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Digital Marketing Terms Every Marketer Should Know


If you're a digital marketer, you're surely aware that launching a pay-per-click (PPC) campaign might be daunting. To begin with, it's packed with specialised digital advertising phrases that you might not be familiar with, which is why we produced our digital advertising dictionary.


The following explanations are (mostly) jargon-free explanations of the most often-used digital advertising phrases. Getting acquainted with these will assist you in navigating the world of online advertising and maximising the value of our next series of articles about digital advertising and digital marketing.


  • A/B Testing is a technique for comparing different versions of digital adverts or website landing pages to see which one works better. A typical A/B test for commercials entails running the two ads concurrently and then determining which version receives the best response from the audience. Only one element of the advertising should be altered at a time while doing an A/B test. This is because the purpose of these tests is to establish which variables elicit the best responses from the audience. Once a winner is chosen, it is utilised as the next control and compared to another version to isolate and discover the ad aspect that causes the audience to respond positively to the ad.

  • The term "Above the Fold" comes from the print advertising industry. It refers to the portion of a web page that is visible before the visitor scrolls down the page. The fold has no fixed pixel size; it will fluctuate depending on the visitor's screen size and resolution.

  • Account-Based Advertising: A strategy for account-based marketing (ABM). It is the technique of providing display advertising solely to specific titles at designated target accounts. If you're marketing a new style of food packaging to General Mills, for example, you might target different levels of responsibility, such as Senior Product Manager, Senior Product Marketer, and VP of Product Marketing. Only people with these titles who work at General Mills will see your ads.

  • Ad Audience: The entire number of persons who have been introduced to or may be exposed to an advertisement within a given period.

  • The most frequent type of internet advertising is the Ad Banner. These ad units are displayed on a web page or in an application and may comprise static graphics, videos, and/or interactive rich media.

  • Ad Click: When a user interacts with an ad, they either click on it with their mouse or punch enter on their keyboard.

  • Ad Exchange: A marketplace enabled by technology that allows Internet publishers and advertisers to purchase and sell advertising inventory in real-time auctions. Ad exchanges are a break from the traditional approach of purchasing ad inventory, in which marketers and publishers would negotiate prices to display ads on a certain website. An ad exchange uses a real-time auction to provide fast bidding for ad space available throughout the Internet.

  • Ad Impressions: The number of times an ad is served, regardless of whether the user sees or interacts with the ad in any manner. (See also: Ad Serving)

  • Ad Inventory: When visitors visit a website, website publishers serve advertising to them. Their ad inventory is the number of prospective advertising that can be served. For example, if The Gotham Times receives 1,000 visits to its home page each week and has room on its home page for two display advertisements, its potential ad inventory is 2,000 impressions each week.

  • Ad Network: A service provider that connects advertisers and publishers. Ad networks serve as a single point of contact for publishers and advertisers, assisting in the negotiation of supply and demand.

  • Ad Serving: The distribution of an advertisement from a web server to the end user's device, where the advertisements are shown in a browser or an application.

  • Ad Targeting is the delivery of advertisements to a pre-selected audience based on variables such as geography, demographics, psychographics, web surfing activity, and previous purchases. (For further information, see Behavioural Targeting, Contextual Targeting, and Geographic Targeting.)

  • Ad Unit: A size and format specification for an advertisement. The Interactive Advertising Bureau, a trade organisation that promotes digital advertising standards and practises, offers a set of sizing criteria.

  • Affiliate Marketing: Publishers have traffic-generating websites, and advertisers want to market their products to those visitors. Affiliate marketing is a contract between a publisher and an advertiser in which the publisher gets compensated for each click given and/or sale made of the advertiser's goods or services.

  • Analytics: Information and data about website visitors and how they engage with the site. Analytics can be used to learn how many people visit a website, how much time they spend on the website, and what activities they do on the website. This data is then utilised to target audiences, comprehend consumer behaviour, enhance user experience, and optimise advertising efforts.

  • Attribution: The purpose of attribution is to determine which of the numerous possible touches is primarily (or partially) responsible for conversion so that ROI can be determined. Common attribution models include first touch, final touch, and multi-touch. A sale, for example, could start with an ad, progress to an email campaign, and culminate with a phone call from a salesperson. With first-touch attribution, the ad receives full credit for the sale. With the last touch, the phone call takes centre stage. With multi-touch, the ad, email, and phone call all receive credit.

  • Bounce Rate: A bounce is a website visit in which the user merely looked at the single page on which they landed, did not engage with it, and then left the site. The bounce rate expresses such visits as a percentage of all visitor sessions over a certain period. Assume a website has 100 sessions in a single day. (Note that this is not the same as 100 visitors; every visitor can visit numerous times, and each visit counts as a session.) If 75% of the visits are bouncing, the bounce rate is 75%. A high bounce rate is frequently the result of a poorly designed landing page. It can also imply that a page satisfied the visitor's needs, therefore the visitor did not need to keep clicking to learn more. (However, it is more likely that the page failed, emphasising the need of designing landing pages for visitor interaction.)

