Internet Advertising Terminology: A–C

There are hundreds of Internet advertising terms, most of which you as a mom blogger don’t really need to know. But the ones you do need to know are really important.

Above the fold: These are ad placements that a site visitor can see when they view a page without having to scroll down.

Ad creative: The actual ad that will appear on your blog.

Ad creative guidelines: Guidelines that let advertisers know things such as the sizes of ads you offer, whether or not you accept animated ads, how large the ad file sizes can be, and whether or not you accept audio ads.

Ad network: A company that sells ads for a group of websites while keeping a portion of the profits. Ad networks can be very exclusive and difficult to get into, or they can be open to almost any web publisher. (An example of the latter type is Google AdSense.)

Ad rotation: Running several alternating ads in the same spot on your blog.

Ad server: Software that stores and displays ads for one or more websites. Ad servers are best for blogs that have a large volume of ad spaces to maintain. They also have the more sophisticated tracking tools needed by larger companies or ad agencies.

Banner: A visual picture with text or animated ad. Banners come in standard sizes, the most common of which are

  • Leaderboard: A horizontal 728 x 90-pixel ad usually appearing at the top of a page.

  • Medium Rectangle: An almost-square 300 x 250-pixel ad that fits well into most blog sidebars.

  • Wide Skyscraper: A tall (vertical) 160 x 600-pixel ad that also frequently appears in blog sidebars.

  • Square Button: A small 125 x 125-pixel ad that generally appears with several more ads in a group. This size is frequently used by small businesses, but has been eliminated as a standard size for large scale advertisers.

Call to action: This is when you make a specific request of a site visitor to take an action on your site. Examples would be, “Click Here,” “Sign up for my newsletter,” or “Add item to cart.”

Click fraud: The false inflation of clicks by manual or automated means. This is meant to either fraudulently increase earnings when a publisher earns revenue on each click, or give a misleading impression that an ad is performing better than it actually is.

Click through: This is the action of a web visitor clicking an ad and viewing the next page on the advertiser’s website.

comScore rankings: comScore is the industry leader for measuring web traffic, used by large advertising agencies to plan how they purchase their ads. comScore ranks websites and groups of websites so media buyers can plan effective advertising campaigns. Most blogs aren’t large enough to get listed on comScore, but many get listed through its larger ad network.

Contextual ads: The process of displaying ads based on relevance to the content on a web page.

CPA (Cost Per Acquisition): The amount an advertiser will pay for each new customer or sales lead.

CPC (Cost Per Click): The amount an advertiser will pay for each click on an ad.

CPM (Cost Per Thousand): The amount an advertiser will pay for each 1,000 views of an ad. (Remember Roman numerals? The M stands for a thousand.)

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