Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising allows businesses to appear for any keyword by bidding to have targeted ads appear within Google search results when a specific keyword is triggered. Businesses only pay a fee when a user or customer clicks the ad and is taken to a predetermined page within the website, usually one with set calls to actions.
When done correctly PPC can generate increased sales, submissions, calls as well as additional conversions that can all measure the ROI that PPC delivers. However, a lot of PPC language is technical and can be somewhat confusing to the average user.
If you’re feeling muddled whilst staring at your AdWords account, then we’re here to help; we’ve compiled a list of the most common PPC terms in the industry, so you can get to grips with the more detailed world of PPC.
To make things even easier, if you don’t want to scroll until you find M, simply click the letter of your choice and you will be taken straight there:
- AdWords is the software developed by Google which allows users to advertise on the Google search engine platform. The service also includes real-time analysis services.
- What the user sees when a keyword has been triggered. Ads will either appear at the top, right or bottom of the search results based on their relevance to the search query. The stronger the relevance the more prominent the position.
- Ad Auction
- Every time a search is performed an Ad Auction with take place to determine which ads appear in which order.
- Ad Formats
- There are a number of ad formats that can be trialled via PPC. These include text ads, ad extensions, image ads, video ads, mobile app ads, product listing ads, remarketing and display ads.
- Ad Group
- An Ad Group is a subgroup of a campaign, containing all relevant keywords, ads and settings for that specific advertising focus.
- Ad Rank
- An Ad Rank is a measure of where your advert sits on Google’s search results page. Ad Rank is influenced by bid amount and quality score of keywords.
- Ad Extensions
- Ad Extensions are used to include additional information within your advert, such as address, alternative links, phone number, USPs or testimonials.
- Average Cost Per Click (Avg. CPC)
- Average amount paid each time an ad is clicked. Calculation is taking across all campaigns running within the account.
- Average Position (Avg. Pos)
- Highlights where an ad is appearing in search results when populated. The lower the number (E.G. 1.3) then the better placed the ad.
- Automatic Bidding
- Automatic Bidding gives users the option to let Google decide their bid amounts, based on competition and their individual settings.
- A Bid is the price an advertiser is willing to pay for their Ad to be served within the search results.
- Bounce Rate
- Bounce Rate is the proportion of site visitors who visit the landing page and leave without visiting any more pages. This is a key measurement when analysing PPC traffic to a website.
- Broad Match
- The standard keyword matching option in AdWords. Ads will appear for searches that include the target keyword and close variations including misspellings.
- Budget is the most you are willing to spend on average per day/per campaign.
- Broad Match Modifier
- Involves the use of (+) symbols at the start of keywords, which Google uses to determine other relevant search terms where an Ad could be shown. An ad will only appear if both keywords are included with the search. It will not include synonyms.
- Call Extension
- Part of Ad Extensions, Call Extensions allow a ‘Call’ button to appear within ads that appear on mobile devices. On desktops, the number will be highlighted next to the ad.
- Campaigns are the first level of an AdWords account and can contact a range of Ad Groups within them. The settings are determined at the Campaign level and all Ad Groups within a Campaign are bound by these settings.
- How often an ad has been clicked. More clicks do not necessarily mean better performance – Clicks should be compared to Converted Clicks to determine whether the ad is performing well or wasting budget.
- Click-Through Rate (CTR)
- The number of clicks an ad receives divided by the number of times the ad has been served (appeared). High CTRs means the ad is generating a large number of clicks.
- A conversion occurs when a visitor clicks on an Ad and subsequently completes the desired outcome through the website, e.g. buying a product or submitting a contact form. A user that clicks a PPC ad and undertakes two separate conversions will be recorded as two separate conversions.
- Conversion Optimiser
- A strategic tool within AdWords, to identify which keywords are likely to be the most valuable and therefore develop an adjusted bidding strategy.
- Conversion Rate
- The Conversion Rate is the proportion of advert-driven site visitors who complete a desired action, in comparison to those who do not.
- Converted Clicks
- Different to Conversions in that Converted Clicks only register the number of ad clicks that converted. If a user completed two conversions, this will only be tracked as one Converted Click but would register as two Conversions.
- Cost-Per-Click (CPC)
- CPC is the term given to the form of online advertising where advertisers are charged only when an ad has been clicked. The CPC defines how much each click has cost.
- Cost-Per-Acquisition (CPA)
- CPA relates to the individual cost of converting a customer. It can be shown by total PPC spend, divided by the number of customer acquisitions (Conversions).
- Daily Budget
- This is the total amount an advertiser is willing to spend in a 24-hour period and can be split into Ad Groups, individual Ads or keywords.
