Essential Digital Advertising Terms

Here is our list of key terms to know in digital advertising. We expect you may have encountered several of them prior to reading this article, but also find a few new terms and/or terms you didn’t know the meaning of. Here is our list of 50 advertising terms to help build your vocabulary.

A/B Testing

A/B Testing, or Split Testing as it is sometimes known as, is comparing two variations of a single variable against each other to determine which is the better performing. This is common with landing pages, particularly when creating unique pages specific for PPC traffic. Examples of tests carried out on these pages are the call-to-action, amount of content and the keywords. Running these tests takes out the guesswork by enabling you to make data-based decisions.


Collection of data or statistics to allow the advertiser to create meaningful decisions for their campaigns. Google provide a popular, free tool to users to help advertisers in a data-driven world. Analytics are particularly important in advertising to track which campaigns, keywords and ads are providing the best return on investment.


A Google Ads Audience is the process of segmenting or targeting your Display campaigns, allowing you to adjust bids for specific types. Audiences can also be used for specific targeting or excluding.

Banner Ads

A common form of display advertising. Banner Ads are displayed on web pages often by an ad network or server. They provide a link back to the advertisers’ business, used to drive traffic to a specific website or landing page. They are available in a wide range of shapes and sizes.

Click-Through Rate (CTR)

The percentage of users who visited your website via an ad. A basic maths equation of the total number of number of clicks divided by the number of times your ad appeared, otherwise known as impressions.

Competitor Research

The process of evaluating your competitors’ advertising strategies, particularly looking at their strengths and weaknesses to help create or optimise your own campaigns.

Conversion Rate

The percentage of visitors from your ad who complete a desired goal, from the total number of visitors via that ad.


A web cookie or browser cookie is a string of text sent via a web server to a user’s browser to send back to the web server in interactions. These last in the user’s browser for a certain period of time. These are important in telling the advertiser for frequency capping and remarketing.

Costper Acquisition (CPA)

The average price you are paying for a desired goal. Often a key performance indicator, the CPA tells the advertiser and client how much their campaigns are costing them to get results. This could be per keyword, ad group, product or service, or the overall campaign.

Cost per Click (CPC)

The average price an advertiser is paying for each visitor their ad is sending to the website or landing page.

Cost per Lead (CPL)

The average price the advertiser is paying for a lead. Often a key performance indicator, the CPL tells the client how much their campaign is costing them to get leads.

Cost per View (CPV)

A bidding method whereby the advertiser pays for each time their video is played.

Cost per Thousand (CPM)

A bidding method where you pay for a thousand impressions on your ads regardless of the number of interactions.


Segmenting audiences by a number of factors, which could include age, gender, income or several other factors. These can be beneficial to advertisers depending on the product or service they are promoting.

Display Advertising

Promoting banner ads on web pages and websites, often via an ad server or ad network. These banners provide a link back to the clients’ website whereby the advertiser pays either for the number of impressions or referral traffic from them.

Dynamic Ad Insertion

An ad technology that enables the advertiser to serve video ads in on demand content, allowing for alterations of specific ads on specific pages based on the available data. This allows for multiple ads to be rotated through one or more spaces.

Dynamic Search Ads

The use of Google’s web crawling technology to automatically serve relevant ads based on a retailer’s website content. They can be used for filling in the gaps in keyword campaigns in Google Ads or for creating an easy campaign creation workflow to target several queries.


The buying and selling of products or services via the internet, and the transaction of money and data to execute these transactions. Types of common ecommerce models include Business to Consumer (B2C), Business to Business (B2B), Consumer to Consumer (C2C) and Consumer to Business (C2B).

Email Campaigns

Advertising campaigns distributed via e-mail, often to prospects or customers.

Facebook Ads

The tool to place advertisements on the most popular social network. Available to both individuals and businesses, users can target audiences through segmenting by age, gender, geographic location, work, interests, and relationship status, among others.


Expected traffic and sales through trends that are predicted to occur in the future. This is often based on historical, quantitative, and qualitative data.

Frequency Capping

The limit of how many times a specific ad will be shown to a user during a cookie session or period of time.

Geo Targeting

The practice of delivering ads to consumers based on their geographic location.


