Glossary of Online
Advertising Terms

See the definition of all programmatic marketing terms you will need in your online advertising activity. Discover what is programmatic advertising, media buying, RTB and how they can help you with your marketing strategy.


Ad Blocker

A service to block online ads across different internet web pages.

Ad Exchange

An automated digital marketplace where advertisers and publishers buy and sell ad inventory in real time.

Ad Mediation

The process of traffic monetization that implies adding, managing and the optimization of digital ads coming from multiple demand partners. Read more.

Ad Network

A digital company that acts as an intermediary between publishers and advertisers. It helps publishers sell their inventory to advertisers at a fixed price across multiple websites. Ad networks also help advertisers buy targeted traffic while taking a fee for their service.

Ad Opportunity

An opportunity for ad impressions to happen. The term is usually used towards video ads.

Ad Request

The request that comes from the publisher to advertisers and signals that the user is ready to see the ad. The ad request comes up when the ad tag is loaded. The ad request contains information about the user who made an action on the web page or in the mobile app.

Ad Server

Web-based technology that allows to run, manage and optimize advertising campaigns. It hosts information about ads and ensures delivering advertising content to different digital platforms, websites and mobile apps.

Ad tag

A part of HTML code inserted into the code of the webpage that defines a place for an ad to be served.

Ad view

An ad view happens when the ad is downloaded from an ad server to the screen of the user.


Brand, company, or organization that places advertisements in order to promote its products or services to target potential customers.

Advertising Agency

A creative agency that offers advertising and marketing services to online and offline products. Ad Agencies create, plan and put into practice marketing strategies, manages ad campaigns and track the performance of various marketing activities.

Advertising Placement

A place on the webpage where the ad will be shown to the user. Check out the tips on ad placements.


Banner Ads

A format of standard multiscreen digital ads. The most common sizes of desktop banners are: 300x250, 160x600, 728x90; for mobile screens: 320x50, 300x50, etc.


A price that the advertiser offers for the specific ad impression when taking part in an RTB auction.


Technology that analyzes bid requests and responds with bids and creatives in real time.


Call to Action – (CTA)

Term that refers to an image, button, or a text designed to encourage users to make a specific action. The purpose of a CTA is to lead the user to the next step of sales or marketing funnel. It usually takes the form of a verb, for example, 'Buy Now', 'Register', 'Sign Up', 'Download' etc. To achieve maximum performance, make the CTA obvious.

Churn Rate

"The number of customers/users that you have lost during a given period of time compared to the total amount of customers/users that you had at the beginning of this period. This metric is usually represented in a percentage. You can calculate the churn rate for various periods of time – monthly, quarterly, annually etc."


A way of user's interaction with an ad when users presses a particular ad unit.

Click Through Rate (CTR)

The ratio that shows the percentage of users who clicked on the advertisement (in any form – link, banner, video, text ads etc.) compared to the number of times the ads have been shown. This metric is used to measure the effectiveness of an ad campaign – the higher is the CTR the better performing your ads are.


The term used once a user/visitor/target audience completes your desired goal – installs an application, clicks on the banner, registers, subscribes, makes a purchase etc. The percentage of total users compared to those who converted is called conversion rate.

Cost Per Acquisition (CPA)

Advertising metric used to measure the sum you need to spend to acquire a new paying user within a certain advertising channel. When the ad campaign is effective the cost of acquisition is low, and this is something the advertiser strives to achieve. It represents the success of your investments in the campaign.

Cost Per Click (CPC)

This is the pricing payment model when an advertiser pays a publisher for every click on their ads.

Cost Per Install (CPI)

The pricing model used in mobile ad campaigns when the advertiser pays each time a user installs the application from the publisher's ad. Check out the guides on successful CPI campaigns: Part I, Part II

Cost Per Mille (CPM)

This term stands for the cost of 1000 impressions of your advertisement. More effective to use for branding or awareness campaigns when you focus on reaching a wider audience but not on specific actions. Further reading: Starter guide to CPM, CPC, and CPA for publishers

Cross-channel advertising

Also known as multi-channel advertising, this term represents the practice of using multiple marketing channels to reach potential customers. An advertiser should create a cohesive marketing campaign to sound similar across various channels.

