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Online Advertising Glossary
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Glossary

CTR (Click Through Rate)
The ratio of clicks to impressions, expressed as a percentage.  For example, if an ad gets clicked 3 times for each 100 impressions, then the ad has a 3% CTR.

CPC (Cost Per Click)
The price that an advertiser pays per click on an ad.

CPM (Cost Per 1,000 Impressions)
The price the price that an advertiser pays per 1,000 impressions.

CPA (Cost Per Action)
The price that an advertiser pays per action.  An “action” is whatever the advertiser defines it to be, so it could be a sale of their product, a lead that has been generated, the completion of a survey, etc.

Conversion
An advertiser-desired action taken by someone who has clicked on an ad.  For example when a prospect buys a product and becomes a customer, the visitor has been “converted’ from a prospect into a customer.  In that example, each product sale is a conversion.  A “conversion” can be whatever the advertiser defines it to be, so it may be a sale of their product, the generation of a lead, the completion of a survey, etc. (The word “conversion” is synonymous with the word “action” in the definition of CPA above)

CR (Conversion Rate)
The rate at which website visitors convert, expressed as a percentage.  For a more detailed explanation, please visit the FAQ.

Impression
A single display of an ad.  If an online ad is displayed 1,000 times (say because 1,000 people visited the web page containing the ad), then the ad received 1,000 impressions.

POF
Acronym for PlentyOfFish.com, the world’s largest free dating website.  Their self-serve ad platform can be accessed at ads.pof.com.

ROI
Return On Investment

Split Test
A test in which two or more “subjects” are run simultaneously on live traffic to compare their performance.  The subjects involved could be ad variations, targeting options, landing pages, or anything else you can think of.