The desired action of a consumer sent to your website or web page. Examples can include a product purchase, signup or form completion.

Google Ads

A paid advertisement tool from Google that allows you to appear at the top of their search results, above the Organic and Local listings. These are the sponsored ads with the green ‘Ad’ label to the left of the text. Users can bid on specific keywords or broad matches of their target keywords for their text ads to appear in users’ searches.

Google Ads also offers Display Ads which are banner ads that appear on websites within their Google Display Network. This is a collection of third-party websites that have partnered with Google to serve these ads and can be displayed as text, image, video, or rich media formats.


This is the number of times your ads has been shown on a search result.


An ad that loads between two content pages.One of the more common examples of an interstitial is a pop-up ad, forcing exposure to the banner before a visitor can continue on their content path.

Key Performance Indicator (KPI)

A measurable value to indicate the progress towards a desired result. These provide the focus for strategic and operational improvement. These includes setting targets, tracking and analysing against that target. Examples of a KPI could be the number of leads or sales.


Words or phrases you choose to bid on within pay-per-click for an advertisement for your product or service to appear.

Landing Page Optimisation

The process of formatting your web pages strategically to turn your visitors into prospects or consumers. It is common in pay-per-click campaigns to create landing pages specifically for this traffic with the desire of them having a high conversion rate, compared to sending paid traffic to pages that are optimised for SEO results.


This is the profit gained from a service or product after all expenses for advertising the offering are covered.

Market Research

The process of evaluating an industry to help make better business decisions.

Microsoft Advertising

A paid advertisement tool from Microsoft that allows you to appear at the top of their search results, above the Organic and Local listings. Users can bid on keywords or broad matches of their target keywords for their text ads to appear in users’ searches.

Negative Keywords

A type of keyword to prevent your ad appearing for irrelevant or certain keywords or phrases.

Pay-per-Click (PPC)

An internet advertising model to drive traffic to a specific landing page or website. These include the text ads at the top of many search engines, banner ads and social media ads. The advertiser pays for every click on their ad, or by the number of impressions.


A web beacon, a 1×1 GIF, otherwise known as a tracking pixel, is a tiny image referenced by a line of HTML or block of JavaScript code embedded into a website to track activity.


An ad that appears in a separate window beneath an open window,usually concealed until the top window is closed, moved, or minimised.


An ad that appears as a secondary browser window directly above the initial window.

Programmatic Advertising

Technology to automate and optimise the ad buying process. Serving targeted and relevant experiences to consumers.


The process of delivering personalised ad campaigns for users who have previously interacted with your website or other content. The concept is to reach out to users who know your brand or specific products that have a much higher chance of being turned into consumers.

Return on Investment (ROI)

Performance metric used to evaluate the profit or loss from advertising spend. This is directly measuring the amount of return in relation to the cost of investment. The calculation is the investment divided by the cost of the investment and is usually expressed as a percentage or ratio.

Return on ad spend (ROAS)

Metric to measure how much revenue has been garnered in relation to the expensive of an ad campaign.

Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

Marketing a business or product via paid advertisements that appear on search engine results pages. Advertisers bid on keywords to appear at the top of the search engine to show ads of interest to potential customers.


A set of users who share one or more similar attributes.


A sequence of online activity made by a single user on one site.

Sponsored Post

An article published on a website that has been paid for by the advertiser. This is generally for link building purposes to help a specific website or web page appear higher in search engines for specific search terms.

Twitter Ads

The tool to place advertisements on one of the most popular social networks. Available to both individuals and businesses, users can target audiences through segmenting by age, gender, geographic location, interests, andother demographics.

View-Through Conversion

When a consumer converts after going back to a website having previously seen a brand’s ad without clicking on it.

YouTube Advertising

Promoting your product or service on the world’s second largest search engine either via text ads, image ads or video ads. YouTube is now operated by Google.

All you need to know about Programmatic Advertising in the 21st Century

Programmatic advertising has risen in prominence over the past few years to become one of the most popular forms of online marketing.

Studies have shown that more than four-fifths of digital display marketing in the United States is done this way on an annual basis.

In simple terms, programmatic advertising is a way for businesses to automatically purchase and optimise their digital marketing campaigns.

It is designed to help companies increase the efficiency of their marketing processes and generates enhanced two-way transparency between publishers and advertisers.

