Digital Advertising Glossary: 59 Digital Advertising Terms to know in 2023

Audience targeting. Click-through rate. Call to action. If you’re new to the world of digital advertising, you may hear terms like these and wonder what they mean. With so much jargon in the world of digital advertising terminology, it can be hard to keep up.

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To help you understand digital advertising, we’ve created this digital advertising glossary to serve as a pocket guide for knowing digital advertising lingo. We’ve included all the most commonly used and important terms for online advertisers to know!

Knowing and understanding what these terms mean can significantly benefit your work and help you better understand what is happening in the digital marketing world around you. Check out our full digital advertising terminology below!

P.S. Need help getting your digital advertising strategy off the ground? WebFX has a team of Google Ads Certified experts that can help. Contact us online or call us today at 888-601-5359 to speak with a strategist about our digital advertising services!

Digital advertising terms and glossary

First on our list of digital advertising terms, let’s look at all the advertising terms



A/B test:
The method of building two different ad versions, running both of them, and then comparing the results to see which version performed better. The objective of these tests is to determine which variables positively affect user response and utilize those in our ads down the road.

Above the fold:
Term used to describe the area of an online page visible to users before they have scrolled down on a page. The size of “the fold” is not static and can vary depending on the device or resolution.

Ad tech: 
Advertising technology, also known as ad tech, is any technology that gives ad makers the resources to control their ads and ad placement. A few examples of ad tech include Adroll and Tapad.

A set of rules to follow while completing calculations or other operations that are built by humans but run by computers. An example is Google’s search engine ranking algorithm. In terms of advertising, Google uses an algorithm to determine the relevance of an ad, which impacts where it displays.

Alternative text:
Descriptive text added to pictures to make the page more accessible for readers and help search engine crawlers understand the context of images.

Artificial Intelligence (AI):
AI is the development of technology that can perform tasks related to human intelligence. This artificial technology can handle tasks such as visual perception, speech recognition and decision making.

Your audience is the people you are trying to reach with your ads. You can define your audience based on demographics, socioeconomic status, and more characteristics.

Audience targeting:
The act of separating your consumer base into groups based on similarities in the users so you can customize ads for these specific groups.



B2B digital advertising:

Business-to-business (B2B) digital advertising refers to any paid means of promoting a B2B company through online channels. Includes any paid online promotions for a business, including paid search advertising, display advertising, paid social advertising, Gmail advertising, and YouTube advertising.

Banner ad:
A display ad that appears as a clickable banner on a website. These banner ads typically contain both text and images and link to the advertiser’s page.

Behavioral retargeting

Behavioral retargeting refers to a strategy in which you target a segment of people that have previously visited your website, didn’t convert, but show a strong interest in your products or services.

A list of users, advertisers, or publishers you excluded or want to exclude from seeing one of your ad campaigns.

Bounce rate:
The number of times a user left your page without interacting with it divided by the total number of visitor sessions. A high bounce rate often points to a lack of quality information on the page, but it could also mean a user found exactly what they wanted to find and left.

Brand awareness:
The extent to which a consumer can identify a specific product, service or business without any research needed. Brand awareness is one of the primary objectives of digital marketing, as it’s fundamental to earning sales down the line.



Call to action (CTA):
A clickable button or text phrase found in an ad that encourages the audience to take a specific action. Some examples are “Click Here” or “Request A Quote.” These buttons help guide users to the next step and move them down the sales funnel.

A marketing effort typically built to accomplish a particular goal or promote a specific product or service. Businesses want to construct campaigns that tie into the company’s main goals, like driving revenue, conversions, engagement, or traffic.

An outlet used to distribute ads to an audience. Examples of distribution channels in marketing can range from radio to pay-per-click (PPC) advertising to social media advertising.

Click-through rate:
Click-through rate (CTR) is the number of times a user clicks on an ad or search result divided by the total number of people that viewed the ad or search result.

A specific action an advertiser wants a user to take after coming across their ad. When a user completes that action, advertisers mark it as a conversion for their site. Conversions can be anything from making a purchase to creating an account.

Conversion rate:
Conversion rate is a metric calculated by dividing the number of total conversions by the total number of visitors to a website.

Information that is placed and kept on a user’s browser. Once the user accesses the site, cookies work to track the user’s preferences and behaviors and use them for targeting purposes later.

Competitor geofencing advertising:

Geofencing allows you to target people within a virtual fence to receive advertisements. Competitor geofencing places that virtual fence around your competitor’s locations so that people will receive ads for your business when they are within a competitor geofencing zone.

Text within an ad meant to provide information to users and encourage them to convert.

Cost per Acquisition (CPA):
The cost of acquiring a single customer. This metric is calculated by dividing the total spend on a campaign by the number of customers acquired.

Cost per Click (CPC):
A metric that gives you, on average, how much advertisers pay for each click they get on an ad. You can calculate this metric by dividing the total spend by the number of clicks.

Cost per Lead (CPL):
How much an advertiser pays for each conversion or lead generated by their campaign. You can calculate CPL by dividing the total spend by the number of leads or conversions generated.

Cost per Thousand (CPM):
How much it costs an advertiser to have 1000 impressions or views for their ad. CPM is typically measured for campaigns where brand awareness is the goal.

Cost per View (CPV):
The price an advertiser pays each time a user plays a video ad for at least 30 seconds. It’s calculated by dividing the total spend by the total number of video plays.



Digital advertising:

Digital advertising is an advertising strategy designed to promote businesses, products, and services through online channels. Digital advertising gives advertisers the ability to drive revenue by focusing on moving users through the buying funnel and making data-driven decisions.

Display advertising:
Ads containing text, image or video that advertisers place on websites, apps and social media. Display ads take users to the advertiser’s web page once someone clicks on the ad.

