The Definitive Guide To PPC
Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising is an essential component of all digital marketing strategies. At Valve+Meter, we provide high quality PPC Services guided by exceptionally talented and knowledgeable PPC specialists. Stay up to date on the most important PPC terms to know in 2023 and beyond.
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Pay-Per-Click (PPC) allows companies to pay for ads that appear at the top of the search engine results page, or SERP.
Every time one of these ads is clicked, the advertiser is charged a set fee, referred to as the “cost-per-click”. Because advertisers only pay when their ads are clicked on, PPC provides businesses with an effective way to drive traffic to their websites and generate new leads.
Above the fold
The top portion of a web page that is visible without scrolling down. This is the most valuable real estate on a webpage, as it is the first thing visitors see when they land on a site.
The organization of your PPC campaigns and ad groups within your advertising account. Account structure ultimately determines the efficiency and effectiveness of your campaigns, as it makes it easier to manage campaigns, track performance, and optimize ads.
The text that appears within your ad, including the headline, description, and display URL. Ad copy is typically written to be enticing and attention-grabbing, with the end goal of getting potential customers to click through to your website or take another desired action.
The process of determining when and where your ads will be displayed. This includes factors such as platform, target audience, keywords, ad format, and more.
A decline in ad performance over time due to repeated exposure. The more frequently ads are seen by the same audience, the less effective they will become.
The specific layout and design of your ad, such as text, image, or video. Following a specific format can create a sense of brand familiarity and consistency among your advertisements, making it easier for consumers to recognize and remember your brand.
Ad group bid
The maximum amount that you are willing to pay for clicks on your ad group. Multiple advertisers are likely bidding for the same limited ad space, so a competitive ad group bid can increase the chances of your ads being displayed to your target audience.
A group of keywords and ads that share a common theme and budget. Organizing ads into ad groups helps advertisers ensure that their ads are relevant to the target audience, optimizing their budget and bidding strategies based on the performance of each ad group.
A platform that connects advertisers with publishers to display ads on websites.
Ad rank threshold
The minimum ad rank that is required to be displayed above the organic search results. Ad rank threshold can be improved by providing searchers with a high-quality ad experience.
The position of your ad in search results, determined by your bid, quality score, and ad relevance. Ad rank determines the visibility and success of your ad in the SERPs.
The degree to which your ad is relevant to the user’s search query and the keywords in your ad group. The more relevant that Google believes your ads to be to the target audience, the more likely it is that your ad will appear in a prominent position on the SERP.
Ad rotation settings
The specific settings that determine how often your ads are rotated within your advertising campaign. Ad rotation settings can be set to optimize for clicks, conversions, or even rotation.
The process of displaying multiple ads within an ad group, allowing you to test different ad variations and optimize for performance. Advertisers can make edits to their rotation based on the effectiveness of each ad.
Ad scheduling bid adjustment
A bid adjustment that allows you to increase or decrease your bids for specific times of day or days of the week. Search volume can fluctuate during certain times, so ad scheduling bid adjustments can provide greater control over your ad spend and help you target your audience more effectively.
The process of specifying when your ads will be displayed, based on the time of day, or the day of the week. This can be adjusted as needed to help your campaign be as successful as possible.
The current state of your ad, such as active, paused, or under review.
The process of selecting specific targeting options for your ads, such as demographics, interests, or behaviors. Targeting options help you reach an audience that is more likely to convert than a general audience would.
A specific placement on a webpage where an ad can be displayed. An ad’s location and size can have a significant impact on its visibility and effectiveness in reaching the target audience.
Different versions of an ad that test different ad copy, images, or targeting. This allows advertisers to stick with the ad version that is most effective.
The process of verifying that your ads comply with advertising policies and regulations. Maintaining compliance ensures your ads are approved and will be shown to your target audience.
A programming interface that allows developers to create custom applications that interact with Google Ads.
A simplified version of Google Ads designed for small businesses with limited time and resources.
Google’s PPC advertising platform. Now known as Google Ads, the platform allows businesses and advertisers to create and display ads on Google.
The process of assigning credit to different marketing channels for conversions and revenue. This helps businesses understand and visualize the contribution of each touchpoint throughout the customer’s journey.
Giving credit to a specific PPC ad or touchpoint that led to a conversion. This involves identifying which ad or keyword generated a click that led to a conversion, helping you tweak future campaigns for maximum effectiveness.
