Glossary of Important Digital Advertising Terms

Digital Advertising Campaign

As a top marketing agency in Wichita, KS, the Balefire Marketing + Advertising team does our best to explain common digital advertising terms to our clients. To that end, we’ve put together a glossary of commonly-used online advertising terms and their meanings.

Campaign & Targeting Terms

  • Ad Impressions: The number of times an ad is shown.
  • Reach: The number of unique users who see an ad at least once.
  • Frequency: The average number of times each user sees an ad.
  • Targeting: Selecting specific demographics, interests or behaviors an ad campaign’s audience should have to make it more relevant.
  • Audience Segment: A section of an ad audience with shared characteristics.
  • Retargeting/Remarketing: Showing ads to users who have previously interacted with a website or brand online.

Metrics & Optimization Terms

  • Click-Through Rate (CTR): The number of clicks on an ad divided by the number of times it was shown.
  • Conversion Rate: The number of times a desired action (ex., purchase, signup) was completed after clicking on an ad divided by the total number of interactions with the ad.
  • Cost per Click (CPC): The amount paid for each click on an ad.
  • Cost per Acquisition (CPA): The cost of the conversions from an ad divided by the number of conversions the ad received.
  • Return on Ad Spend (ROAS): The revenue generated for each dollar spent on advertising.
  • Key Performance Indicator (KPI): A metric used to measure the success of an ad campaign or progress toward a marketing goal.
  • A/B Testing: Also called split testing; a testing process that randomly presents two versions of a specific ad variable (ex., landing page or ad copy) to see which one performs better.

Additional Terms

  • Cookies: Small pieces of data stored on a user’s device or browser that store user data & behavior; they can be used for ad targeting and to deliver targeted ads for remarketing.
  • Data Privacy: The ethical collection and use of user data in digital advertising.
  • Native Advertising: Ads that look like they belong to the website or app on which they appear; they blend in and aren’t always easy to recognize as ads.
  • Video Advertising: Video ads displayed before, during, or after streaming or video content.
  • Social Media Advertising: Ads displayed on social media platforms.
  • PPC Advertising: Advertising in which the advertiser pays each time an ad is clicked; also referred to as “search ads”, because the ads are typically displayed on search engine results pages (SERPs).
  • Display Advertising: Banner ads, pop-up ads, video ads, and other graphical ads displayed on websites.
  • Influencer Marketing: Partnering with influential people to promote your brand or products.