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25+ Pay-Per-Click Definitions Every Advertiser Must Know

By Paul Clarke, 20 December 2019

ppc consultant in hampshire paul clarke
Read time: 5 minutes

What is Pay-Per-Click (PPC)?

Pay-Per-Click advertising is an incredible way to generate new business and gain more traffic to your site. However the terminology involved can be confusing to a newbie. Here we aim to explain all the definitions and phrases you need to know.

Pay-Per-Click (PPC) is defined as a model of internet marketing in which advertisers pay a fee each time their ad is clicked. It is hugely popular with marketers, due to the impressive results it can generate. Did you know that 50% of PPC visitors are more likely to make a purchase than organic visitors? And that search ads can increase brand awareness by up to 80%? With stats like that it’s no wonder that PPC marketing is so popular.

ppc definitions

Enough chit-chat, let’s get down to the lingo. Here you will find all the definitions of every type of jargon you’ll come across in the PPC world. Treat this as your PPC language Bible.

Standard (Default) – This will show your ads evenly throughout the day and spread your budget, meaning you don’t exhaust it all in one go

Ad Extensions – Expands your text ads with extra information.

Sitelinks – Links that direct the user to different pages of your site (contact, products, services)

Callouts – Short additional text which should be used to show prospects how you differentiate from your competitors or to advertise any offers (free delivery, 10% student discount etc.)

Structured Snippets – Allows you to describe the range of products/services you offer

Call Extension – Adds your company phone number to the ad, which is clickable on mobile devices

Message Extension – Allows prospects to send a text message to your company number (I.E Get a quote)

Location Extension – Shows prospects your address, map and distance to your business. You must have Google My Business to use this extension

Price Extension – Shows the price of selected products and takes the prospect straight to the product page if clicked

App Extension – Link your mobile App to the text ad

Promotion Extension – Highlights your sales and promotions

Ad Group – A group of ads that target a shared set of keywords

Ad Position: Where your ad is displayed in the search engine results page (SERP)

Ad Rank: The calculation that is performed to decide where your ad position will be. Ad Rank is determined by your Max.CPC x Quality Score

Ad Rotation: How you decide to rotate your ads within a set ad group.

Rotate evenly – will, well, rotate your ads evenly

Optimise for best performing ad – prioritises ads that are expected to perform better than the other ads for a search term

Ad Scheduling: Choose the days and times you want your ads to show. For example if you set up a call only ad you will want this to show during your opening times only

Ads: The actual ad that is displayed on the SERP

Attribution Models: Lets you choose how much credit each click will get for conversions (customers often don’t purchase right away and will go through a journey, meaning that multiple ads and marketing channels may be used before a conversion is made)

Last Click – Gives all the credit to the last ad which was clicked

Fist Click – Gives all the credit to the first clicked ad

Linear – Spreads the credit evenly across all clicks

Time Decay – Gives more credit to the clicks that happened within closer proximity to the conversion

Position-Based: Gives 40% of the credit each to the first and last click. The remaining 20% gets spread out evenly to all the clicks in-between

Data-Driven: Gives out the credit for the conversion based on past data

Auction: The process of how Google decides which ads will show for which search terms and where they will be positioned

Auction Insights: A report that lets you compare performance with competitors who are participating in the same auctions as you are

Audiences: Show your ads to specific people based on their interests, what they are searching and how they have interacted on your site

Affinity Audience – Shows ads to people based on their lifestyle, buying habits and interests

Custom Affinity Audience – Shows you ads to people based on the selections that you choose to define

In-Market Audience – Shows ads who have actively been researching a product/service similar to your own

Remarketing – Shows your ads to people who have previously visited your website

Automated Extensions: Extensions that are automatically created by Google if they deem it relevant to improve your ads performance

Automated Bidding: Google will adjust your bids automatically dependant on your business goal

Maximise Clicks – Sets your bids to get as many clicks as possible with the budget provided

Target Impression Share – Sets bids to help achieve your impression share goal across all campaigns

Target CPA – Sets your bids to get as many conversions as possible with the budget given at the target CPA

Enhanced Cost Per Click (ECPC) – Adjusts your manual bids to help get more conversions

Target ROAS – Sets bids to get as many conversions as possible at the target return on ad spend (ROAS)

Maximise Conversions – Sets bids to get the most conversions with the budget provided

Average CPC (Avg. CPC): The average amount you have been charged for a click. This is calculated by dividing the total cost of clicks by the total number of clicks

Average Position: The average position in which your ad has been displayed on the SERP

Bid: How much you choose to spend on a click

Bid Adjustments: Lower or increase your bids based on where, when and how people search

Device – Increase or decrease bids for tablets, mobiles and desktops users

Location – Increase or decrease bids based on the user location

Ad Schedule – Increase or decrease bids based on certain times of day

Bounce Rate: The percentage of people who click onto your web page and off again without visiting any other pages

Budget: How much your choose to spend daily on your Google Ads campaigns

Campaign Type: A type of campaign that should be based on your business goals

Search – Create standard text ads, responsive ads and call-only ads to be shown on Google and Google search partners sites

Display – Show image and responsive ads to certain audiences on the Google Display Network

Shopping – Show shopping ads on Google, which consists of an image, price, description and brand name

Video – Show video ads on their own or within other video content on YouTube and the Google Display Network

Universal App – Promote your app in search, Google Play, YouTube and the Google Display Network

Change History: A list of all the changes you have made to campaigns on your Google Ads account

Clicks: The amount of people who have clicked onto your ad

Conversion: An action that you have set to track leads and the success of your campaign. This can range from a purchase to a form submission to a phone call

