3 Phrases in Digital Most People Don’t Really Understand

The digital marketing realm is full of buzzwords. We often use them without thinking — or perhaps we cram them into our sentences to appear up-to-scratch on the latest developments.

Using words and phrases incorrectly can cause confusion. Learning and applying various terms correctly helps improve your processes and communication with others.

The list below clarifies the meaning of 3 phrases often used in digital marketing.


Search engine optimisation. Often grouped (or confused) with paid search. Actually, SEO is about affecting a website or web page’s ranking in organic search results. It forms part of the overall practice of search engine marketing (SEM). The other part that makes up SEM is paid search (often loosely referred to as pay-per-click).

In essence, SEO is the non-paid (at least not directly) aspect of enhancing the online presence of a brand, company or content, by improving its visibility. SEO specialists optimise content and data on a web page to ensure it can be easily indexed by search engines, and accessed with greater ease by people who read the results.

Furthermore, by creating the most relevant content and associated products and services, you’re able to improve rankings and conversions over time.

Content Marketing

Many businesses define this in isolation as creating a few articles and blogs. The nature of this content is often confused with long advertising copy. Content marketing is more of a strategy than an isolated activity.

Content marketing is the sum of all content your brand publishes across platforms; this includes short and long copy in ads, social media, op-eds, video and more.

What really defines the content is less of a hard sell, and more about creating content that provides value or learning for audiences, who then associate the positive experience with a product, service or brand. There is no lack of objective, as it’s still used to drive customer action that’s profitable to you.

The Semantic Web

With this one there’s more of a gap in the definition. While many grasp the idea of the ineterconnectedness of data and technology as the foundation of the semantic web, many leave out what the interconnectedness depends on. We understand the need for a common format of the data, but how much do we understand about the artificial intelligence required?

In language, syntax references the structure of language, while semantics refers to the meaning.

Data on the internet forms part of the web merely by its existence in a readable format that is accessible within the public sphere by a network of devices that are interconnected. But the semantic web is about devices not only manipulating data and producing results, but deriving meaning from the data relative to internet users’ needs. Machines making sense of our requests (relative to us and other people and things in the world) is the foundation of the semantic web.

Have anything to add to these definitions? Let me know what you think of these insights, and if there are any others you’d like to add to this list.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *