Helpful Media Terms
A/B Testing: A/B Testing (or split testing) is where you show two different
variants of something (an ad or webpage for example) to similar groups of
people to see which one performs better.
Ad audience: The number of unique users exposed to an ad within a specified time period.
Ad banner: A graphic image or other media object used as an advertisement. See iab.net for voluntary guidelines for banner ads.
Ad click: A measurement of the user-initiated action of responding to (such as clicking on) an ad element causing a re-direct to another web location or another frame or page within the advertisement. There are three types of ad clicks: 1) click-through; 2) in-units clicks: and 3) mouse-overs. Ad click-through should be tracked and reported as a 302 redirect at the ad server and should filter out robotic activity.
Ad click rate: Ratio of ad clicks to ad impressions.
Ad display/Ad delivered: When an ad is successfully displayed on the user’s computer screen.
Ad impression: Sometimes called a view or an ad view, is a term that refers to the point in which an ad is viewed once by a visitor, or displayed once on a web page. The number of impressions of a particular advertisement is determined by the number of times the particular page is located and loaded. If it is randomly generated, then it is the number of times the particular ad appears from the random generator. An impression is an estimate of the number of people a particular advertisement is reaching, and may be counted in different ways depending upon the way the ad is situated on the page, as well as the number of times the web page where the ad appears is shown.
Ad recall: A measure of advertising effectiveness in which exposed to an ad and then at a later point in time are asked if they recalled the ad.
Ad Server: Technology for advertisers that delivers and tracks ads
independently of the web site where the ad is being displayed.
Around Me: ls a popular application that allows users to quickly find nearby Points of Interest.
Banner: A graphic image displayed on a HTML page used as an ad. See iab.net for voluntary guidelines defining specifications of banner ads.
Browser: A software program that can request, download cache and display documents available on the World Wide Web. Browsers can be either text-based or graphical.
Button: 1) clickable graphic that contains certain functionality, such as taking one someplace or executing a program; 2) buttons can also be ads. See iab.net for voluntary guidelines defining button ad specifications.
Cable modem: A device that permits one-way or two-way high-speed data communication over a cable television system for purposes such as Internet access.
Call to Action (CTA): A button or a link on a page which leads to an action.
For example, the button with the text ‘Register’ or ‘Sign up for a Trial’ is a call
to action. Call to action is not only common in digital marketing but also in
traditional marketing. For example, if a newspaper ad has a phone number
along with the words ‘Call us to order your copy today’ then it is a call to action.
Call to action is very important in marketing for tracking ROI. If you have no call
to action, you wouldn’t be able to know if your marketing efforts are working or
Click rate: Ratio of ad clicks to ad impressions.
Clicks: When it comes to online advertising, a click refers to a user clicking on an ad.
Click down: The action of clicking on an element within an ad and having another fife displayed on the user’s screen, normally below or above the initial ad. Click down ads allow the user to stay on the same Web page and provide the advertiser a larger pallet to communicate their message with.
Click-through: The action of following a hyperlink within an advertisement or editorial content to another website or another page or frame within the website.
Click-Through Rate (CTR): The percentage of the people who saw a search result, ad, or e-mail who then clicked through to your website. (clicks / impressions=CTR)
Content Integration: Advertising woven into editorial content or placed in a contextual envelope also known as “web advertorial.”
Conversion Rate: The percentage of a specific audience who take the desired marketing action. Digital conversion rates are determined by dividing the total number of clicks by the number of conversions.
Cost Per Acquisition (CPA): An online advertising pricing model that measures how much your business pays in order to attain a conversion –for example a sale, click, or form submission.
CPC (Cost-per-click): Cost of advertising based on the number of clicks received.
CPM (Cost-per-thousand): A marketing term used to denote the price of 1,000 advertisement impressions on one webpage. If a website publisher charges $2.00 CPM, that means an advertiser must pay $2.00 for every 1,000 impressions of its ad. The “M” in CPM represents the word “mille,” which is Latin for “thousands.”
Customer Journey: The multiple online and offline touchpoints that determine how a consumer comes into contact with a brand, seeks more information and makes a purchase decision. Successful brands focus on developing a seamless journey from awareness to engagement to purchase that ensures that touchpoints interconnect and enhance the experience. Also known as Path to Purchase (P2P).
Demographics: Common characteristics used for population or audience segmentation, such as age gender, household income, etc.
