With Google and other PPC networks continually updating and evolving their platforms, even professional PPC managers can be confused by some of the new paid search terms they introduce.
To help you get a good understanding of the PPC terminology, we’ve put together a detailed PPC glossary of over 100 common PPC terms and acronyms.
From PPC to CPA, by the end of this list, you’ll know all the important terms that PPC marketers like to use.
Also visit our Performance Marketing Glossary.
PPC Terms & Acronyms Glossary
The testing of two different landing pages (landing page A and landing page B) to determine which converts better. Changes are usually anything from different content and text to different coloured buttons.
An advertising campaign with a PPC network that contains advertisements that share the same theme or goal. For example, a set of advertisements that focus on driving traffic to a Black Friday landing page.
A setting in various PPC networks which determines how fast or slow ads are shown to users. The default setting in Google Ads is standard, which optimizes the budget by spending it throughout the day at a constant rate.
Google Ads features that show extra business information on an ad, such as their address, phone number, shop rating or webpage links. These additional pieces of information helps increase the ad’s clickthrough rate.
Found in PPC ad campaigns, ad groups are used to keep campaigns organized and contain a set of related keywords. Each PPC campaign contains at least one ad group but can have multiple.
A metric that tells advertisers the position in which an ad appears on a page in relation to other PPC ads, with position one being the highest possible.
Not to be confused with Ad Position, Ad Rank is a value that’s used to determine in what position an ad will show based on the bid amount and quality score metrics.
A keyword status that measures how closely related a keyword is to an ad. The three statuses are below average, average, and above average. Having average or above-average means there are no major problems with ad relevance.
A setting in many PPC networks which allows advertisers to run ads during specific times and days of the week. This setting allows advertisers to increase or decrease bids for specific days and times.
Google’s publishing network which allows third parties to publish advertisements on their website in exchange for ad revenue. PPC ads can be run on these websites using a display network campaign.
The original name for Google’s pay per click advertising network. As of July 24th 2018, Google rebranded its network to Google Ads. The names are still used interchangeably today.
An application programming interface (API) used by developers to create third-party applications for Google Ads. The AdWords API will be replaced with the new Google Ads API in the future.
Now known as the Google Ads Editor, this downloadable application allows advertisers to manage their Google Ads campaigns offline and offers many bulk editing features and options.
A simple Google Ads interface aimed at new advertisers with zero PPC experience. The heavy use of automation and AI means this type of campaign is much faster to set up.
An application programming interface (API) allows developers to create applications that interact directly with their Google account. Currently, Google has two main APIs, Google AdWords API and the new Google Ads API.
Also called the target audience, these are the people advertisers target with their PPC ads. There are many audience targeting options including demographics, interests, remarketing, life events and similar audiences.
A feature that automatically adds a tracking parameter called the GCLID to Google ads URLs in order to help report on ad performance within Google Analytics.
A feature found in many PPC networks that allows the network to automatically adjust bidding on keywords in order to meet certain performance goals e.g. increase traffic, conversions, visibility.
When Google automatically chooses relevant websites on their Google Display network to display an advertiser’s ads. Advertisers can also select specific websites by adding management placements.
A metric that describes the average position of an ad on the results page. Since September 30th 2019, this metric has been removed from Google Ads and replaced with impression rate.
An acronym for business to business which is often used in the digital marketing space when describing businesses who primarily sell to other businesses. Similar to the B2C acronym.
An acronym for business to consumer which is often used in the digital marketing space when describing businesses that primarily sell to individuals. Similar to the B2B acronym.
How much an advertiser is willing to pay for a click on their ad. Many PPC networks offer different bidding strategies such as a focus on clicks, impressions, conversions or views.
Advertisers can get the most out of their advertising budget by optimizing their bids through ad scheduling, bid adjustments and keyword grouping.
Similar to bid management, bid optimization involves getting the most clicks for the lowest cost. This can involve bid adjustment, landing page optimization, and ad scheduling to lower the cost per click.
On most PPC networks, there are different bidding types advertisers can use depending on their goals. The most common bidding types are a focus on clicks, impressions or conversions.
A bounce is when a user only sees one page before leaving. Often measured as the bounce rate, a high bounce rate can mean a landing page has problems with ad relevance, speed, or call to action.
A keyword match type that will trigger an ad whenever someone searches for the phrase, similar phrase, close variation, or other relevant variations. The broad match type is displayed with a + in front of the keyword.
Broad Match Modifier
A type of modifier that ensures ads will only show for searches that include words that have been marked with a plus symbol (+). This gives advertisers more control over their keyword targeting.
An ad extension that lets advertisers add phone numbers which can significantly increase clickthrough rates. Call extensions are tap to call on mobile, which greatly increases engagement.
Call Only Campaigns
A type of ad campaign that only shows on mobile and allows users to call the business by tapping the ad. Unlike call extensions on search ads, call-only campaigns have no landing page and are only on mobile devices.