  • Brand Awareness: The ability of a potential consumer to recall and recognise a specific product or service. One of the two traditionally important aims of a digital advertising campaign is increased brand awareness (the other being a conversion of some kind).

  • Browser: A graphical software tool that individuals use to navigate all of the information available on the World Wide Web. Firefox, Chrome, and Internet Explorer are a few examples.

  • Call to Action (CTA): A phrase within an advertisement or a graphic element such as a button that asks the audience to do a certain action. Click to Read More, Download Your Free eBook Now, and Click Here are some examples.

  • In advertising, a Channel is an outlet used by advertisers to contact audiences, such as direct mail or radio. Display advertising, social media advertising, and mobile in-app advertising are all examples of digital advertising channels.

  • Click-through Rate (CTR): This figure, expressed as a percentage of total impressions, illustrates how frequently people who see an ad click on it. The CTR of an ad is computed by dividing the number of clicks received by the number of times it has been served and translating the result to a percentage. The CTR of an ad that garnered 5 clicks and was shown 1000 times, for example, is 0.5%. The higher an ad's CTR, the better it performs.

  • Contextual Targeting is the selection of audiences based on the sort of material displayed on a specific webpage. Ads for hair care products on the Vogue website are an example of contextual advertising.

  • Conversions involve acts like signing up for a newsletter or purchasing something from a website. Advertisers choose a specific action or group of actions they want viewers to take when they launch a campaign. Each time a member of the audience does this action, a conversion is recorded.

  • Conversion Pixel: A 11-pixel image pixel that is placed on a web page (such as a thank-you page) and is activated if a conversion happens. Typically, translucent. The first is to divide the total number of impressions served by the number of users who completed the conversion. The second, more popular method is to divide the total number of users who clicked on the ad by the number of people who completed the conversion.

  • Conversion Rate: A conversion rate is computed as a percentage by dividing the number of views or visits by the number of form fills.

  • Conversion Tracking is the process of tracking how many conversions occurred during a given period and assessing which ads resulted in the conversions.

  • Cookie: Data kept on the browser of a website visitor. A cookie is used to remember the visitor's behaviour and preferences and tracks the visitor's movement on the website. These are not shared between browsers.

  • Copy: Text in an advertisement or text written to be read aloud. Avoiding commercial jargon is the best practise when writing ad content.

  • Cost per Acquisition (CPA): The price of gaining a single customer. Typically computed by dividing the total amount spent on an advertising campaign by the number of clients gained as a result of that campaign.

  • Cost per Click (CPC): The average amount paid by an advertiser for each ad click. CPC is determined by dividing the entire advertising budget by the number of clicks generated.

  • Cost per Lead (CPL): The average amount paid by an advertiser for each ad click that results in a lead conversion. The cost per lead (CPL) is computed by dividing the entire cost of a campaign by the number of leads generated.

  • Cost per Thousand (CPM): A metric that displays how much it costs to offer 1,000 ad impressions. Because inventory is typically sold on a CPM basis, it is also utilised as a standard measure for purchasing display ads.

  • Cross-Device Targeting is displaying the same buyer-targeted adverts on multiple devices. Advertisers may contact their customers in a sequential, repeating manner regardless of the platform they're using, whether it's a tablet, desktop, or smartphone, thanks to cross-device targeting. This has a comparable effect to the old-school strategy of increasing reach and frequency by utilising a variety of channels such as radio + newspaper + billboards + direct mail.

  • Demand-Side Platform (DSP): A technology that allows advertisers to bid on and acquire inventory from numerous ad exchanges through a single interface.

  • Direct Response: A campaign or advertisement designed primarily to entice audiences to take immediate action.

  • Display Advertising is a type of digital advertising in which graphic ads are shown on a web page. The word originated in newspapers, and the concepts remain relevant today. Graphics, movies, interactive visuals (a quiz or a game), and expandable ads are all examples of display ads (Also see: Expandable Banner).

  • Email Advertising: Banner advertising and links that are clickable and show within emails and e-newsletters.

  • Expandable Banners are those that grow in size when a user hovers over them.

  • The number of times an ad is served to the same consumer during a given period is referred to as its Frequency. Because numerous people frequently use the Internet from the same device, frequency is determined by the number of times an ad is displayed to a certain device's browser.

  • Setting a limit on the number of times an ad should be presented to a consumer within a specified timeframe is known as Frequency Capping.

