Digital Acronym Dictionary (AKA DAD)

In the digital sector we love to use acronyms. From PPC to WYSIWYG, it can be a bit of a nightmare if you’re new to the game. We’ve compiled some of the most used digital acronyms you might come across and put together super simple explanations, so whether you’re new to the sector or you’re starting out with an online business – this might well make things a lot easier!


Accelerated Mobile Page

Special webpages that load instantly, developed by Google.


Average Order Value

The average value of a collective amount of orders on an eCommerce website.


Application Programming Interface

How one application can ‘talk’ to another by sharing information.


Business to Business

Selling products or services from your business to another business.


Business to Customer

Selling products or services from your business to the general public, aka ‘customers’.


Completely Automated Public Turing Test to tell Computers and Humans Apart

Thank god for acronyms, hey? This is where you have to type in those annoying (but often necessary) fields proving you can read almost unreadable text to prove that you are in fact a human. Sometimes it’s a tick box. Occasionally, when the powers that be are feeling evil, it’s a mathematical sum.

CAPTCHA | Digital Acronyms | Marvellous Digital Agency Leeds
Image from I-Programmer


Content Management System

The back of a website where you go to upload and update content – content being images, copy, products etc. A store’s virtual office.


Cost Per Click

This is the cost per user clicking on a link which is using paid for advertising.


Cost Per Acquisition

Average amount of time spent in the course of an ad campaign to get a single conversion. This could be used in other contexts, including winning jobs internally etc.


Conversion Rate Optimisation

Aims to increase the percentage of visitors who turn into customers.


Cascading Style Sheets

You might hear developers talking about CSS on a daily basis, so it’s good to know at least the basics of what they’re talking about, and what exactly they do! CSS is a language that tells browsers how content of the page (HTML) should be displayed.


Call To Action

If you are in the retail biz you will probably know the importance of a CTA. Calls to Action in the digital world tell a customer or user to click a link / button that will guide them to a certain page. They are used to direct the flow of a customer’s visit – for example, a SALE button, or “Checkout Now!”.


Click Through Rate

The rate at which a user will click a link in a marketing asset to reach a page. If you send an email to 50 people and 10 of those people click through to your website, you have a 20% CTR. This can be used in other instances, like a pop-up modal on your website, or social media link.


For those of you on Twitter, this is a Direct Message. You can converse with another Twitter account away from the prying eyes of your followers. You both have to be following each other though.


Designated Marketing Area

Geographic location that depicts where the advertiser wants to reach users.


Email Service Provider

A company that offers email marketing or services. Like Google Mail, or MSN Hotmail in the good old days.


File Transfer Protocol

A protocol used to transfer files from one server to another, or down to a local machine.


Google Analytics

If you want to know how well your website is actually doing, you need Google Analytics. It allows you to:

  • Track specific goals
  • See how many people leave your checkout page without purchasing,
  • The average time spent on the site
  • Geographical location of your customers
  • Device and browser your customers use

And lots more.

Google Analytics logo


Hyper Text Markup Language

Standard language used when developing a website that tells web browsers how to interpret info on a page.


Hyper Text Transfer Protocol

You’ll see http:// before any website – it’s a protocol to send IP packets. If you see https:// this means you’re sending packets over a secure connection.


Internet Service Provider

Sky / Virgin Media / BT… you get the drill. Who provides your internet connection? This is your ISP.



A computer programming language often used in interactive parts of a website.


PHP Hypertext Processor

PHP used to stand for Personal Homepage, but it’s now solely used to define an HTML server scripting language that developers use when embedding scripting language this doesn’t make sense.


Pay Per Click

Much like CPC (Cost Per Click), PPC is the amount you pay for an individual click, mostly used on Google Adwords.


Point of Sale

Display material used in retail (in store and online) to draw a customer’s attention to a product, offer, or service.


Quality Assurance

Not letting anything get pushed ‘live’ without it having been thoroughly tested to ensure it is in full working order.


Random Access Memory

A place on your computer for storing information that gets deleted when you switch your computer off.


Return on Investment

Marketing results you’ve achieved vs. the amount spent to achieve them. If your website cost you £15,000


Software as a Service

Online software that runs through your browser web service. For example, Google Docs – you don’t need to install any software on your computer.


Syntactically Awesome Stylesheets

A more powerful version of CSS. CSS on steroids, if you like.


Search Engine Optimisation

How to optimise your website to be as high as possible in search engine results. For example, if your website comes up in the first place when you search for what you do (i.e. Digital agency Leeds), your SEO is great for that keyword!

We’ve written lots about SEO, which you can view here.


Search Engine Results Page

As you might well imagine now you know what SERP stands for, it’s the list of results from a search engine keyword / keyphrase.


Stock Keeping Unit

An alphanumeric identification of a product to be tracked for inventory purposes. These are found in both retail and eCommerce stores, though online they are sometimes shown on the front end of the website, whereas in store they are usually on the label or price info tag.


Structured Query Language

Standard computer language for relational database management.


Solid State Drive

A hard drive that is faster, more reliable, and more efficient than the standard hard drive.


Secure Sockets Layer

Computer networking protocol that manages server authentication, and encrypted communication between servers and users / clients.


Unique Selling Point

What your company does better than its competitors to give customers a reason for choosing them.


User Experience

The user’s experience on the website. A website can have a good or a bad UX, like certain pages can be great for UX and some can be terrible. Graphic designers are always thinking of the UX of a design, by seeing if it is easily useable, and developers see UX in functionality – whether it will benefit the user by being on the site. Of course, these cross over more often than not!



WordPress is an extremely popular, customisable, open-source platform.

A Marvellous blog by Simon

Simon co-founded Marvellous in 2005, with the aim of building a dynamic digital agency – combining the latest technology with cutting-edge visual design.

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