A/B Testing – Sometimes referred to as split testing

A/B Testing refers to using two different versions of a webpage, email, ad copy, etc. to see which one works better.

For the more versatile solutions, you might find the term A/x Testing, which means that more versions than two.

AM – Affiliate Marketing (traffic source)

Affiliate marketing is a type of performance-based marketing in which a business rewards one or more affiliates for each visitor or customer brought by the affiliate’s own marketing efforts. The industry has four core players: the merchant (also known as ‘retailer’ or ‘brand’), the network (that contains offers for the affiliate to choose from and also takes care of the payments), the publisher (also known as ‘the affiliate’), and the customer. The market has grown in complexity, resulting in the emergence of a secondary tier of players, including affiliate management agencies, super-affiliates and specialized third party vendors.

Banner / Display – Sometimes referred to as digital advertising (traffic source)

This a term often used for multiple things, but generally refers to advertising using banner ads on websites.

CPC – Cost Per Click

CPC refers to how much each click costs the advertiser when someone clicks on their paid ad. This abbreviation also sometimes refers to Cost Per Conversion, depending upon the context. Cost Per Conversion is another way of saying Lead Acquisition Cost. I prefer the latter terminology in order to avoid confusion.

CPL – Cost Per Lead

CPL used when the advertiser only pays for the acquisition of a qualified lead. Very clear parameters of what constitutes a “qualified” must be established beforehand, as well as extremely detailed tracking. Generally speaking, the CPL is used as a means to keep an Internet marketing vendor or department accountable for delivering results. Great in theory, but sometimes difficult to properly execute.

CPM – Cost per Mille

CPM is a metric that is often used in digital advertising, or banner ads, to refer to the price of an ad per 1000 impressions (Roman numeral M indicates one thousand, as well as the Latin ‘mille’, hence CPM). This is sort of the original way of selling digital advertising and is slowly moving out of fashion.

CR – Conversion Rate

CR is the percentage of visitors who take a desired action.

The desired action can take many forms, varying from site to site. Examples include sales of products, membership registrations, newsletter subscriptions, software downloads, or just about any activity beyond simple page browsing.

A high conversion rate depends on several factors, all of which must be satisfactory to yield the desired results — the interest level of the visitor, the attractiveness of the offer, and the ease of the process. The interest level of the visitor is maximized by matching the right visitor, the right place, and the right time. The attractiveness of the offer includes the value proposition and how well it is presented. It is worth noting that small, impulse items typically have a higher conversion rate than large, shopping items. The visitor’s ease of completing the desired action is dependent on site usability which includes intuitive navigation and fast loading pages.

CTA – Call to Action

CTA refers to something on a website that asks the visitor to take a specific action, such as clicking on a button, entering an email address, etc. When a visitor to a website clicks on a CTA, this is generally considered a conversion. Every website (and I mean EVERY website) should have at least one CTA.

CTR – Click Through Rate

CTR refers to the ratio of clicks over impressions. In other words how many times did people click through to your ad as a ratio compared to the number of times the ad was served up (impression). Generally expressed as a percentage.

EMM – Email Marketing (traffic source)

Email marketing is the act of sending a commercial message, typically to a group of people, using email. In its broadest sense, every email sent to a potential or current customer could be considered email marketing. It usually involves using email to send advertisements, request business, or solicit sales or donations, and is meant to build loyalty, trust, or brand awareness. Marketing emails can be sent to a purchased lead list or a current customer database. The term usually refers to sending email messages with the purpose of enhancing a merchant’s relationship with current or previous customers, encouraging customer loyalty and repeat business, acquiring new customers or convincing current customers to purchase something immediately, and sharing third-party ads.

EPC – Earnings Per Click

A metric used to indicate the average earnings generated as a result of 100 clicks on an affiliate marketing link or ad.

This metric typically refers to the amount of revenue that can be expected to be earned for every 100 clicks through to an affiliate link.

This metric is often displayed by affiliate marketing networks to help publishers evaluate and compare the earnings potential of different merchants.


Impressions refers to the number of times your ad has been served up as the result of a search query. In other words, a keyword that you have been targeting, whether through SEO or PPC, was used in a search and your website or add was shown in the results.

