Posting Dates:

October 2011
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Internet Advertising Abbreviations

Below you will find the most common Internet Advertising Abbreviations:

CPM: Cost per impression; the cost of an online advert per thousand views. The M stands for the Roman Numeral representing 1,000. For example, in banner advertising you pay for each 1,000 ad views your banner receives.

So CPM = C=Cost P=Per M=1,000.

CPC: Cost per click; aka PPC: Pay per click; this is an online advertising model used to direct traffic (human eyeballs) to websites, where advertisers pay the publisher (website owner) when the ad is clicked. Among CPC/PPC providers, Google AdWords, Yahoo! Search Marketing and Microsoft adCenter are the 3 largest network operators, and all 3 operate under a bid-based model. That means that advertisers paying these sites typically bid on keyword phrases relevant to their target market. So if you’re a social media consulting firm, you would bid on search terms like “social media” “social networking”, “social media consulting”, etc.

CPL: Cost per lead; is an online advertising model in which the advertiser pays for an explicit sign-up from a consumer interested in the advertised offer. In contrast to the aforementioned models, advertisers only pay for qualified sign-ups making CPL pricing models the holy grail of the online advertising ROI hierarchy.

CPA: Cost per action; an online advertising pricing model, in which the advertiser pays for each specified action (a purchase, a form submission, etc) linked to an advertisement. As opposed to brand marketing, direct response advertisers consider CPA the optimal way to buy online advertising, as an advertiser only pays for the ad when the desired action has occurred.

CPA is sometimes referred to as “cost per acquisition“, which typically has to do with acquiring new customers with advertising. Using the term “cost per acquisition” instead of “cost per action” is not incorrect in such cases, but not all “cost per action” offers can be referred to as “cost per acquisition“.


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