- Description Lines
- Description Lines are made up of two individual lines of text within an advert, which appear underneath the heading. Each line is limited to 35 characters each and is typically used to describe in further detail the benefits that the header text is communicating.
- Display Ad
- Visual ad format that displays image, flash or animated ads.
- Display Network
- One of two possible advertising structures, Display Network Ads appear on website advertising space rather than search engine results. Predominately image based.
- Display URL
- Display URL is the website address that appears in the ad but does not have to be the full address that the link will direct the user to.
- Dynamic Keyword Insertion
- One of many advanced AdWords settings which automatically inputs a keyword into your Ad text based on the search query, increasing its relevance.
- Day Parting
- The process of strategically segmenting the broadcast time of the Ad into various times of the day, to show the Ad at the optimum times for conversion. E.g. Only showing Ads within working hours so someone is available to take a call. Also known as Ad Scheduling.
- Exact Match
- A setting which allows your Ad to be served only if the exact keyword or phrase is used within the search query. Typically used to increase the relevance of the Ad or to reach specific customers. Exact Match keywords are placed within brackets, E.G. [digital marketing].
- Enhanced CPC (ECPC)
- ECPC is a bidding strategy where bids are automatically raised in situations which are likely to lead to a conversion.
- Expected Click-through Rate
- A measurement based on keywords, determining an estimate of the number of times your Ad will be clicked. Shown as ‘below average’ or ‘above average’.
- Eligible Ads
- Ads which are being shown on search results pages, but are yet to be approved by Google.
- Error Sites
- Ads which appear on redirect error webpages or misspelt URL webpages.
- Family Status
- A status given to adverts to restrict which sites they can appear on based on their content. Ads can be categorised into ‘Family safe’, ‘Non-Family safe’ or ‘Adult’.
- An AdWords tool used to show specific results based on selected category restrictions.
- Final URL
- Final URL is the page within the website that users will be taken to when they click an ad.
- First Page Bid Estimate
- An approximation of the minimum bid amount required to show an Ad on the first page of search results.
- Frequency Capping
- The process of limiting the number of times your Ad is shown to the same person within the display network.
- The process of targeting customers and placing Ads based on geographical location. Typically used for local businesses or for location-specific campaigns.
- Google Analytics
- Analytics is a program developed by Google to view and analyse website statistics including PPC visitor traffic and bounce rate.
- Google Forwarding Phone Number
- A unique phone number provided by Google, which tracks the number of calls received from the advert.
- Google Network
- The Google Network incorporates all of the websites associated with Google, where your adverts could potentially appear.
- The number of unique visitor views received by a specific webpage.
- High Search Volume
- A term used to describe a keyword which is highly popular within search queries, therefore a more competitive market and potentially higher cost.
- Image Ad
- Any advert which includes a graphic in addition to text.
- The number of people who are served an advert, regardless of whether they interact with it or not.
- Impressions share
- The Impressions share is the number of impressions an Ad has received in proportion to its estimated total number of impressions.
- Invalid Clicks
- Clicks on an advert which Google considers not to be ‘real’ clicks, e.g. accidental clicks or automated clicks from software.
- Inventory Filters
- A tool used to exclude specific products from product listing adverts, so they never appear in search results e.g. if a product goes out of stock.
- Nothing to see here!
- A specific word which can be added to an Ad group to tell Google to serve Ads when the term is used within search queries.
- Key Phrase
- Similar to Keywords, Key Phrases are used in Ad targeting but consist of a sentence using at least 3 words.
- KPI or Key Performance Indicator is a term used to benchmark targets within a PPC campaign. The campaign is seen as successful if it reaches the target within the given time period.
- Keyword Match Type
- Part of the targeting settings, Keyword Match Type lets advertisers choose how similar the search query needs to be to their keyword to serve their Ad to the user.
- Keyword Planner
- Free Google tool that highlights relevant keyword ideas and traffic estimates based on your criteria.
- Keyword Mining
- The process of identifying popular search terms and identifying similar keywords which are likely to increase impressions.
- Landing Page
- The Landing Page is the first webpage that the user lands on after clicking onto an Ad. Also known as the ‘Final URL’.
- Location Targeting
- Sometimes referred to as Geotargeting, Location Targeting is the process of segmenting and specifying specific locations for an Ad to be served to.
- Low Search Volume
- The term given to a keyword which receives a low number of search queries.
- The connection between the Ad and the website, which tells Google where to transport the user. Usually defined as a Final URL within the advert design.
- Maximum Bid
- The maximum amount that an advertiser is prepared to pay for a click on their advert.
- Minimum Bid
- The minimum amount that an advertiser is prepared to pay for a click on their advert, restricted by quality score.