KPI – Key Performance Indicator

A performance indicator or key performance indicator (KPI) is a type of performance measurement. KPIs evaluate the success of an organization or of a particular activity in which it engages. Often success is simply the repeated, periodic achievement of some levels of operational goal (e.g. zero defects, 10/10 customer satisfaction, etc.), and sometimes success is defined in terms of making progress toward strategic goals. Accordingly, choosing the right KPIs relies upon a good understanding of what is important to the organization. ‘What is important’ often depends on the department measuring the performance – e.g. the KPIs useful to finance will differ from the KPIs assigned to sales. Since there is a need to understand well what is important, various techniques to assess the present state of the business, and its key activities, are associated with the selection of performance indicators. These assessments often lead to the identification of potential improvements, so performance indicators are routinely associated with ‘performance improvement’ initiatives.

PPC – Paid Per Click Advertising (traffic source)

PV – Page View

A page view (PV) or page impression is a request to load a single HTML file (web page) of an Internet site. On the World Wide Web, a page request would result from a web surfer clicking on a link on another “page” pointing to the page in question. This is in contrast to a hit, which refers to a request for any file from a web server. There may, therefore, be many hits per page view since an HTML page can contain multiple files—images, CSS, etc. On balance, page views refer to a number of pages viewed or clicked on the site during the given time.

Page views may be counted as part of web analytics. For the owner of the site, this information can be useful to see if any change in the “page” (such as the information or the way it is presented) results in more visits. If there are any advertisements on the page, the publishers would also be interested in the number of page views to determine their expected revenue from the ads. For this reason, it is a term that is used widely for Internet marketing and advertising.

ROI – Return on Investment

A performance measure used to evaluate the efficiency of an investment or to compare the efficiency of a number of different investments. ROI measures the amount of return on an investment relative to the investment’s cost. To calculate ROI, the benefit (or return) of an investment is divided by the cost of the investment, and the result is expressed as a percentage or a ratio.

For a single-period review, divide the return (net profit) by the resources that were committed (investment):

return on investment = Net income / Investment


Net income = gross profit – expenses.

investment = stock + market outstanding + claims.


return on investment = (gain from investment – cost of investment) / cost of investment


return on investment = (revenue – cost of goods sold) / cost of goods sold




RON – Run of network

Run of Network or RON is an ad buying option by which an ad appears and rotates on any websites and any pages of an ad network. On large ad networks a Run on Network buy is commonly a ”blind buy”, which refers to the situation where an advertiser buys advertising spaces without knowing where his campaign and ads are displayed. Blind buy is mostly used on performance based networks. These networks are partially constituted of publishers which usually sell by CPM. These publishers don’t want to reduce the perceived value of their advertising spaces by letting advertisers know that their advertising spaces can be accessible at a lower cost than the “official” one. Blind buy poses brand image risks for advertisers according to the type of publishers websites. By using a brand safety tool, an advertiser can sometimes know during and after the campaign what publisher websites have been used after a blind buy.

ROS – Run on Site

Run of site is an ad buying option by which an ad appears and rotates on any pages of the choosen site. In the case of a run of site buy, ads are typically delivered on less valuable pages, sections and placements. Therefore run of site inventory is sold at lower rates than premium inventory. Run of site inventories are bought by advertisers, but also by some ad networks which bulk buy for reselling at CPM, CPC or CPA. Retargeting networks are typically big buyers of ROS.

SEO – Search Engine Optimization (traffic source)

SEO is a series of tactics aimed at increasing your website’s visibility in search engine results – essentially, improving your chances of being found when patients are searching for the treatments and services you offer. A combination of on-site and off-site factors, the goal of any SEO campaign is to drive high-quality traffic to your website, outrank the competition and win new patients.

SEM – Search Engine Marketing (traffic source)

SEM is the process of gaining website traffic by purchasing ads on search engines. Google AdWords is by many measures the most popular paid search platform used by search marketers, followed by Bing Ads, which also serves a significant portion of ads on Yahoo. Beyond that, there are a number of “2nd tier PPC platforms” as well as PPC advertising options on the major social networks. In addition to covering general paid search trends, you can find the most recent news about SEM and helpful tips to get started with PPC ads on the major search marketing platforms below: Google: AdWords Bing Ads Yahoo: Search Ads Each platform offers its own getting started guides and helpful tutorials. Another beginner resource is Google’s Insider’s Guide To AdWords (PDF). Since the guide was last updated in 2008, the Google AdWords UI (user interface) has changed, along with several features, but the guide may still offer a useful introduction.

