The jargon of digital advertising is thorough and interconnected. While many terms can be self-explanatory, such as “target audience” or “reach,” others need more contextualization. Continue reading to learn some misinterpreted terms you may come across.

When a user and potential customer opens an app or site and an advertisement is visible, it’s recorded as an impression. Impressions should not be confused with engagement, which is when a potential customer interacts with your ad. Impressions measure how often a single ad is viewed. Viewable display impressions are when ads are at least 50% visible on screen for at least one second, and viewable video impressions are when at least 50% of the ad is visible on screen while the video is playing for two seconds. Impressions are an important metric to use to gauge how my people are seeing your content, which can lead to higher engagement and reach.

Impressions may also be measured from native ads. This use of paid ads match the appearance, feel, and function of the media format in which they appear. Unlike display or banner ads, native ads do not appear to be advertisements. They appear to be part of the page’s editorial flow, and therefore seem native to the original page. For example, you may see content recommendations while reading an article on your favorite news site. This content is blended into the website’s content and looks natural – this is in fact native advertising!

You may use various types of advertising to reach a lookalike audience. While your target audience is who you definitely want your ads to reach, a lookalike audience shares similar characteristics, and may also be interested in your content. Lookalike audiences help expand your targeting based on your own data. Lookalike audiences may be used in online display, Facebook, mobile display, and virtually any other type of digital marketing campaign.

It is important to advertise your content to audiences strategically, which involves frequency capping. This term refers to the limit on the number of times an ad should be shown to an audience member within a specific time frame. You don’t want your content to become irritating or irrelevant to your audience by showing it too often or too rarely, but rather find a middle ground that keeps things interesting. Frequency capping is also a good strategy for ensuring that your budget isn’t used on ads that will be ignored. 

Ideally, when someone sees your ad, they will interact with it. The specific action that an advertiser wants a user to perform after seeing their ad is a conversion. When a user takes this action, marketers record it as a conversion. Conversions may range from a single click to a vote, depending on how your ad is constructed.

These terms only scratch the surface of the vast language of digital advertising! If you want to learn more about the extensive digital advertising vocabulary, you can download our all-inclusive eBook, The Definitive Digital Advertising Dictionary.