Online Advertising 101

New to the world of online adverting and all of its complicated lingo? We are here to help simplify it all so you can effectively market your product, company, or organization on! Let’s start with some basic online advertising terminology.

Above-the-fold – The part of a web page that is visible without scrolling. It is generally a more desirable placement on a Website because of its visibility.

Ad banner – a graphic image or other media object used as an advertisement.

Ad click rate – ratio of ad clicks to ad impressions.

Ad space – the location on a page of a site in which an advertisement can be placed. Each space on a site is uniquely identified. Multiple ad spaces can exist on a single page.

Click-through – The process of clicking through an online advertisement to the advertiser’s destination.

Click-through rate (CTR) – The average number of click-throughs per hundred ad impressions expressed as a percentage.

CPM – Cost per thousand impressions. An advertiser pays this amount for every thousand times a person views their online ad or text link.

CPM pricing model – pricing model based on the cost of delivering ad impressions.

Creative(s) – The digital ad unit (ie. 728×90 Leaderboard, 300×250 Billboard, 160×600 Tower, and 184×90 Thumbnail).

Impression – A single instance of an online advertisement being displayed.

Inventory – the number of ads available for sale on a Web site.

Online inventory – The number of impressions a website is expected to have available for potential advertisers during a specified time frame.

Page view – Request to load a single HTML page.

Run-of-site (ROS) – An ad buying option regarding the rotation of your advertising in which ad placements/impressions are rotated as users view/load pages during their visit to a website.

For a complete glossary of Online Advertising terms please visit the Internet Advertising Bureau’s (IAB) Glossary of Interactive Advertising Terms.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Why does Mother Jones not provide its online advertising rate card or post rate card CPMs in its online media kit?

A: Since the internet, and therefore online advertising, is a fairly new turn of media, currently, the market tends to dictate CPM pricing. For example, we have periods of time where our online inventory sells out, driving CPM prices up. We are also willing to work individually with advertising clients, such as nonprofits, who may have limited budgets. Therefore, we prefer to negotiate rates on a case- by-case basis.

Q: What if I can’t afford Billboard or Leaderboard advertising based on the quoted CPM, but want to reach the audience?

A: We offer smaller sized thumbnail and text ads at lower rates. An advertiser can utilize this option to reach our online audience at a fraction of the price of Leaderboard or Billboard advertising.

Q: How many impressions per day should my ad receive in order to have good visibility on

A: gets 2 million page views per month or about 65,000 page views per day. users visit an average of 2 pages per visit. In order to guarantee your ad will be seen at least once by all our users, we recommend buying 8,000 -12,000 impressions per day. The duration of the campaign would depend on your budget and desired visibility.

Q: How long will it take to fulfill 100,000 impressions on your site?

A: The duration of the campaign is based on the client’s requested flight dates and our online inventory availability. For a 100,000 impression buy, we recommend a 7 to 14 day flight to ensure you will receive 8,000 – 10,000 impressions per day.

Q: Can I advertise in just one section of

A: Because’s news content is updated daily, in order to best take advantage of the popularity of our articles and receive good rotation of your advertising on, we recommend that you place your advertising with us on a run-of-site basis. However, rotation of your advertising within a specific section of, such as in our Blogs or our Environment section, is available.