A bidding strategy that uses machine learning algorithms to automatically adjust your bids based on performance data. Automated bidding works by analyzing various signals to determine the optimal bid.
A feature that allows you to automate certain tasks and changes within your PPC ad campaigns.
A targeting option that allows you to automatically target users based on their search and browsing behavior. Searchers that fall within your target criteria can be shown your ads to increase conversion rates.
The average position of your ad in search results. The average ad position is calculated by dividing the total number of impressions by the total number of clicks.
A type of display ad that typically features a static or animated image. Banner ads are typically used to promote a product, service, or discount.
A setting that allows you to adjust your bids based on specific criteria, such as device or location.
The specific bidding approach that you use for your PPC campaigns, such as manual CPC or target CPA.
The specific bidding option that you choose for your PPC campaigns, such as “clicks” or “impressions.” Impressions typically help advertisers reach a wider audience, while clicks focus more directly on driving traffic to your site.
The percentage of users who leave your website after viewing only one page. The higher the percentage, the more users who visit your site and only access one page.
A keyword match type that displays your ad for variations of the keyword with additional words. This ensures you reach your target audience without needing to tediously create an exhaustive list of keywords.
The amount of money allocated to your PPC campaign over a specific time period. Being mindful of your budget before starting your PPC campaign will ensure you stay within your spending capabilities.
An ad extension that allows users to call your business directly from the search results page. This provides an easy point of communication for your customers that increases the likelihood of conversion or a sale.
Call to action (CTA)
A phrase that encourages users to take a specific action, such as “Sign up now.” The CTA should entice readers into taking the next step to become leads or even customers.
An ad format that only displays a phone number and a call button, allowing users to call your business directly from the ad.
The maximum amount of money you are willing to spend on a specific campaign. Your campaign budget will help you stay within your ad spend capabilities and keep you from overspending.
The type of campaign, such as search, display, or shopping.
A grouping of ad groups and ads with a common goal and budget. A typical PPC campaign will have multiple ad groups, each containing a set of closely related keywords and corresponding ads.
A type of ad format that displays multiple images or videos that users can swipe through. These are great ways to show examples of products or previously completed customer projects that speak to your company’s experience.
The practice of artificially inflating clicks on your ads for the purpose of driving up costs or sabotaging a competitor. Google can penalize advertisers who engage in click fraud, as it violates their policies and compromises the integrity of the advertising platform.
A conversion that occurs when a user clicks on your ad and then converts on your website.
Click-through rate (CTR)
The percentage of users who click on your ad. An ad’s click-through rate is calculated by dividing the number of clicks by the number of impressions.
An ad format that allows users to call your business directly from the ad. A single click on the ad allows searchers to contact your business.
An ad format that allows users to send a text message directly to your business from the search results page. These typically include incentives, such as promotions, offers, or discounts, to encourage users to sign-up and engage with your business via messaging.
A user action that occurs when someone clicks on your ad. Getting clicks from the target audience is typically the initial goal of a PPC campaign.
The process of researching and analyzing the advertising strategies of your competitors. A solid competitor analysis will help you identify a competitor’s strengths, understand their target audience, evaluate their ad copy and visual elements, and monitor their performance.
A targeting option that allows you to show your ads to users who are searching for your competitors. This involves using the brand’s name and using keywords relevant to their products or services.
A group of websites that display Google Ads display ads.
The time between a user clicking on your ad and completing a conversion. This can be a significant factor in the performance of your PPC campaigns, as it can affect your cost-per-acquisition (CPA) and return-on-ad-spend (ROAS).
The path that a user takes from seeing your ad to ultimately converting on your site. The funnel may not always be linear, as users may go back and forth between some steps and completely skip others.
Conversion rate optimization (CRO)
The process of optimizing your website to increase the likelihood of conversions. This involves adding CTAs, improving website copy, and making your website easy to navigate.
The process of tracking user behavior and attributing conversions to specific campaigns, keywords, or ads.
The revenue or other value generated by a conversion. A campaign’s conversion value can be used to measure the success of a campaign and to compare the performance of different campaigns.
The average cost of generating a conversion. CPA displays the cost of generating a conversion, such as a purchase, sign-up, or form submission.
The amount that you pay for each click on your ad. Shorter and more competitive keywords will have a higher cost-per-click, while long-tail keywords will have a lower cost-per-click.
The amount of money you pay for every thousand impressions of your ad. Impression-based PPC is typically used to reach a wider and more general audience.
