Online Marketing Definitions

Common Ad Types

  • Static Ad – an ad with text, or text and image(s), that remains unchanged the entire time it is displayed.
  • “Flash” Ad – an ad that includes motion (animation, changing images, etc.). “Flash” refers to the name of the platform that is used to create the animation.
  • Video Ad – similar to a Flash ad, except that it utilizes video, not animation. 
  • Banner Ad – a rectangular ad, much wider than it is tall.  Usually at the top of a webpage, but not exclusively. Can be static or Flash.
  • Skyscraper Ad – a rectangular ad, much taller than it is wide.  Usually found along the side of a webpage. Can be static or Flash.
  • Tile Ad – a square, or slightly rectangular ad, of varying sizes.  Can be found in various places on a webpage. Can be static, Flash, or video.
  • Interstitial Ad – a full page ad that appears before the user reaches the webpage they were navigating to. Can be static or Flash.
  • Expanding Ad – an ad that temporarily expands (generally pushing content further down the page).  Flash ad.
  • Floating Ad – an ad that moves across the screen, or appears to float above the content. Flash ad.
  • Pop-up Ad – an ad that opens a new window on top of the current one to display the ad. Generally a static ad, sometimes Flash.


Directories & Listings for Real Estate

  • Directories – websites such as CityRealty, NYBits, Urban Sherpa and the NY Times have directories of buildings and/or owners, managers, etc.  They generally give a brief overview of the building or owner/manager, with contact information (website and/or phone).
  • Real Estate Listings – can be found on a variety of websites.  Some websites charge the landlords for the listings (e.g. the NY Times), while most other websites take free listings (e.g. NY Bits). Sites like HotPads allow individuals to list for free, but require premium (paid) programs for apartment communities.  There are AIVs (Apartment Information Vendors) who take the landlord's listings for free, but charge the tenant for access to those listings (e.g. RDNY (formerly Some websites, like Naked Apartments are free for tenants, but will charge the landlord or broker for each lead that they receive from the website. The amount of information, and format, for each of these websites varies.  A few websites (most notably StreetEasy and NYBits) publish an archive of past listings, including the advertised prices.
  • Listings Syndication – dissemination of listings to a variety of websites.  Some sites can be fed the information electronically, while others require manual entry.  Listings are generally updated once a week, sometimes more frequently.
  • Listings Optimization – getting your listings to appear at the top of a user’s search results, and improving how the listing displays.  “Tricks of the trade” include adding information not accepted in a standard electronic feed, using HTML code to customize the look of the listing (lists, bullet points, etc.), updating/reposting frequently and more.


Contextual Advertising

  • Contextual Advertising – a form of targeted advertising used on websites, mobile phones, etc.  The ads are selected and served by automated systems. The advertiser is paying for ads that will target users based on geographic data (geo-targeting), demographics, and/or behavior. Some ad networks (see below) use contextual advertising.

Pay-per-Click ads (see below) are one form of contextual advertising, using keyword searches.

Contextual advertising systems can also scan the text of a website, and return ads based on what the user is viewing on the page. 

Other systems use click stream data to determine which ads the user sees.  Click stream data is a record of the clicks you made prior to, and while, you are on a particular website.  For example, if you were visiting a golf website prior to a website using contextual advertising, an ad for golf equipment may appear.


Ad Networks

  • Ad Network – basically, a collection of websites who want to run ads. The ad network is run by a single company. The websites in an ad network may or may not have related content (e.g all real estate websites). Smaller websites may use an ad network for all of their ads, rather than sell the ad space themselves.  Larger websites may use an ad network for their “remnant” ad inventory.

There are 3 forms of ad networks:

  1. Targeted Networks – use technology to serve up ads based on page content or user behavior keyword searches, or click stream data.
  2. Rep Networks – the network represents a portfolio of websites, and the advertiser knows on which sites their ads will run.
  3. Blind Networks – very inexpensive, usually bulk buys.  Advertiser has no control over what websites the ads appear on.


Pay-per-Click Advertising

  • Paid Ads – ads that appear above, and to the side, of the organic search results when someone uses a search engine. You only pay if the user clicks on the ad. Organic Search Results are the results that are returned to the user when they look for information using a search engine such as Google. Organic search results are related to SEO work.
  • Positioning – refers to how high in the list of paid ads your ad appears. Positioning is based on a bid system, where you compete against other advertisers for your ad to appear when users enter selected keywords to their searches.



