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Advertising Glossary of Terms

There are many terms used in online web advertising which might be new or confusing to first time advertisers. This advertising glossary will help you understand what advertising online is all about.

CPM - Cost Per Thousand (M = 1 thousand in Roman Numerals). This means you are paying a certain cost for every 1,000 ads that are shown to an end user. Think of this like a newspaper. If your ad goes out to 1,000 people, you pay $X amount. If your ad goes out to 2,000 people, you pay $Y amount. With a newspaper, all you know is that the reader lives in a certain region of the state. But with BellaOnline, you can put your ad right on a given site - the Knitting site, the Martial Arts site. You can focus your ad on exactly the audience you want. You know exactly for sure that the user actually saw the page your ad on. With a newspaper, you have no idea if the reader turned to your page to even see your ad.

Hits - Some deceptive websites give you their visitor count in HITS. This is a REALLY misleading number for them to tell you. In essence, on the web a hit is a single item shown to an end user. This can be a button on a page, or even a white square used to adjust spacing in a table. If a page has 20 different graphic items on it, it generates twenty "hits" when a person looks at it! If the website wants to double their hit count, they simply add more graphics to their pages. You can see why this number is completely meaningless. BellaOnline never reports values in hits.

Pageviews - Pageviews are the proper way to report traffic. This is the number of actual PAGES seen by visitors, regardless of how many little graphic images are found on those pages. BellaOnline only shows pageviews on all of its reports. Our total traffic figure is over 20 million pageviews to end users each month.

Unique Visitors - With current, modern technology, there is NO way for any website to count unique visitors. Any website that claims to know this information is guessing. Yes, you can try to put cookies on a user's computer. However, many computers are blocking cookies for security reasons. Even if you put a cookie on a user's computer, you have no idea what human being is actually using the keyboard. This computer could be a library computer, shared by thousands of people a day. So that one "user" is really 1,000 users. On the other hand, the computer could be a work computer used by one person - and that same person visits your site from 3 other work computers. So now that computer only counts for 1/4th a person. You could have a home system accessed by 3 or 4 different people. You could have a laptop that a person uses in the evening, while they use a different system in the daytime. Until we get to a point where fingerprints are sensed when a person types, there is literally no possible way to ever count unique users for a website. We therefore do not try to deceive people by guessing.

Referring Page - Some advertisers try to correlate how many people come to their site from a given source - say BellaOnline. They look at their log files to get this information. It's important to understand how your log file knows this value. When a given computer goes to a given webpage, the only way that webpage knows anything at all is that it asks that visitor's browser for information. That is how the log file knows what browser they are using, what page they "came from" and so on. Many visitors in modern times have their browsers set to hide privacy information. That is, they refuse to divulge what page they were last on. If the browser does not provide this information, there is NO way for your log files to know at all where they "came from". A contact between a user's computer and your website is a discreet event. It is a direct request from that user's computer to see a given page on your site. There is no context at all of what they did previous to that one specific request. If you want to know details about a given ad campaign, it is really best if you set up specific landing pages. For example, make a special page on your site called BellaOnline.html. Have it look like your site homepage, but maybe say "Welcome to BellaOnline Visitors" on it. Have THAT URL linked to from all of your advertising campaigns, and don't use that URL in anything else you do. That way, when you get traffic on that URL, you are pretty certain that it must have come from your advertising efforts through BellaOnline. This same idea is true for any advertising that you do, anywhere on the web.

Sites / Topics - This is a term that is unique to BellaOnline. BellaOnline.com is one big website, of course. You sign up with our website for an advertising account. Within BellaOnline, we have over 400 topics, which we sometimes call "sites". We have a cats site, a budget travel site, a quilting site, a breastfeeding site, and so on. By choosing up to 6 of these individual sites to run your ads on, you guarantee that your ads get the most exactly targetted views that you could hope for. If you sell maternity clothing, and you run your ads on the "pregnancy" site, you will get incredible click rates on your ads. We had a distance college advertiser run ads on our distance learning site, and they got a 10% clickthrough rate, which is hundreds of times higher than the industry standard rate of 0.02% clickthrough. You can view our full Alphabetical Site Listing, or you can browse by channel by using the links to the top left. All advertising at BellaOnline is done on a site level.

Note that some people ask for traffic figures for our sites, because they want to advertise on the "biggest sites". This is completely counterintuitive when it comes to advertising. If you are selling dog collars, it makes no sense at all to put your ads on the Hair site just because it has the most visitors. Because you're paying by ad view, you will get very few clicks on that site, and will be wasting most of your money. If instead you put your ads on the dog site, then every single ad that is shown is being shown to a target audience. You will get the highest clickthrough rate possible, meaning the most sales for your deposit. You should always aim to have your ads on the most targetted sites you possibly can. Even better, if each ad is specifically targeted to that AUDIENCE, your clickthrough rates will go through the roof. If you sold pet supplies, instead of having a generic "pet supply" ad on our pet sites, you should make a "dog supplies!" ad for the dogs site, a "cat supplies!" ad for the cats site, and so on. Those are the ads that will perform amazingly well.

Channels - Our sites on BellaOnline are organized into channels - you can see that channel list in the top left of this page. Channels include Money, Sports, Career, Education, and so on. Channels are simply groups of sites. You cannot advertise on a channel level - there are too many sites in each channel and the ad money would be run through too quickly. Also, channels are made up of very disparate sites and it is best to really target your ads on exactly the sites that match your sales items. That gets you the best return for your deposit. Very few visitors go to a given channel page. 99% of our traffic is coming in directly to sites, directly to articles that visitors find in search engines. That is where you want your ad to be featured - on the content pages of a site that directly relates to the items you are selling.

Sessions - A visitor asked if we could only count an ad shown as once for the length of a "session" - i.e. if a visitor came on and happened to see 3 pages in a row with the same ad, it would only count as one ad view. We charge per ad, because it is *far* better for the visitor to see multiple ads in a row than the person only seeing the ad once. This is a feature of how we set up ads here, in such a targetted fashion - you can actually have your ad shown repeatedly in a row. Research shows that, just like with TV commercials, pretty much *nobody* clicks or remembers an ad from the first viewing. It takes several viewings before a person really sees the ad and pays attention to it. It's like a "courting" period. They will pretty much never click on an ad the first time. They are suspicious of it. But if they see the ad several times, they start to pay attention to it, and they start to "trust" it as an ad that the site really is promoting and that maybe they should click on.

Also, most people usually are on a site to "do something". If they are on a site to learn about hickeys they aren't going to click on an ad when they are half-way to getting their answer! They are ignoring the ad at that point. But a few pages later when they have their information and are now willing to move on, if the ad is there on their "final page" they are very likely to click. So it is always in an advertiser's best interest to have the same person see the ad several times so that when they are at that "My task is done, now what" stage, the ad seems familiar to them and they are willing to click on it. So you explicitly want the user to see the ad numerous times, to get them to the point of following through and doing something. Many of our advertisers see higher and higher clickthrough rates as they re-up their ad runs, as more of our visitor population comes to know and trust them.

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