SMM – Social Media Marketing (traffic source)

SMM, by having an active social media presence has become an invaluable part of expanding your reach and establishing trust on the Web. An active Facebook, Twitter and Google+ allows you to build your own reputation and brand, establishing a relationship with patients and setting your practice apart from the competition.

SERP – Search Engine Result Pages

Search engine results pages are web pages served to users when they search for something online using a search engine, such as Google. The user enters their search query (often using specific terms and phrases known as keywords), upon which the search engine presents them with a SERP. Every SERP is unique, even for search queries performed on the same search engine using the same keywords or search queries. This is because virtually all search engines customize the experience for their users by presenting results based on a wide range of factors beyond their search terms, such as the user’s physical location, browsing history, and social settings. Two SERPs may appear identical, and contain many of the same results, but will often feature subtle differences. The appearance of search engine results pages is constantly in flux due to experiments conducted by Google, Bing, and other search engine providers to offer their users a more intuitive, responsive experience. This, combined with emerging and rapidly developing technologies in the search space, mean that the SERPs of today differ greatly in appearance from their older predecessors. ‘Organic’ Results SERPs typically contain two types of content – “organic” results and paid results. Organic results are listings of web pages that appear as a result of the search engine’s algorithm (more on this shortly). Search engine optimization professionals, commonly known as SEOs, specialize in optimizing web content and websites to rank more highly in organic search results.

SME – Small and Medium Enterprise

SME, Small and Medium Sized Enterprises, is a business segment term used differently in different countries, sometimes differently in different industries in the same country. In the US, any firm from a small-office home-office to a large corporation may be called a SME. More specifically, firms included in Russel indices such as Russel 2500 index and Russel Midcap index are classified as SMEs. In European Union, a firm with 50 to 250 employees, annual turnover of Euro 7 to 40 million, total assets less than Euro 27 million, and not more than 25 percent ownership by a large corporation, may be classified as a SME. The International Chamber Of Commerce defines a SME as having 100 to 2000 employees.

SMO – Social Media Optimization

Social media optimization (SMO) is the use of a number of social media outlets and communities to generate publicity to increase the awareness of a product, service brand or event. Types of social media involved include RSS feeds, social news and bookmarking sites, as well as social networking sites, such as Twitter, and video sharing websites and blogging sites. SMO is similar to search engine optimization, in that the goal is to generate web traffic and to a site and increase awareness for a website. In general, social media optimization refers to optimizing a website and its content to encourage more users to use and share links to the website across social media and networking sites. SMO also refers to software tools that automate this process, or to website experts who undertake this process for clients. The goal of SMO is to strategically create interesting online content, ranging from well-written text to eye-catching digital photos or video clips that encourages and entices people to engage with a website and then share this content, via its weblink, with their social media contacts and friends. Common examples of social media engagement are “liking and commenting on posts, retweeting, embedding, sharing, and promoting content. Social media optimization is also an effective way of implementing online reputation management, meaning that if someone posts bad reviews of a business, a SMO strategy can ensure that the negative feedback is not the first link to come up in a list of search engine results.

UV – Unique Visitor

Unique users is a common way of measuring the popularity of a website and is often quoted to potential advertisers or investors. A website’s unique users are usually measured over a standard period of time, typically a month. UV is an identifier of a computer, not a person. And usually, the computer is identified by a “cookie” which is most often specific to an individual browser on that computer. Since an increasing percentage of people in the United States (at least) now have access to a computer at home and at work or school, one may have to divide the reported total of unique users in half. Then, another increasing fraction of people regularly delete cookies from their machines—presumably both at home and at work—and yet another large fraction use more than one browser on each of their machines. This means that for a typical news site, for example, which people might typically visit more than once a day to keep up with breaking news, the reported unique users might overstate the number of different people by a factor of four. On the plus side, for those wishing to impress advertisers or investors, the reported number of sessions or visits and pageviews are probably more accurate, so that smaller group of people visits much more often and looks at more pages than the raw numbers would suggest.

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