PPC Glossary

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by Ash Smith

November 29, 2019

We know the world of PPC is full of acronyms and terms that can be quite bewildering when you start, so we’ve pulled together a glossary of these to help you get to grips with it all.

Account access: the account access tab shows the users that have access to a particular account and their level of access. As an admin, you can also add users by providing their email. You can access this via tools and settings > setup > account access.  

Ads: ads can be come in a range of formats depending on campaign settings (e.g. search campaign/display/video). They are triggered when they meet the campaign criteria, such as search keywords (if a search campaign), targeted pages (display campaigns) and video content (video campaigns).

Ad Group: themed groups that contain keywords, bids and ads, inheriting settings from campaigns. 

Ad preview and diagnosis: the AdWords ad preview and diagnostics tool is a tool designed by Google to allow you to check the status of your ad and the way it’s being displayed to different searchers in different geographic locations across devices.

Ad Schedule: the ad schedule report displays performance data segmented by hour-of-day, day-of-week and a combination of both. Selecting a campaign and viewing ad schedule allows you to set schedules and bid adjustments for different times of day. 

Affiliate location extension: if you sell products via third party retailers, affiliate location extensions list additional locations where your products can be bought. *Note – this is currently only available for retail chains and auto dealers in specific countries.   

App extension: app extensions allow you to link to your mobile or tablet app in your text ads.

Audiences: these are audience segments that can be added to campaigns and ad groups for additional targeting via bid adjustments and exclusions (not to be confused with audience targeting within campaign settings). 

Audience manager: audience manager where you’ll find Audience lists, Audience sources and Audience insights. You can manage and monitor audience sources, create new audience lists, and learn more about your audience based on demographics, interests, locations and devices.

Bid Strategy Type: bid strategies take into consideration how you want to bid on your ads to meet a particular goal, for example, increased clicks, increased conversions, or a target cost per conversion. 

Billing summary: provides a summary of billing to date for your Google Ads Account, charged to the linked credit card. 

Billing documents: billing documents provide a transaction history of when the linked credit card was chaged, the amount of clicks, and how much was charged.  

Billing settings: the billing settings is where the account billing details are contained including the credit card details, business name and payment contacts. This can be reached via tools and settings > billing > billing settings. 

Broad: broad-match is the default match type that all your keywords are assigned. Ads may show on searches that include misspellings, synonyms, related searches and other relevant variations. So if your keyword is ‘women’s hats’, someone searching for ‘buy ladies hats’ might see your ad.

Broad Match Modifier (BMM): similar to broad-match, except that the broad match modifier option only shows ads in searches which include the words designated with a plus sign (+women’s hats) or close variations of them.

Budget: budgets are assigned to campaigns to let Google know how much you want to spend for that campaign per day. 

Business data: you can upload and manage multiple data feeds in your account for use across your campaigns in Google Ads. Business data is where you provide and manage data sources for ads, extensions, and targeting. To access it go to tools and settings > setup> business data. 

Call extensions: appends a clickable phone number to your ad. 

Call-outs: short (25 character) promotional information about your business or service offering that you want to highlight in addition to your ad text. 

Campaign: a collection of ad groups, with an assigned budget and targeting. 

Chats: chats shows how many times a person messaged your business as the result of a message impression that showed with a Google forwarding number. Each chat is made up of a series of messages exchanged between a person and your business.

Chat rate: shows the number of people who initiated a conversation with your business after seeing your message extension. This is calculated by the number of chats divided by the number of message impressions that showed with a Google forwarding number.

Change history: a tool that lists the changes that you’ve made to your account during the past two years.

Clicks: clicks on your ad. This can include clicks on the headline or extensions that you have on your ads.  

Click share: click share is the estimated share of all achievable clicks that you have received; it is available only for search and Shopping campaigns. 

CPA: cost per acquisition, also referred to as cost per conversion. This is calculated by advertising spend (cost) divided by the number of conversions. 

Conversions: conversions are meaningful actions you want to capture as a result of someone engaging with your ad. The conversions tab lets to create new conversions and view stats for existing conversions you’ve set up. This can be accessed via tools and settings > measurement > conversions. 

