A-Z of online marketing
Arm yourself with our guide to the latest jargon in online marketing so you can tell the difference between your SERPs and spiders.
When a user does not complete a transaction.
Delivery of online adverts to an end user’s computer by an ad management system. The system allows different online adverts to be served in order to target different audience groups and can serve adverts across multiple sites. Ad technology providers each have their own proprietary models for this.
An affiliate (a web site owner or publisher), displays an advertisement (such as a banner or link) on its site for a merchant (the brand or advertiser). If a consumer visiting the affiliate's site clicks on this advertisement and goes onto perform a specified action (usually a purchase) on an advertisers site then the affiliate receives a commission.
The set of ‘rules’ a search engine may use to determine the relevance of a web page (and therefore ranking) in its organic search results. See also organic search results and Search Engine Optimisation
A picture or cartoon used to represent an individual in chat forums, games or on a website as a help function.
The transmission rate of a communication line- usually measured in Kilobytes per second (Kbps). This relates to the amount of data that can be carried per second by your internet connection. See also Broadband
A long, horizontal, online advert usually found running across the top of a page in a fixed placement. See also Universal Advertising Package, embedded formats
A form of online marketing that uses advertising technology to target web users based on their previous behaviour. Advertising creative and content can be tailored to be of more relevance to a particular user by capturing their previous decision making behaviour (eg: filling out preferences or visiting certain areas of a site frequently) and looking for patterns.
An online space regularly updated presenting the opinions or activities of one or a group of individuals and displaying in chronological order.
A square online advert usually found embedded within a website page. See also Universal Advertising Package, embedded formats
An internet connection that is always on and that delivers a higher bit rate (128kbps or above) than a standard dial-up connection. It allows for a better online experience as pages load quickly and you can download items faster.
When a streaming media player saves portions of file until there is enough information for the file to begin playing.
Used to store web pages you have seen already. When you go back to those pages they'll load more quickly because they come from the cache and don't need to be downloaded over the internet again.
When a user interacts with an advertisement and clicks through to the advertiser’s website.
CTR (click-through rate)
Frequency of Click-throughs as a percentage of impressions served. Used as a measure of advertising effectiveness. See also impression, click-through
Advertising that is targeted to the content on the Web page being viewed by a user at that specific time.
A small text file on the user’s PC that identifies the user’s browser and hence, the user so they are ‘recognised’ when they re-visit a site eg: it allows usernames to be stored and websites to personalise their offering
Measure of success of an online ad when compared to the click-through rate. What defines a ‘conversion’ depends on the marketing objective eg: it can be defined as a sale or request to receive more information…etc
CPA (1-Cost per Action)
A pricing model that only charges advertising on an action being conducted eg. a sale or a form being filled in.
CPA (2-Cost per Acquisition)
Cost to acquire a new customer
CPC (Cost per Click)
The amount paid by an advertiser for a click on their sponsored search listing. See also PPC
CPM (Cost per Mille)
Also known as Cost per Thousand. Online advertising can be purchased on the basis of what it costs to show the ad to one thousand viewers (CPM). It is used in marketing as a benchmark to calculate the relative cost of an advertising campaign or an ad message in a given medium. Rather than an absolute cost, CPM estimates the cost per 1000 views of the ad. (Wikipedia definition)
Linking beyond a home page to a page inside the site with content pertinent to the advert.
The unique name of an internet site eg. www.iabuk.net
Those emails sent as part of a mailing distribution which did not have a valid recipient email address and so generated a formal failure message. (ABC Electronic jargon buster definition)
Advertising formats that are displayed in set spaces on a publisher’s page. See also banners, skyscrapers, button
Emoticon symbols are used to indicate mood in an electronic mode of communication eg: email or instant messenger. :-)
Fixed online advertising placements that expand over the page in the response to user action eg: mouseover. See also Rich Media
Provides security for a computer or local network by preventing unauthorised access. It sits as a barrier between the web and your computer in order to prevent hacking, viruses or unapproved data transfer.
Web design software that creates animation and interactive elements which are quick to download.
The total number of requests made for pages holding flash-based content by users of that site in the period being measured. (ABC Electronic jargon buster definition)
A single request from a web browser for a single item from a web server.
