Online Advertising Glossary

Discover the meaning of the the abbreviations used in internet advertising such as CPM, CPC, ROI among others.

Banner

Banner is the general term used to describe most forms of display advertising on the web. It is also more specifically used to describe the 468×60 pixel ad size, which was the original “banner ad” size used by advertisers and publishers across the internet.

Button

A 120×60 pixel advertisement (either graphic or rich media) that appears on a web page and is usually hyperlinked to an advertisers web site.

CPA

Cost per Action (CPA) is one of the online payment models by which advertisers pay for every action (sale or registration) completed as a result of a visitor clicking on their advertisement. The publisher is normally either paid a set fee per action, or gets a percentage of the sale (typically 5% to 25%).

CPC

Cost per Click (CPC) is the online payment model by which advertisers pay for each click through made on their advertisement. This method gaurantees advertisers will get a user to see their page or website as a result of an advertisement.

CPL

Cost per lead (CPL) is a form of CPA advertising in which advertisers only pay for each actual lead or customer inquiry as a result of an advertisement. This is also known as Cost per Inquiry (CPI).

CPM

Cost per Mille (CPM) is the online payment model by which advertisers pay for every 1000 impressions of their advertisement. This method means that an advertiser pays a certain amount for every time their banner is displayed, and so is often used for branding purposes. The “M” in CPM is from the Roman numeral for 1000, M, which was derived from the latin word “mille”.

CPS

Cost per Sale (CPS) is a form of CPA advertising in which advertisers only pay for each actual sale generated as a result of an advertisement. Payouts range from set fees to a percentage of the sale, and the length of time that a user buying a product after clicking on a publisher’s advertisement varies from that session to 30 days (with the use of a cookie).

Creative

Used to describe the actual advertisement, such as a GIF banner graphic, which is displayed.

CTR

Click Through Rate (CTR) is the percentage of impressions that resulted in a click through. It is calculated by dividing the number of clicks by the number of impressions to determine the average (mean) CTR.

Default

Term used by ad networks to describe a type of advertisement that is served when no paying advertisement is available. This default can often be sent to another ad network, and their defaults can be sent to another ad network, reating a default chain to find paying advertisements for each impression. Unless a default has been set up, when no paying advertisement is available, a PSA (Public Service Announcement) is normally displayed.

Display Advertising

Display advertising is the general term used to describe advertising on a website that makes use of graphical or rich media elements.

eCPM

Effective Cost per Mille (eCPM) is the average (mean) cost of 1000 impressions, taking into account CPA, CPC, and CPM campaigns. This is a good way for publishers to determine which campaigns are performing best in their rotation.

Half Page

A 300×600 pixel advertisement (either graphic or rich media) that appears on a web page and is usually hyperlinked to an advertisers web site.

Impression

An impression describes the instance when an advert downloaded by a user when viewing a web page. A single web page may contain multiple adverts and in such cases a single pageview would result result in one impression for each advert displayed to that user.

Interstitial

An intrusive type of advertisement that loads between web pages without having been requested by the visitor. Users then have to either view the advertisement for a certain period of time (usually about 5 to 10 seconds) before being forwarded to the page they requested, or they can click to skip the advertisement.

Inventory

The number of ad spaces available for sale on a web site during a certain time frame. Determined buy taking into consideration the number of advertisements on a page, the number of pages with advertisements and the number of page views during a specific time frame.

Leaderboard

A 728×60 pixel advertisement (either graphic or rich media) that appears on a web page and is usually hyperlinked to an advertisers web site.

Pop Under

A type of advertisement that is automatically displayed in a second smaller browser window behind the current window apon loading or unloading a normal web page. Although considered less annoying by users, these advertisements are prevented from displaying by the popup blockers. Also known as Pop Behinds.

Pop Up

A type of advertisement that is automatically displayed in a second smaller browser window apon loading or unloading a normal web page. These are often considered obtrusive and annoying to users, and so are often prevented from being displayed by software known as popup blockers.

Rectangle

A 180×150 pixel advertisement (either graphic or rich media) that appears on a web page and is usually hyperlinked to an advertisers web site.

Rectangle Medium

A 300×250 pixel advertisement (either graphic or rich media) that appears on a web page and is usually hyperlinked to an advertisers web site.

Rich Media

A type of advertisement technology that often includes higher quality graphics, audio or video within the advertisement. Some popular types of rich media banners are created with HTML, Javascript, Shockwave & Flash.

ROI

Return on investment (ROI) is the process used to determine whether the financial benefits from an expenditure, such as a advertising campaign, are above or below the amount of money spent on the campaign.

RON

Run of Network (RON) means an advertisement will appear on any site that is part of an advertising network. As RON buys are not targeted, they tend to be the least expensive type of advertisement that can be purchased.

Skyscraper

A 120×600 pixel advertisement (either graphic or rich media) that appears on a web page and is usually hyperlinked to an advertisers web site.

Skyscraper (Wide)

A 160×600 pixel advertisement (either graphic or rich media) that appears on a web page and is usually hyperlinked to an advertisers web site.

Sponsorship

A form of advertising in which an advertiser pays to sponsor a particular section of a web site for a certain period of time. It may take the form of the typical banner and/or text that mentions “this section sponsored by…”

Square

A 250×250 pixel advertisement (either graphic or rich media) that appears on a web page and is usually hyperlinked to an advertisers web site.

Statistics

The records that an ad serving software keeps each time it serves an ad and the ad is clicked on. These statistics may be as simple as total impressions and click throughs or more detailed info such as browser types, geographical location, operating system and more.

Photograph by Caleb Roenigk

3 Comments

  1. Said Hdioui March 29, 2012
  2. Sasquacht Yeti May 31, 2015

Leave a Reply