“Essential Internet Marketing Acronyms Explained”
By Azam Corry
If you’re new to Internet marketing, the many acronyms and
abbreviations often used in discussions on the subject can be
confusing. To help you get up to speed quickly, here are the
meanings of the most important:
ASCII – American Standard Code for Information Interchange – A
universally recognized set of digital codes that represent each
of the letters, punctuation marks, and other symbols you can type
on your computer. What people usually mean by “plain text.”
ASP – Application Service Provider – Company that offers access
to software applications and related services over a network or
B2B – Business to Business – Refers to trade between businesses
rather than between businesses and consumers
B2C – Business to Consumer – Refers to businesses selling
products or services to end-user consumers.
CGI – Common Gateway Interface – A way web servers pass
information to and from application programs (to process forms
for example). CGI programs or “scripts” can be written in several
programming languages, including C, C++, Java and Perl.
CPA – Cost Per Action – Cost to an advertiser for each visitor
that takes a specific action in response to an ad, such as
subscribing to an ezine, requesting a free trial, or making a
purchase. Also used to describe advertising employing this model.
CPC – Cost Per Click – Cost to an advertiser for each click on a
promotional link by a site visitor or newsletter reader. Also
used to describe advertising employing this model.
CPL – Cost Per Lead – Advertising expenditure required to obtain
each new sales lead.
CPM – Cost Per Thousand – The amount charged per thousand
impressions (showings) of an ad (“M” is the Roman numeral for
1000). Whilst websites sell ad impressions in blocks of 1000,
with newsletters the number of subscribers determines the final
price. Also used to describe advertising employing this model.
CPS – Cost Per Sale – Advertising expenditure divided by sales
generated to determine the cost to make each sale; or the
commission payable for each sale generated by an affiliate.
CR – Conversion Rate/ Ratio – The percentage of respondents to an
ad, or readers of a sales message that complete the action
desired (usually making a purchase, but can also be subscribing
to a newsletter, for example).
CRM – Customer Relationship Management – Improving interaction
with customers through better understanding, with the aim of
increasing customer satisfaction and loyalty (thus increasing
CSS – Cascading Style Sheets – Used to globally define how
elements in a Web page are displayed instead of relying on HTML
code in the page. Makes designs more flexible and reduces HTML
CTR – Click-Through Rate/ Ratio – The percentage of website
visitors or newsletter readers who click on a particular link.
Used to measure response to ads or sales messages.
FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions – Often used as the title of a
page on websites that answers commonly asked questions about a
product or service.
FFA – Free-For-All Links – Web pages that allow anyone to add a
link back to their own website, usually in exchange for accepting
promotional messages from the FFA page owner.
PFI – Pay For Inclusion – Paying to have web pages included in a
search engine’s database and regularly updated.
PPA – Pay-Per-Action – Affiliate commissions where a set amount
is paid for generating a specific action, such as taking a free
trial or subscribing to an ezine. PPL, PPC and PPS are usually
considered as PPA.
PPI – Pay Per Impression – Where an advertiser pays for each
display (impression) of their advertisement (usually a banner).
PPL – Pay-Per-Lead – Where a commission is paid for each sales
lead generated by an affiliate. A “lead” is usually defined as
somebody who signs up for a free trial, or requests further
PPC – Pay Per Click – Ad sales or affiliate commissions where a
set amount is paid for each click on a promotional link by a
PPCSE – Pay Per Click Search Engine – A search engine where the
results are composed of advertisers who pay a fee for each click
on their listing. Using a bidding system, the advertiser willing
to pay the most is ranked highest.
PPS – Pay-Per-Sale – Where a commission is paid for each sale
generated by an affiliate. The commission is usually a percentage
of the sale, although sometimes it’s a fixed amount.
ROI – Return on investment – How much profit is made after
advertising and other costs have been subtracted. A measure of
how successful a marketing campaign is in terms of the returns on
RON – Run Of Network – Where ads (usually CPM banners) are shown
(rotated) across the pages of the entire network of sites owned
by a company, or controlled by a particular advertising network.
Cheaper than only having the ad appear on selected sites.
ROS – Run Of Site – Where ads are rotated across the pages of a
single site. Cheaper than only having the ad appear on selected
SE – Search Engine – A searchable database of pages on the Web.
Different from an Index (like Yahoo) in that pages are not
reviewed by a human editor before inclusion.
SEM – Search Engine Marketing – Similar to SEO (below), and
sometimes used to emphasize that generating quality targeted
traffic is of greater importance than simply obtaining high
rankings. Can also include PPCSEs and other search engine
SEO – Search Engine Optimization – The process of optimizing web
pages to achieve high rankings in the search results of a search
engine, in order to attract more visitors.
SEP – Search Engine Positioning – Getting your page listed on the
search engine results page. Similar to SEO.
SERP – Search Engine Results Page – The page of listings
displayed upon completion of a search at a search engine.
SSI – Server Side Include – A way for a web server to include
variable values and information from an external source into a
web page as it is requested by the browser. Uses include
automatic display of data like the Last Modified date of the
page, or storing common page elements in their own files,
enabling site-wide updates by modifying a single file.
USP – Unique Selling Proposition – The reason why somebody
should buy from you and not your competition. The unique benefits
that your products or services offer consumers. What it is that
makes you special, different.
I suggest you print this article out and keep it somewhere handy.
Refer to it whenever you’re not quite sure what something stands
for, and before you know it you’ll be an old hand!
© Azam Corry. “Do it Better. Do it Faster. Do it Right!”
Online since 1998, Azam Corry Helps Newbies Develop a Winning Web
Marketing Strategy. Free Guides & Resources: NowSell.com
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