Stands for HyperText Markup Language, which is the set of commands used by web browsers to interpret and display page content to users. (ABC Electronic jargon buster definition)
The metric used to measure views of a webpage and its elements- including the advertising embedded within it. Ad Impressions are how most online advertising is sold and the cost is quoted in terms of the cost per thousand impressions (CPM).
Sending messages and chatting with friends or colleagues in real-time when you are both online via a special application.
Online advertising formats that appear on users' screens on top of web content (and sometimes before web page appears) and range from static, one-page splash screens to full-motion animated advertisements. See also overlay, pop-up
Which appear between two content pages. Also known as splash pages and transition ads. See also Rich Media.
The numerical internet address assigned to each computer on a network so that it can be distinguished from other computers. Expressed as four groups of numbers separated by dots.
IPTV (Internet Protocol TV)
The use of a broadband connection to stream digital television over the internet to subscribed users.
ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network)
High-speed dial-up connections to the internet over normal phone lines.
ISP (Internet Service Provider)
A company which provides users with the means to connect to the internet. Eg: AOL, Tiscali, Yahoo!
The purchase of keywords (or ‘search terms’) by advertisers in search listings. See also PPC
LAN (Local Area Network)
A group of computers connected together, which are at one physical location.
A record of all the hits a web server has received over a given period of time.
HTML tags that identify the content of a web page for the search engines
A sub-site reached via clicking on an ad. The user stays on the publisher’s website but has access to more information from the advertiser.
A computer file format that compresses audio files up to a factor of 12 from a .wav file.
File format used to compress and transmit video clips online.
MPU (Multiple Purpose Units)
A square online advert usually found embedded in a web page in a fixed placement. Called ‘multiple purpose’ as it is a flexible shaped blank ‘canvas’ in which you can serve flat or more interactive content as desired. See also Rich Media, Universal Advertising Package
Natural search results
The 'natural' search results that appear in a separate section (usually the main body of the page) to the paid listings. The results listed here have not been paid for and are ranked by the search engine (using spiders or algorithms according to relevancy to the term searched upon. See also spiderm algorithm, SEO
An individual has given a company permission to use his/her data for marketing purposes.
An individual has stated that they do not want a company to use his/her data for marketing purposes.
Organic search results
The ‘natural’ search results that appear in a separate section (usually the main body of the page) to the paid listings. The results listed here have not been paid for and are ranked by the search engine (using spiders or algorithms) according to relevancy to the term searched upon. See also spider, algorithm, SEO
Online advertising content that appears over the top of the webpage. See also Rich Media.
In exchange for a payment, a search engine will guarantee to list/review pages from a website. It is not guaranteed that the pages will rank well for particular queries – this still depends on the search engine's underlying relevancy process.
The search results list in which advertisers pay to be featured according to the PPC model. This list usually appears in a separate section to the organic search results- usually at the top of the page or down the right hand side. See also Organic search results, PPC (Pay Per Click).
An illegal method whereby legitimate looking e-mails (appearing to come from a well-known bank, for example) are used in an attempt to get personal information that can be used to steal a user's identity.
An illegal method of redirecting traffic from another company’s website (such as a bank) to a fake one designed to look similar in order to steal user details when they try to log in. See also Phishing
Podcasting involves making an audio file (usually in MP3 format) of content –usually in the form of a radio program- that is available to download to an MP3 player.
Fixed online advertising placements that load and display additional Flash content after the host page on which the advert appears has finished loading. See also Flash
An ad that appears in a separate window beneath an open window. Pop-under ads are concealed until the top window is closed, moved, resized or minimised.
An online advert that ‘pops up’ in a window over the top of a web page. See also interruptive formats.
PPC (Pay per Click)
Allows advertisers to bid for placement in the paid listings search results on terms that are relevant to their business. Advertisers pay the amount of their bid only when a consumer clicks on their listing. Also called sponsored search/ paid search.
The name given to the adverts shown before, or whilst an online video is loading. There can be more than one and although they all vary in length, they average 21seconds in duration.
The number of unique web users potentially seeing a website one or more times in a given time period expressed as a percentage of the total active web population for that period.
The collective name for online advertising formats that use advanced technology to harnesses broadband to build brands. It uses interactive and audio-visual elements to give richer content and a richer experience for the user when interacting with the advert. See also Interstitial, Superstitial, Overlay and Rich Media Guidelines
Rich Media Guidelines
Design guidelines produced by the IAB for effective use of Rich Media technologies in all forms of internet advertising. They aim to protect user experience by keeping them in control of the experience eg: encouraging clearly labelled close, sound and video buttons.