Conversion value: when you use conversion tracking, you can assign the same value to all conversions of a certain action or let each conversion have different values (transaction-specific). If you assign values to your conversions, you’ll be able to see the total value driven by your advertising across different conversions, rather than simply the number of conversions that have happened.

Conversion rate: conversion rate is expressed as a percentage, calculated by total number of clicks divided by the total number of conversions. Can be calculated at the ad, keyword, ad group, campaign, and account level.  

Conversions: tracked goals that are set up to record whenever a user completes a valuable action starting from your ad. This can include actions on your website, or clicks on a phone number on your ad. 

Cost: the total spend from your advertising. This can be calculated at varying levels including ad, keyword, ad group, campaign and account. 

CPC: cost per click. This can vary depending on ad rank and bid. This is the individual amount that is charged to your account when someone clicks on your ad. 

Cross device conversion: cross-device attribution reports show you not only when customers interact with multiple ads before completing a conversion, but also when they do so on multiple devices. This gives you valuable insight into how your customers use different devices on their path to conversion.

CTR: click through rate. This is calculated by dividing the impressions your ad achieved by the number of clicks it had. 

Demographics: the Google Ads demographics report displays performance data segmented by age, gender, household income, as well as combinations and exclusions of data. This data can be used for bid adjustments for advanced targeting.  

Devices: the devices report shows which devices users clicked an ad from including desktop, mobile and tablet. You also have the ability to set bid adjustments to optimise for or exclude devices. 

Drafts and experiments: drafts and experiments are Google Ads features that let you propose and test changes to your Search and Display campaigns. You can use drafts to prepare multiple changes to a campaign. From there, you can either apply your draft’s changes back to the original campaign or use your draft to create an experiment. Experiments help you measure your results to understand the impact of your changes before you apply them to a campaign.

Exact: ads may show on searches that match the exact term or are close variations of that exact term. Close variants include searches for keywords with the same meaning as the exact keywords, regardless of spelling or grammar differences between the query and the keyword. Designated with brackets, the keyword [women’s hats] could show ads when someone searches on Google for ‘hats for women’.

Extensions: additional information that can be appended to your ad at the account, campaign or ad group level.

First Click Attribution: is a type of web analytics model in which the first click that brings a visitor to a website is given credit for any sale or conversion that ultimately takes place.

Google Analytics: for quick access to the analytics of the Google Ads account you are looking at, simply click on tools and settings > measurement > analytics. You’ll need to have linked your analytics property to your Google Ads account first (see linked accounts).  

Google Merchant Centre: for quick access to the linked Merchant Centre, simply click on tools and settings > measurement > Google Merchant Centre. You’ll need to have linked your analytics property to your Google Merchant Centre first (see linked accounts)

Google Search Network (GDN): the Google Search Network is a group of search-related websites and apps where your ads can appear. When you advertise on the Google Search Network, your ad can show near search results when someone searches with terms related to one of your keywords.

Google Search Partners: search partners are sites that are in the search network that have partnered with Google to show ads. Choosing to advertise with search partners extends the reach of search ads to hundreds of non-Google sites, as well as YouTube and other Google sites. On search partners sites, your ads can appear on search results pages, on site directory pages, or on other pages related to a person’s search. 

Impressions: each time your ad appears on Google or the Google Network, it’s counted as one impression. In some cases, only a section of your ad may be shown.

Invalid clicks: clicks on ads that Google considers to be illegitimate, such as unintentional clicks or clicks resulting from malicious software. When Google determines that clicks are invalid, they will try to automatically filter them from your reports and payments so that you’re not charged for those clicks. 

Invalid click rate: ratio of invalid clicks against total clicks shown as a percentage (%).

Invalid interactions: interactions that Google has determined to be invalid and consequently will not charge you for.

Invalid interaction rate: ratio of invalid interactions against total interactions, shown as a percentage (%).

Intent match: does the intent of the search query match the intent of the result

Interactions: the main user action associated with an ad format – clicks and swipes for text and Shopping ads, views for video ads, calls for call extensions and so on.