In addition to being done on numerous digital platforms including mobile, social, display and video, programmatic advertising is also becoming much more prevalent on offline channels.

Once the sole preserve of big businesses, programmatic advertising is increasingly being used by smaller firms. Read on as we take a closer look at this burgeoning phenomenon.

A background to programmatic advertising

American telecommunications giants AT&T ran the first banner display advertisement on back in 1994.

During the infancy of digital marketing, the process of purchasing ads was done in the same way as firms bought ads in printed publications.

However, the creation of centralised servers the following year allowed advertisers to sell ads across many different websites.

As the internet grew, numerous publishers were left with lots of unsold ad space which led to the creation of ad networks.

These were designed to create packages of available ad space from various publishers and sell them at a reduced rate to advertisers.

Targeting was an issue with this approach, leading to programmatic advertising being developed through a process known as Real-Time Bidding (RTB).

How does programmatic advertising work?

Programmatic advertising may appear to be a baffling process, but it is not too difficult to understand how everything works.

When someone visits a site that uses programmatic advertising, it sparks an automated bidding procedure to sell the ad space.

Using a supply-side platform (SSP), publishers can share information with advertisers about the user, the site and the ad space.

The SSP analyses uses cookies to profile the user and these details are disclosed to the demand-side platform (DSP) which works on behalf of the advertisers.

Using the advertiser’s specified target and budget specifications, the DSP will make a real-time bid to try and secure the ad placement.

The SSP picks a winning bid and displays the ad on the site. The process takes a matter of moments to complete and is handled in the time it takes the page to load.

Are there different formats of programmatic advertising?

Display ads were previously the most common type of programmatic advertising, but the landscape has changed dramatically in recent times.

Advancements in technology, improved data capturing and mobile optimisation have allowed advertisers to take a far more targeted approach with their marketing activities.

Video ads are now hugely popular across numerous platforms, generating a spend of more than $13 billion during 2019.

Voice ads have also enjoyed a resurgence, a factor that has been powered by the increasing use of products like the Amazon Echo Dot, Spotify and many more.

Advertisers are also leveraging programmatic ad opportunities on websites, social networks and apps, often using targeted sponsored content to ply their wares.

Programmatic ads are also finding their way onto digital signage and television, further highlighting their importance within the modern marketing landscape.

Why should I use programmatic advertising?

The most important aspect of programmatic advertising is the ability to utilise a user’s data in order to hit them with targeted messages.

This factor gives you a much greater return on investment as it has been proven to increase sales over a long-term period.

Improved analysis and transparency also play an important role in programmatic ads, giving advertisers the opportunity to measure and optimise their campaigns in real-time.

Programmatic ads have the added benefit of being viewed by users positively, as the content is tailored to tap into their own personal preferences.

With the ability to reach people across a wide variety of platforms, programmatic ads should undoubtedly be part of every company’s marketing strategy.

What does the future hold for programmatic advertising?

As with any type of digital marketing, trends in programmatic advertising are continuing to evolve at a rapid rate.

Advancements in Artificial Intelligence are allowing businesses to take an increasingly targeted approach to their advertising activities.

That trend looks set to continue for the foreseeable future, particularly as more companies start to use self-service platforms to manage their ad output.

Around two-thirds of businesses are expected to adopt this way of operating by 2022, and the figure should keep rising in the following years.

A shift away from cookies towards improved modes of tracking should also help to further increase the effectiveness of programmatic ads.

With greater control over targeting and budgets, enhanced levels of reporting and increased transparency, we can state with certainty that programmatic advertising is here to stay.

Digital Advertising 101: An introduction to the digital ad space

Digital advertising is one of the most lucrative sectors around, with businesses across the world spending around $250 billion on the practice every year.

Experts have predicted that the figure will keep rising over the next few years as companies continue to get a healthy return on investment (ROI) from digital ads.

Increasing brand awareness is a major driver for most firms who use digital advertising, while improving sales and boosting repeat purchases are other important considerations.

In addition to those attractive marketing elements, there are numerous other attractive benefits to using digital ads to market a business.

Companies are able to reach their target audience much more effectively, while results tracking is far easier than many other popular forms of advertising.