Display Advertising: A type of online advertising that comes in several
forms, including banner ads, rich media and more. Unlike text-based ads,
display advertising relies on elements such as images, audio and video to
communicate an advertising message.
Domain name: The unique name that identifies an Internet site. Every domain name consists of one top or high-level and one or more lower-level designators. Top-level domains (TLDs) are either generic or geographic. Generic top-level domains include .com (commercial), .net (network), .edu (educational), .org (organizational, public or non-commercial), .gov (governmental), .mil (military), .biz (business), .info (informational), .name (personal), .pro (professional) .aero (air transport and civil aviation),.coop (business cooperatives such as credit unions), .museum, .co (the new.com), .mobi – (mobile), .de (Germany), .co.uk (United Kingdom), and .ca (Canada).
Dynamic Retargeting: Essentially, next-level retargeting—serving ads to users who have been to your website that contain images and information about the exact item they viewed.
Expandable banners – Rich Media: A banner ad which can expand to as large as 468 x 240 after a user clicks on it or after a user moves his/her cursor over the banner. See iab.net for the IAB IMU guidelines.
Facebook: ls the name of a social-networking service and website, allowing users to communicate with (a person) or search for information about (a person) launched in 2004.
Facebook Engagement: The number of people who engaged with your page regardless if the engagements created a story or not. Engagement includes any click, likes or sharing.
Facebook Impressions: An impression is an estimate of the number of people reached. For example, a fan might see a page update in their news feed once, and then a second time if their friend shares it.
Facebook Reach: Reach is the number of people who have seen your post. This includes people viewing your post on both desktop and mobile. Your post counts as having reached someone when it is loaded and shown in News Feed.
Facebook – Talking About: People talking about is the number of people who have created a story from your page post. Stories include:
- Sharing, liking or commenting on your post
- Answering a question
- Responding to an event
- Claiming an offer
Flash: Macromedia’s vector-based graphics file format which is used to display interactive animations on web page. This form of rich media technology is available via a plug-in.
Frequency: The number of times viewers are exposed to the same ad during a
Flickr: Is a popular photo sharing website that allows members to upload their own photos into customizable albums that can then be labeled, organized, tagged, and publicly posted. Flickr, as well as many other photo hosting websites, provides image URLs for every file that is uploaded, and these image URLs can then be used to embed a photo in a website, social networking profile, or blog post.
Geo-Targeting & Geo-Fencing: Virtual perimeters for real-world geographic areas. These can be dynamically generated, as in a radius around a point location, or can be a predefined set of boundaries, enabling software to trigger a response (a digital ad or search result) when a mobile device enters or leaves a particular area.
Google Places: API is a service that returns information about Places – defined within this API as establishments, geographic locations, or prominent points of interest – using HTTP requests. Place requests specify locations as latitude/ longitude coordinates mail, hotels, theaters, parking, hospitals and much more.
Gross exposures: The total number of times an ad is served, including duplicate downloads to the same person.
Homepage: The page designated as the main point of entry of a website (or main page) or the starting point when a browser first connects to the Internet. Typically, it welcomes you and introduces the purpose of the site, or the organization sponsoring it and then provides links to other pages within the site.
Host: Any computer on a network that offers services or connectivity to other computers on the network. A host has an IP address associated with it.
HTML (Hyper-Text Markup Language): A set of codes called markup tags in a plain text (*.txt) file that determine what information is retrieved and how it is rendered by a browser. There are two kinds of markup tags: anchor and format. Anchor tags determine what is retrieved, and format tags determine how it is rendered.
HTML page: A Hyper-Text Markup Language document stored in a directory on a web server and/or created dynamically at the time of the request for the purpose of satisfying that request. In addition to text, an HTML page may include graphics, video, audio, and other files.
HTTP (Hyper-Text Transfer Protocol): The format most commonly used to transfer documents on the World Wide Web.
Hyperlink: HTML programming that re-directs the user to a new URL after individual clicks on hypertext.
iOS: iPhone Operating System (encompasses all platforms of iPhones, iPods, iPads, and all Apple devices).
Impression: A measurement of responses from a web server to a page request from the user browser, which is filtered from robotic activity and error codes, and is recorded at a point as close as possible to opportunity to see the page by the user.
Instagram: ls a free photo sharing application originally developed for the iPhone and iPod Touch that allows users to take a photo, apply a digital filter to transform its look and feel, and then share it on a variety of social networking sites, including Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Wiki.
Interactive advertising: All forms of online, wireless and interactive television advertising, including banners, sponsorships, e-mail, keyword searches, referrals, slotting fees, classified ads and interactive television commercials.
