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Internet Marketing Glossary



We hope our abbreviated, core list of definitions will be helpful for you. We aim to reduce technophobia by making the world of Internet marketing as approachable, straightforward and profitable as possible.





AdWords offers Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising, and site-targeted advertising for both text, banner, and rich-media ads. The AdWords program includes local, national, and international distribution. Google's text advertisements are short, consisting of one headline and two additional text lines. Image ads can be one of several different Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) standard sizes. Based on a live, bid-auction environment ads are relevant, targeted, and cost-efficient.



An abbreviation for the term “web log.” A blog is a frequently updated journal that is intended for general public consumption. They usually represent the personality of the author or Website.


Clickthrough Rate (CTR)

The number of clicks an ad receives divided by the number of times the ad is shown (impressions). The percentage of those clicking on a link out of the total number who see the link. Example: For example, if an ad has 100 impressions and 6 clicks, the CTR is 6%. The higher the CTR, the more visitors your site is receiving.

Conversion Action

The desired action you want a visitor to take on your site. Includes purchase, subscription to the company newsletter, request for follow-up or more information (lead generation), download of a company free offer (research results, a video or a tool), and subscription to company updates and news.

Conversion Rate

The number of visitors who convert (take a desired action at your site) after clicking through on your ad, divided by the total number of click-throughs to your site for that ad (expressed as: total click-throughs that convert / total click-throughs for that ad = conversion rate). Higher conversion rates generally translate into more successful Pay-Per-Click (PPC) campaigns with a better ROI. Example: For example, if an ad brings in 150 clickthroughs and 6 of the 150 clicks result in a desired conversion, then the conversion rate is 4% (6 / 150 = 0.04).

Cost-Per-Action (CPA)

Metric used to measure the total monetary cost of each sale, lead, or action from start to finish. Also referred to as Cost-Per-Acquisition or Cost-Per-Order (CPO). Example: If a campaign cost $100 and resulted in 5 conversions, the CPA is $20 ($100 / 5). So in this case, it would cost $20 to generate one conversion.

Cost-Per-Click (CPC)

The amount search engines charge advertisers for every click that sends a searcher to the advertiser’s web site. In other words, CPC is the amount an advertiser must pay each time a user clicks on an ad.

Cost-Per-Thousand Impressions (CPM)

A unit of measure assigned to the cost of displaying an ad 1,000 times. Example: If an ad appears on a web page 1,000 times and costs $5, then the Cost-Per-Thousand Impressions (CPM) would be $5.


Dynamic Text (Insertion)

This is text, a keyword or ad copy that customizes search ads returned to a searcher by using parameters to insert the desired text somewhere in the title or ad. When the search query (for example, “hybrid cars”) matches the defined parameter (for example, cars), then the associated term (hybrid) is plugged into the ad dynamically. Dynamic insertion makes the ad mirror exact terms used in the search query, creating very relevant ads.


Effective Cost-Per-Thousand (eCPM)

A hybrid Cost-Per-Click (CPC) auction calculated by multiplying the CPC times the click-through rate (CTR), and multiplying that by one thousand (represented by: (CPC x CTR) x 1000 = eCPM). This monetization model is used by Google to rank site-targeted CPM ads (in the Google Network) against keyword-targeted CPC ads (Google AdWords Pay-Per-Click) in their hybrid auction.



Determining where your ads will or won’t be shown based on the searcher’s location, enabling more localized and personalized results.

Google Analytics

Gathers information and statistics about visitors to a Website. Google Analytics is the enterprise-class web analytics solution that gives you rich insights into your website traffic and marketing effectiveness. Let you see and analyze your traffic data in an entirely new way. With Google Analytics, we're more prepared to write better-targeted ads, strengthen your marketing initiatives and create higher converting websites. It is the most widely used web analytics service.



One view or display of an ad.


Key Performance Indicators (KPI)

Metrics used to quantify objectives that reflect the strategic performance of your online marketing campaigns.

Keyword / Keyword Phrase

A specific word or combination of words that a searcher might type into a search field. Includes generic, category keywords; industry-specific terms; product brands; common misspellings and expanded variations (called Keyword Stemming), or multiple words (called Long Tail for their lower CTRs but sometimes better conversion rates).


Landing Page

The destination web page for people responding to an advertisement, designed specifically for that campaign and audience. The campaign might be in any medium, but is typically e-mail, search or online-ad driven. The key difference between a homepage and landing page is that the former must be all things to all visitors, while the latter should be very narrowly designed for the campaign, and perhaps for a segment of the audience responding to it. Also called a destination page or entry page.

Link Popularity

Link popularity generally refers to the total number of links pointing to any particular URL. There are typically two types of link popularity: Internal and External. Internal link popularity typically refers to the number of links or pages within a web site that link to a specific URL. External link popularity refers to the number of inbound links from external web sites that are pointing to a specific URL. If you have more “links” than your competitors, you are typically known to have link cardinality or link superiority.



A system of measurements that helps to quantify your online marketing campaign's performance. In Search Engine Optimization (SEO), the following are some important metrics: overall traffic, search engine traffic, conversions, top traffic-driving keywords, top conversion-driving keywords, keyword rankings, etc.


Negative Keywords

Filtered-out keywords to prevent ad serves on them. Used for the purpose of avoiding irrelevant click-through charges on. For example, products that you do not sell, or for refining and narrowing the targeting of your Ad Group’s keywords. Microsoft adCenter calls them "excluded keywords."


Organic Results (Organic Listings)

The search page results that are provided "free" and based on the search algorithms of the search engine. A site might have a high "organic" ranking without paying the search engine anything at all; however, there are usually costs related the time and effort taken to make these result happen. Also called Natural Results.