Conversion Rate (Conv.Rate): How often an interaction leads to a conversion. This is calculated by your total conversions divided by total clicks

Cost Per Click (CPC): The actual price you pay for each click

Cost Per Conversion (Cost/Conv.): The average amount you have spent on a conversion. This is calculated by your total costs divided by total conversions

Cost Per Thousand Impressions (CPM): A bidding strategy where you choose to pay per one thousand views on the Google Display Network

Cost Per Acquisition (CPA): The same as cost per conversion. How much it has cost to obtain a conversion

Cross-Device Conversion: Conversions that are counted when a user interacts with an ad on one device and then converts on another

Click Through Rate (CTR): The percentage of users who clicked onto your ad when it was displayed. This is calculated by the total amount of impressions divided by total amount of clicks

Default Max. CPC: The maximum amount you are willing to spend on a click, which you set at ad group level

Demographics: Data relating to the types of people who click on your ad (age, gender, household income)

Destination URL: The URL in which you are sending users to when they click onto your ad

Devices: The device users were using when they clicked your ad; mobile, desktop or tablet

Display Network: A network of over 2 million sites which run Google ads

Display URL: The URL which users see on a PPC ad

Frequency Capping: The limit in which your display ad can be shown to a user in one day

Global Site Tag: A bit of code you insert onto all pages of your website that allows you to send event data to Google Analytics, Google Ads, and Google Marketing Platform.

Impression Share: The impressions you have received divided by the estimated number of impressions you were eligible to receive

Impressions: The number of times your ad was shown on the SERP

Keyword: Words or phrases that you choose to help determine when you will show on Google for which search queries

Keyword Tool: A tool which helps you find statistics and metrics such as search volume on keywords you are thinking of using. It also helps you choose useful close variants

Label: Used to organise elements in your account into groups to help you filter data. Labels can be applied to campaign, ad group, ad or keyword level

Landing Page: An entry page in which the user lands on when they click onto your ad

Lead: A user who is likely to convert

Location Targeting: Choose the geographical locations in which you want your ad to be shown

Long Tail Keywords: A keyword that contains three or more words. Used to target more specific searches

Match Types: Parameters that are set on your keywords to control which searches trigger your ads to appear

Broad Match – This is the default match type Google will use if you do not specify otherwise and is displayed in a campaign as a standard word with no other symbols around it. Using broad match means your ad will appear for search queries that include any word(s) from your key phrase in any order, or synonyms relating to other words that Google considers similar

Modified Broad Match – With modified broad match, you put a plus sign (+) in front of one or more words in a broad match keyword. The words that are preceded by a (+) sign must appear in the users’ keyword phrase exactly or as a close variation.

Phrase Match – Phrase matching ensures your ad only displays for searches containing your keyword terms in the exact order that you provide, with other words possibly before or after. To use phrase match in Google Ads, simply type your keywords in the order you would like them to appear and use speech quotation marks at the start and end of your phrase.

Exact Match – Exact match does exactly what it says on the tin, however it now includes very close variations of your exact keyword phrase. ‘True’ Exact Match no longer exists. To use this match type in Google you will need to type your key phrase in the exact order you want it to appear, and surround it with brackets.

Merchant Centre: Google’s online dashboard where you manage your product inventory and make changes to your Google eCommerce products (shopping ads)

Negative Keywords: a word or phrase that allows you to filter out who your ads will be served to in the search results page

Placements: Locations on the Google Display Network where you ads can appear. You can pick and choose where you want your ads to be shown

Quality Score: Google’s rating of the quality and relevance of both your keywords and PPC ads. Quality score has many factors such as ad relevance, landing page experience and CTR

Remarketing Lists: Audiences based on users who have previously visited your site

All Visitors – All users who have visited pages that contain your remarketing tag

General Visitors – People who have visited your website but did not view any products

Past Buyers – Users who have purchased from you in the past

Product Viewers – People who viewed specific product pages on your site

Shopping Cart Abandoners – People who added your product to their shopping cart, but did not make a purchased

Return On Ad Spend (ROAS): How much money you have made back from your advertising campaign. This is calculated by dividing the revenue generated by the total cost of the campaigns

Return on Investment (ROI): Percentage you have made back through total investment (including any fees). To calculate this you divide your total revenue by your total costs (including any fees) and times by 100

Scripts: Pieces of code that help you automate certain Google advertising processes

Search Lost IS (Budget): The percentage of impressions you are loosing out on due to budget

Search Lost IS (Rank): The percentage of impressions you are missing out on due to poor ad rank

Search Network: A group of search-related websites and apps where your ads can appear

Search Partners: Sites in the Search Network that partner with Google to display ads

Search Query: Words that a user types into the search engine to get results

Search Engine Results Page (SERP): The pages that are displayed by search engines when a user makes a query

Shared Budgets: One daily budget that is shared across multiple campaigns

Single Keyword Ad Groups (SKAG): This is where each ad group contains only 1 keyword

View – Through Conversion: Whenever a user on the Display Network sees your ad but does not click it

Well, there you have it! The definitive guide to Pay-Per-Click terminology! To check out our PPC services why not give us a call? After all, we are a PPC agency!

ppc consultant in hampshire paul clarkeBefore forming Proven Concept in 2012, Paul gained several years experience as an executive in online user behaviour analytics and conversion optimisation. His experience provided a solid background for the formation of Proven Concept, which was originally started as a digital marketing agency. As time progressed, Paul and his team developed a keener preference for paid advertising and particularly Google Ads. In 2019, Paul was invited by Google to become a contributor to the Google Ads Beta Testing programme.