Online Advertising Glossary

Impression - a single view of a page or banner ad by a visitor.

CPM - Cost per thousand banner impressions. $5 CPM means an advertiser is willing to pay $5 to display a banner 1000 times. CPM prices vary according to many variables, mainly the volume of impressions desired, targeting options, position and size. As opposed to print media, radio or TV, ads online are delivered as a set number of impressions and not based on an estimation.

CPA - Cost per Action. The advertiser pays not for the impression, but for any resulting imediate action taken from the viewer, like buying a product or subscribing to a service. Branding or secundary effects of an ad are not paid for.

CPC - Cost per Click. A model of CPA where the advertiser pays only if the visitor clicks on the ad (click-through). CPC campaings are an attent to promote better ad placements by the webmaster and make the publisher an affiliate for the advertiser.

Click-Through - Act of a visitor clicking on a banner. Click through percentage is expressed in terms of click throughs divided by banner impressions. This is sometimes used as a gauge of a banners call for action, but says nothing about branding.

Targeting - Online targeting can be a complex but an effective way to increase your returns on investment and getting results. For example, you can choose to only display a banner to the same person x times, with no less than 2 other banners in between yours, and only to visitors browsing from a certain geographic location. You may choose to display your banners only during working hours or weekends, whatever works best for your product.

Pop up / Pop under - Type of advertising where a new browser window on top (or under) the current page is open along with the current page user is viewing.

Hit - Nothing to do with advertising, site visitors or pages served and very little to do with web site metrics. Normally used to impress someone with a seemingly large number in relation to a site.

Banner networks - Banner networks sale advertising for a large number of sites. They serve as a third party in the process and maintain ad serving technology, reporting tools and sales teams. Banner networks can sell banners across the network of sites they are affiliated with, increasing the reach of a certain campaign.
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