  • Geographic Targeting refers to the process of selecting an audience for a campaign based on zip codes, designated marketing areas (DMAs), cities, states, and countries.

  • GDPR: GDPR is the acronym for the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation. It went into effect on May 25, 2018. On our GDPR resource site, we've published a wealth of information about the law, including podcasts, blog posts, eBooks, and webinars.

  • Impression: See Ad Impression

  • In-Stream Video Advertising: Video ads that appear before, during, or after the video content delivered to the consumer by the publisher.

  • Interstitial Ads: Ads that appear between two different content pages when a website visitor navigates from one page to another on the same website. Avoiding utilizing an interstitial as a popup that prevents initial access is a best practice in mobile marketing. When a person attempts to view the Gotham Times on their mobile device, they are interrupted by an interstitial ad (promoting the Gotham Times app) that they must either approve or close before they can advance to the site.

  • Advertisers select a Keyword or phrase to trigger and feature their ad within search engine results. The advertiser who uses contextual advertising selects keywords so that their ad appears on pages that are returned for that keyword. Bidding determines the position of the ad within the results in search advertising. The highest bidder on a keyword usually wins first place.

  • Landing Page: The web page to which users are routed after clicking on a display or paid search ad.

  • A Lead is a prospective customer. A lead is someone who has given you their contact information in digital advertising, typically by signing up for a newsletter or filling out a form to obtain an eBook or other gated content.

  • Lookalike Audience: If you're like most businesses, you have a good idea of who your consumers are based on demographics and even psychographics. A Lookalike Audience targets people who are similar to your current consumers, which increases conversion rates. Lookalike Audiences can be used in online displays, Facebook, mobile displays, and virtually any other type of digital marketing campaign.

  • Mobile Search: A search for information on the internet using a mobile device.

  • Native Advertising: Any paid advertisement that is indistinguishable in form from the medium through which it is delivered.

  • Overlay Advertising is advertising that floats on top of webpage content, images, or videos. Ad-blocking software cannot stop overlays. A lightbox is one type of overlay. These advertisements begin with a standard, scalable ad unit. If a user interacts by hovering over the ad for a certain amount of time (typically two seconds), the ad expands (to nearly full-page size), while the page behind it dims, emphasising the ad. Advertisers pay based on how many times their ad is extended.

  • Paid Search: The placement of advertisements into search engine results pages.

  • PPC (Pay-Per-Click): A pricing mechanism in which marketers pay vendors or publishers depending on the number of clicks obtained during a campaign.

  • Pop-Up: Launches a new browser window on top of the current webpage. Pop-ups are controlled by a script (e.g., Javascript); hence, they can and frequently are prevented by a wide range of accessible software.

  • Pop-Under: Similar to a pop-up, but it loads beneath your current webpage. It's said to be less obtrusive than a pop-up because visitors often don't notice it until they click to close their current browser session.

  • Programmatic Media buying is an automated approach to purchasing media that assures advertisers contact the right person, at the right time, and in the right location. Programmatic advertising leverages data to make real-time decisions about which ads to buy, increasing efficiency and ad effectiveness. (Also see Ad Exchange.)

  • Reach: The total number of persons who have seen your message. One individual who sees your ad five times and clicks on it once results in a reach of 1,5 impressions and a 20% click-through rate.

  • Retargeting/Remarketing is the practise of serving advertisements to those who have previously visited your website.

  • Rich Media: Interactive media that includes video and special effects, such as quizzes, games, and advertisements. This category is rapidly expanding. Check out the IAB's Rising Stars for samples of new ad units like the Pushdown and Sidekick.

  • Paid Search is another name for Search Advertising.

  • Social Advertising is the practise of placing sponsored advertisements on online social networking sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Native advertising examples include sponsored material on news websites and Facebook timeline adverts.

  • View-Through: A method of measuring a consumer's behaviour after they have been presented with an advertisement. If the window's view is set to 90 days, the consumer's relevant activities during that period can be linked to the ad. So, if a customer buys a pair of headphones within 90 days of seeing an ad for them, the ad will receive partial or full credit for that purchase.


Print or bookmark this digital advertising vocabulary for future reference. It will be extremely beneficial as you begin developing new or improving existing demand-generating initiatives. DigitalxMarketing is a digital marketing organisation situated in Wellington, New Zealand that provides affordable digital marketing services. Paid Advertising, Email Marketing, Digital Audits, SEO, Facebook Marketing, LinkedIn Ads, Google Ads, and Wix Website Development are all services provided by Digital Marketing.


DigitalxMarketing Ltd has its head office in Wellington NZ with its support and resource centre based in the Philippines. DigitalxMarketing implements the latest digital strategies, tactics, tools, platforms and technologies to deliver integrated digital marketing services so your digital footprint can be found online.


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