Cross-device advertising

The displaying of digital ads across different types of user's devices (mobile phones, laptops, tablets, TV, etc.). In cross-device ad campaigns, ad units are supposed to adjust to the size of the screen.


Data Management Platform

"Platform that collects and organizes digital data (including cookies) from multiple first-, second-, and third-party sources This is a necessary tool for marketers to get more insights about their customers to launch highly-targeted ad campaigns."

Demand-side platform

An automated programmatic platform that helps brands, advertisers and ad agencies buy traffic programmatically. It can create, run, measure, and optimize cross-screen advertising with multiple ad formats -- e.g. pop-ups, video, and native ads. Read more & find out why programmatic DSP should be in your 2019 marketing strategy.

Digital Advertising

Term applied to online advertising activities that include research, run, performance tracking and analyses of your online ad campaigns.


Effective CPM eCPM

A metric in digital advertising that equals the real price of every 1000 of impressions. eCPM is calculated by dividing ad spends to the number of impressions received, multiplied by a thousand. Find out the case study.


Fill Rate

The number of ad requests answered with ads divided by the number of ad requests sent, multiplied by 100%. Fill rate is measured in percentage (100% is the highest possible fill rate).

Frequency Capping

A term that specifies how many times a particular user sees a particular ad. Advertisers usually request to set up frequency caps, for example 3 ad views per user per day (24 hours), to prevent annoying the user. Moreover, it increases the campaign performance.



Targeting to a particular geographic location such as country, state, city, or zip.



Hypertext Markup Language, the code used to design web pages. Browsers read HTML and display the page in a user-friendly format. To view the HTML behind a web page, access the "View" menu on your browser and select "Source".


Request for a single file from a web server to a user's computer. Most web pages contain several files, including the HTML, graphics, ad calls, audio, etc., there would be many more true "hits" than page views, or impressions or unique visitors.



An ad unit shown to the user through web pages, social media, mobile apps and other digital channels. Impressions are the basic metric in online advertising.

In-app monetization

Monetization of mobile app inventory. In-app monetization usually refers to the process of selling ad placements to different demand partners.

In-Banner Video Ad

Banner advertising with embedded video content that can expand outside the banner dimensions. They are best complemented with IAB standard banner sizes.

In-Page Video Ad

A video ad unit that shows a dynamic video ad in the middle of editorial content.

In-Stream Video Ad

A video ad which is shown before, during or after the video that the consumer has requested (pre-roll, mid-roll, post-roll). In-stream video ads appear within a player environment and are usually 15 sec long.

In-Text Video Ad

A type of video ad that is placed in the editorial environments and starts playing only when 50% of the ad is visible to the user.


Interstitial ads are full-screen ad units displayed over the editorial content.


The volume of traffic available on a website. Inventory can also be defined as the number of visitors to a website in a particular period of time.


Javascript Tag

A <script> scri that is written in the Javascript web language. Javascript makes a web page dynamic. When built into the webpage code, Javascript tag serves ads to website visitors. With the JavaScript tag, the publisher can change the values and properties of the tag when the user clicks on a tag to modify the ad in that way.


Key Performance Indicators (KPI)

In online advertising this is the metric that calculates the results of advertising activities according to established goals.


Landing Page

Web page designed specifically for a certain advertising campaign or marketing activity. This is the destination page that users reach by clicking on an ad.

Lead Generation

An ad goal or the process of converting the targeted audience into customers.



The type of video ad that is put in the middle of a video which breaks its natural flow, ensuring high completion rates among users. As the user is engaged with the video content he is more likely to watch the mid-roll ad.