The amount of money you pay for each lead generated from your ad.
The images, videos, and other creative elements used in your ads. Any creative assets should be optimized and tailored to each campaign.
The process of tracking user behavior and conversions across multiple devices. This helps you understand which devices and channels are most effective at driving conversions and engagement for your specific brand.
Custom intent audience
A targeting option that allows you to create an audience based on keywords and URLs related to your product or service.
Customer lifetime value (CLV)
The total value a customer will bring to your business over their lifetime.
A targeting option that allows you to upload a list of your customer email addresses and target them with your ads. These are often prior customers with whom you’ve already established a prior relationship.
A file that contains information about your products or services for use in shopping campaigns.
The process of showing your ads only during specific times of the day or week. This can be adjusted as needed to ensure your ads are seen during the most productive times of the week.
The URL of the landing page where users are taken after clicking on your ad. The destination URL is typically to a landing page that has been specifically to match the user’s search query and the ad they clicked on.
A type of ad format that typically features an image or video and appears on websites within the Google Display Network.
A type of campaign that displays your ads on websites within the Google Display Network. These include Gmail, YouTube, and more.
A group of websites, apps, and other digital properties where your display ads can appear. Google Display Network is the most popular display network used, reaching over 90% of searchers.
The URL that is displayed in your ad, which can be different from your destination URL. These are used to provide searchers with a clear and concise idea of where they will be directed after clicking your ad.
Dynamic search ads
A type of ad format that generates headlines and landing pages automatically based on the content of your website. These use crawlers to read your content and create ads that are relevant to the user’s search query.
Enhanced cost-per-click (ECPC)
A bidding strategy that adjusts your bids based on the likelihood of conversion.
Exact match negative keywords
A negative keyword that prevents your ad from showing for an exact match of the keyword. These are custom set to keep you from showing ads for searches that are not relevant to your business or that may not result in a conversion.
A type of keyword match type that only allows your ad to show for an exact match of your keyword. This helps you reach your ideal audience, but will prevent you from being seen for highly similar searches.
Expanded text ad
An ad format that allows for longer headlines and descriptions than standard text ads.
First-page bid estimate
The estimated bid required for your ad to appear on the first page of search results. A bid estimate will be determined by factors like the score of your ad, the relevance of your ad to the original search query, and the level of competition for the targeted keywords.
A setting that limits the number of times that your ad can be shown to a single user. This helps your searchers from experiencing fatigue due to overexposure to your ads.
The process of targeting your ads to specific geographic locations, such as cities or countries. This is especially helpful for companies that only offer products or services to a certain area.
A targeting option that allows you to show your paid ads to users within a specific geographic area.
A type of ad format that appears in users’ Gmail inboxes. These ads are often shown to users who have already been on your website and may not have converted the first time.
Google Ads Editor
A free application that allows you to manage your Google Ads campaigns offline. You can make edits to your campaigns, ad groups, ads, keywords, and other elements in bulk or individually, depending on your needs.
The new name for Google’s advertising platform, previously known as Google AdWords.
Google Analytics 360 Suite
A suite of analytics tools for enterprise-level businesses. The suite includes a variety of products and features designed to help businesses gain insights into their website traffic, user behavior, and marketing performance.
Google Analytics Goals
The specific actions or events that you want to track and measure in Google Analytics. Setting goals helps you see your progress and find areas that may need to be tweaked.
A free web analytics service that tracks and reports website traffic and user behavior.
Google Display Network targeting
The process of selecting specific targeting options for your display ads.
Google Display Network
A group of websites and apps where your display ads can appear, owned and operated by Google.
Google Merchant Center
A platform that allows you to upload and manage your product data for use in shopping campaigns.
Google Merchant Promotions
A feature that allows you to promote special offers and discounts in your Google Shopping ads.
A tool that allows you to test and optimize your website for better user engagement and conversions.
The main title of an advertisement, which is often the first line users see in a PPC ad.
PPC campaigns that target an extremely specific geographical area or location.
A clickable link in an ad that redirects users to a specified webpage or landing page.
A data visualization tool that shows where users are most frequently clicking on a webpage, often used to optimize ad placement.
Impression share loss
The percentage of impressions that your ads did not receive due to low ad rank or budget limitations. Increasing budget and ad rank can help you capture lost impressions in the future.
The percentage of impressions your ads receive compared to the total number of impressions available. The ideal impression share can vary depending on the competitiveness of the key term.