Interaction rate: interaction rate is used to measure how often people interact with your ad after it’s shown to them—for example, clicks divided by impressions for text ads, or views divided by impressions for video ads.

Keyword planner: the keyword planner is a Google tool that identifies keyword volume, competition, and recommended bids for keywords per location. You can access it via tools and settings > planning > keyword planner. 

Labels: labels allow you to organize your campaigns, ad groups, ads, and keywords into groups. Labels are customizable, and you can change them around at any time.

Landing page: the landing pages report gives you insights into how people are interacting with your webpages. You can see the expanded landing pages associated with each of your landing pages, identify which of your pages could provide a better experience on mobile devices, and check a page’s mobile-friendliness or, if the page loads as a valid Accelerated Mobile Page (AMP)

Last click Attribution: refers to a web analytics model in which the “last click” is given credit for a sale or conversion. In other words, if someone comes to your website and orders some flowers, you should have a web analytics system in place that tells you where that customer came from.

Linked accounts: this is where you link your Google Ads account to other properties for data sharing. This can include Google Analytics for example. To access, go to tools and settings > setup > linked accounts.

Location extension: displays your business address from your Google Business settings within your ad. 

Locations: the locations report displays performance data segmented by targeted locations and your list of excluded locations. It also contains the geographic report which shows locations that triggered your ad to show as well as the physical location of your audience, regardless of their location of interest.

Manual CPC: a bidding method that lets you set your own maximum cost-per-click (CPC) for your ads. This differs from automated bid strategies, which set bid amounts for you. 

Maximise clicks: maximise clicks is an automated bid strategy that sets your bids to help get as many clicks as possible within your budget.

Maximise conversions: maximise conversions automatically sets bids to help get the most conversions for your campaign while spending your budget.

Maximise conversion value: maximise the total conversion value of your campaign within your specified budget with maximise conversion value bidding strategy.

Message extensions: message extensions let potential customers send you text messages directly from your ad.

Message impression: shows the number of times your message extension showed with your ad and a Google forwarding number was used, allowing the chat to be trackable. 

Negative keywords: negative keywords help prevent your ads showing for irrelevant searches. Negative keywords can have the same match types as other keywords (broad, phrase etc) and can be added at the adgroup, campaign and account levels.  

Negative keyword lists: negative keyword lists allow you to create lists of negative keywords that can be applied across campaigns for efficient filtering. You can access it via tools and settings > shared library > negative keyword lists.

Performance planner: the Performance Planner is a Google tool that identifies the best spend amounts for your campaigns to drive incremental conversions. You can access it via tools and settings > planning > performance planner. 

Phrase: ads may show on searches that match a phrase, or are close variations of that phrase, with additional words before or after. Ads won’t show, however, if a word is added to the middle of the phrase, or if words in the phrase are reordered in any way. Designated with quotation marks (women’s hats)

Phone Calls: the number of calls to Google forwarding phone numbers received from a Google Ads call extension or call-only ads.

Phone Impressions: the number of times your Google forwarding phone numbers appeared in Google Ads call extensions or call-only ads.

Placement exclusion lists: just as you can target placements in the Google Display Network and YouTube to show your ads—like specific pages, sites, and videos—you can also exclude placements where you don’t want your ads to show. In particular, you might exclude websites or domains that aren’t appropriate for your brand. You can exclude placements by going to tools and settings > shared library > placement exclusion lists. 

Policy manager: the policy manager helps advertisers get a clearer picture of whether their accounts are experiencing any policy restrictions. To access it go to tools and settings > setup > policy manager

Portfolio Bid strategies: portfolio bid strategies let you automatically set bids for multiple campaigns based on available bid strategies. You can access it via tools and settings > shared library > bid strategies. 

PPC: pay per click.

Preferences: your Google ads account preferences are basic settings to stipulate things like language, account name, time zone, account status and contact information. This can be accessed via tools and settings > setup > preferences. 

Price extension: displays the price of a particular product or service, directly within your ad. You can display up to 8 different cards with prices for different products/services. 

Promotion extension: to show special sales and offers with your ads, create promotional extensions.