Interstitial ads: Ads that appear between two content pages. Also known as transition ads, splash pages and Flash pages.
In-unit click: A measurement of a user-initiated action of responding to an ad element which generally causes an intra-site redirect or content change. In-unit clicks are usually tracked via a 302 redirect. They’re also known as click-downs, click-ups and click-within.
Key Performance Indicators (KPIs): A way to measure the impact of marketing efforts on reaching specific business goals. KPIs make your performance quantifiable, time-bound and transparent.
Keyword: Specific words(s) entered into a search engine by the user that result(s) in a list of websites related to the key word. The key word can be purchased by advertisers in order to direct the hyperlink opportunity to the advertiser’s site or to serve an ad related to the user’s search.
Landing page: A preliminary page that precedes the user-requested page of a website that usually promotes a particular site feature or provides advertising. A splash page is timed to move on to the requested page after a short period of time or a click. It’s also known as an interstitial. Splash pages are not considered qualified page impressions under current industry guidelines, but they are considered qualified ad impressions.
Link: An electronic connection between two websites. Also called “hot link” and hyperlink.
LinkedIn: Is a business networking website that boasts an impressive 70 million professional users that aim to exchange information and share ideas and opportunities with one another. LinkedIn gives companies and industry professionals the ability to make new business contacts and keep in touch with previous coworkers, clients and business associates.
Metasearch engine: Is a search tool that sends user requests to several other search engines and/or databases and aggregates the results into a single list or displays them according to their source. Metasearch engines enable users to enter search criteria once and access several search engines simultaneously.
Opt-In: Refers to an individual giving a company permission to use data collected from or about the individual for a particular reason, such as to market the company’s products and services. See permission marketing.
Opt-In e-mail: Lists of Internet users who have voluntarily signed up to receive commercial email about topics of interest.
Optimization: Transforming data insights into action to improve marketing
impact and/or outcomes at the creative, placement and campaign levels.
Optimization uses past performance and forecasting to determine how
much to spend in the future and to adjust campaigns in-flight, cut losses for
underperformers and scale up top performers. Optimization can be applied
to an individual tactic or the integration of tactics within an overarching
Opt-out: When a company states that it plans to market its products and services to an individual unless the individual asks to be removed from the company’s mailing list.
Out-of-Home Advertising (OOH): Also called outdoor advertising, OOH
reaches consumers outside of their residences. Think billboards and posters,
strategically placed on roadsides, in public places and commercial locations.
Page: A document having a specific URL and comprised of a set of associated files. A page may contain text, images, and other online elements. It may be static or dynamically generated. It may be made up of multiple frames or screens, but should contain a designated primary object which, when loaded, is counted as the entire page.
Page display: When a page is successfully displayed on the user’s computer screen.
Page Impression: A measurement of responses from a web server to a page request from the user’s browser, which is filtered from robotic activity and error codes, and is recorded at a point as close as possible to the opportunity to see the page by the user.
Pay Per Click: Short for pay per click, PPC is an Internet marketing formula used to price online advertisements.
Pinterest: A pinboard style photo sharing website. It allows users to create and manage theme-based image collections.
Programmatic Advertising: Using machines to buy ads. More specifically, deploying software to purchase digital advertising, as opposed to a process that involves human elements like RFPs and manual insertion orders.
Reach and Frequency (R/F): Both reach and frequency are important throughout the lifecycle of a campaign. The key is finding the right balance, which depends on goals and the buying cycle for your product. By increasing frequency, reach is reduced; increasing reach can also reduce frequency
Repeat visitor: Unique visitor who has accessed a website more than once over a specific time period.
Retargeting: If a visitor comes to your web page and leaves without
converting into a lead or customer, then you can run display advertising
campaigns targeting only these visitors. These visitors are more likely to
convert because they have been to your website already and know your brand.
You can also customize retargeting in a way that only qualified visitors are
retargeted. For example, you can run ads only for the people who have visited
your home page, features page and pricing page.
Return on Ad Spend (ROAS): Gross revenue generated for every dollar spent on advertising (revenue from ad campaign/cost of ad campaign = ROAS).
Return on Investment (ROI): A practice of measuring the results produced
from the amount spent on marketing, calculated at the program and
campaign level to help marketers determine the strategies that are working
and inform future spending levels, budget and creative. ROI measures
marketing efficiency, validates spend and justifies impact. Before ROI can be
accurately measured, marketers must have access to the right data.
