Digital Advertising Guide: Industry Terms

With Digital Advertising growing as more companies look to build their digital presence, the need to understand the digital language is more imperative than over.

Below is a Digital Advertising Guide to help familiarize you with digital  terms and abbreviations.  We will update this list as new terms come to the market, so bookmark the page and visit us regularly for updates.


Above The Fold (ATF): The initial website screen displayed, without scrolling down. Advertisers may give direction on the percentage of an ad that must be visible to be considered ATF.

Ad Tag: HTML or JavaScript code inserted into the source code of a web page via an Ad Server for the purpose of serving content.

Ad Call: A call made by an user’s browser to the ad server for an ad to display on a webpage. 

Ads.TXT:  As defined by IAB, Ads.txt stands for Authorized Digital Sellers and is a simple, flexible and secure method that publishers and distributors can use to publicly declare the companies they authorize to sell their digital inventory.

API: Application Programming Interface is a set of commands, functions, protocols, and objects that programmers use to create software or interact with an external system. This is hugely for aggregate reporting tools, such as Adjuster, YuktaMedia, Staq.  

Back-Up Image: A static image, typically a GIF or JPEG, built into Flash or Rich Media creative to deliver as a “back-up” if the animated creative fails to serve on a page. 

Below The Fold (BTF): Different screen sizes define when an ad falls below the fold, which are called Break Point; however, users have to scroll down the page to view content lower on a webpage. 

Bounce Rate: The percentage of single-page visits to a site, where users have left the site from the entrance page. 

Click: Metric which measures the interaction of a user to a digital ad that directs users typically to an advertisers landing page. 

Click Through Rate: Also known as CTR, is the ratio of ad clicks to ad impressions. 

Click Tracker: An HTML link that can be placed around arbitrary text or content to provide click tracking, which are typically static (hard-coded) and dynamic (via ad server).  

Close Button: Control that enables a user to close an ad.  Publishers typically require these for video and high-impact ads that might be deemed intrusive to a user.  

Conversion: The point at which the recipient of your digital message performs a desired action.

CPA: Cost per Action is an online advertising pricing model where the advertiser pays for a specified acquisition, such as a form submission like newsletter sign up or event registration. 

CPC: Cost per Click 

CPM: Cost per thousand.  CPM is the most traditional of the 3 ‘Cost Per’ methods.  The ‘M’ stand for roman numeral 1000.  CPM Calculation: IMPs multiplied by CPM (dollar amount) divided by 1000.  

DFP:  A Google product, Dart for Publishers.  A platform used by a majority of publishers for ad serving. 

DMA: Designated Market Area is a geographic area in US that represents specific markets.  For instance, a New York DMA may include neighboring cities and states. 

DMP: Data Management Platform allows you to create target audiences based on a combination of in-depth first-party and third-party audience data; accurately target campaigns to these audiences across third-party ad networks and exchanges; and measure with accuracy which campaigns performed the best across segments and channels to refine media buys and ad creative over time.

DSP – Demand Side Platform is a system that allows buyers of digital advertising inventory to manage multiple ad exchange and data exchange accounts through one interface.

Entrance Page: An entry point where a user comes to your site.  The entry page can be the Homepage, but can also be any entry point promoted via Newsletters, Social Media or referral sites. 

FPS: Frames Per Second is the metric used to indicate the frame rate of animated or video creative content.Current IAB Standard is 24-fps.

Homepage: Is the front page of a website. 

IAB – The Interactive Advertising Bureau is an advertising business organization that develops industry standards, conducts research, and provides legal support for the online advertising industry, working in partnership with Agencies, Publishers and AdTech companies. 

IMP: Impressions are measured by the number of ad spots per page. Impressions are also known as eye-balls on an ad.  IMPs are measured per page and number of ad slots on the page.  ie. If there are 4 ad slots on a page, 4 IMPs are expected to be recorded for that page.  

In-Banner Video: A video delivered inside of a display ad slot rather than initiating the use of a video player.

IP Address:  A unique number assigned to your computer connection by your Internet Service Provider (ISP). This unique number serves as the ID of your connection when it’s accessing the Internet.

Initial (File) Load: The size of the creative file for an ad, measured in KB or MB, that load along with the webpage files that load when a user first initiates a page load.

Insertion Order:  The order or contract that governs the digital buy. Insertion Orders (IO) outlines the the products purchased, such as sites, ad sizes and IMPs, flight dates, Cost Metric and dollar value by placement (CPM, CPA, etc.), as well as outlines Terms & Conditions. 

KPI: Key Performance Indicator is a measurement in which a buyer measures the performance of their digital campaign. 

Landing Page: Is the entry point a user lands on when clicking on a link or ad to access your site.  

Overlay: An ad unit that displays over the webpage content briefly when initiated.

Private Marketplace: also known as PMP, is an invite only marketplace where high caliber publishers offer their ad inventory to a selected group of advertisers.

Programmatic: “Programmatic” ad buying typically refers to the use of software to purchase digital advertising, as opposed to the traditional process that involves RFPs, human negotiations and manual insertion orders. 

Ranking: In the context of search engines, it is the position that a sites entry is displayed in a search engine query results.

Referring URL:  The address (URL) of the web page a user came from, before entering another site.

Results Page:  A page at a search engine that displays the results of searches. After you type in a search query the page that is displayed is called the results page.

RFP:  Request For Proposal is a document that solicits a proposal, often made through a bidding process, by an agency to potential publishers to submit proposals based on the requirements outlined in the RFP. 

Real-time Bidding: RTB is a means by which advertising inventory is bought and sold on a per-impression basis, via programmatic instantaneous auction.

Rich Media: Advertisements with which users can interact (as opposed to solely animation) in a web page format. These ad units may appear In Banner (within thSHAe confined ad space) or Out-of-Banner including transitionals, expandable (below), floating ads, page take-overs, and tear-backs.

Roll-Over: When a user’s cursor moves over an ad or a target portion of the creative (the “hot spot”), lasting at least 1-second in duration, before an action may be initiated by the ad, also known as a mouseover.

Run of Network: RON is thefreedom for a banner to be placed within the appropriate ad size on all participating sites in a network and not just on a single web site.

Run of Site:  ROS is the freedom for a banner to be placed within the appropriate ad size on a website where the purchased ad product exists, not just a specific page or collection of pages.

Screenshot:  A snapshot of  purchased ad products as proof of delivery. 

SDK or Software Development Kit: A collection of software used for developing applications for a specific device or operating system.

SOV: Share of Voice is the percentage of inventory a particular advertiser serves their ad on. 

Social Media: websites and applications that enable users to create and share content or to participate in social networking. Brands use social media to help promote their message to potential clients – popular social media platforms are Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and Snapchat amongst others. 

SSP: Supply Side Platform

Terms & Conditions: Legal guidelines by which a signed IO is governed.  Also referred to as T&Cs.

UGC: User Generated Content is any form of content such as video, blogs, discussion form posts, digital images, audio files, and other forms of media that was created by consumers or end-users.  

User Initiation: User knowingly engages with an ad by clicking on the ad or performing another action with the ad. 

Viewable Impression: Based on MRC Viewable Ad Impression Measurement Guidelines this is defined as an ad impression served in the viewable space of the browser window, on an in-focus browser tab, based on pre-established criteria such as the percent of ad pixels within the viewable space and the length of time the ad is in the viewable space of the browser.

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