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A guide to blogging ad jargon

If you see the word “programmatic” and feel the need to run, then it may be time to acquaint yourself with blogging ad jargon – especially if you’re a blogger hoping to monetize your business.

The world of online marketing can seem tough to navigate if you are more into cooking than computing. Still, being good at your business means knowing how to get people to land on your landing page. If you are looking to get more clicks on your blog but you are lost when it comes to web lingo, here is an easy-to-follow guide to get you started on your ad jargon journey.

Ad impressions

Make a good impression! If you want your ad to stand out on the information superhighway, you’re going to need to see how it measures up against all the other bumper to bumper traffic. Luckily, Ad Impressions are a common way of figuring out if your ads are working for you by calculating your web traffic.

According to Media Post, when a user loads a specific page an impression is created and the ad server is notified to load an image. This metric tracks how much the ad is being displayed. If you’re wondering if people are flocking to look at your fondue cookbook rather than your ad for your awesome asparagus recipe, you can check out the impressions.


If the world of online advertising has stopped making sense, this Google program is the go-to helping hand. AdSense is a Google program,which allows site owners to rent advertisement space out on their blog. Different companies can compete for different ad spots based on set bids. It’s sort of like an Air B&B for little spots on your website so you can make a little revenue.

Are you a master at mixing up cake batters that have people drooling? Perhaps ads for mixing bowls, cake mixers, or display trays would be the perfect guests for your site. AdSense courts these guests and finds the ones who will pay you the best price while being the most interesting to your cake baking audience, bringing you clicks galore. The more clicks you get on these advertisements, the more money you make.


If AdSense is like an Air B&B for your site’s advertisement, then AdWords is a realtor, finding you the highest bidder. This Google program is used in conjunction with AdSense. It auctions off advertising space, Ebay style, in relation to the top Google searches.

According to Wordstream advertisers decide which keywords relate to their product and if your site has the goods, they put in a bid to park an ad in your space. But before they get the keys to the castle, this program does a bit of a background check, ranking their metrics and how interesting the ad would be to your followers. With all this information, your ad realtor can determine if they are the right advertiser for you, and how much you should charge for first and last months rent. An advertiser with a better score pays less, because, by reputation, you know you won’t be needing the security deposit. An unknown pays more upfront because who knows what they might do to the carpet. All in all, AdSense helps you find the right ads for your site and get the best price.

CPA (cost-per-action or cost-per-acquisition)

This method of advertising allows businesses to have more control over their advertising costs. The CPA model means “a commissioner is paid when a user takes a specific action,” according to Backlinko.

CPA generally costs more than CPC (see below), but it is generally regarded as the best way to monetize. But, as with most of the advertising techniques on this page, the best one for your blog is going to depend on what you are looking to accomplish with ads. If your goal is to promote a cookbook, drive subscriptions to your newsletter or encourage users to download a tutorial, then you probably want to consider the CPA model.

CPC (cost-per-click)

If you are looking to get in the mix of clicks, then you need to get the 411 on CPC, or Cost Per Click. This metric is the amount an advertiser will pay to a page owner every time their ad is clicked on. As shown in Wordstream, your valuable web page price is tabulated by a number of factors: the quality score of the advertiser, the amount they bid, and the competition there is for the specific keyword being used.

For example, if your site is a BBQ bonanza and a popular keyword is meat, then the price of a click on your site goes up. Or if an unknown company wants to make a big splash and wrestle away ad space from a big box store, they might pay mucho dinero for their right to get clicks on your page. Keeping track of the CPC can determine how much your site can rake in from ads.

CPE (cost-per-engagement)

If you are looking for a guaranteed profit for renting space on your site, this method of online advertising metrics tips the scales in your favor. With Cost Per Engagement the payout comes no matter how your followers see the ad. Let’s face it – no one likes a pop-up ad invading their screen. With CPE, no matter how fast a viewer makes the promotion disappear, you can still get paid. According to The Online Advertiser, it doesn’t matter whether your user closes out the ad, mutes the sound, or makes a purchase, it all counts as an interaction. If it loads, you’re gonna be loaded. So let your viewers swat away those pop-ups. With CPE, you still get paid.

CPM (cost per 1000 impressions)

Sure, artisanal this and that is en vogue, but if we’re being honest, the best way to shop is in bulk. CPM, is like the Costco of ad buys for your page. CPM (cost per thousand), according to Investopedia is the most common method of charging in web marketing. Rather than paying per click, an advertiser pays a bulk rate for a bunch of impressions. They stock up on impressions like paper towels, or cans of soup in wintertime. At a set price, which is often lower than a la carte. An ad buyer might pay 5 dollars for every 1,000 impressions, instead of per click.

Learn how to calculate CPM here.

CSE (customer search engine)

If your site is a great source of information for cooking up a storm, a custom search engine will help lead your viewers to the recipes of their liking without having to wade through pages aimlessly. With a platform like Google, you can create your own search engine on your page. You can use this tool to gather information about what users are entering into the engine and use it for your analytics. That way if they are searching for baked goods more than for brisket you can ramp up your recipes in the cookie department.