This data not only highlights how your campaign has performed but also identifies areas where you can improve future digital ads.

In simple terms, digital ads can be targeted to focus on keywords, consumer interests, demographics and remarketing, helping you get a better ROI.

Read on as we take an in-depth look at digital advertising and show you how it can be of benefit for your business.

What is Digital Advertising and Why Use It?

Digital advertising is a targeted marketing strategy designed to ease customers along a path towards completing a purchase with a business.

Companies use digital ads to promote their products and services, increase brand awareness, grow sales, retain customers and much more.

It differs from traditional forms of advertising by utilising digital platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Google and YouTube to promote goods and/or services.

Digital ads provide firms with tons of useful data they can use to track the performance of campaigns and identify any areas for improvement.

By comparison, if you advertise in a magazine, you can find out how many copies it sold but you have no real way of knowing whether consumers engaged with your ad or otherwise.

Similarly, an advert on a billboard might seem like a great way to spread the word about your business, but knowing how much sales it generates is an impossible task.

Digital advertising gives you the tools to ‘drill down’ into the data to ensure that your campaigns are reaching the right people and giving you the ROI your business needs.

Types of Digital Advertising

Broadly speaking there are four different types of digital advertising you can use in business – Social, Search, Display and Influencer.

Social is perhaps the most commonly used, with networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and others offering easy access to consumers.

By using a mix of written content, images and video, it is easy to run targeted ad campaigns that help to drive sales and generate qualified leads.

Expanding on the video theme, display advertising has become a hugely important part of the digital advertising landscape over the past few years.

Display ads on affiliate websites leverage platforms such as YouTube and Google to get your business in front of the right audience.

Search advertising is also extremely popular, with studies showing that more than three-quarters of consumers research products or services on search engines like Google, Yahoo and others.

Many firms also successfully use influencer advertising as part of their digital strategy, tapping into the trust that the individual has already established to generate sales for your business.

Digital Advertising Technologies

Digital advertising technology, also known as ad tech, is the range of tools and software used by businesses to run strategic digital ad campaigns.

Any company that uses digital ads wants to be sure that these reach their target audience, generate sales and leads, and give them a solid ROI.

Adtech helps advertisers achieve their aims by providing the tools they need to ensure that those demands are consistently met.

There are a wide range of adtech platforms available, including PubMatic, TubeMogul, Media Math, SmartyAds and

These can be utilised by companies or agencies to boost ads performance and help to ensure that businesses are getting value for money from their campaigns.

They allow businesses using programmatic advertising to determine whether the messages they are pushing out are effective and where improvements can be made.

In the long term, proper utilisation of these technologies can help businesses control their spend on digital ads and prevent them from wasting resources on ineffectual marketing practices.

Digital Advertising Strategy

A digital advertising strategy is a formulated plan designed to help your business achieve specified goals via different platforms.

While there are numerous elements that go into creating a successful strategy, the most important is gaining a comprehensive understanding of your target audience.

Once you are fully au fait with that side of things, you can start to formulate your aims from your ads and identify the digital tools you will need to achieve them.

From there, you can evaluate your existing digital presence and review which platforms will be most effective in your advertising strategy.

This should include a strategic overview of your website (s), social media profiles, images and video, to ensure they are fit for purpose.

Once you have identified what is working and what doesn’t, you can set about filling the gaps before finalising your paid ad strategy.

With the foundations successfully built, your business will then be ready to implement the plan which should ultimately help to deliver your stated goals.

Future Trends in Digital Advertising

As with any form of marketing, the world of digital advertising is a landscape that is evolving at a rapid rate.

While it has been shown that digital ads can help to build brand awareness, generate sales and leads, and help with customer retention, businesses cannot afford to rest on their laurels.

One frustrating trend is the increasing prevalence of ad blockers – something that can make it difficult for firms to reach their target audience.

However, techniques such as search engine optimisation (SEO) can help your business reach consumers via organic searches.

Market saturation is also a future challenge, making it increasingly difficult for businesses to find ways to stand out from the crowd.

Growing concerns over user privacy is also a trend that companies need to be aware of, particularly in respect of targeted and personalised ads.

Despite this, digital advertising looks set to continue to boom for the foreseeable future and firmly remains one of the most effective forms of marketing.