A user action that occurs when your ad is displayed on a webpage. An impression is recorded anytime your ad is shown as a result of a user’s search.
A targeting option that allows you to reach users who are actively researching and comparing products in your industry. It uses Google’s powerful machine-learning algorithms to identify users who have demonstrated a high level of purchase intent for specific products or services, increasing the chances of conversion.
These are ads that use Java programming language, often for interactive or animated elements. They can be more engaging but might not be supported on all devices or browsers.
Jump Page Ad
A type of ad where users are directed to an intermediate page (the “jump page”) before reaching their final destination. This intermediate page can contain advertisements or additional information relevant to the original ad clicked.
Keyword match type
The setting that determines how closely a user’s search query must match your keyword for your ad to be displayed. This can be adjusted to help you reach a more general or targeted audience, depending on your preference.
A tool that allows you to research and analyze potential keywords for your PPC campaigns. Google offers a free keyword planner that can help you find information on relevant keywords.
The process of finding and selecting the best keywords for your PPC campaigns. Proper keyword research can help you discover relevant keywords and understand their search volumes and costs-per-click.
The practice of using too many keywords in your ad copy or website content in an attempt to manipulate search rankings. Google can penalize and reject ads that they believe were intentionally stuffed with keywords.
Landing page experience
The quality and relevance of your landing page, which can affect your ad’s performance. Providing a greater experience can increase conversion rates.
Landing page relevance
The degree to which your landing page is relevant to the user’s search query. The more relevant and informative your landing page is to the user’s search intent, the more likely they are to engage with your website or take the next step in the buyer’s journey.
Lead form extension
Ad extensions that allow users to submit their contact information without leaving the search results page. Lead form extensions are a powerful tool to help businesses capture leads and generate conversions directly from your Google Ads.
The process of generating and collecting leads through your PPC campaigns.
Local search ads
A type of ad format that displays information about your business, such as address and phone number, in local search results.
A specific, highly targeted keyword phrase with low search volume. These are typically easier to rank for and offer higher conversion rates than short-tail keywords.
An audience created based on the characteristics of your existing customers, allowing you to reach new, similar users.
The use of algorithms and statistical models to allow computers to learn and make decisions without being explicitly programmed.
A bidding strategy that allows you to set your own bids for keywords or ad groups. Manual bidding provides you with complete control over how much you want to bid for each keyword or ad group.
A strategy that combines multiple advertising channels, such as PPC, social media, and email.
Negative keyword list
A list of negative keywords that prevents your ads from being displayed for certain search queries. This prevents you from wasting your budget on search terms with low conversion rates or for products and services you don’t offer.
The targeting options for where your ads can be displayed, such as search, display, or shopping. Network targeting lets the advertiser choose the specific networks where they want their ads to appear based on their advertising goals and audience.
Conversions that occur outside of your website, such as phone calls or in-store purchases.
Outstream video ad
A video ad format that can be displayed within non-video content, such as articles or mobile apps.
The specific location on a website where your display ad appears. The highest points of the webpage are typically considered the most valuable for ad placements due to their increased visibility.
The amount of time it takes for your website to load, which can affect user experience and ad performance. The longer a page takes to load, the more likely a user will click off the page.
A visual representation of the performance of your PPC campaigns.
A keyword match type that displays your ad for search queries that include the exact phrase or a close variation of the phrase. This helps you reach a more targeted audience.
The process of selecting specific websites or apps where your display ads will be displayed. Some websites and apps might be more appropriate than others for your ads depending on your target audience and campaign goals.
A setting that allows you to prefer higher or lower ad positions in search results. This gives you the flexibility to control where your ads appear on the SERP and can help you achieve specific advertising goals.
Product data feed
A file that contains information about your products for use in shopping campaigns. This data should be accurate and up-to-date, including details such as the product’s name, description, price, availability, image, and other relevant attributes.
Quality score factors
The specific factors that Google considers when calculating your ad’s quality score, such as ad relevance and landing page experience.
Quality score threshold
The minimum quality score required for your ad to be displayed in search results.
The number of unique users who have seen your ad. This is a similar metric to impression, but differs in that reach counts each individual user only once, regardless of how many times they have seen your ad.
A targeting option that allows you to show your ads to users who have previously visited your website. These are effective in reaching customers who are likely already interested in your products or services. Sometimes referred to as “Remarketing list for search ads”, or RLSA.
