PPC Glossary

PPC, Paid Search, Shopping Feeds – whatever you know it as, this advertising model has become a prevalent part of online marketing, and isn’t going away anytime soon. E-commerce is largely shaped by paid search and its many successes. These successes include providing great exposure and highly competitive ad positions for smaller brands over large online retailers. PPC also allows for close control over budgeting – its users can manually set and manage costs while only paying when potential customers click on their ads.

If you’re looking to gain some industry savvy in the world of paid search, check out this glossary for all the PPC terms you’ve ever wondered about – and maybe a few you haven’t heard of yet. We recommend bookmarking this page for future reference as you start (or continue) your PPC journey.

Ad Extensions: When additional information is listed on a PPC ad such as phone numbers, business locations, product/store reviews. Sitelinks (links to other areas of the store) in ads that show up on the top page for Google searches.

AdGroup: A subdivision of a campaign. AdGroups are manually created and set up by the user. They can be divided by theme, product type, or keywords.

AdWords: Google’s Paid Search Platform where you can run and manage your Google ads.

Ad Position: Where in the search results page your ad appears.

Ad Schedule: A specific schedule for your ads to display on search results during particular hours of the day and/or days of the week. Also known as dayparting.

Average CPC: The average price you pay each time someone clicks on your ad.
[ Avg. CPC ] = [ Cost ] / [ Clicks ]

Bing Ads: Bing and Yahoo’s Paid Search Platform

Bounce rate: The percentage of users who enter a site and then leave it without viewing any other pages. It’s a great metric for understanding user behavior.

Broad Match: Keyword match type that triggers your PPC ads to show with any relevant searches that match your targeted keyword.

Broad Modified Match: Keyword match type, where the advertiser has signaled the important terms within your targeted keyword in order to target more relevant searches.

Campaigns: Highest level in an account, Campaigns combine the following elements to help your ads show to the right people at the right time: Keywords, Ads, and Targeting Methods.

CSE: Comparison Shopping Engine, Platform that allows users to search for products, results show both images and prices so users are able to compare prices between different vendors.

Click: When someone clicks on an ad; translates to a visit to the website.

Click-through-rate (CTR): The percentage of times your ad has been clicked on in relation to the number of times it appeared/has been shown. A high or low click through rate provides great information about ad language and keywords customers are responding to.

Conversion: When a customer completes a specified action. This can range from a click or download to even filling out a form or calling your business. Conversions show how many actual items the customer purchases from that converted click.

Conversion Value: The amount of each conversion. This allows us to know which keywords result in sales with the highest profit margins and we can optimize the account accordingly to go after those bigger products as efficiently as possible.

Cost-per-Click (CPC): The amount, per click, an advertiser pays a search engine for one click. Set keyword bids at an optimal level so you don't overpay for clicks. We set the CPC for keywords and ads as "this is the most we're willing to pay for one visit."

Daily Budget: The maximum amount of money you’re willing to spend on your paid ads for a day.

Data Feed: The format/program that is accepted by a CSE to list their items. This can be in the form of a CSV, TXT, XML, etc. It's most often represented as an excel file.

Default Max CPC: The maximum amount you are willing to pay for a click (a bid).

Display Network: A group of more than a million websites, videos, and apps where ads can appear. Sites in this network show relevant AdWords ads. The Display Network (formerly known as the Content Network) is one part of the Google Network. Ads can be automatically matched to websites and other placements like mobile phone apps when your keywords are related to the sites' content. You can also choose to target specific sites, pages about specific topics, demographic groups and more.

Exact Match: Keyword match type in which your PPC ads show for a specific word or phrase in relevant searches.

Geo Targeting: Where you target countries, states, cities, radii around certain points all the way down to a zip code level. Businesses can spend money showing ads exactly where they want to show them to make sure their money is well spent.

Google Merchant Center: Google’s platform for managing and submitting the actual shopping feed data.

Google Shopping: The name for the campaign type and marketplace where Google CSE ads appear. Google Shopping ads appear both on the search result page and within Google.com/shopping.

Impressions: Number of times your advertisement showed up on a page, website, mobile app, or anywhere else the ad happens to appear. Impressions are free and, among other things, can help grow the business’s brand as the ad will be shown far more times than it will be clicked and customers will continually see the website name for the products they are purchasing.

Keyword: A word that a user enters in search or a word or phrase used to display an advertisement. Each web page should be optimized with the goal of drawing in visitors who have searched specific keywords.

Landing Page: The website where your advertisement takes the user. It should include the same details, selling points and promotional information as your ads.

Maximum CPC Bid: The maximum amount of money you’re willing to spend on a click for a particular keyword.

Negative Keywords: Type of keyword used to target search terms to exclude irrelevant traffic from within your paid search campaigns.

Optimize: Ways to improve an account's performance. This can range from changing ad copy to changing the website.

Quality Score: A ranking system from 1 – 10 that Google uses to decide your Ad Rank. An estimate of the quality of your ads, keywords, and landing page. Higher quality ads can lead to lower prices and better ad positions.

Phrase Match: Keyword match type where you target a particular word or phrase in search terms and may include searches with additional words before or after targeted keyword phrase.

Remarketing: Ads that are targeted and shown to users who have previously visited your website. You can even show these previous visitors ads that are tailored to them based on which sections of your site they visited. Ads could appear to them as they browse other sites that are part of the Google Display Network or as they search for terms related to your products on Google.

Return on Ad Spend (ROAS): The percentage of profit made from your paid search campaign compared to the amount of money spent on your ad budget. ROAS = (profit-cost)/cost

Return on Investment (ROI): A profitability ratio that calculates the overall profits of an investment when comparing the profits to the costs. ROI = (total profit – total cost)/total cost

Search Engine Results Page (SERP): The results seen by typing in a search query; this typically includes both paid and non-paid results.

Search Phrases: Words or phrases that people use when searching online. The essence of the information, products, or services they want to find. Also referred to as search terms and search queries.

Search Network: Search engine specific results where ads can appear when your keywords are relevant to a user's search. Google search sites: Ads can appear beside, above or below search results on Google Search or Google Shopping.

Search Volume: The average amount of searches a particular keyword or phrase gets over a given time period.

Time on Site: How long a user spends on the site and specifically what keywords are leading to the most time spent on a client’s site.

View-Through Conversion: Only applicable to remarketing and display campaigns; a customer first clicked on your banner ad and did not make a purchase, but then returned to your store after that first interaction and then made a purchase during a 14-day tracking window.

Anything we missed? Questions? Feel free to add or ask in the comments below!