PTR: the phone-through rate (PTR) is the number of phone calls received (the figure in the “Phone calls” column) divided by the number of times your phone number is shown (what’s shown in the “Phone impressions” column).

Quality score: Quality Score is an estimate of the quality of your ads, keywords, and landing pages. Higher quality ads can lead to lower prices and better ad positions. The Quality Score is reported on a 1-10 scale and includes expected click-through rate, ad relevance, and landing page experience.

Reach planner: reach Planner is designed for media planners who plan the reach and frequency of future brand or video campaigns, and strategy planners who want to incorporate digital video into their media plans. You can customise your ideal audience to accurately plan the reach of your ads by using a range of metrics. You can access it via tools and settings > planning > reach planner.

Rules: automated rules let you make changes in your account automatically, based on the settings and conditions you choose. You can change your ad status, budget, bids, and more. You can do this by going to tools and settings > bulk actions > rules 

Scripts: AdWords scripts let you make automated changes in your AdWords account. Using JavaScript code, you can change bids, pause ad groups, and add keywords with written scripts directly instead of manually within your AdWords account.

Search Attributionattribution models can give you a better understanding of how your ads perform and help you optimise across the user’s conversion path. To access your conversion attribution reports go to tools and settings > measurement > search attribution. 

Search impression share: impression share (IS) is the percentage of impressions that your ads receive compared to the total number of impressions that your ads could get.

Search top impression share: absolute top impression share (ATIS) is the percentage of your ad impressions that are shown in the most prominent position. There’s only one “absolute top impression” per auction so your absolute top impression share is an important indicator of your overall prominence.

Search lost top impression share: percentage of impressions that your ads didn’t receive above the organic results due to factors such as limitations from budget or rank. 

Search lost impression share (budget): the percentage of time your ad didn’t appear because your budget was too low. 

Search abs. Top IS: search absolute top impression rate is the percentage of your ad impressions that are shown as the very first ad above the organic search results.

Search lost IS (rank): this is the percentage of time your ad didn’t appear anywhere in the search results because your ad rank was too low.

Search lost top IS (rank): this is the percentage of time your ad didn’t appear in any position above the organic results because your ad rank was too low.

Search lost abs. Top IS (rank): this is the percentage of time your ad didn’t appear as the first ad on the page (above the organic results) because your ad rank was too low.

Search lost top IS (budget): this is the percentage of time your ad didn’t appear in any position above the organic results because your ad rank was too low.

Search lost abs. Top IS (budget): this is the percentage of time your ad didn’t appear as the first ad on the page (above the organic results) because your ad was limited by budget. 

Search exact match IS: exact match impression share is a percentage calculated by dividing the number of impressions that your campaign received for searches that exactly matched your keyword by the total estimated number of exact match impressions you were eligible to receive.

Shared budgets: specify daily budgets and apply it to numerous campaigns. These campaigns will all share into this budget each day. You can access it via tools and settings > shared library > shared budgets. 

Sitelinks: links that are appended to your ad to drive traffic to other relevant pages on your site. 

Structured snippets: highlight additional information under your ad copy within a heading and text format. There are a number of predefined headers to choose from like ‘brands’, ‘courses’ and ‘destinations’ (to name a few) which you then supply relevant information to appear under. 

Target CPA: target CPA is a Google Ads Smart Bidding strategy that sets bids to help get as many conversions as possible at or below the target cost-per-action (CPA) that you set.

Target impression share: target impression share is a Smart Bidding strategy that automatically sets bids with the goal of showing your ad on the absolute top of the page, on the top of the page, or anywhere on the page of Google search results.

Target ROAS: target ROAS lets you bid based on a target return on ad spend (ROAS). This Google Ads Smart Bidding strategy helps you get more conversion value or revenue at the target return-on-ad-spend (ROAS) you set. 

Uploads: Google Ads scripts allow you to make bulk changes to your account by uploading data in CSV format. You can upload data from a CSV file from Google Drive, a Google spreadsheet, a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet, or construct a bulk upload request in your script at runtime. You can do this by going to tools and settings > bulk actions > uploads. 

View through conversion: view-through conversions occur after an ad impression, if the user doesn’t interact with the ad, then later converts.

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