Pay-Per-Action (PPA)

As opposed to Pay-Per-Click advertising, Pay-Per-Action ads incur a charge after generating a specific action, such as a purchase or a subscription to a newsletter. Advertisers are charged when their ad generates an action, independent of the ad's clickthrough rate or impression.

Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Advertising

Target the customers you want and bring them to your Website. A model of online advertising in which advertisers pay only for each click on their ads that directs searchers to a specified landing page on the advertiser’s web site. Pay-Per-Click (PPC) ads may get thousands of impressions (views or serves of the ad); but, unlike more traditional ad models billed on a CPM (Cost-Per-Thousand-Impressions) basis, PPC advertisers only pay when their ad is clicked on. Charges per ad click-through are based on advertiser bids in ad space auctions and are influenced by competitor bids, competition for keywords and search engines’ proprietary (undisclosed by search engines) quality measures of advertiser ad and landing page content.


In Pay-Per-Click advertising, position is the placement on a search engine results page where your ad appears relative to other paid ads and to organic search results. Top ranking paid ads (high ranking with top 10 to 15 results, depending on the engine) usually appear at the top of the SERP and on the “right rail” (right-side column of the page). Ads appearing in the top three paid-ad or "Sponsored Ad" slots are known as Premium Positions. Paid search ad position is determined by confidential algorithms and Quality Score measures specific to each search engine. However, factors in the engines’ position placement under some advertiser control include bid price, the ad’s CTR, relevancy of your ad to searcher requests, relevance of your click-through landing page to the search request, and quality measures search engines calculate to ensure quality user experience.


Quality Score

A number assigned by Google to paid ads in a hybrid auction that, together with maximum CPC, determines each ad’s rank and SERP position. Quality Scores reflect an ad’s historical CTR, keyword relevance, landing page relevance, and other factors proprietary (undisclosed) to Google. Yahoo! refers to the Quality Score as a Quality Index.



A web page's position in search engine results for a particular keyword/search phrase. Higher rankings typically indicate better SEO, high volume and quality traffic.


In relation to Pay-Per-Click advertising, relevance is a measure of how closely your ad title, description, and keywords are related to the search query and the searcher’s expectations.

Return on Advertising Spending (ROAS)

The profit generated by ad campaign conversions per dollar spent on advertising expenses. Calculated by dividing advertising-driven profit by ad spending.

Return on Investment (ROI)

The amount of money you make on your ads compared to the amount of money you spend on your ads. ROI = (Revenue - cost) / Cost, expressed as a percentage. For example, if you spend $100 on PPC ads and make $150 from those ads, then your ROI would be 50%. (Calculated as: ($150 - $100) / 100 = $50 / 100 = 50%.) The higher your ROI, the more successful your advertising.


Search Engines

A search engine is a database of many web pages. Most engines display the number of web pages they hold in their database at any given time. A search engine generally “ranks” or orders the results according to a set of parameters. These parameters (called algorithms) vary among search engines.

Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

A type of Internet marketing that specializes in increasing a Website's visibility in search engine result pages (SERPs) through the use of Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Pay-Per-Click Advertising (PPC), and Web analytics.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

The process of editing a web site’s content and code in order to improve visibility within one or more search engines. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) attempts to position pages higher within the organic ("natural") listings on search engines, as opposed to the sponsored listings (paid ads).

Search Engine Results Page (SERP)

The page delivered to a searcher that displays the results of a search query entered into the search field. Displays both paid ad (sponsored) and organic listings in varying positions or rank.

Search Query

The word or phrase a searcher types into a search field, which initiates search engine results page listings and Pay-Per-Click Advertising (PPC) ad serves. In PPC advertising, the goal is to bid on keywords that closely match the search queries of the advertiser’s targets.

Social Media

Websites in which users actively participate, interact, and communicate to determine the content. Examples: Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, YouTube, Wikipedia, Digg, etc.

Sponsored Listing

A term used as a title or column head on search engine results pages (SERPs) to identify paid advertisers and distinguish between paid and organic listings. Alternate names are Paid Listings or Paid Sponsors.



Refers to the number of visitors a website receives. It can be determined by examination of web logs and through analytics.


Unique Visitor

Identifies an actual Website visitor, who is tracked by a unique identifiable quality (typically Internet Protocol [IP]address). If a visitor comes to a Web site and clicks on 100 links, it is still only counted as one unique visit.


Viral Marketing

Refers to marketing techniques that use pre-existing social networks to produce increases in brand awareness. The awareness increases are the result of self-replicating viral processes. It can often be word-of-mouth delivered and enhanced online; it can also harness the network effect of the Internet and can be very useful in reaching a large number of people rapidly. Also called viral advertising.


Web 2.0

A Web 2.0 site allows its users to interact with each other and determine the site's content. The term is frequently used to refer to an unspecific new version of the World Wide Web and the future of the Internet. Also see social media.

Web Analytics

Understand what visitors are doing on your Website. An online process that measures, collects, analyzes, and reports Internet data for purposes of understanding and optimizing search results, as well as for business and market research. With analytics, we're more prepared to write better-targeted ads, strengthen your marketing initiatives and create higher converting websites.

Website Optimization

Discover what motivates your visitors to become customers. The practice of increasing your existing website's traffic and value by implementing tests and techniques that optimize the site's content and design. Website tests include A/B testing (testing one variable at a time) and multivariate testing (testing more than one variable at a time). The primary goal of website optimization is usually to increase revenue and the number of conversions.

Web Server Logs

Large text files which keep a running count of all search terms used by visitors to your site. Most web server software and all good web analytics packages have these. Useful for developing and refining Pay-Per-Click (PPC) campaign keyword lists. Also called Log Files.

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