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The Ultimate PPC Jargon Buster

“What is a CPA and what is a CPC? And which should I be using anyway?”
“Remarketing… re what?”
“Modified match, when did this one appear?!”

PPC is full of jargon and acronyms. But don’t let it baffle you. We’ve put together The Ultimate PPC Jargon Buster to help you get to grips with the most frequently jargonised (yet essential) terms in PPC.

Book mark it, print-n-stick it, do whatever you must to keep this PPC Jargon Buster safe and within reach, because when someone starts spouting CTRs and PLAs, you want to be armed and ready!

Pay Per Click. This term is used to describe advertising that commonly is paid for every time it is clicked upon. This is an attractive form of advertising for businesses as they don’t pay every time the ad is viewed, only when it is clicked, taking the user through to the businesses website.
“PPC” isn’t a term relating solely to Google’s Adwords platform. PPC can be anything from social pay per click marketing, Bing ads, YouTube – theres a lot more to PPC than meets the eye!

Return on Investment. This is simply the amount of profit made compared to the cost of promotion.

Campaigns make up the first layer of your account structure. We set up “Campaigns” to manage the terms you are bidding on, usually these campaigns are generic areas of your business you want to promote through PPC (you can roughly follow your site structure to create these broad campaign groups).

Within each campaign are your adgroups. We set up adgroups to better manage your keyword groups. We keep these keyword groups as specific and targeted as possible. We recommend aiming to target 12 keywords per adgroup, but you can have anything from 5 to 20 for an effective campaign. You do not get penalised for having many adgroups (and in fact, you may even benefit from a structure point of view) so it makes sense to keep adgroups very specific so that they are always highly relevant to the Ad and Landing page.

The word or phrase you want your ad to show for. You bid against your competitors on this phrase. The keywords you select should be the most relevant to your audience to ensure you are creating a highly targeted campaign. This high-level targeting stands you in good stead for when you place ads on the Display Network, where your keywords are matched to relevant sites.

Match types
There are several ways to target the keywords you want to be found for. To make sure you are getting the traffic you want, you should be using a mixture of:

Broad Match:
This means you will be targeting phrases which feature your keywords or words related to your keywords. This match type will also trigger your ad for misspellings, words which are related but are not your actual phrase, plural or singular etc. If you don’t specify anything, keywords will automatically be Broad match.
Phrase match:
Using the “ “ symbols you can refine your keyword to being a phrase match. This means that your keyword or phrase along with text before or after it will result in your ad being shown.
Exact match:
Defined using the [ ] symbols, this is the most targeted match type. It means that your ad will only be shown if people have searched your exact word or phrase in the order you specified.
Modified broad match:
Modified Broad is an interesting match type that essentially anchors specific keywords to a search term. So as an example, if you are selling Yellow Canaries, you would anchor the terms yellow and canaries by using a modifier +yellow +canaries to ensure that any search terms that mention these keywords in any order are shown our ad. We use this primarily for reach and visibility purposes but also as part of the keyword/search term research strategy.

Keyword Insertion
This means that keywords are dynamically inserted into your ads, based on the users search query. They will be displayed in bold. When this is done well, it makes ads super-relevant and will increase CTR. Done badly, it makes you look silly. Use with care!

Keyword Research
We conduct sophisticated keyword research based on predicted search volumes, competitor keywords and use both free and paid tools to create a keyword plan which is right for your business.
This research is one of the first things that happens when planning a campaign.

Negative keywords
There are a lot of words that have multiple meanings and can be quite ambiguous. If you are using broad keywords, you may find your ad is being shown (and may be clicked!) by people searching for something completely unrelated to your product or service. (For example, someone searching holidays to the canaries most definitely does not want to be sold the yellow canaries you’re selling!) This can result in huge wastage and be responsible for a high spend. To increase the efficiency of your campaign and reduce cost, use negative keywords to stop your ad being shown for searches which aren’t related.

The maximum you will pay for your ad to be shown.

CTR (click through rate)
This is the number of times your advert has been clicked in comparison to the number of times it has shown up in searches (impressions). The higher this percentage is the better.

Avg. CPC (average cost per click)
This is the average amount you’ve paid for one click. The average is taken because the value of clicks can vary between campaigns.
This is dependent on a few factors, including your keyword Quality Score, which at a very basic level works out how much the search term relates to the advert and landing page. We aim to improve the QS, which in turn will lower the CPC.

CPA – Cost Per Acquisition (bidding or pricing model)
There are two ways of being charged for your marketing efforts by Google. One is CPC and the other is CPA. Cost Per Acquisition is when Google aims to use your CTR and your CvR to predict how many times your ad needs to be clicked before it converts, therefore giving you a cost per acquisition.

Avg. Pos (average position)
This is the average ranking position of the advert when displayed in the search term listings on a Google search. This can range from 1 downwards. Generally the higher the position the higher the CTR, but the higher the CPC, very basically the highest bidder will gain the top spot. Your ad rank is calculated by your bid X your Quality Score. Focusing on your quality score will result in a higher position.

This is the total number of times a conversion has resulted following an advert being clicked. (It’s not just sales, this could be email sign ups, resource downloads – whatever it is that you are aiming to get out of a campaign.)