RSS (Really Simple Syndication)
Software that allows you to flag website content (often from blogs or new sites) and aggregate new entries to this content into an easy to read format that is delivered directly to a user's PC. See also blogs
An organisation which sells advertising on behalf of other media owners. These sales houses typically retain a percentage of the revenue they sell in exchange for their services. These organisations may combine a number of websites together and sell them as different packages to advertisers.
SEM (Search Engine Marketing)
The process which aims to get websites listed prominently in search-engine results through search-engine optimisation, sponsored search and paid inclusion. See also PPC and SEO and Paid Inclusion.
SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)
The process which aims to get websites listed prominently within search engine’s organic (algorithmic, spidered) search results. Involves making a site ‘search engine friendly’. See also organic listings.
SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages)
The page generated by a search engine when a search query is completed, listing relevant websites.
A host computer which maintains websites, newsgroups and email services.
The time spent between a user starting an application, computer, website…etc and logging off or quitting
The reporting and analysis of website activity – in particular user behaviour on the site. All websites have a weblog which can be used for this purpose, but other third party software is available for a more sophisticated service.
A long, vertical, online advert usually found running down the side of a page in a fixed placement. See also Universal Advertising Package.
Which identifies the capabilities of the user’s browser and therefore can determine compatibility with ad formats and serve them an advert they will be able to see/fully interact with (eg: GIF, Flash etc).
Solus email advertising
Where the body of the email is determined by the advertiser, including both text and graphical elements, and is sent on their behalf by an email list manager/owner. Solus email advertising is conducted on an opt-in basis where the recipient has given their consent to receive communications..
Unsolicited junk mail.
A programme which crawls the web and fetches web pages in order for them to be indexed against keywords. Used by search engines to formulate search result pages. See also organic listings.
See PPC (Pay Per Click).
Advertiser sponsorships of targeted content areas (e.g. entire website, site area or an event) often for promotional purposes.
Measure used to gauge the effectiveness of a site in retaining its users. Usually measured by the duration of the visit.
Compressed audio/video which plays and downloads at the same time. The user does not have to wait for the whole file to download before it starts playing.
A form of rich media advertising which allows a TV-like experience on the web. It is fully pre-cached before playing. See also Rich Media, Cache.
The ‘renting’ out of a section of a website by another brand who pays commission to this media owner for any revenue generated from this space. EG: dating services inside portals or bookstores inside online newspapers
Number of visitors who come to a website.
Universal Advertising Package
A set of online advertising formats that are standardised placements as defined the by the IAB. See also banner, skyscraper, button, MPU and embedded formats
Number of different individuals who visit a site within a specific time period.
URL (Uniform Resource Locator)
Technical term that is used to refer to the web address of a particular website. For example www.iabuk.net
User generated content
Online content created by website users rather than media owners or publishers – either through reviews, blogging, podcasting or posting comments, pictures or video clips. Sites that encourage user generated content include MySpace, YouTube, Wikipedia and Flickr. See also blog, podcast
The term "viral advertising" refers to the idea that people will pass on and share striking and entertaining content; this is often sponsored by a brand, which is looking to build awareness of a product or service. These viral commercials often take the form of funny video clips, or interactive Flash games, images, and even text.
VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol)
Technology that allows the use of a broadband Internet connection to make telephone calls.
The term Web 2.0 – with its knowing nod to upgraded computer applications – describes the next generation of online use. Web 2.0 identifies the consumer as a major contributor in the evolution of the internet into a two-way medium. See also user generated content
Wilfing (What Was I Looking For)
7 in 10 of Britain's 34 million users forget what they are looking for online at work and at home. Wilfing is an expression referring to browsing the internet with no real purpose.
An e-mail whitelist is a list of contacts that the user deems are acceptable to receive email from and should not be sent to the trash folder (wikipedia definition).
WAP (Wireless Application Protocol)
Standard for providing mobile data services on hand-held devices.
Wi-Fi (Wireless Fidelity)
The ability to connect to the internet wirelessly. Internet ‘hotspots’ in coffee shops and airports..etc use this technology.
A wiki is a type of website that allows the visitors themselves to easily add, remove, and otherwise edit and change some available content, sometimes without the need for registration.