Digital Marketing: Common Terms

A common question we hear is “What’s the industry standard for ROI and CTR?”
Our common response is “It depends.”


The reason for this is that digital is a BIG media option, it’s not banner ads on one type of platform to the same type of person. Each ad, each campaign, has separate goals and objectives. Just like each person is unique in their own way, every one of our marketing plans is custom to the client and the objectives with their brand. We develop layers in our plans, which act as a funnel, building awareness, interest, a decision and then a sale. One thing alone can not do it. It’s repetition, strategic design and communication that lead to ROI.

Another common questions is “Do you have definitions of the digital terms you use?” Below is a quick cheat sheet to help everyone out:

  • Landing Page – This is a specific page on a website that relates to the banner ads that have been developed. If a consumer clicks on a banner ad they should land on your website with a similar visual and copy.

  • CTR – Click through rate. CTR is a percentage of clicks to impressions. Each industry is different, but it can range from 0.05%-0.10% for display ads (in the Awareness part of the funnel above) to upwards of 1.00%-2.00% for search and retargeted ads (in the Decision/Sales parts of the funnel). What’s key to remember is that the number of impressions delivered remains important, just as print ads or billboards lead to increased awareness and sales.

  • CPC – Cost per click. How much it costs per click for a given campaign.

  • CPM – Cost per impression. How much it costs per 1,000 impressions for a given campaign.

  • KPI – Key performance indicator. Over time, this has become the new “norm” for each campaign as basing results solely on a single measure doesn’t paint the whole picture. A KPI is campaign specific and is dependent on a number of factors.

  • Programmatic – Machines and algorithms are buying and selling display ad inventory on thousands of websites (mobile, video, social, apps, etc.).

  • Retargeting/Remarketing – A pixel is placed on a website and when a consumer visits the site, the pixel is able to follow that consumer onto a network of sites with ad inventory and present banner ads related to a product or service.

  • Viewability – An ad is only good if someone can see it. Bots have been created that can trick machines into thinking a banner ad has been seen by a consumer. You must be aware of this and protect your campaigns.

  • Display Ads – Banner ads that appear on websites, apps, and mobile sites that consumers click on to learn more or take an action.

  • Native Ads – Paid media placements that resemble the publication or digital platform’s editorial content. Produced by the advertiser or in partnership with the publisher, native experiences may include articles or videos matching the form, style and function of the editorial content.