DSP (demand side platform)

Ever had a missed connection? Seen someone you know you’d be the perfect match for but you lost your nerve? Or maybe you have the perfect networking opportunity but you’re out of business cards? DSP has matchmaking for advertisers on lockdown. This platform finds an advertiser’s target audience in real-time and places an ad before a user walks out the proverbial door. According to G2, this platform helps target the right user, and places the ad, lickety-split, before the user leaves the page.

Header bidding

In the world of online marketing, Header Bidding is advertising for the high rollers who like to take chances. Header Bidding is when ad space is auctioned off and the advertisers buy ads before the ads have even loaded. According to Ad Profs all the impressions are auctioned off before anything is even seen. With this roll of the dice, the advertisers are betting that your viewers are going to love their wares, before they have even loaded the page. This is a win-win for advertisers, who want to lock down ad space and for you, the site owner, who are guaranteed to make some revenue.

RTB (real-time bidding)

In a world of instant gratification, sometimes it takes a computer to do a man or woman’s job. In the realm of online marketing, with RTB it is possible for advertisers to buy and post ads while the user is still shopping on that page. Real time bidding makes use of our quicker AI counterparts by letting these platforms help advertisers buy ads in real-time as users are clicking on and loading pages. According to Digi Day, one example would be a consumer shopping on Zappos for shoes. If an advertiser gets this information while the user is visiting the page, they can buy an ad for a corresponding site like Amazon, which would load as the consumer is browsing. Likewise, if someone was visiting your page of delicious smoothie recipes, they could instantly post an ad for a Nutri Bullet.

RPM (revenue per 1000 impressions)

When it comes to ads, some viewers like certain content more than others. If you are looking to monitor what your crowd is digging when they devour your blog, RPM can tell you by the impressions instead of the dolla dolla bills in your bank account. Tech Terms explains that using the RPM form of measurement helps to discover which ads are generating more impressions and therefore more money. One ad may generate 10,000 hits a day whereas the other only five. Now you know, no matter how much that ad is paying you per click, how effective it is for your target audience.

Learn how to calculate RPM here.

Win rate

You gotta be in it to win it. And when the smoke clears away to reveal the champion, marketing wise, it’s the win rate.

This metric measures an advertiser’s success in auctions up against other advertisers. If two companies are bidding for precious space on your page, say for the Black Friday holiday season, one may be winning out more than another. The win rate can help a company reassess what bidding is working by looking at impressions won versus the impressions bid on. So if they keep trying to get an ad on your pasta site, but they are falling short because they are a protein powder company, they can use the win rate to regroup and find another site, or find another way to get a win.

According to Adotas, when a marketing team has a high win rate, it shows the company there has been a thorough blanket of outreach during a heavy ad campaign. In other words, they are like Willy Loman, knocking on as many doors as they can, no matter how many sales they make.

Programmatic ads

If you’ve seen Black Mirror on Netflix, you know the machines are taking over. They even know you are reading this sentence this very minute. However, don’t hate. Sometimes their automaton computer brains come in handy, like with programmatic ads. A programmatic ad forgoes using salespeople and uses bytes to place ads for marketing purposes. According to Digi Day, using computers can speed up the process immensely and help with overall efficiency. If you have to place ads or sell ads by the bulk in record time, you may need Hal 2000’s special touch. Plus, computers can also detect a user’s browsing more quickly than a human monitoring the process. Computers -1, Humans – 0.

Google Analytics

If you are looking for a performance review for your web site, Google Analytics is a great gun for hire. This multitasking MVP of a platform is the most used analytics site on the World Wide Web…and for good reason. As Moz explains, some of the perks of Google Analytics include: which pages are performing the best, which outside sites are driving traffic to your site, which links are clicked on the most and which of your blog content is the most popular. You can get all this information from a few keystrokes. So when you want to know who to thank when you get an influx of newbies, or even how to attract more people to your new post, GA is your accomplice in slaying the competition.

Amazon Associates

If you’ve ever recommended a product to a friend and thought, “Wow, that company should give me a cut,” well now you’re in luck. Just for being an influencer on the information superhighway, Amazon Associates will make you money if you suggest certain products and link to them. AA (which is it’s own addiction) is a great way to monetize your blog by recommending products you already like. Are you in love with your Williams Sonoma wooden spoon? Crow about it and include a link. If a user clicks on your link and purchases the item, then you get a commission for giving props.

According to The Balance, the upside to being an Amazon Associate is that it is a user-friendly way to link to Amazon, which is a high-profile site that does a lot of business. Even if the user doesn’t buy the specific product you linked to but ends up buying something else, you will still get a percentage for the referral. Boom – money in the bank.

The downsides to this seemingly perfect scenario is that you can’t promote their links in email blasts and the payout has to reach a certain amount before you will see a check. Still, being affiliated with a huge corporation can help your site, and it’s an easy way to pad your wallet.

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