Glossary of advertising and digital marketing terms that can help you in your ad compliance journey.

A pdf version of the code can be downloaded here



above the fold

The section of a web page that is visible without scrolling.


When a user signs up, makes a purchase, or performs some other desired action in response to an ad. Also called a conversion or action.

ad blocking

The blocking of web advertisements, typically the image in graphical web advertisements.

ad network

A company that serves as a broker between a group of publishers and a group of advertisers.

ad space

The space on a web page available for advertisements.

ad tag

A piece of HTML on a web page that will contact an ad server and ask for an ad. The tag informs the browser to open a small window (say, 468×60 pixels), and in that window place whatever content is returned from some location.


Google’s online advertising service where advertised links are placed in the result page of a search engine enquiry.

affiliate marketing

An advertising system where one website drives traffic to another based on the cost per action (CPA) payment method: websites display advertisers’ banners for free but receive payment when registrations or sales result from click throughs.


A service provided which allows a site administrator to track numerous statistics from their websites, including the number of visitors, the level of engagement on the site as well as other metrics including conversions made.



A business that sells products or provides services to other businesses.


A business that sells products or provides services to the end-user consumers.


This is an ad that appears on a web page which is typically hyperlinked to an advertiser’s website. Banners can be images (GIF, JPEG, PNG), JavaScript programs, or multimedia objects (Flash, Java, Shockwave, etc.).

banner ads

An advertisement that appears on a web page, most commonly at the top (header) or bottom (footer) of the page. Designed to have the user click on it for more information.

banner blindness

The tendency of web visitors to ignore banner ads, even when the banner ads contain information visitors are actively looking for.

banner exchange

A network where participating sites display banner ads in exchange for credits which are converted (using a predetermined exchange rate) into ads to be displayed on other sites.


An element on a publisher’s website that is invisible to users while it gathers information. Also known as “tracking pixels.”

behavioral targeting (bt)

A technique used by online publishers and advertisers to increase the effectiveness of their campaigns. Behavioral targeting uses information collected about an individual’s web browsing behavior, such as the pages they have visited or the searches they have made to select which advertisements to be displayed to that individual. Practitioners believe this helps them deliver their online advertisements to the users who are most likely to be influenced by them.

blind link

A hyperlink which does not clearly indicate (or even actively disguises) where it leads to.


A blog is a dedicated website or a section of a website where a feed of regularly updated content (usually written) is added to communicate information, ideas, or opinions usually within a specified niche.

bounce rate

Measured in percentages, the bounce rate is the proportion of visitors to leave or ‘bounce off’ the site. The lower this percentage, the better, as it represents a site which is not giving people the information they want, or information of poor quality.


A company's product line and the image and reputation of that line.


call to action (cta)

The part of a marketing message that attempts to persuade a person to perform a desired action.


Dictates a buying strategy for purchasing inventory. Most campaigns also include criteria such as a specific start and end date, daily or overall budgets, frequency restrictions, and targeting based on user or inventory data.

campaign weight

An integer weight value that provides a relative weighting of other campaigns.


A band of similar content; a type of sales outlet (also known as channel of distribution).

click through rate (ctr)

Click through rate. Usually measured in a percentage, the click through rate is the amount of visitors who click through to a website from a paid ad or an email newsletter.

click throughs

The action of following a link within an advertisement or editorial content to another Web site or another page or frame within the Web site.


Metric that measures the reaction of a user to an Internet ad.


A popup window that appears when a visitor leaves a website (also known as “exit console”).

content marketing

A technique where businesses create, distribute, and share relevant content with their customers in a bid to attract, engage with, and retain customers. Content is presented as useful, informative, and valuable to the customer with the aim to build trust and the hope that the customer will reward the business with their loyalty.

contextual targeting

This is also known as contextual advertising. A form of advertising on a website that is targeted to be relevant to a page’s content. The automated systems display the ads related to the content users’ check. The best example of contextual targeting is Google AdSense, a genius brainchild whose robots serve ads relevant to your users.