Callouts are additional information that help promote unique offers on text ads with two to six showing per ad. These are usually used to emphasize offers such as free shipping and 24/7 support.
The fraudulent clicking of pay per click ads in order to waste an advertiser’s advertising budget. Often caused by competitors, botnets and webmasters, click fraud can also be used to make money for criminal gangs.
Click to Call
Found on text ads and created using call extensions, phone numbers can be clicked and tapped to call the business, which can significantly increase customer engagement and conversions.
A conversion can be viewed as a goal completion depending on the pay per click strategy. Sometimes a conversion is a sale, sometimes it’s an account registration, depending on the strategy’s goal.
A Google Ads feature that helps adjust bidding on individual keywords depending on which clicks are likely to result in a conversion.
The total number of conversions per ad interactions displayed as a percentage. Conversion rates are calculated by taking the number of conversions and dividing by the number of ad interactions.
CPA (Cost Per Action)
Sometimes called cost per acquisition, cost per action is the amount an advertiser is charged per conversion. It is calculated by dividing the total cost of conversions by the total number of conversions.
CPC (Cost Per Click)
Cost per click is the amount an advertiser pays for every click on their advert. Commonly found on PPC networks such as Google Ads and Facebook Ads.
CPL (Cost Per Lead)
The same as CPA (cost per action) just a different name. The term cost per lead is usually used when a PPC campaign is focusing on registrations or email sign-ups.
CPM (Cost Per Mile)
A metric that measures ads per 1,000 impressions. Often used as a bidding strategy on ad networks that allow users to pay per thousand impressions instead of for every click.
CPV (Cost Per View)
How much an advertiser pays for a view of their ad. Often used for video ads on YouTube with a view being anyone who watches 30 seconds of the video or the entire ad.
CTR (Clickthrough Rate)
A percentage showing how often users click an ad. A higher clickthrough rate is better as it shows an ad is getting more clicks based on the same number of impressions.
Customer Lifetime Value
A monetary metric that shows how much a conversion is worth to a business. Knowing this metric allows advertisers to set CPA and CPL targets to ensure PPC campaigns profitable.
A feature found in various ad networks which allows advertisers to set the maximum amount of money they are willing to spend per day for a given ad or campaign.
Description Line 1
The first of two descriptions on a Google expanded text ad. The character limit of the first description is 90 characters which allows more text than a regular ad.
Description Line 2
The second of two descriptions on a Google expanded text ad. The character limit of the second description is also 90 characters which allows more text than a regular ad.
The URL address of the webpage that people will land on when they click an ad. The domain of the destination URL needs to match the domain of the display URL.
A type of advertising campaign in Google Ads that displays banner ads on the Google display network. This type of ad campaign uses Google vast third party publisher network.
Also called the Google Display Network, this network contains millions of third party publisher websites which advertisers can run their paid ads on. These publishers receive a commission for every click on their ads.
The URL that appears on the ad that users see. This will be the same domain as the destination URL but will point to a specific landing page URL instead.
Dynamic Keyword Insertion
A Google Ads feature that dynamically updates the text in an ad to include a keyword that matches a user’s search term. This helps make the ad more relevant without having to manually create ads.
A type of bidding strategy that aims to get more conversions by automatically adjusting bids for users that seem more or less likely to lead to a conversion.
One of the many match types that will trigger ads when the exact keyword or a close variation of the keyword are used. Exact match keywords are displayed in square brackets .
Expanded Text Ads
A type of ad on the Google Ad network which includes more fields compared to a standard ad. Expanded text ads have three headline fields and two 90 character description fields.
The URL address of the webpage that users will be redirected to when they click an ad. The final URL must always match the URL shown on the ad.
A feature that limits the number of times an advertiser’s ads are shown to the same person. Often used with display and video ads on the Google Ads network.
The Google Click Identifier which is automatically added onto the end of destination URLs with Google’s auto-tagging feature. Used to record and display ad performance in Google Analytics.
Many PPC networks allow advertisers to target specific locations and countries for their ads. Also known as location targeting, this allows advertisers to maximize their ad spend.
Google AdWords Express
A type of Google Ad campaign aimed at new users that utilizes AI and automation to make setting up ads easier and faster.
A free analytics suite provided by Google which is commonly used for data analysis on both websites and PPC ads.
Google Forwarding Phone Number
This is a unique phone number from Google that can be used in ads to help track calls to businesses. This helps with analytics and reporting for ads.
The first line on a text advert which consists of 30 characters and usually includes the target keyword. Each advert can have up to 3 different headlines.
A term used to describe how many users landed on a page. The more clicks on an ad, the more hits on a webpage or website.
The percentage of impressions that an ad receives compared to the total number of impressions the ad could receive. This metric is a good way to understand if an advertiser should increase their bid or budget.
