Digital Marketing Analytics: A Complete Vocabulary

Digital Marketing Analytics: A Complete Vocabulary

Data is crucial to every business. Without it, companies would have a difficult time tracking their bottom line, following conversions, and seeing the successes or failures of their advertising efforts. Digital business data can be broken up into two categories: web analytics, and marketing analytics. Web-based data focuses on site-specific numbers, such as page load speed and page views. Both are metrics that can be useful for marketers but don’t necessarily speak to the success of advertising efforts as a whole. The second category, marketing data, is just as (if not more) important because it takes a look at customers and their behaviour, while also collecting information from places beyond a singular website (such as social media and email campaigns). Because of the importance of advertising data, it’s crucial that organizations employ someone who knows how to read it. Take a look at some of the most important digital marketing analytics every business analyst, advertising guru, and social media manager should know:

  • Website terminology
  • Lead magnet terminology
  • Email terminology
  • Content and social media terminology
  • eCommerce-specific terminology

Website Terminology


Data analysts have a tough task facing them: collecting and interpreting the massive amounts of information tracked digitally is time consuming and can be confusing for someone just starting out in the world of digital marketing analytics. To make the job easier, they need a place to start collecting data and making it easier to compare across platforms. A business’ website is often the best place to start (these are technically web analytics but they provide a ton of value to marketers). Here are just a few of the metrics an analyst should be aware of:

  • Visitor: As the name suggests, a visitor is a person who visits your website. Sites can track individual (or “unique”) visitors through the use of cookies (packets of data that are stored on a device), in order to get a glimpse of their behaviour throughout the entire session.
  • Session: This term describes all the actions taken by a visitor on a website, such as page-views and calls-to-action. The session typically ends when a visitor takes no further activity on a site for 30 minutes.
  • Page View: Digital marketing analytics describe a page view as occurring when any page on a website is loaded. Page views are tracked through cookies.
  • Traffic: There are two types of traffic. Page traffic describes the total number of times a specific page on a website is visited. Site traffic measures the number of visits a website receives in total, across all pages. Traffic is measured across a specific period of time (day, month, year, etc.).
  • Traffic-by-Channel: Web analytics veer into the territory of digital marketing analytics with the traffic-by-channel statistic. This information measures the total number of site or page visits that come from a referral channel.
  • Referral Channel: A referral channel is an off-site marketing method that directs visitors to a business’ website. Channels may include emails, social media, and more.
  • Traffic-by-Device: Thanks to evolving technologies, there are more ways than ever for a person to visit a website, such as with computers, tablets, and smartphones. It’s important for businesses to know which methods are most popular in order to ensure content displays correctly and loads quickly on all devices.
  • Ratio of New Traffic to Returning Traffic: Thanks to the power of cookies, web analytics are able to track how many visitors to a website are return visitors, and how many are brand new. This ratio is displayed as a percentage.
  • Time on Page: The average amount of time visitors spend on your website is measured with the “time on page” statistic.
  • Interactions: When a visitor comes to your website, you want them to interact with it. Interactions are comprised of all the actions a person takes during their session, such as reading an article, clicking through product pages, or making a purchase.
  • Interactions Per Visit: The amount and type of interactions visitors take are measured through tracking the interactions per visit.
  • Bounce Rate: In some cases, a person may visit your page but not take any interactions before leaving (or bouncing) it. The bounce rate is the percentage of people who didn’t interact with your website compared to the total traffic of your site or page.