This is when a user signs up, makes a purchase, or performs some other desired action in response to an ad.

conversion funnel

This describes the path a consumer takes from seeing an ad or otherwise hearing about a brand or concept (the broad end of the funnel) to possibly navigating an e-commerce web site and finally taking a desired action such as making a purchase (the narrow end of the funnel).


A small piece of information (i.e., program code) that is stored on a browser for the purpose of identifying that browser during audience activity and between visits or sessions.

cost per action/acquisition (cpa)

A payment model in which advertisers pay for every action, such as a sale or registration, completed as a result of a visitor clicking on their advertisement. Note that an "acquisition" is the same as a "conversion."

cost per click (cpc)

This is the amount charged to the advertiser every time a user clicks on a keyword advertisement. This is one of the methods to calculate the price of running an online advertising campaign.

cost per impression (cpi)

The cost paid each time an online advertisement such as a company’s banner, button or text link loads on a user’s screen. Each time the ad is displayed, the ad server counts it as one impression.

cost per inquiry (cpi)

Represents the proportion of inquiries generated from the amount spent on marketing and advertising. It’s an effective tool for assessing the effectiveness of a campaign that is being ran.

cost per lead (cpl)

Online advertising payment model in which payment is based on the number of qualifying leads generated.

cost per mille (cpm)

Cost per thousand ("mille"). A pricing model in which advertisers pay for every 1000 impressions of their advertisement served. This is the standard basic pricing model for online advertising.

customer acquisition cost

The cost associated with acquiring a new customer.

customer lifetime value (clv)

Refers to the predicted monetary value over the entire relationship you will have with the customer. It can be also based on the expected future cash flow contributed by the customer and is a useful measure for businesses to dedicate time and resources to the customers with the highest lifetime value.


demographic targeting

The first form of targeting used on the Internet. It allows advertisers to reach specific audiences according to age, gender, income, etc.

digital marketing

The use of digital technologies to create an integrated, targeted, and measurable communications which help to acquire and retain customers while building deeper relationships with them.

direct media buy

Pre-brokered agreements between an advertiser and publisher to deliver a certain amount of specific inventory for a preset cost.

display advertising

A form of online advertising where an advertiser’s message is shown on a destination web page, generally set off in a box at the top or bottom or to one side of the content of the page.

domain name

Location of an entity on the Internet.

doorway domain

A domain used specifically to rank well in search engines for particular keywords, serving as an entry point through which visitors pass to the main domain.

dynamic pricing

The purchase price for an ad impression is determined via a real-time auction rather than a predetermined rate.


effective cost per acquisition (ecpa)

This is calculated by dividing your cost (or revenue) by the number of conversion events.

effective cost per click (ecpc)

Effective Cost per Click. A translation from CPMs, CPCs, CPAs, and other pricing models so they can be compared.

effective cost per thousand (ecpm)

Effective Cost per Thousand. A translation from CPMs, CPCs, CPAs, and any other pricing models so they can be compared to each other.

email marketing

A direct marketing technique where a commercial message is sent via email to a group of people in a company’s database of email addresses, usually with the intention for the recipient to purchase something, or to drive traffic to the website.


The number of likes, comments, and shares you receive.

expandable banner

A banner ad that can expand to as large as 468 x 240 pixels after a user clicks on it or after a user moves his/her cursor over the banner.



Used on Twitter, this functions just as a Facebook “Like” does. You can also use this as a saving tool and go back to your favorites later.


geo targeting

A method of determining the location through post code, ISP, country, city or state of the web user, and providing tailored content based on this location (usually an advertisement).

google display network

An advertising platform where text, image, or video ads can be targeted to be displayed on other relevant websites that are related to what you are selling and to prospective visitors who are most likely to be interested in your business.

google instant

A feature of Google’s search engine that shows search results as the keyword query is being typed.

google places

(Formerly known as Google Maps) A collection of local business listings which are placed at the top of Google search results when the user is looking for local information. Relevant businesses are placed on a small map. There are many benefits for companies to create a free Google places listing, they can complete their opening times, photos of their business or products, and more.

google trends

(Formerly known as Google Insights and then merged back into Google trends in 2012) is a tool which allows you to see what others are searching for within Google. Graphing can be provided over a nominated time period and be based on geographic region and many other variables to assess the popularity of different terms and phrases. Useful in content marketing to see what people are interested and tailor content based on this interest.



