Harvard Media Marketing Glossary

In marketing, so many different terms are used every day to describe the job that is being done. With an industry that continues to evolve, it’s a challenge to keep up with it all. What do these terms actually mean? To help give you an idea and understanding, we have compiled a list of terms that are most commonly used at Harvard Media. 

Google is the internet search giant that you probably use every day. 

Paid advertising options include. but are not limited to: Search Ads (found in the search results), Display Ads (placed throughout the internet as you visit different websites), Video (played before or during YouTube videos). 

Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, Snapchat… the options are continually changing so your business has multiple opportunities to reach audiences that suit your advertising or organic reach goals. 

Paid advertising options include, but are not limited to: Static or Animated Display Ads (images that portray your message with copy), Video (played before or during other videos on the platforms). 

If you’re looking for organic ways to reach your audience, the idea is essentially the same except the goal is to engage with the audience, not get them to click through to somewhere else, like your website. We can help with both!

Video is the easiest way to digest information for most people. If you need to create a message that resonates or just a funny video, we can help.

Video platforms include YouTube, Vimeo, IGTV, TikTok, Facebook/Instagram Stories and Feed, Twitter, and more!

Graphics reflect your business in a visual way. It’s easy for a bad ad to reflect poorly on your audience – maybe it’s unclear or just poorly thought out. Our team knows what works for designs and what might not work based on the results of past campaigns and A/B testing.

General Terms

Content Marketing

Focused on creating and distributing content that will attract and engage your audience. This should be done on a fairly consistent basis because it’s the bread and butter of upgrading your marketing.


An analysis of data or statistics – this information can help pivot the success of companies’ online presence and decision-making. 

Marketing Terms

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) 

Influencing a website’s visibility in an organic search engine, unpaid search results using backlinks, relevant keywords, publishing content, local listings, and more. 

Return on Investment (ROI)

A ratio that evaluates profitability and efficiency by measuring the benefit a company gains from the investment. 

Paid Media 

Used to promote paid content in order to drive new traffic to your website or business. This is used for branding, to promote transactions, etc.

Earned Media 

Is media exposure gained organically through methods other than paid advertising.  This is generally done through press releases to the media, word of mouth, etc. 


Promote products or services through different channels and platforms – they do not solely rely on advertising. The channels and platforms can include TV, print, radio, and social media

Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

Internet marketing involves promotion by increasing the viability of search engine results. This is done through optimization and paid advertising. 

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) 

Quantifiable metrics a company uses to evaluate its performance against its specific goals. 

Owned Media 

Media you own, have control over and are unique to your brand. This includes websites, social media, blogs, etc. 

Call to Action (CTA)

An instruction to prompt users to take a specific action that aligns with the campaign or business goal. CTA can be Learn More, Sign Up, Buy Now, Message Us, etc. 


An examination of how existing content is performing, which can lead to adjustments to increase the performance. Audits can be conducted on both websites and social media platforms. 

Digital Platforms


The total amount of money you’re willing to spend on ads each day, month, or over the lifetime of your scheduled ad. This is an estimate for cost. 


When someone clicks your ad and is led to the landing page. The number of clicks directly correlates to the clickthrough rate, in which we base the success of some ads. 


The sum of money you’ve spent on your ads during its schedule. This may deviate slightly from the budget for pay-per-click ads.

Landing Page

A website link that the ad will lead a user to. It’s essential that a landing page has important information to ensure the lowest cost per click and a high quality score.

Pay Per Click (PPC)

Advertisers pay a publisher (like Google) every time an ad link is clicked. It’s important that businesses do not frequently click on their own ads. 


The number of times an ad was shown (impressions) to the number of people (reach). In most cases, the reach is lower because a person can see an ad more than once.

Bid Strategy

The way we get Facebook, Instagram, and Google to bid in the ad auction based on your cost goals and your optimization for ad delivery. 

Clickthrough Rate (CTR)

CTR measures how often people click your ad. This is calculated by dividing the number of clicks by the number of times your ad is shown (impressions). 


Shows you what happens after a customer clicks your ads. This includes product purchases, newsletter sign-up, phone calls, or app downloads.  

Organic Lead

A user who uses a search engine to find your company, rather than directly using the URL or clicking a PPC ad. These users often don’t know about your products or services before conducting an online search. 


The main action associated with an ad. This includes clicks for text, product shopping ads, views for video ads, and more. 

A/B Testing

A process of showing two variations of a specific element, such as a website, ad copy, or graphic, to determine which variant will drive more conversions.

google stats

Google Terms

technology with ads

Search Ads

A text ad that shows up in Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). These ads must follow ad quality standards and are rewarded for high-quality landing pages, keywords, etc. 


Words or phrases that are used to match your ads with the terms people are searching for.  

Quality Score 

An estimate of the quality of your ads, keywords, and landing pages. Higher quality ads and landing page content lead to lower prices and better ad positions. Google is a stickler for ensuring the user gets the best experience online when they click an ad or visit your site organically.

Responsive Search Ads

A dynamic search ad that adjusts headlines and descriptions in real-time depending on what the consumer is searching for. Options include can have up to 15 headlines and 4 descriptions. 

Video Ad Terms


Views are counted when a person watches a video for five seconds or more. 

Bumper Ad

Unskippable video ad played at the beginning or middle of a video. Bumpers must be six seconds or less and hosted on YouTube. 

Trueview / In-Stream

Skippable ads are short in-stream video ads that play before, during, or after another video. Viewers have the option to skip your ad. 

Watch Rate

The number of times your video was watched at 25 percent,  50 percent, 75 percent, 95 percent, or 100 percent of its length. 

technology with ads

Website Terms

Pages Per Session 

The average number of pages viewed during a session by one user. Repeated views of a single page are counted. This information is useful to determine the usefulness of your site.

Average Session Duration  

The average length of a session.  Quite literally, how much time someone spends on your website for each visit.

New vs Returning Users

The number of first-time users to the website during the selected date range versus those who have visited the website previously.  This indicates your online presence growth.


A hyperlink from one web page to a different website or web page. 


The period of time a user is actively engaged with your website, app, etc. All usage data is associated with a session. Usage data includes screen viewers, events, e-commerce, etc. 

Conversion Rate

The percentage of users who complete an action on a website. This includes downloading content, filling out forms, etc. 

Bounce Rate

A bounce is when a user lands on your site/page, does not interact and leaves. Bounce rate is the percentage of single-page sessions in which there was no interaction with the page. 


The total number of pages viewed. Repeated views of a single page are counted. 

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