64 Digital Advertising Terms That Marketers Should Know

You’re likely to be a digital marketer and know how difficult it can be to get started with pay-per click (PPC). It’s also full of digital advertising terms that might be unfamiliar to you. This is why we created the digital advertising glossary.

These are brief explanations, which don’t use jargon, of some of the most commonly used terms in digital advertising. These terms will help you navigate online advertising.

You’ll also get more value from our series of blog posts on digital advertising and marketing.

Digital Advertising Terms

  • A/B Testing : This is a method that allows you to compare different digital ads and website landing pages to see which one is more effective. An A/B test of ads is where you run both ads simultaneously, and then measure which one gets the best response. Only one element should be altered in an A/B test.
  • Because the purpose of these tests is to find out which variables get the most responses from the audience, this is important. After a winner has been selected, it will be used as the next control. It will then be compared to another version in order to identify and isolate the ad element that encourages the audience to respond positively to the ad.
  • Above the Fold : This term is derived from the printing advertising industry. The area of a website page visible to the visitor before he scrolls down. The fold is not a fixed size. It will vary depending upon the resolution and screen size of the visitor.
  • Account-Based Advertising : A key strategy in account-based marketing (ABM), is to use one tactic. This is the practice of only serving display advertising to specific titles within the targeted accounts you have designated.
  • If you market a new type or food packaging to General Mills you might target several levels of responsibility such as Senior Product Managers, Senior Product Marketers, and VP of Product marketing. Your ads would only be seen by people who are employed at General Mills with these titles.
  • Ad Audience : The total number of people who were exposed to, or could be exposed to, an advertisement during a particular time period.
  • Ad Banner : This is the most popular form of digital advertising. These ads units can be static graphics, videos and/or interactive rich media. They are displayed on a website or in an app.
  • Ad Click : This is the action of a user clicking on an ad with their mouse, or pressing enter on their keyboard.
  • Ad Exchange : Technology-facilitated marketplace that allows Internet advertisers and publishers to purchase and sell advertising inventory through real-time auctions. The ad exchange is a departure from traditional methods of buying ad inventory. In the past, publishers and advertisers would negotiate prices to place ads on specific websites. An ad exchange allows instantaneous bidding on ad space available online.
  • Ad Impressions : It is the number of times an advertisement has been served. This includes both the actual viewing and interaction with the ads. (Also, see Ad Serving).
  • Ad inventory : Visitors see ads when they visit a website. Their ad inventory is the number of ads that can be served. If The Gotham Times receives an average of 1,000 visitors per week to their homepage, and there is enough space for two display ads, their potential ad inventory would be 2,000 impressions per semaine.
  • Ad Network : An intermediary that connects publishers and advertisers. Advertisers and publishers can connect through a network to help them negotiate demand and supply.
  • Ad Serving : Delivery of an advertisement from a web server. The ads are then displayed on the user’s device.
  • Advertising Targeting : Delivering ads to pre-selected audiences based on different attributes such as geography, demographics and psychographics. (Please also see: Contextual Targeting and Geographic Targeting.
  • Ad Unit : An ad size-and-format specification. A set of guidelines has been developed by the Interactive Advertising Bureau, a trade organization that promotes digital ad standards.
  • Affiliate Marketing : Publishers own websites that receive traffic, and advertisers wish to market their products to those visitors. Affiliate marketing is a partnership between a publisher or advertiser. The publisher gets compensation for each click and/or sale of the advertiser’s product or service.
  • Analytics : Statistics and data about website users and their interactions with it. Analytics can be used for information such as how many people visit a website, how long they spend on it, and what actions they take on it.
  • These data can then be used to target audience, understand consumer behavior and optimize advertising campaigns.
  • Attribution : Attribution is about identifying which touch is most responsible for a conversion. This allows ROI to be calculated. Common attribution models include multi-touch, last touch, first touch and last touch.
  • A sale could start with an ad and lead to an email campaign. Then it might end with a call from a salesperson. First-touch attribution would give the entire credit to the ad for the sale.
  • Last-touch attribution gives the phone call all credit. Multi-touch gives the ad and email equal credit. The phone call gets partial credit.