Return visits: The average number of times a user returns to a site over a specific time period.
Sales Funnel: The concept of leading customers through a series of events or
actions that can be mapped out in the shape of a funnel. The broadest level
at the top of the funnel would involve attracting users to your website, after
which they move down the funnel as they download a resource or sign up for
your email list, after which they (ideally) move to the bottom of the funnel and
become a paying customer.
Search Engine Marketing (SEM): The process of generating website traffic by paid search, or purchasing ads on search engines, including paid media text
and banner ads, search retargeting and site remarketing display ads, mobile
marketing and paid social.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO): Digital marketing focused on growing
visibility in organic (non-paid) search engine results. SEO entails both
technical and creative elements to improve rankings, drive traffic and increase
awareness in search engines. There are many aspects to SEO, from the words
on web pages to link backs from other sites.
Search Engine Results Page (SERP): The page displayed by a web search
engine in response to a query by a searcher. Every time you perform a Google
search, you are greeted by a SERP.
Search Rankings: The position that a site appears on a search results page. Each page lists about 10 websites, as well as local listings, videos and images. A higher search ranking corresponds to a lower number position on the page.
Search Query: The actual term somebody used in a search engine before clicking through to your website.
SEM: Short for search engine marketing, SEM is often used to describe acts associated with researching, submitting and positioning a website within search engines to achieve maximum exposure of your website. SEM includes things such as optimization, paid listings and other search-engine related services and functions that will increase exposure and traffic to your website.
SEO: The process of optimizing a website’s pages so that they rank higher in Google and other search engines.
Session: A single visit to your website, consisting of one or more pageviews,
along with events, ecommerce transactions and other interactions. The default
session timeout is 30 minutes, which means that if someone is inactive on
your website for over 30 minutes, then a new session will be reported if they
perform another interaction, for example, viewing another page.
Sponsor: 1) a sponsor is an advertiser who has sponsored an ad and, by doing so, has also helped sponsor or sustain the website itself; 2) an advertiser that has a special relationship with the website and supports a specific feature of a website, such as a writer’s column or a collection of articles on a particular subject.
Sponge Cell: Online ad technology that allows the banner ad to expand and, in essence, become a micro-website, loaded with content to create interaction with the user.
Target audience: The intended audience for an ad usually defined in terms of specific demographics (age, sex, income, etc.) product purchase behavior, product usage or media usage.
Tracking Pixel: An HTML code snippet which is loaded when a user visits
a website or opens an email. It is useful for tracking user behavior and
conversions. With a tracking pixel, advertisers can acquire data for online
marketing, web analysis or email marketing.
Traffic: The number of visits and/or visitors who come to a website.
Twitter: A very popular instant messaging system that lets a person send brief text messages up to 140 characters in length to a list of followers. Launched in 2006, Twitter was designed as a social network to keep friends and colleagues informed throughout the day. However, it became widely used for commercial and political purposes to keep customers, voters and fans up- to-date as well as to encourage feedback.
Unique user: Unique individual or browser which has either accessed a site (site unique visitor) or which has been served unique content and/or ads such as e-mail, newsletters, interstitials and pop-under ads. Unique users should filter out robots. See iab.net for ad campaign measurement guidelines.
Unique visitor: A unique user who accesses a website within a specific time period. See unique user.
Urban Spoon & Open Table: These are restaurant directories and reservation systems. The systems allow users to provide input on rating, price range, service and also allows for sharing pictures for menus.
User: An individual person browsing your website (technically, a unique browser cookie). Each user can visit your website multiple times, for example, 1 user could create 3 sessions on your website, with each session containing multiple pageviews.
Viewer: A person viewing content or ads on the web. There is currently no way to measure a viewer.
Visit: Measurement which has been filtered for robotic activity of one or more text and/or graphic downloads from a site without 30 consecutive minutes of inactivity and which can be reasonably attributed to a single browser for a single session. See iab.net for ad campaign measurement guidelines.
Yelp: Most popular restaurant directory used with i0S, now natively integrated in every iOS device. Also offers suggestions for other categories such as nightlife. It also allows users to rate businesses.
YouTube: ls a video-sharing website, created by three former PayPal employees in February 2005, on which users can upload, view and share videos. The company is based in San Bruno, Calif., and uses Adobe Flash Video and HTMLS technology to display a wide variety of user-generated video content, including movie clips, TV clips, and music videos, as well as amateur content such as video blogging and short original videos.