This is your “username” on Twitter that appears with an “@” symbol in front of it.


Although they were originally created and supported by Twitter, hashtags are now utilized on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Vine, Google+, and Tumblr. A hashtag is a group of words or phrases (with no spaces), preceded by a # sign. It is used to tie various social media posts together and relate them to a topic. Topics are sometimes connected to an event, TV show, sporting event, or any happening or trend, etc.

heat mapping

A technique to visually assess which areas of the website visitors are paying attention to and are ‘hot’ and which areas are ‘cold.’ Is useful to see what areas of a web page people are interested in, and which areas could be improved to boost engagement.

home page

The main page of a Web site.

house ad

A self-promotional ad a company runs on their own site/network to use unsold inventory.

html banner

A banner ad using HTML elements, often including interactive forms instead of (or in addition to) standard graphical elements.


A clickable link that diverts to another document or web page. Most often underlined blue text as a word or phrase, but also as a picture.



The number of times an advertisement or sponsored post is displayed online, whether it has been clicked on or not.

in-banner video

In-banner video creatives are played in standard banner placements rather than in video players. AppNexus serves these creatives with the JW Player for Flash to enable playing in the banner placements. Any banner placement may accommodate an in-banner video creative, if allowed by the publisher.

in-stream video

In-stream video creatives are played in video players on web pages. They use VAST XML to ensure proper rendering in players and are shown before, in the middle of, or after other video content.

inbound link

A link from a site outside of your site.

inbound marketing

A marketing model whose sales performance relies on the initiative of its client base to find and purchase a product.


This is your Facebook analytics hub. You can find all post and page analytics here.



Specific word/s entered into a search engine by the user that result/s in a list of websites related to the keyword.

keyword density

Keywords as a percentage of indexable text words.

keyword marketing

Putting your message in front of people who are searching using particular keywords and key phrases.

keyword research

Highest return on investment (ROI).

keyword stuffing

The excessive, unnatural use of keywords on a web page for search engine optimization purposes.


landing page

The page to which a user is directed after clicking on an ad.


An engagement function that lets fans give positive feedback on a post.


A clickable connection between two web sites. Formally referred to as a hyperlink.



Generally a large advertiser that manages at least some of its own digital advertising. Also called a direct marketer.

media plan

A holistic view of all your real-time media buys and direct media buys.


The act of including someone’s handle in your tweet. That person will then get a notification that they’ve been mentioned.


Multi-page ads accessed via click-through from initial ad. The user stays on the publisher’s website, but has access to more information from the advertiser than a display ad allows.

mobile marketing

The process of sending out advertisements via mobile devices


news feed

Your news feed is the first thing you see when you log in to your social media accounts


offsite optimisation

The techniques which help a website to rank well, which take place off the page or site, and improve the overall page rank. This is most often done by building external links, guest blogging, and social sharing of content.

onsite optimisation

A number of techniques to help a website perform well in search engines including headings, keyword placement and density, meta tags and descriptions, and the ability to be easily shared through social networks

organic traffic

The search engine traffic to a website search engine results that have not been sponsored or paid for.



This is your business profile or “page” where customers can find your posts and business information.

page rank

An algorithm developed by Google’s founder, Larry Page, which determines the importance of websites based on the number and the quality of links the site has from other sites.

page views

Is an instance where a page is loaded by a web browser. Each time that page is refreshed or revisited, another page view is logged, even from the same user.

pay per click (ppc)

The amount an advertiser pays Google or another platform (e.g., Facebook, Bing) when an advertisement is clicked on. The amount is determined through bidding for specific keywords or phrases that are related to what they are selling, or can be determined with fixed price per click.


Used in Pinterest, these are images uploaded (“pinned”) from any web page or your own computer to a Pinterest board.


Also called a web bug, is a way to track user data. It is a snippet of code that calls for a 1X1 transparent pixel to be delivered to a webpage by a third party server. When the pixel loads, the third party server can record information such as the IP address of the user's computer, URL of the page, and time the page was viewed.


An ad that displays in a secondary browser window directly behind the initial browser window.


