If you want to be successful in banner advertising, it helps to understand the terminology and how to use it properly.  Knowing the difference between publisher and placement, for instance, is crucial to understanding bidding strategies. Here are some terms you’re likely to come across, with short definitions and tips to use them.

Publisher and Placement

Publishers are the folks who host ads. Usually, a publisher owns a highly-trafficked website that conforms to a niche. CNN is a publisher; they host content and ads to support that content. Those ads are fit to what’s known as a placement. These placements basically mean “the location of an ad.” When you bid on placements, you’re bidding for a specific space on the website. A display advertising network that sells placements sells space on a website by ranking bidders and rewarding the top spot. A placement can be anywhere, including in content or in the footer.


Impressions are the number of times someone views your ad, or your landing page (if you are not using a banner). The technical definition is a single display of content online via a user’s web-enabled device. Impressions are one method of selling traffic to an advertiser, as opposed to selling by click. Generally speaking, the advertiser is charged each time the server generates an impression.

Understand these terms, and what makes them distinct, and you’ll be able to build and scale a successful campaign.