Responsive display ad
An ad format that automatically adjusts its size, appearance, and format to fit different ad spaces. This provides mobile and desktop users with the same experience, regardless of device.
Return on ad spend (ROAS) bidding
A bidding strategy that sets your bids to generate a specific return on ad spend.
Return on investment (ROI)
The amount of revenue generated from your ad spend, expressed as a percentage. ROI is a key metric used to evaluate the effectiveness and profitability of an advertising campaign.
Search query report
A report that shows the actual search terms that triggered your ads. This helps you discover what search terms are most effective and which may need to be added to your negative keyword list.
Search term isolation
The process of separating your search terms into individual ad groups for better control and optimization.
The specific keyword or phrase that a user types into a search engine. The search term is used by the search engine to match relevant web pages, ads, images, videos, and other content that best matches the user’s search intent.
A specific subset of your audience, such as users who have completed a specific action on your website.
A type of ad format that displays product information and pricing in Google Shopping search results. These can take users directly to the product page, making it easy for them to buy the product.
A type of campaign that allows you to advertise your products in the Google Shopping section.
An ad extension that allows you to display additional links to specific pages on your website.
A clickable link within an ad that takes users to a specific page on your website. These links provide users with quick access to relevant pages on the advertiser’s website to increase the visibility and click-through rates of their ads.
A process of testing different variations of your ads or landing pages to determine which performs the best. This allows the advertiser to invest more in the variation that has provided results and draw back from the less effective ad.
Target audience demographics
Specific demographic criteria that you can use to target your PPC ads, such as age, gender, or income.
Target cost-per-action (CPA)
A bidding strategy that sets your bids to generate conversions at a specific cost.
Target CPA bidding
A bidding strategy that sets your bids to generate conversions at a specific cost per acquisition.
Target impression share
A bidding strategy that sets your bids to achieve a specific percentage of available impressions.
Target return on ad spend (ROAS)
A bidding strategy that sets your bids to generate revenue at a specific return on ad spend.
Target ROAS bidding
A bidding strategy that sets your bids to generate a specific return on ad spend.
The specific targeting options for your PPC campaigns, such as demographics, interests, or behaviors. Utilizing the right targeting option helps you reach your intended audience more effectively, resulting in higher conversion rates and a better ROI.
The most common type of ad format, consisting of a headline, description, and display URL. They should be as clear, concise, and attention-grabbing as possible to capture more clicks.
A small piece of code placed on your website to track user behavior and conversions. This helps advertisers retarget consumers that may already be interested in their products or services, but who have yet to convert.
Universal App Campaigns
A type of campaign that allows you to promote your mobile app across Google’s properties, including search, display, and YouTube.
User-generated content (UGC)
Content created by users, such as reviews, photos, or videos, that can be used in your ads. Using UGC in your ads can show potential customers that you care about what they have to say and your commitment to providing them with a great experience.
An ad format that displays a video to users on YouTube or other video networks.
A targeting option that allows you to show your video ads to users who have previously interacted with your videos. Video remarketing is an effective way to reach interested users.
The percentage of users who view your video ad. View rate can be calculated by dividing the number of views by the number of impressions.
A conversion that occurs when a user views your display or video ad but does not click on it, and later completes a conversion on your website.
View-through rate (VTR)
The percentage of users who viewed your video ad to completion or for a certain length of time. Higher VTRs signal that your ad is compelling and grabs the attention of your target audience.
The number of times your ad was actually seen by a user, rather than just displayed on a page.
Website conversion rate
The percentage of users who complete a desired action on your website, such as making a purchase or filling out a form.
A tool that allows you to test and optimize your website for better user engagement and conversions. Advertisers can experiment with different variations of a website’s design, content, layout, or functionality to see which format provides the best results.
Yahoo’s PPC advertising platform, which combines search and native advertising.
A type of advertising that allows you to show your ads on YouTube videos or channels.
A tool that allows you to track and analyze the performance of your YouTube videos and ads.
A collection of videos and content created by a user or organization on YouTube.
YouTube Creator Studio
A tool that allows you to manage and optimize your YouTube channel and videos.
YouTube video ad
An ad format that displays a video to users on YouTube or other video networks.
Zero impression keyword
A keyword that has not received any impressions in an advertiser’s PPC campaign. This means that their ad has not been displayed for that keyword, even though it is eligible to be displayed.
The situation where an advertiser’s ad is not displayed on the first page of search results.
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