When first discovering the world of digital marketing, particularly PPC, there can be a lot to learn. For people new to the industry and wondering, “what is PPC?” the terminology can get very confusing, and discussions between PPC specialists can often leave you wondering if they are speaking in code or even in an entirely different language.

Firstly, what does PPC mean? Pay per click or “PPC” is also known as “biddable media” or “paid media”, and involves paying to advertise online (usually paying every time an ad is clicked on by an online user).

On the journey to becoming a PPC expert, the first step involves learning the extensive range of PPC terms and their meanings. With this PPC glossary, you’ll be able to translate the key PPC terms and become fluent in PPC jargon.

PPC Glossary

A/B Testing – Also referred to as split testing, A/B testing is a form of research that tests different user experiences. Examples of A/B tests within PPC campaigns could be using different variants, such as different landing pages or headlines, to see which are the most successful in driving conversions.

Ad Campaign – An advertising campaign includes ad groups and ads that share the same goal or theme. For example, you may want to create specific campaigns that focus on one sale, such as Black Friday. Take a look at the graphic below, which shows what a typical Google ads account could look like.

Graphic taken from Wordstream

Ad Extensions – The option to add extra information or incentives to increase the chance of a user clicking your ad. You can add information such as your business address, phone number, another URL, or product details. Types of ad extension include site links, callout extensions, structured snippets and local extensions. These additions can improve user experience and engagement.

Ad Groups – An Ad group is the level after the campaign to further split up what you want to target. For example, your campaign could be ‘Cameras’, and your ad group could be the different types of models you sell.

Ads – Are the advertisements that will appear on the search network. These will look different depending on which type of campaign you chose to run. Not sure which ads are suitable for you? We have a team of PPC experts on hand to help you find the right fit for your business.

Ad Relevance – Google defines relevance as how closely related a specific ad is to the user’s search. Google often determines this relevance by looking at the relationship between keywords, ad copy and the landing page. Google has three possible statuses: above average, average and below average.

Ad Schedule – You can schedule your ads to run on certain days of the week and even specify what time of day you want your ads to run. Ad scheduling is excellent for those businesses that want to focus their campaign targeting for specific times, as it allows you to spend your budget when you are most likely to get people to convert.

Affinity Audiences – You can add affinity audiences to your audience and targeting, and reach people who have specific interests, such as those that are ‘luxury travellers’ or ‘auto enthusiasts’. These are great for display campaigns as you can target a particular group of people.

Auction – When a Google search takes place, Google follows a process to decide which ads to show in the SERP and in what position each ad appears, or whether an ad shows up at all. Discover more about the Google Auction process here.

Automated Bidding –  Automated bidding is a bidding strategy led by Google that places bids for your ads based on its likelihood of resulting in a click or a conversion. Automated bidding is excellent for businesses that don’t have much time to manage their campaigns.

Avg CPC – The Average cost-per-click is the amount you’ve paid for your ad divided by its total clicks. If your ad receives two clicks, one costing £0.20 and one costing £0.40, your average CPC for those clicks is £0.30.

Bid Strategy – Your approach to your Google Ads spending budget that indicates to Google how to bid for your ads in ad auctions. Your bid strategy is dependent on the networks your campaigns are targeting (Display or Search) and your marketing goals, such as impressions, conversions or clicks. There are several types of bidding strategies: Target CPA, Target ROAS, Maximise Clicks, Enhanced CPC.

Broad Match – A keyword setting that allows your ad to be shown when someone searches for that keyword or a variation of it.

Callout Extensions – A callout extension is a short piece of text used to highlight specific, value-adding information about your business, product or service. An example of a callout extension could be ‘free delivery’ or ‘24/7 customer service’.

Call Extensions – Using a call extension lets mobile users call your business directly with just one click.

Clicks – The number of clicks your ads receive.

Conversion – A conversion is when a goal is completed. For example, for an e-commerce site, a conversion would be buying a product. For a service site, a conversion could be filling in a contact form.

Conversion Rate Is the average number of conversions per ad interaction, this metric is shown as a percentage.

CPC – Also known as Cost per Click, this refers to the amount you will pay for every click you receive on your ads.

CPM – An alternative way to bid where you pay per one thousand views (impressions).

CTR – Stands for click-through rate. A ratio showing how often people who see your ad end up clicking it. For example, if your ad had 100 impressions and ten clicks, your click-through rate would be 10%.

