at number one for as many terms as possible, but you have to consider the time and effort required to achieve this compared to the rewards and return.

There are lots of key things you need to take into consideration to rank for a particular keyword. This will include factors like the content you have on your website, along with the technical performance of your overall website including speed, bounce rates and user experience.

Search Engine ­A tool that indexes and returns relevant digital content in response to a user’s keyword/s. Popular internet search engines include Google, Bing, Yahoo, DuckDuckGo, Baidu, Yandex and more.

Consumers use these to find information online.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) ­The practice of making changes to web pages, content, and the promotion of that content to improve visibility in the organic—or unpaid—search engine results.

Investing in SEO will help your website get a higher ranking in search engine results however, you have to consider what areas you want to rank in and the work that is required to rank.

Coming soon – our introduction to SEO.

Search Engine Results Page (SERP) ­This is how results are presented to you within the search engine in response to a user’s search query.

This will include the paid for results and various types of natural search results in different formats, depending on the sector you work in. You could appear as a text listing, images or news depending on what it is the user is looking for. Google for example offers knowledge boxes which enable users to view the answer to a question without leaving the search engine results page and clicking through to your website.

Session or Visit ­A group of interactions that take place on your website within a given time frame. For example, a single session can contain multiple page views and interactions. Visits however are the entire time they are on the website and whenever they return to your site.

Social Media ­Content including text, images and videos, created by individuals and shared across the internet on social platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn to name but a few.

These are good ways to engage with potential clients that may not know about you and to jump onto trending news and topics that you may offer services around.

You can also pay to advertise on these channels targeting specific promotional messages to key audiences that are more likely to have an interest in what you are offering.

Unique Visitor ­A single visitor to a website during a specific period of time. If they come back time and time again, they will be reflected in your overall traffic levels. However, you need to monitor performance against unique visitors to better understand how well marketing campaigns work.

If you sell multiple products and services, then repeat visits can be a helpful measure for lifetime value but they can also tell you how well visitors are or aren’t engaging with your website.

Uniform Resource Locator (URL) ­The unique address of a page or piece of digital content on the internet. Every page on your website will have a unique URL but depending on the way your site has been built will impact how the URL looks.

Ideally you need to be developing user friendly URLs so users can easily navigate to specific pages and bots better understand the content.

For further information, please click here to view our marketing resources


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