The name of a website that appears in the search bar when you click on a website. Some examples include or

Domain authority:
A metric used to track the quality of a website. Domain authority also describes how much influence a domain has.

Dynamic ads:
A type of ad personalized based on the person who sees it. These ads are used to improve ad performance because they’re tailored to the viewer.



Email advertising:
Ads appear in users’ inboxes when viewing on desktop. These ads typically appear to look like another email in their inbox, but are tagged with an “ad” label.

Ecommerce Digital Advertising:

Ecommerce digital advertising is a strategy that focuses on promoting your website and products through digital channels. These channels allow you to track data and make decisions based on that information.


The number of times a specific customer views the same ad within a set time. Ad frequency is calculated by looking at the number of views the ad received in a particular device’s browser.

Frequency capping:
The act of limiting the number of times a user views the same ad within a specific time period.



Geographic targeting:
Choosing an audience for a campaign based on geographic variables like cities, states, and zip codes.

Geofencing is the use of GPS technology to create a virtual fence around a specific geographic
region, enabling your software to send ads to users once they enter the designated geofence area. Targeted users will be eligible to receive ads up to 30 days after entering the geofence region.


The title that appears at the top of your landing page once someone clicks on your ad. Your heading tells users what to expect on the landing page.



The total number of times an ad is shown to users. Impressions are counted regardless of whether people click on it.

Internal Links:
Internal links go from one page on a website to another page on the same website. These links help guide people to relevant pages.



Key performance indicator (KPI):
The metric or metrics you want to use to measure the success of a campaign. You choose KPIs based on the ultimate goals of the campaign.

A word or phrase relevant to a topic that advertisers choose to target to reach people who are likely to search those terms. If a user searches a keyword, ads targeting those keywords will appear in search results.

Keyword research:
The process of using data to determine what keywords users search when trying to find your business. Keyword research helps you identify the right terms to target your ads and reach the right people.



Landing page:
Pages explicitly built for advertisers to take users to once they click on a paid search or display ad. To get the best results from an advertising campaign, a custom landing page works best for keeping leads focused.

Someone who expresses an explicit interest in the products or services you offer. Leads are often people who give you their contact information through a form submission on your website.



Mobile ads:
Ads that advertisers design to appear only on mobile devices.



Native ads:
Native ads appear on websites where the ad content and the content surrounding it are similar. The goal is for ads to blend into the content and have users clicking on the ads without even realizing they’re ads.



Online advertising:

Online advertising is the practice of promoting a business and its products or services via online ads. Online ads can appear on search engines, social media networks, email newsletters, video streaming sites, and more.



Paid search:
The practice of placing ads directly on search engine result pages (SERPs). Paid search ads can appear at the top and bottom of the SERPs and help drive qualified traffic for your business.

Pay-per-click (PPC):
A payment method for advertising where advertisers pay each time someone clicks on their ad. PPC ads enable you to control your budget so you only pay when interested leads click on your ads.

Premium ad inventory:
Ads in which the data suggests they work well and are thus deemed high quality. Premium ad inventory will be a higher price than other inventory.

Programmatic Advertising

Programmatic advertising is the process of automating online ad management through artificial intelligence (AI) to automate and expedite the ad buying and selling process.

Programmatic marketing

Programmatic marketing is an advanced marketing strategy that uses automated, real-time bidding to purchase ad inventory and allows you to advertise to specific users in a specific context resulting in hyper-targeted and effective ads.

Any website that puts out content. They often get paid for the traffic they bring in by selling ads on their site.



Percentage of the advertiser’s intended audience exposed to at least one of the advertiser’s display ads.

The practice of targeting users who visited your website and left without buying via display ads on other websites. The display ad usually shows the last item browsed or an item recently put in the cart for checkout.

Return on Advertising Spend (ROAS):
How much revenue you make for each dollar spent on ads. ROAS can help you see if your ads drive revenue for your business.

Return on investment (ROI):
Typically calculated as total revenue divided by total costs. ROI is critical to watch to ensure that your ads are effective and drive results for your business.



Search engine crawler:
A program used by search engines to gather and interpret data from pages on a website before the search engine indexes the site.

Search engine optimization (SEO):
The practice of altering web pages to maximize the number of visitors to that page by ranking higher on SERPs. SEO and PPC are often used together to help businesses increase presence in search results.

Social advertising:
Running paid ads on social media platforms like InstagramLinkedIn and Facebook. Social media advertising enables you to put ads in users’ feeds and help them discover your company.

Static ad:
Static ads are ads that contain permanent content that’s only assembled once. These ads can appear in multiple formats, including images, videos, and animations.



Title tags:
The sizeable blue anchor text that appears on search engine results pages that provide details of what to expect on the page. Title tags impact whether people click on your ads.



Unique visitor:
The number of individual users that have been to a site. If the same user visits a site three times, it is only counted as one unique visitor.

User experience (UX):
UX is the practice of understanding user needs and creating online experiences that provide a good experience for users. With UX, you focus on delivering an experience that keeps users happy and engaged.

User intent:
What an online user wants to find by entering their search query.


Grow your digital advertising know-how

Now that you know all these digital marketing terminology, you have a better understanding of the world of digital advertising. If you’re still feeling overwhelmed with trying to set up your advertising campaigns, WebFX can help.

WebFX is a full-service digital marketing agency with over a decade of experience in the digital landscape. We pride ourselves on being a Google Premier Partner and an Inc. 5000 company that is constantly working to improve our processes and results.

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If you’re ready to start driving more revenue for your business through digital advertising, contact us online or call us today at 888-601-5359 to speak with a strategist about our digital advertising services!