An Online Marketer’s Guide to Acronyms

On an overcast day, you might check the radar app on your phone to see if rain is on the way; but did you know that the word “radar” has only been in use since the 1940’s? Originally a military acronym for Radio Detection And Ranging, radar has evolved into common usage to describe a method for location of objects through the return of radio waves bouncing off of them.

Acronyms have been a part of language and culture since the earliest of times.  Chances are, you’ve LOL’ed your way through a text conversation or signed a birthday card to a loved one with “XOXO” – both examples of acronyms commonly in use today. But in the online world, acronyms are a large part of the digital shorthand used to relay information, much like a keyboard shortcut. As a natural consequence of our fast-moving digital culture, acronyms have proliferated in recent years, allowing us to say more with fewer characters (thank you Twitter).

Still, speaking the language of the digital world can be a little overwhelming at times, particularly if you’re not a regular inhabitant of the digital landscape. To help you out, we’ve compiled a list of some of the most common acronyms used in online business communication.

Online Marketing Acronyms

APIApplication Programming Interface
AJAXAsynchronous JavaScript and XML
B2BBusiness To Business
B2CBusiness To Consumer
BRBounce Rate
CAN-SPAMControlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography And Marketing Act of 2003
CMSContent Management System
CSSCascading Style Sheets
CTACall To Action
CTRClick Through Rate
CPCCost Per Click
CPMCost Per Thousand
CRMCustomer Relationship Management
CROConversion Rate Optimization
DADomain Authority
DMDirect Message
DNSDomain Name System
DoSDenial of Service Attack
FAQFrequently Asked Questions
FTPFile Transfer Protocol
GAGoogle Analytics
HTMLHyperText Markup Language
HTTPHyperText Transfer Protocol
HTTPSHyperText Transfer Protocol Secure
IMInstant Messaging
IMAPInternet Message Access Protocol
IP AddressInternet Protocol Address
ISPInternet Service Provider
JSONJavaScript Object Notation
KPIKey Performance Indicator
MMSMultimedia Messaging Service
MTModified Tweet
NSFWNot Safe for Work
POPPost Office Protocol
PPCPay Per Click
QR CodeQuick Response Barcode
RFIRequest for Information
RFPRequest for Proposal
ROIReturn On Investment
RSSRich Site Summary (aka Really Simple Syndication)
SaaSSoftware as a Service
SESearch Engines
SEOSearch Engine Optimization
SEMSearch Engine Marketing
SERPSearch Engine Results Page
SLAService Level Agreement
SMBSmall Business
SMMSocial Media Marketing
SMSShort Message Service
SSLSecure Sockets Layer
SWOTStrengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats
TLDTop Level Domain
TLSTransport Layer Security
TOSTerms of Service
UGCUser Generated Content
URIUniform Resource Identifier
URLUniform Resource Locator
UI User Interface
UXUser Experience
WYSIWYGWhat You See Is What You Get
XMLExtensible Markup Language

As more and more of the business world moves to the online arena, there will be an ever-increasing need to know and understand digital acronyms like the ones listed above. Being able to converse fluently using these terms will be an asset in communicating your goals for your business and its digital properties.

I hear you, “This is great, but man, I want that list.”

Here you go.

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online marketing acronyms

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Got an acronym you’re curious about or that you think should be added to our list? Please share it in the comments!