6-Step Marketing Strategy: A Blueprint to Help You Reach Your Goals

  • Bounce Rate : A bounce is when a visitor visits a single page on a website and does not interact with it. These visits are expressed as a percentage (or percentage) of all visitors who visit the site within a given time period.
  • Let’s say a website hosts 100 sessions per day. This is different than 100 visitors. Visitors could visit the site multiple times and each visit would be considered a session. If 75% of visits are bounces, the bounce rate is 75%. High bounce rates are often a sign of poor design.
  • Landing Page : It can also be used to indicate that the page has been completed fulfilling what the visitor was looking for. This can indicate that the page has all the information the visitor needs, and the visitor no longer needs to click on the link to continue.
  • It can also indicate that the page is not working, which underlines how important it it to design landing pages to encourage visitor engagement.
  • Brand Awareness : A potential consumer’s ability to recall and identify a product or service. A digital advertising campaign should have two goals: increase brand awareness and conversion.
  • Use this browser : A program that uses a graphical interface to allow users to navigate the World Wide Web. Firefox, Chrome and Internet Explorer are some examples.
  • Call to Action (CTA) : A statement or graphic element that invites people to do something. You can use phrases like Click to Read More, Get Your Free eBook Now, and Click Here.
  • Channel : Distribution method. In advertising, it is a channel used by advertisers to reach their audiences. Digital advertising can include display advertising, social media advertising and mobile in-app advertisement.
  • Click-through Rates (CTR) : This statistic, expressed as a percentage (or total impressions), shows how many people click on an ad. CTR for an ad is calculated by subtracting the number clicks received from the number served and then converting it into a percentage.
  • CTR = percentage. For example, if an advertisement received five clicks but was displayed 1000 times, its CTR would be 0.5%. Ads perform better if they have a higher CTR.
  • Contextual Targeting : You can select audiences based upon the content displayed on a specific webpage. A good example of contextual advertising would be placing advertisements for hair products on the Vogue website.
  • Conversion : Advertisers choose a specific action or set actions that they want their audience to take when launching a campaign. Every time an audience member takes that action, it counts as a conversion. Conversions can be actions like signing up for a newsletter, or purchasing on a website.
  • Conversion Pixel : One pixel is an image placed on a page, such as a thank you page. It triggers when a conversion occurs. It is usually transparent. This is done by taking the number users who converted and dividing it by how many impressions they served.
  • A second and more common method is to take the number of conversions completed by users and divide it by the number of people who clicked on the ads.
  • Conversion Rate : A conversion rate can be expressed as a percentage. It is calculated by multiplying the number visits or views by the number fills.
  • Conversion tracking : Analyzing which ads lead to conversions and how many have been made during a given time period.
  • Cookie : Cookies are information that is stored on the browser of a website visitor. Cookies are used to track the movement of visitors on the website. These cookies do not cross browsers.
  • Copy : Text used in an advertisement or text that is intended to be spoken aloud. Avoid advertising jargon when writing ad copy.
  • Cost per Acquisition (CPA) : Cost of acquiring one client. This is usually calculated by multiplying the total cost of an advertisement campaign by the number customers that were acquired by that campaign.

What is digital marketing and why should you care?