An ad that displays in a secondary browser window directly in front of the initial browser window.


A term used for sharing content on your Facebook Page.


A personal page created for individual use.



A request for information, usually to a search engine.



The number of people who are exposed to a message, post, or advertisement at least once. Differs from impressions, which is the number of times the message is displayed.

real-time bidding

Bidding on inventory in real time. A real-time bid is often dynamically generated based on past performance of creatives, inventory, user groups, and other parameters. Note that real-time bidding may differ from real-time buying, which can mean allocating inventory in real-time through prioritization rather than a monetary bid.

rectangle ad

Any one of the large, rectangular banner sizes suggested by the IAB.


A visit to a website or web page which comes from other site, search engine, or link.

referral link

The referring page, or referral link is a place from which the user clicked to get to the current page. In other words, since a hyperlink connects one URL to another, in clicking on a link the browser moves from the referring URL to the destination URL.


Used to show users your ads via the display network once they’re visited your website.


The act of sharing someone else’s pin.


You can reply directly to a tweet. Only the people following you and the person you’re replying to can see your reply (unless you place a character before the handle at the beginning of the tweet).


Targeting users who have performed an action in the past, who may therefore be more likely to perform the same or a similar task in the future.

return on investment (roi)

Is a measure to determine the financial returns made from running a digital marketing campaign.


A way to repost or share someone else’s tweet.

rich media

Advertisements with which users can interact (as opposed to solely animation) in a web page format.

run of network (ron)

An ad buying option in which ad placements may appear on any page on sites within an ad network.

run of site (ros)

An ad buying option in which ad placements may appear on any page/s of the target site.


search engine

An application that helps web users find information on the Internet.

search engine marketing (sem)

Refers to a range of activities that increase the visibility of a website online. Can be done through organic search engine optimization (SEO) or through paid advertising like a pay per click campaign.

search engine marketing (sem)

A form of Internet Marketing that seeks to promote websites by increasing their visibility in the Search Engine result pages.

search engine optimisation (seo)

Is a critical element in ensuring a website is found online making it especially important for a business looking to gain new customers.

search engine optimization (seo)

Process of improving the volume and quality of traffic to a website from search engines via “natural” (organic or algorithmic) search results.

search engine results page (serp)

The collection of web results offered by a search engine after submitting an enquiry, typically the first page of organic results.

search fee

Fees advertisers pay Internet companies to list and/or link their company site or domain name to a specific search word or phrase.


A computer that distributes files shared across a LAN, WAN or the Internet. Also known as a “host.”


This feature lets you share the content you enjoy with personal Facebook friends.

short message service (sms)

Is used to send text messages to mobile phones. The messages can typically be up to 160 characters in length, though some services use 5-bit mode, which supports 224 characters.

site search

Search functionality specific to one site.

skyscraper ad

Also called a Vertical Banner. This is an online ad significantly taller than the 120×240 vertical banner.

social network

An online destination that gives users a chance to connect with one or more groups of friends, facilitating sharing of content, news, and information among them.


Advertising messages (usually emails) that are delivered in bulk that may be unwelcome, unsolicited, or overly frequent and usually not a material which the recipient has opted to receive.


A measure used to gauge the effectiveness of a site in retaining individual users. Stickiness is usually measured by the duration of the visit.


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.

text ad

Advertisement using text-based hyperlinks.


The number of visits a website has in any given period.

trick banner

A banner ad that attempts to trick people into clicking, often by imitating an operating system message.


The content you share with your followers.


uniform resource locator (url)

The unique identifying address of any particular page on the Web. It contains all the information required to locate a resource, including its protocol (usually HTTP), server domain name (or IP address), file path (directory and name), and format (usually HTML or CGI).

unique visitors

A visit to a website which is only counted once in a given period, regardless of the number of pages or returns they make to the site.


An individual with access to the World Wide Web.



A video blog, where instead of written content, updates are in video form, often supplemented with a text paragraph to introduce and describe the contents of the video.



The virtual location (domain) for an organization’s or individual’s presence on the World Wide Web.

word-of-mouth marketing

A marketing method that relies on casual social interactions to promote a product.