Our jargon-busting crash course breaks down a few of the most common terms they should know in order to help charities take their first steps in the world of digital marketing
Digital marketers love an acronym. There is certainly no shortage of them, along with any number of strange-sounding buzzwords.
Since the start of the pandemic, many organisations have had to scramble to gain a footing on digital platforms and learn the basics of marketing and communicating with online audiences. But coming up against technical terms can be confusing to the uninitiated, causing people to assume that digital marketing might be too technical or specialist to start experimenting with. But it doesn’t need to be that way.
Here are a few of the most common digital marketing terms that charity marketers should know, explained:
An A/B test is where two different versions of the same thing are sent out and tested against each other. This can be an email, web page, social media post or website landing page.
The main reason to carry out an A/B is to find out which version of something is more effective. In an email, for example, an A/B test might be carried out using email marketing software to find out which subject line, image or email layout gets the most opens, interactions or results you’re looking for.
What’s important is to only make one change per version, so you know what factor the audience is responding to.
A web page’s bounce rate tells you the percentage of readers who ’bounce’ after visiting. This means that they don’t visit any other pages or click on anything, but simply view the page and leave (usually a good indicator that the page has caught their attention, or given them what they’re looking for).
Digital marketers generally aim for a low bounce rate. However, certain pages on a charity’s website should expect to see a high bounce rate compared to others – for example, the ’contact us’ page.
Google Analytics is a free dashboard that charities can use to view the bounce rate of their web pages and other metrics.
The click-through rate is another metric that tells you what percentage of people, out of everyone who has viewed a webpage, email or social ad, click a link or button. This is an important way of telling how effective your marketing has been in meeting its goals.
In an email campaign, it’s often the click-to-open rate that is used to measure overall success – check out some tips on improving this here.
A conversion rate takes things one stage further, looking at the goal action you want those clicks to result in. For a charity, that might mean filling in a donation form. You’d typically expect this percentage to be lower than the click-through rate, as not all the people who’ve gone to the webpage will go on to donate.
It’s often important to look at these two metrics together, as a low click-through rate isn’t necessarily a bad thing if the percentage of people converting is high.
The engagement rate is a metric that’s used to measure social media posts to find out how to what extent users are interacting with your charity’s brand, through reactions, comments, replies and sharing.
There are multiple ways to calculate this, depending on different social media channels, using in-app analytics or a third-party tool.
While you could go off likes or followers alone, engagement is designed to constitute a more reliable way of telling you how well your content is doing. For more, take a look at this guide to benchmarking engagement on social media.
An impression means every time a piece of content lands in front of a user. For example, the number of times someone sees your Facebook update in their newsfeed, or a Google ad whilst searching, will be counted as the number of impressions. A user doesn’t have to interact with the ad or post in order for it to count as an impression, only to have seen it. This is a common metric tracked by Pay-per-click advertisers.
Organic traffic is simply the number of users coming your charity’s website through a search engine like Google. Unlike paid traffic, these users found your website of their own accord and uninfluenced by advertising. It’s an important metric to track when considering Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), as it shows that your brand is being searched for and found.
SEO is the process of improving organic traffic to your website.
Google uses algorithms to work out how likely your brand is to show up in search results for relevant terms. Using SEO tactics, organisations can make themselves more visible by improving their search engine ranking. How high up you rank is important because numerous studies have shown that the majority of people never click beyond Google’s first page.
However, Google’s algorithms are a complex system that changes often, in order to ensure that people get the best quality results from searches. As technology and the way people view websites changes, so does SEO.
What’s important to know is that Google always rewards quality, original content that is written with the user in mind and that works smoothly on mobile devices. There are a few basics that you can be doing to improve your SEO – here are ten essential tips.
Pay-per-click advertising is a model where advertisers pay a certain amount whenever a user clicks on their ad. It’s how Google’s search engine advertising works, and it means that you only pay for the ads that are seen.
The big advantage of PPC advertising is that it puts your ad in front of the eyes of a specific target audience, who are far more likely to want to engage with your content, as opposed to a more scattergun approach.
For a small charity, it can be difficult to know if PPC is a cost effective route to getting results. Take a look at our guide ’When should small charities use paid advertising?’ for more insight.