Lead Magnet Terminology in Digital Marketing Analytics

Lead magnet

A lead magnet is an incentive or a reward (such as a free sample, downloadable content, etc.) that marketers offer potential customers in exchange for customer information like names, emails, phone numbers (and sometimes more). Leads help businesses to understand their potential customers more, in order to better tailor ads to interested audiences. Here are some of the analytics terms businesses should know about lead magnets:

  • Call-to-Action: A call-to-action is a method used by marketers to prompt an immediate response in a consumer. For example, a “buy now” button is a call-to-action with the aim of encouraging a customer to, well, buy now.
  • Call-to-Action Click-Through Rate: A call-to-action alone is not an analytic term but call-to-action click-through rate is. It describes the percentage of total clicks on a call-to-action, when compared to the total traffic of a page or the entire website. This statistic helps analysts determine how successful their calls-to-action are.
  • Submissions: Submissions are the percentage of people, compared to all site or page traffic, who filled out your web form if your site has one (usually an email signup).
  • Conversion Rate: The conversion rate describes the number of people who took action on your lead magnet, compared to all site or page traffic. For example, if 100 people saw your email signup and 25 people actually submitted the form for it, then your conversion rate is 25 percent.
  • Free Trial Conversion Rate: If your website offers a free trial of a product, the percentage of people who switch from free trial users to paying customers is considered the free trial conversion rate.
  • Pop-Up Conversion Rate: If your website uses pop-up forms, the percentage of visitors who filled them out compared to total page/site visitors is the pop-up conversion rate.
  • Marketing-Qualified Leads: Not all leads that your lead magnet generates will be worth pursuing. The ones that are worth pursuing and spending time and money marketing on are called “marketing-qualified leads.” This statistic is often expressed as a ratio between leads generated and leads qualified.
  • Leads to Close Ratio: In general, a business wants to turn their leads into paying customers. When they do this successfully, it’s considered the leads to close ratio, which is expressed as the percent of converted customers compared to total number of leads generated.

Email Terminology


Email marketing is one of the most successful methods of reaching and converting customers. The digital marketing analytics that help track the success of email campaigns include:

  • Open Rate: This is the percentage of emails that are opened by your audience compared to the total number of emails sent.
  • Opens by Device: Knowing which devices audiences use to check their email can help your business improve the layout and content of those emails. Opens by device measures the number of emails opened per type of device.
  • Click-Through Rate: In most email marketing, the emails come with attached links to direct audiences to specific web pages. The percentage of clicks on those links, compared to the open rate, helps analysts determine the click-through rate.
  • Bounce Rate: The bounce rate, as it pertains specifically to email marketing, describes the percentage of emails that were undeliverable compared to the total number of emails sent.
  • Unsubscribe Rate: The unsubscribe rate refers to the number of people who unsubscribe from your emails over a specified period of time.

Content and Social Media Terminology

Content and social media

Social media is a versatile platform for businesses to reach a wide variety of audiences. Beware, however, just because your social posts enjoy high engagement, that does not necessarily evolve into conversions. Some of the digital marketing analytics terminology to be aware of includes:

  • Engagement Rate: Engagement with a post includes comments, likes/reactions, shares, views, and clicks. The engagement rate is the total number of one type of engagement compared to the total number of post (or sometimes page) views.
  • Shares: A share occurs when an individual reposts your content to their page or blog.
  • Likes: Also sometimes called “faves,” a like is when someone indicates they had a positive response to your content (very literally that they liked it). Facebook has also introduced “reacts” which allows for uses to display a wider range of emotion related to a post, so each emotion should be tracked separately.
  • Comments: When someone textually responds to your content (by engaging in a discussion about it, for example), this is considered a comment.
  • Views: If your post is a video (or sometimes a GIF), every time someone watches that content, it’s considered a view.
  • Follows and Subscribes: The follows and subscribes your page receives indicates the number of people who want to regularly see new content from your brand’s social media.
  • Post Reach: Some social media platforms also track how many users have seen your posts. Not all people included in the post reach count will be followers of your account.

eCommerce-Specific Terminology


Many businesses with an online presence also sell their products online with an ecommerce store. eCommerce metrics to know include:

  • Cart Abandonment: Cart abandonment is the total number of potential customers who added an item to their shopping cart but didn’t complete their purchase, compared to the total number of customers who added an item to their cart.

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