Common Terms and Acronyms in the PPC World

What is Pay-Per-Click (PPC)? As a cost-effective way to get your website noticed online, PPC advertising allows you to place bids on keywords or keyword phrases that people are searching for. Every time someone searches for a keyword related to what you bid on in your PPC campaign, your ad has a chance of appearing at the top of their search engine result page (SERP) — and we all know it pays to be at the top of the page. The world of Pay per Click (PPC) and online marketing can be a confusing place, littered with terms and abbreviations that aren’t always explained. That’s why we put together this short glossary of key terms to make the world of PPC easier to understand:


Ad Position The order an ad appears on a page, especially in relation to where other ads are appearing on that same page. Typically, ads in positions 1, 2 and 3 show up at the top of the search results page, while ads in positions 4 and lower show up on the right-hand side, at the bottom of the page, or on the second page. Ad position is determined by Ad Rank. adposition Ad Rank Google’s formula for determining ad position – done by multiplying the maximum cost-per-click (CPC) bid by the quality score. adrank


Bid The maximum amount an advertiser is willing to pay each time someone clicks their ad. This is also referred to as the maximum cost-per-click (CPC) and can be adjusted at any time.


Click When a visitor ends up on a website by clicking on an ad on a search engine results page (SERP). Click-through Rate (CTR) Gages how alluring ads are to customers by calculating the number of times an ad is clicked divided by the number of times it is seen (impressions). CTR is a key indicator of account performance. Conversion When a website visitor completes the initial goal set by marketers (completing an online purchase, filling out a form, phoning a business, etc.). Cost-per-Acquisition (CPA) A bidding method that allows the advertiser to set a maximum that they’re willing to pay for a conversion. This is a feature of Google’s AdWords Conversion Optimizer, which is available to accounts that have sufficient conversion data to make this method effective. Cost-per-Cick (CPC) The amount an advertiser pays every time a visitor clicks a PPC ad for a keyword. We use terms such as average CPC, which is simply the CPC paid for a group of keywords in an AdGroup or campaign. Max CPC is set by the advertiser and is the maximum amount that they are willing to pay for their chosen keywords.


Destination URL The URL (Universal Resource Locator – think “”) where traffic generated by a PPC ad is sent to. This is set by the advertiser and can be changed or updated at any time. destinationurl Display URL The URL shown in the ad itself. It does not need to be the same as the destination URL, nor even be an actual URL on the advertiser or client’s website, but it does need to have the same domain. snapshot4


Google Display Network A collection of websites – that are not search engines – who have partnered with Google, YouTube and specific Google properties that display AdWords ads. They can be text, image, video, or rich media ads. google-display-network3


Impression How often an ad appears on a search result page or a site on a search engine’s network. Every time an ad appears on a Google search engine results page or on the Google Network, it counts as an impression (whether it is clicked on or not). Impression Share (IS) A percentage of the number of impressions received (how often a PPC ad actually appears for a related search query) divided by the estimated number of impressions that were eligible to be received. Eligibility is based on ads’ targeting settings, approval statuses, bids, and Quality Scores. Impression share can be network-specific (i.e. Search Impression Share and Display Impression Share for the Search and Display Networks, respectively). Impression share is like a pie, with all advertisers trying to grab the biggest piece.


Keyword Match Types: Google offers four match types and/or a combination of methods to help advertisers match their PPC ads and keywords to search queries: 1. Broad match is the default match type. Ads display when someone enters a search query that uses any of the words in a keyword phrase, or even words that are closely related, misspellings or plurals. 2. Modified broad match isa variant of Broad match. When a ‘+’ sign is placed in front of one or more words in a keyword phrase, the searcher must include that word in their query for the keyword phrase to trigger the related ad. 3. Phrase match: keyword phrases of this type can only trigger an ad when a query includes the keyword phrase in the exact order, whether or not the query has any additional words before or after it. 4. Exact match type trigger ads when someone searches for the exact phrase with no additional words in the search query. snapshot3


Quality Score An estimate of the relevancy a keyword has to someone searching the web. Three factors determine quality score: expected click-through rate (is someone likely to click the ad when they view it?), ad relevance (is the keyword closely related to the ad?) and landing page experience (is the page that the ad sends you to well-organized?). snapshot2


Search Engine Results Page (SERP) The listing of results returned by a search engine (e.g. Google) in response to a keyword query. It’s where you end up when you press ‘enter’ in Google search! SERPs are divided into Organic and Paid (PPC) results: SERP


View-Through Conversion When someone converts after seeing an image or media ad. This only applies to campaigns that are opted in the Google Display Network. This enables conversions without the need for someone to click on the ad first.

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