Internet Marketing Glossary’s Search Engine Marketing Terminology Explained

Marketing your brand online requires a comprehensive approach to all areas of search engine marketing. It’s important to understand the various terms used on a daily basis by search engine marketers in Australia and around the globe. The following is a list of the most commonly used terms:

Average Time On Site

This metric is visible in your Google Analytics account and represents the average amount of time spent looking at your site by searchers entering your site through a common keyword or other source.

Bounce Rate

Also a Google Analytics metric, this is the rate at which site visitors leave without engaging with your site content. Bounce rate is presented as a percentage value and generally a low bounce rate is better, but there are instances where bounce rate should not be low.

CPA (Cost Per Acquisition)

Often referred to as Cost per Action, CPA is the cost incurred to deliver a sale, or sales lead. In some instances it is used as a pricing metric but can be difficult to measure transparently.

CPC (Cost Per Click)

CPC is the cost incurred when a web searcher clicks on your advertisement in Google AdWords and affiliate sites, Yahoo & Bing advertising, Facebook advertising and other online advertising platforms.

CPE (Cost per Engagement)

This works similarly to cost per acquisition and is considered a subset of CPA.

CPI (Cost Per Impression)

CPI is related to the following acronym CPM. These metrics essentially means the same thing but CPI is the cost per single impression, whereas CPM is the cost per thousand impressions.

CPM (Cost per mille)

CPM is a common cost structure for banner advertisements and opt-in e-mail ads. For pricing, it’s easier to cost per thousand impressions as cost per single impression is usually in cents but for evaluating the success of ads, getting down to CPI detail may be important.

CPV(Cost per visitor)

The cost incurred to attract visitors to a website. Where SEO and PPC campaigns run concurrently, CPV can be a good aggregate of calculating the cost of website visits.

CRO (Conversion Rate Optimisation)

CRO involves delivering the optimal user experience to convert website visitors into paying customers.

CTR (Click Through Rate)

This is the rate at which web searchers click on advertisements. It is calculated as a percentage of impressions.


An impression is the display of an advert online, usually prompted by input of a relevant search by a web user.

LPO (Landing Page Optimisation)

Landing pages are specific web pages which deliver a specific web page to match the search of a subset of website traffic. These pages tend to convert more visitors into paying customers and the process of managing this is called Landing Page Optimisation. The principle is the same as CRO but LPO relates to individual pages.

PPC (pay-per-click)

PPC is the most common advertising format on search engines such a Google, Yahoo, Bing and on social media site Facebook. Advertisers pay for every click through to their website and the cost incurred is the cost-per-click or CPC (explained above).

ROI (Return on Investment)

This metric is nothing new to business owners but in search marketing, statistical data available in Google Analytics ensures that ROI is far more measurable than in almost all offline scenarios.

SEM (Search Engine Marketing)

SEM is the entire process of marketing a brand online and encompasses SEO, PPC, social media and other forms of online marketing.

SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)

SEO is the process of improving the rankings of websites in the natural, non-paid or organic search results of search engines such as Google.

SMO (Social Media Optimisation)

SMO involves using social media to actively promote a brand, product or service. Facebook Optimisation is a SMO service offered by

SERP (Search Engine Results Page)

This is the name given to the results page returned after a web searcher inputs a search on Google or other search engines. It comprises paid and organic search results and on Google, it also comprises Google Places listings in local search instances.

URL (Uniform Resource Locator)

This is the online address of your website and pages within your site.

For more helpful resources, stay tuned to the ROI Blog for daily updates or call us on 1300 650 274 if you would like to avail of the best performance-based SEM service in Australia.

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