University Marketing and Communications

Digital Advertising Terminology

  • Whether you are working with Digital Services or another vendor, these key terms will help you speak the language of digital advertising.
  • CRM (Customer Relationship Management): The software used by a company to manage its relationships and communications with its customers.
  • CTA (Call-to-Action): Every key marketing webpage should have at least one call-to-action—asking the user to perform a key action. Examples include call, email, request, sign-up, or apply.
  • CTA (Call-to-Action) button:  A call-to-action in the form of a clickable button. The button design performs better than a standard link. We use CTA buttons to prompt the user to take an action such as Request Information, Apply Now, see Program Cost, or visit Program Website.
  • Indicators: The data in the dashboard is used to indicate or point to trends or levels rather than as exact measurements.
  • KPIs (Key Performance Indicators):  Measurable values that demonstrate how effective the digital advertising is. University Marketing and Communications often uses new users, sessions, unique pageviews, CTA button clicks, and form completions.
  • New user: A visitor to the website who, according to Google's cookie, has never been to your site before.
  • Organic digital marketing: Promoting your company or products online for free. Often includes posting on the social media accounts that you own or through organic (non-paid) search results.
  • Paid digital marketing: Running digital advertising online for a fee, usually on a cost per click or impression basis. Ad networks include Facebook/Instagram, Google, LinkedIn, TV (traditional and streaming), etc.
  • Referrer: A referrer is another site which sends us traffic by linking to our web content. We can pay for referrals by buying or upgrading online profiles ( or are two examples). Organic (free, not from paid ads) referrals include ones from searches within search engines or from posting on our own social media channels.
  • RFI (Request for Information): Typically a form on a program webpage or marketing site that allows the user to request that the University send them more information about the school or a specific program. Receiving RFIs fills the top of the admissions funnel.
  • SEO (Search Engine Optimization): A subset of organic digital marketing, means making sure that your webpages and websites are keyword optimized so users who search for you online (via Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc.) find you easily. SEO competition for general phrases, like "mechanical engineering" or "online health certificate", is fierce as everyone is competing for the top search result spot in Google.
  • Sessions: A group of user interactions with your website that take place within a given time frame. A single session can contain multiple page views, events, or transactions, and are executed by one user.
  • Slate: The name of Michigan Tech's CRM software. Slate includes many advanced tracking capabilities that Banweb does not have. Currently, Undergraduate Admissions uses Slate. In the future, Graduate Admissions will be using Slate as well.
  • Unique pageviews: The number of views of a page generated by different users or users in different sessions.
    • User: A single person who has visited your site or page, based on Google's tracking cookie. Users can have multiple sessions, and each session can have multiple pageviews. 
  • User acquisition: Where users originated from, the pages or sites where they were before coming to your site or page.
  • UTM tagging: A snippet of code added to the end of a URL to track the performance of digital marketing campaigns and content across platforms. Without UTM tagging, it is difficult to measure and attribute success to paid and organic digital marketing.