This metric tells advertisers how often their ad is shown. An impression is each time their ad is shown on a search results page or via the Google display network.
Keyword Match Type
Keyword match types control which searches on Google trigger certain ads. Match types include: broad match, phrase match, exact match, and the broad match modifier.
Keywords are the words and phrases that people are searching for and are used to trigger paid ads based on the different keyword match types used.
KPI (Key Performance Indicator)
The ad’s destination URL on a website that users will reach when they click an ad. The aim of this page is to turn users into converting users via sign ups, purchases, or lead generation.
Landing Page Experience
Google’s measure of how well a landing page gives people what they are looking for. This experience measurement affects the ad’s cost per click and ad position.
A setting that allows advertisers to choose the location or locations in which they want to advertise. This type of targeting can help advertisers get the most out of their budgets.
A keyword phrase that includes numerous words, making it more specific and less competitive to target. For example “brown leather shoes size 11”.
Low Search Volume
A warning status that is given to a keyword with little to no monthly searches. Google will make the keyword inactive so it won’t trigger ads until it has more search volume.
A targeting method advertisers can use to specifically target certain websites and videos on the Google Display Network. This is the opposite of the automatic placements targeting option.
A type of bidding method that allows advertisers to set their own maximum cost per click for their ads. This gives advertisers much more control over their ad spend and budget.
Another term for keyword match types which help decide what keywords can trigger an advertiser’s ads on search engines. Match types include exact, broad, phrase, broad match modifier.
Keywords that advertisers don’t want triggering their ads. Common examples are words such as free, download, cheap, discount. These words have low buyer intent, so are excluded to maximize budgets.
Similar to keyword match types but used for negative keywords to stop them from triggering ads. Negative match types include phrase match, broad match and exact match.
Similar to negative keywords but used on the Google Display Network. Negative placements tell Google which websites and videos ads shouldn’t appear on.
A keyword match type that allows ads to be triggered only when a user’s search includes the exact phrase or close variation of the keyword.
PLA (Product Listing Ads)
Also known as Google Shopping Ads, Product Listing Ads are listings that appear on Google’s shopping network and allow advertisers to include images, prices and business name in their ad.
Similar to negative placements, a placement exclusion is a list of websites an advertiser doesn’t want their ads to be displayed on. This list can then be set across multiple advertising accounts.
A tool made for the Google Display Network which gives advertisers detailed information about reach and impression estimates for display campaigns.
PPC (Pay Per Click)
An acronym for pay per click. Can often refer to various different pay per click networks including Bing Ads, Facebook Ads, Instagram Ads and LinkedIn Ads.
A type of ad extension which displays price options for products below the ad. Available on mobile and desktop they give advertisers more space to highlight products and services that they offer.
A type of ad extension which is used when promoting special sales and offers. Using these type of promotion extensions increase the chances of users clicking an ad.
A metric found in Google Ads which gives advertisers a sense of the quality of their ads. Ranging from 1 to 10, the three factors that determine quality score are expected clickthrough rate, ad relevance and landing page experience.
A remarketing campaign helps advertisers target visitors who have already visited their website. Previous visitors will see ads when they visit websites that are part of the Google Display Network.
ROAS (Return On Ad Spend)
A metric that advertisers use to measure the performance of their ads. It is also a bidding option in Google Ads that adjusts bids depending on the conversion value.
ROI (Return On Investment)
A key performance indicator that measures how much profit has been made from advertising compared to how much has been spent on ads.
A group of search-related websites where ads from a search campaign can appear. On the Google network this includes maps, shopping, images, and any other search partner websites.
A query that a user types into a search engine. Depending on the campaign’s keyword match types, this will determine whether an ad is triggered or not.
Seller Ratings Extensions
A type of ad extension that displays rating stars below an ad. Selling ratings help advertisers improve ad performance and receive more clicks.
SERP (Search Engine Results Page)
The page that users see after doing a search on a search engine such as Google or Bing. This is also the page where search ads will be displayed.
A type of advertising campaign that will be displayed on Google’s shopping section. Unlike search ads, shopping ads can contain images, prices and more.
A type of ad extension that displays links to the important pages of a businesses website. This is used to increase clickthrough rates and user engagement.
A type of smart campaign that simplifies display advertising. This campaign type automates bidding, targeting and ad creation for the advertiser.
When an advertiser tests different campaigns or ad variations to see how they perform over time. These can be setup using campaign experiments in Google Ads.
SQR (Search Query Report)
A report that highlights all the different search queries that triggered a specific ad. This is very helpful for advertisers to ensure their ads are triggering for the correct keywords and search queries.
SV (Search Volume)
The amount of searches a specific keyword gets per month in terms of monthly traffic. A search volume of 100 would indicate 100 people search for the specific term every single month.
Universal App Campaigns
Since February 20th 2019, these are now known as app campaigns. This type of campaign allows advertisers to target users in apps as well as YouTube and the Google Play store.