Display URL – The web address that people will see on your advert.

Graphic taken from Google

Enhanced CPC A bid strategy that adjusts your cost per click (CPC) to maximise conversions or conversion value. ECPC combines manual bidding with a Smart Bidding strategy, like Target CPA or Target ROAS.

Exact Match – A keyword setting that allows your ad to show only when someone searches for your keyword or close variants of your keyword.

Expected CTR – Expected click-through rate is the likelihood that your ad will be clicked when it is shown. Expected CTR is a contributing factor for your keyword quality score.

Impressions – How often your ad appears.

KeywordsWords or phrases describing your product or service that you choose to help determine when and where your ad can appear.

Landing Page – The first page a user is sent to after clicking on an ad.

Landing Page ExperienceEstimates how relevant and useful your landing page is to those who click on your ad. This is also a factor that influences your quality score.

Local Ads – A Local ad campaign appears on Search, Maps, Display and YouTube and is designed to help you target offline marketing goals, such as shop visits.

Local Extensions – Using a local extension in your ad offers more information to a user, such as a business address, phone number or even a map. This ad extension type can boost sales both offline and online and improve your business’s visibility to those close to one of your physical locations.

Location and Language Targeting – Show your ad to customers in specific locations or whose browser settings include your selected language.

Local Extensions – Using a local extension in your ad offers more information to a user, such as a business address, phone number or even a map. This ad extension type can boost sales both offline and online and improve your business’s visibility to those close to one of your physical locations.

Maximise Conversions – A conversion-based bidding strategy intended to optimise conversion volume as much as possible within your budget.

Max CPC – Maximum Cost per Click is the maximum amount of money that you want to spend for clicks on a specific keyword. You will set higher bids for keywords that are most relevant to your business.

Negative Keyword – A word or phrase added to your campaign that will stop your advert from being shown if it is included in a search term. For example, a common negative term that people use might be free or review, this should exclude people looking for free versions of your products or reviews on them.

Optimisation Score – Indicates how well your ad account is set to perform.

Quality Score – Keywords are given a quality score out of 10. As mentioned above, several factors contribute to quality score. If you have a higher quality score than a competing ad, you can appear higher than them even if your Max CPC is lower.

Remarketing This is a way of targeting your ads at people who have previously visited your website or used your app.

Responsive Display Ads – Allow you to upload images, headlines, descriptions and logos, etc., and have Google formulate a high-performing ad.

ROAS – Return on Ad Spend (ROAS) is a valuable metric that measures the amount of revenue your business generates from each pound spent. The higher the ROAS, the better. Discover how our biddable media strategists achieve incredible ROAS results for our clients in our latest case study.

Search Ads – These ads appear on the SERP alongside organic search results and Google partner sites, such as YouTube, when a user searches for a business similar to yours.

Shopping Ads – Shopping ads show up in the search results and can also be accessed through the shopping tab within search engines (see examples below). This type of ad allows you to provide more detailed information and images about your product. You can use a Shopping ad to promote your products, advertise in your local area, boost traffic and gain qualified leads. Need help with Google Shopping set up or have an existing campaign that just isn’t performing? Contact the Zelst team today.

Screenshot from Google Search
Screenshot from Bing Search

Sitelinks – Sitelinks are a type of ad extension that direct traffic to specific landing pages on your website.

Screenshot from Google

Smart Campaigns – Utilise Google’s technology to produce optimised ad campaigns with minimal input.

Structured Snippets – A structured snippet is a type of ad extension that lets you describe your product or service in more detail before users click on your ad, to highlight conversion-worthy attributes.

Target CPA – Target Cost Per Acquisition is a bidding strategy focused on optimising conversions at a specific acquisition cost.

Target ROAS – Target Return on Ad Spend is a bidding strategy that aims to improve conversions based on the return you want from your ad spend.

Text Ads – A text ad appears in the search results and comprises of a headline, a display URL and a description.

Screenshot from Google

User Intent – Consider the intent of a query when generating your ads so that your business shows up in relevant searches.

Video Ads – Video ads appear either on their own or within video streaming content on Google partner sites like YouTube and across Google’s network of websites and apps. Use a video ad to tell your brand story and reach your audience at scale.

Here at Zelst, we pride ourselves on our PPC ability, helping our clients achieve huge sales growth through biddable media. For more information about our PPC services and how we could help your business, read our blog or contact us today.

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