- Managed Placement
- An AdWords tool which allows advertisers to select which sections or websites of the Google network they would like their adverts to appear.
- Mobile Ads
- Ads specifically created to appear only on mobile devices.
- Manual Bidding
- The process of manually selecting your maximum and minimum bid amounts.
- Negative Match
- A search query from a user which doesn’t match your audience targeting requirement.
- Negative Placement
- Where a product list Ad is excluded from appearing on search result pages due to the advertisers exclusion settings.
- Negative Keyword
- Where a keyword within a search query disallows an Ad from appearing, e.g. a shop that doesn’t sell black shoes may accept ‘shoes’ but exclude ‘black shoes’ in their keyword targeting.
- Natural Results
- Search engine results which are provided due to relevance and popularity rather than by paid Ads.
- Opening Image
- The still image which is shown on a featured video before the user clicks ‘play’.
- When a PPC campaign creates a daily cost greater than that of the maximum daily budget. This may be due to abnormally popular keywords; however costs will never exceed the maximum monthly limit.
- An abbreviation of Pay-Per-Click, it is the term given to online advertising where advertisers are charged on a per-click basis.
- Page Rank
- A measurement of where your Ad will sit within other Ads, on a search results page.
- Page Views
- The number of individual webpage views from website visitors.
- Position Preference
- An AdWords tool allowing advertisers to select their preference of Ad position by selecting space where they want to appear.
- Phrase Match
- A setting which only allows an Ad to appear if the search query matches the exact phrase or close variants of that phrase. Phrase Match keywords are placed in “” – E.G. “digital marketing”.
- Quality Score
- An estimate of the quality of your Ad and landing page, including the relevance of your website to the search query. Quality score is calculated every time an ad is triggered and the more relevant your keywords, ads and landing pages are the better the Quality Score. A high Quality Score can result in better rankings are lower CPCs.
- ROI or Return on Investment is a calculation of the total return in terms of impressions, clicks and conversions, in comparison to the total PPC spend.
- Return on Advertising Spend is the total return from PPC advertising compared to the total PPC spend, expressed as a ratio.
- Remarketing is the targeting of people who have previously visited a website but not converted. Using tracking software such as cookies, Ads can be displayed based on their recent online history to ‘follow up’ potential leads.
- Referrer URL
- The URL of the website which sent a user to your website. Used within affiliate marketing to pay referral websites a commission fee.
- Recommended Daily Budget
- A recommendation from Google as to the optimum daily budget for your campaign to be successful based on targeted keywords and competition.
- Search Network/Partners
- The group of search-related websites which have the potential to serve your Ad. Includes Google search partners such as AOL.
- Sitelink Extensions
- Ad Extension that lets you promote more than one website page within the ad. These links appear below the text of ad and give the user more choice about where to be directed on the site.
- Social Extensions
- Social links and statistics which show next to your advert, allowing viewers to view a social media profile or recent content.
- Search Engine Results Page is the page users are presented with after searching for a query, which lists both Ads and organic results.
- Split Test
- The process of creating an Ad in addition to an existing one, to test which performs more effectively.
- A Search Query Report is an AdWords generated report outlining relevant query and keyword search volumes and statistics.
- Tracking URL
- Working on the same principle as a Google forwarding phone number, a Tracking URL is a specific URL which tracks the number of visitors and where the users transferred from.
- Targeting Group
- A specified proportion of the total audience which a campaign is targeted towards based on various behavioural and geographical factors.
- Targeting Method
- The Targeting Method is the way in which the advertiser chooses to serve Ads to the specified audience e.g. using keywords or specified placements.
- Text Ad
- An Ad which is purely made up of text containing no visual graphic, typically appears within search result page Ads.
- Text Overlay Ad
- A text Ad which incorporates video content and is served amongst the Google display network.
- An abbreviation of ‘Uniform Resource Locator’, used to direct users to the relevant domain when they click on an Ad or a link.
- Unique Visitor
- An individual user of a website, whom can have multiple page views.
- Under Review
- The term given to an Ad that is in the process of being approved by Google.
- Video Publisher
- A type of website within Google’s display network, a Video Publisher has a focus on video content, similar to sites such as YouTube.
- WAP Mobile Ad
- Ads specifically created to show on WAP-enabled mobile devices. Can appear as text or image ads.
- With Issues
- A type of status given to video Ads following disapproval from Google, could also refer to limitations being placed on the Ad.
- Nothing to see here!
- Yahoo! Search Marketing
- A platform similar to AdWords, but specifically for the Yahoo! search platform. Ads placed within this platform will only show in Yahoo! search results.
- Nope, nothing here!