  • SMS  – stands for Short Message Service.  Essentially, it’s a common text message, limited to 160 characters.
  • MMS – stands for Multimedia Message Service.  This extends the capability of an SMS by adding pictures, video, etc.
  • Mobile Website – a “stripped down” version of a website, optimized for viewing on smartphones such as the Blackberry.  Minimal advertising is available.

With the advent of the iPhone and other smartphones with full browser capabilities, touchscreens,  and faster download times (and apps, see below), the need for a mobile website is diminishing.  However, they are by no means obsolete.

  • Apps (applications) – basically software that can be downloaded onto your smartphone.

Unlike a mobile website which needs to compatible with all mobile phones, an app is written to maximize the experience on a specific phone.  Consequently, they offer a much more interactive experience, and are often much faster than using a mobile website. The line between mobile websites and apps continues to blur.



Social Media: Twitter

  • Tweet – a post that is sent by someone to the people that follow that person or business. Followers see tweets on their Twitter page, and can receive them as an SMS text message.

The act of sending a tweet is called tweeting. Tweets are limited to 140 characters, and they can contain website URLs.  Both individuals and businesses can use Twitter equally.

Tweets from the people you are following can be found on your personal Twitter home page.  You can also see them on that person’s Twitter page.  Tweets are also searchable by subject matter, by both members and non members.

  • Retweet – to take a tweet from someone you are following, and tweet it to all of your followers.  This allows you to share tweets you like, and spreads the original tweet virally.


Social Media: Facebook

  • Facebook Fans – individuals who have chosen to follow a business, through reading that organization’s posts on their fan page.  Users choose to follow you by clicking on a button on the fan page. 
  • Facebook Friends – individuals who have mutually agreed to be Facebook friends, allowing you to view information on their profile, follow each other’s postings, post on each other’s wall, etc.  Either party can request to be a friend, but the other party must accept the request.

You can find people that wish to request to be friends with by a variety of methods.  These include searches for names and email addresses, workplace, high school, college, etc., as well as networks that people belong to (geographical, work-related, school-related, etc.).  You can also view a list of everyone your friends are friends with, and view a list of everyone who is a fan of a particular business/organization. Friends will also be suggested to you on your homepage, based on mutual friends and/or demographic information.

  • “Wall” – this is a place on your fan page, or personal profile page, where fans and friends can post messages.  You can also post status updates (messages) on your wall.  Posts on your wall are fed to your fans’ and friends’ news feeds.
  • “News Feed” – this appears on every user’s homepage, and it contains posts from their friends’ walls, status updates, updates to your friends’ profiles, notices about pages your friends’ have become fans of, and more.
  • Facebook Fan Page – this is a public profile on Facebook for use by businesses, celebrities, etc. that allows your customers to follow you, and interact with you. 

You should post regularly on your “wall,” which is where your “fans” can view your posts.  Your posts also will appear in their “news feed.” Fan pages can be found by doing searches on Facebook, and by looking at the pages your Facebook friends are fans of. When a Facebook friend becomes a fan of a page, a notice will appear in all of their friend’s news feed.

A drawback of a fan page is that you are very limited in how you can solicit fans.  People can find you through searches for keywords on Facebook, through notices in their news feed that a friend has become a fan of your page, or by placing PPC ads on Facebook with a link to your fan page and/or a “Become a Fan” link in the ad.  They may also find you if you show up as a “suggestion” on their wall.  A suggestion is based on your profile information (demographics), and the pages your friends are fans of.

  • Facebook Personal Page – this is a profile only for individuals, which contains a variety of personal information, status updates, wall postings, and more. You can limit what information can be viewed by the public, as well as by friends, or by different groups of friends.

While technically not allowed, a business can create a personal page by creating a page for an individual, who just happens to talk a lot about where he works (the company).


Pricing Structure & Results Measurement

  • CTR – Clickthrough Rate.  The percentage of impressions that actually on the ad to go to your website.
  • Conversions/Goal Conversions – the number of people who complete a given action, e.g. filling out a contact form, calling a phone number, purchasing an item, signing up for a newsletter.  Goals are user defined, but must be measurable.
  • CPM – Cost per Mille (thousand).  This is the cost for 1000 impressions in a set time frame.
  • CPA – Cost per Action. This is the cost every time a user performs a specific action (filling out a form, signing up for an account, etc.). 
  • CPL – Cost per Lead. Another terms for CPA.
  • PPC – Cost per Click.  Cost for every click through to a specific website/webpage.
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