Retargeting Jargon Demystified

It’s finally here: the highly anticipated sequel to Retargeting 101! Okay, maybe I’m tooting my own horn a bit, but I know that this information isn’t the easiest to grasp. Even if you think you’ve got ad tech lingo in the bag, it’s always helpful to have a cheat sheet to refer back to in case you ever feel stumped.

If you’re like me, you double and triple-check the meanings of things to avoid looking like a fool. When I started, I didn’t know the difference between terms like CTR and CPC. No one wants to look like a fool.

I’ll go ahead and lay out the most commonly used terms. I’ll make it as simple and painless as possible. For a brief moment, you can pretend you’re back in elementary school scribbling down your vocab words and reading motivational sayings on cutesy bulletin boards. (BTW: You can do it!)

Retargeting Motivational Bulletin Board

What is a CPM?

CPM is the most common method for pricing web ads.
Cost per impression ($) = Advertising cost ($) ÷ Number of Impressions (#)
Cost per impression is often reflected as Cost per 1000 Impressions (CPM)

What is an Impression?

An impression is the display of an ad to a user while viewing a web page. A single web page may contain multiple ads. In such cases, a single page view would result in one impression for each ad displayed.

In order to count the impressions served as accurately as possible and prevent fraud, an ad server may exclude certain non-qualifying activities such as page-refreshes or other user actions from counting as impressions. When advertising rates are described as CPM, this is the amount paid for every thousand qualifying impressions served at cost.

Terms Related to Metrics:

eCPM: The effective cost per thousand is calculated by taking total earnings, dividing it by the number of impressions served and then multiplying it by 1,000.

CTR: The click thru rate is the number of times an ad was clicked divided by the number of impressions served (and multiplied by 100 to express as a percentage).

CPC: The cost per click is calculated by taking the total money spent divided by the number of clicks received for a campaign.

eCPA: The cost per acquisition is calculated by the campaign cost divided by the total of impressions served multiplied by the CTR multiplied by the conversion rate. The eCPA tells you what you would have paid if you had purchased ad inventory on a cost per action basis as opposed to CPC or cost per impression.

Feeling overwhelmed? Don’t worry. We’re about to wrap up.

Retargeting - Mind Blown Guy

What is a Conversion Goal?

A conversion goal is an event you’d like to see happen on your web site. It might be someone signing up for your service, or making a purchase. It’s the end goal you’re trying to track.

Examples of conversion goals:
Filling out a sign-up form and submitting it
Filling out a contact-us form and submitting it
Completing a purchase
Adding an item to a cart

What’s a Campaign?

A campaign is an advertising term that’s widely used to describe a bundle of configuration parameters for an advertising initiative. In the display advertising world, this bundle of specifics includes, but is not limited to:
The creative (banners)
A destination website when users click on the banner
Bid prices
Targeting rules (geography, device, time, context, demographic, etc.)


I know. That’s a lot of information to digest. If you still need some tutoring, don’t hesitate to contact the Meteora accounts team. We’ll also answer your most pressing questions about retargeting and what the Meteora platform can do for your business!


bulletin board photo credit: venspired via photopin cc
mind-blown dude photo credit: jugbo via photopin cc
main photo credit: margot.trudell via photopin cc

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