  • Cost per click (CPC) : The average cost an advertiser will pay for each click. CPC is determined by multiplying the campaign’s total cost by the number clicks generated.
  • Average Cost Per Lead(CPL : (CPL – The average amount an advertiser pays for every ad click that leads to a lead conversion. CPL is calculated when the total campaign cost divided by the number generated leads.
  • Cost per Thousand (CPM) : This metric shows the cost to serve 1,000 impressions of an ad. This is also used to measure the cost of buying display ads. Display advertising inventory is usually sold on a CPM basis.
  • Cross-device Targeting : Multiple devices can be used to display the same buyer-targeted ads. Cross-device targeting allows advertisers reach their audience in a sequential and repetitive manner, regardless of whether they are using a smartphone, tablet, or desktop computer.
  • It’s similar to old-school strategies of reaching people through a variety of channels, such as radio + newspaper + billboards and direct mail.
  • Demand-Side Platform : An interface that allows advertisers to bid on and buy inventory from multiple ad platforms through one interface.
  • Direct Response : An ad or campaign that encourages people to immediately take action.
  • Display advertising : Digital advertising format in which graphic ads are displayed on a website. This term was first used in newspapers. The principles of the term still apply. Display ads can include graphics, videos, interactive images (a game or quiz), and expandable.
  • Email advertising : You can click banner ads or links in emails and enewsletters.
  • Expandable banner : Banners that grow in size as a user hovers above them.
  • Frequency : A number of times an advertisement is shown to the same consumer within a given time frame. Frequency is the number of times an advertisement is delivered to a specific device’s browser. Multiple users may access the Internet using the same device.
  • Frequency Capping : Limit the amount of ads that a consumer should see within a given time frame.
  • Geographic Targeting : A campaign’s audience can be selected based on zip codes and designated marketing areas (DMA), cities, states and countries.
  • GDPR : The European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation is commonly referred to as GDPR. It was implemented on May 25, 2018. It became effective on May 25, 2018.
  • Impression : Check out: Ad Impression
  • In-Stream Video Ads : Video ads that are played prior, during, and after the video content that the publisher delivers to the consumer.
  • Interstitial ads : Ads placed between two content pages that are served to website visitors when they navigate from one page to the next.
  • Avoid using interstitials as popups that block initial access in mobile marketing. When a user attempts to access the Gotham Times from their mobile device, an interstitial popup interrupts them.
  • The popup offers the Gotham Times app and they must accept or close it before they can continue to the site.
  • Keyword : Advertisers choose a specific phrase or word to trigger their ad and include it in search engine results. An advertiser using contextual advertising chooses keywords to ensure that their ad appears on pages that are returned for the keyword.
  • Bidding determines the order in which the ad appears within search results. The top spot is usually awarded to the highest bidder for a keyword.

How to convert more leads into customers

  • Landing Page : After clicking on an ad for display or paid search, users will be directed to the desired web page.
  • Lead : Potential customer. A lead in digital advertising is someone who has provided their contact information to you, usually by signing up for your newsletter or filling out forms to get an eBook or other protected content.
  • Lookalike Audience : You know your customers if you are like most businesses. Lookalike Audiences target people similar to your customers, which can help increase your conversion rates. Lookalike Audiences can be used when you run an online display, Facebook, mobile, or any other type of digital marketing campaign.
  • Mobile : A mobile search for information.
  • Native Advertising : Paid advertising is not distinguishable from the channel it is presented on.
  • Overlay : Advertisement that hovers above webpage content, graphics, and videos. Ad-blocking software cannot block overlays. A lightbox is one type of overlay.
  • These ads start as a standard, scalable unit. When a user hovers over an ad for a set time, such as two seconds, the ad expands to fill the entire page.
  • The page behind it dims and the emphasis is on the ad. Advertisers are paid for how many times an ad has been expanded.
  • Paid Search : Placement of ads in search engine results.
  • Pay-Per-Click : Advertisers pay publishers or vendors based on how many clicks they receive in a campaign.
  • Pop-Up : This opens a new browser window which loads over the current webpage. Pop-ups can be blocked by using a variety of software.
  • Pop-Under : Similar to a popup, but it loads below your current webpage. Because it loads under your current webpage, visitors are less likely to notice it than pop-ups.
  • Programmatic Media Buying : Automated media buying that guarantees that advertisers reach the right people at the right time and in the right places.
  • The company that placed the ads determines the parameters of the ads to be bought. Programmatic advertising makes use of data to decide which ads to purchase in real time.
  • This improves efficiency and enhances the effectiveness of the ads. (See also Ad Exchange.
  • Reach : The number of people who have seen your message. A person who sees your ad five or more times and clicks it once, yields 1, 5, impressions and a click-through of 20%.
  • Retargeting/Remarketing : Display ads to visitors who have already visited your site.
  • Rich Media : Interactive media includes quizzes, games and ads with video or special effects. This category is rapidly growing. You can see examples of new ad units at IABs Rising Stars, such as the Pushdown or the Sidekick.
  • Advertise with us : Paid Search is another term.
  • Social Advertising : Pay-per-click ads can be run on social media platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Sponsored c
  • Ontent on Facebook timeline ads and news sites.
  • View through : This is used to assess a consumer’s behavior following the display of an ad. The ad can be attributed to any actions taken by the consumer within the 90-day window. If a customer buys a pair headphones within the 90-day period after being shown an ad, the ad can be partially or fully attributed for this purchase.

Save this List of PPC Terms for Better Paid Campaigns

Make sure you print and bookmark this digital advertising glossary. Keep it close at hand. This glossary will be invaluable in your quest to create new demand generation campaigns or improve existing ones.