Mobile Advertising

The process of serving digital ad units to users on mobile screens. Mobile advertising implies the setup, managing and control over mobile ads handled by advertisers. This term usually refers to ads shown on mobile websites. The most popular mobile ad formats are mobile banners, smart banners, interstitial, in-feed etc.


The process of converting publisher's traffic into revenue by selling digital ad space to advertisers.


Native Advertising

Native advertising is a type of paid advertising where the ad seamlessly integrates to the form, feel and function of the content on the webpage and doesn't interrupt user experience. Further reading.



An ad overlay is a static banner placed inside a streamed video, usually on the footer of the video screen.



The delivery of a web page in a user's browser.

Performance Advertising

A type of online advertising focused on driving actions (conversions) to advertising campaigns. The most common conversions are: installs, purchases, registrations, subscriptions, etc.


An ad which suddenly appears in a small browser window in front of the original browser window.


An ad format, appearing after the main video content that keeps the user engaged for a few extra seconds.


An ad format, where video ads run before the desired content ensuring maximum viewability and engagement.


A software technology that uses machines and algorithms for the buying and selling of digital ad inventory. Programmatic is based on real-time bidding. Find out more.

Programmatic Advertising

Programmatic advertising, also known as programmatic media buying, is the automated process of the buying and selling of ad inventory in real time. Programmatic advertising provides access to user's data which gives a more precisely targeted ad campaign in comparison to RTB advertising. Read more.


One of the parties in online advertising that sells ad inventory to other parties. Websites, mobile apps, and social media are the most common publishers in the advertising ecosystem.


The type of clickable messages sent to user's, who subscribed to push notifications on their mobile or desktop.


Queries per second (QPS)

The term that defines the capacity of ad exchanges or ad networks and shows the number of bid requests that the ad server receives in one second.


Real-Time Bidding (RTB)

The process of buying and selling ad impressions in real time. A real-time auction where advertisers offer their bids to buy targeted ad impressions. The advertiser with the highest bid wins the impression. Read more.


The technology based on cookies that helps to track your websites visitors and shows them ads while they are surfing other websites. These type of ads help convert more visitors into clients by persuading them and showing them relevant products or services after they have left your site.

Return on Investment (ROI)

The ratio between the ad campaign profits and the budget invested in promotion. ROI is one of the basic metrics in performance-based marketing. Discover more.

Rich Media

Type of advertising that implies interactive content which engages and involves viewers – video, expandable banners, floating ads etc. It usually leads to higher conversion rates.


Sponsored Content

Type of native advertising in the form of suggested (brand-sponsored) articles or video content that appear on the publisher's site or in social media feeds. Sponsored content looks like an integral part of the website.

Supply-Side Platform (SSP)

A platform that enables publishers (websites, mobile apps, etc.) to organize and manage the process of selling their ad inventory to demand partners.



Mechanism that allows you to limit the appropriate audience that sees the ads based on certain criteria. Targeting may be based on geography, time of day, browser, operating system, or more sophisticated parameters such as age, gender, or exact zip code (if this information is known about the users).

Text Ad

The type of advertising that has a some form of text hyperlinks.

Tracking Code

A snippet of code that publishers add to the website to track conversions (as well as other important metrics), helps measure the performance of ad campaigns, and creates audiences for retargeting campaigns.


The number of visitors or page-views that the website receives during a certain period of time. It is important to have credible sources of traffic that is generated by potential customers/buyers in order to achieve a high level of conversions.


Unique Page Views

The number of pages seen on the website by every unique visitor.

User Acquisition

Strategy used to convert new users into customers via advertising. Check out the tips on effective app user acquisition.



Ad tag that sends information from the ad server to video players about which ad to play, for how long, whether it should be mute, and whether visitors can skip it.

Video Advertising

Advertising of the product/service presented in the form of a video. There are various types of video ads – instream, outstream, interactive. Lately, rewarded videos are a top performer and a well-paid type of ad for mobile applications.


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The return on investment generated by an advertising campaign, also known as ROI.


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