Conversion cost
The calculated cost of a click that converted (i.e. a sale). The conversion cost data helps to evaluate the value of sales resulting from the online adverts and ROI.

CvR (Conversion rate)
The rate at which a click results in a conversion. The higher this percentage the better. The current CvR is 0.xx%, we will aim to increase this conversion rate.

Conversion Tracking
This is a tool that allows you to track what has happened after the visitor has clicked on your ad. It’s executed by using a piece of code that’s generated by Google within your Adwords account. This code snippet should be pasted onto the page that your customers see after they complete a conversion e.g. your Thank You page following a conversion. This will track the number of times that code is called from the Thank You page, resulting in conversion figures such as Conversions, CvR and allowing you to attribute an ROI to your campaigns.

Daily Budget
The amount you are willing to spend, on average, each day on your campaign.
You set an average daily budget for each AdWords campaign, and then the system will aim to show your ads as much as possible until your budget is met. When your budget is reached, your ads will typically stop showing for that day.

This is the sum of your spend on Google Adwords and depends on how many times your adverts have been clicked (if you are using a CPC), how many impressions you have had (if you are using a CPM) or how many acquisitions you have had (if you are using CPA).

A click is recorded when a user searches using a keyword you are bidding on, sees your ad, and clicks on your ad in order to visit your website. Making your ads more appealing will increase this figure.

This is the total number of times your advert has shown up in Google searches (relating to your site, targeted keywords and adverts).

This is a feature in Google adwords, which allows you to show your ads to users who have already visited your site, so you can promote targeted messages to them, increasing the likelihood of engaging and converting them in future.

Ad extensions are more engaging as they feature extra information that could be helpful or attractive to searchers (such as an address, phone number, more web page links, product images and pricing information.). From experience these seem be the most underused resource on Adwords, but one that we are experts in. No matter what your business, there will be an ad extension for you. Be it the email extension allowing you to collect email addresses to add to your inhouse list, adding a location extension to ensure your local business is easily found, or a review extension to help push the searcher through to your landing page by including a glowing review of your product or service.
I think that AdWords (email) Form Extensions is currently in beta so not sure we should mention this one (worth asking Rich/Andrew).

Product Listing Ad – these are the ads which appear when a product-related search is conducted. They feature a picture and detailed information about the product. They have their own box on the SERP therefore should be a key feature of any eCommerce business’s digital strategy.
Note: PLAs will be replaced by Shopping campaigns in late August.

Quality Score
Quality Score is a measure of how relevant your ads, keywords and landing pages are. Quality Score was introduced in order to protect the usability of Google’s search engine, ensuring that users are getting the most relevant content for them every time they search. It’s made up of several factors: Landing page relevancy and content, Ad text relevancy to the Key Word, and the construction of the account. Google then uses this Quality Score along with your bid price to determine where you will rank alongside your competitors. (Psssst… use this formula to work out your maximum ranking position: Rank = Bid X QS.)

Ad scheduling
We can schedule your ads to only display at the best times for your business. If you’re a B2B business, you probably shouldn’t be running ads over a weekend – it’s unlikely that any of your weekend clicks convert, so you’d be wasting your ad budget unnecessarily.

Ad Rotation
This allows advertisers to easily test their ads and their landing pages. If you have 2 or more ads you want to test, you can set them to rotate evenly so that you get a fair A/B split test, or you can optimise the successful ad so that the winner becomes the control ad and the loser eventually stops being shown at all. You can optimise based on conversions, or you can choose to show your ads more evenly over time.

Ad Delivery
Ad delivery allows you to choose which ads should be shown throughout the day from your Adgroup. Using either Standard deliver or Accelerated delivery, you can push your campaigns to shows ads more aggressively, until the budget for that day has run out, or slow your ad spend to use your budget more efficiently over the course of a day.

A/B testing
A/B testing (or “split testing”) is a simple and effective way of optimising your ad copy or landing page variant based on scientific results. Google allows you to easily A/B test various elements of your campaign through evenly rotating your ads, or optimising the ad or landing page which is most successful. TIP: When A/B testing be cautious about your objective. Its easy to see the most successful ad as being the one with the most clicks, but if your end-goal is to convert, you may find the cost per conversion increases, and that your “losing” ad is actually the real winner, bringing you a lower number of conversions but at a lower cost.

Display URL
This is the URL you want the public to see when they search using your keywords. This doesn’t have to be the same as the actual URL, and should be a more friendly version. As long as the root domain is the same, anything after the forward slash is customisable. TIP: Include the keyword here for extra relevancy!

Enhanced CPC
Enhanced cost per click is a feature that allows advertisers to let Google raise their bids automatically whenever it looks more likely that the searcher will convert. Equally, Enhanced CPC also decreases bids when it thinks the searcher is less likely to convert. This works particularly well when your account has some history.

Search Engine results page.

Geo Targeting
We can target based on a user’s location, giving you more precise results if you are a local business or a business with several outlets. If your search term is highly competitive its sometimes easier and more successful to target locally with the same term rather than competing on a national level.

Display Network
Previously the “content network” the Google display network is a network of sites (A group of more than a million websites, videos and apps where your ads can appear.) which agree to have advertising placed in areas such as the right or left hand side (skyscraper ads), within their content or at the top (banner ads). These can either be text ads, image ads, rich media ads or video ads.