Google AdWords Glossary, Part II

Following on from last week’s Part I, here’s the rest of the AdWords Glossary! Let’s continue straight on to…


What is it?

Your daily budget is the maximum amount per day you’re willing to spend on clicks. Remember, £1 per day is £28-£31 per month, so it all adds up! Be absolutely sure you understand how much you’ll be paying per month before you commit to a daily budget.

What should I aim for?

Again, it depends on the nature of your business, and how expensive your cost per click is. If you’re selling cross stitch patterns, you could make a success story out of less than £5 per day. For locksmiths in the London area, £5 will get you two clicks – and that’s if you’re lucky!

Make sure you know your market, and experiment with different budgets if your initial one is too high or too low. Believe it or not, some campaigns I’ve managed in the past have struggled to get enough clicks to spend their entire daily budget. In these cases, a rethink in strategy has been needed.


What are they?

Impressions are ad views – whenever a search result page shows your ad, one impression is registered. On standard cost per click (CPC) campaigns, you do not pay for impressions, only for clicks.

How many do I want?

Less than you might think! The trick is to filter your impressions through to potential customers, not just to any random searcher. Be specific with your keywords and use exact/phrase matching rather than broad, and don’t forget to add negative keywords (see the below entry for details).


What are they?

Keywords are your search terms – for example, if you’re selling double glazing, you might bid on ‘double glazing’, ‘double glazed windows’ and ‘double glazing company’ as keywords.

How many should I use?

The sky’s the limit! Or, more specifically, 2000 per ad group is the limit. Most campaigns won’t need anywhere near that many, though; the emphasis should be on quality rather than quantity. Regularly look over your keywords to see whether they’re working for you, and pause them if they’re not. It’s better to have a few effective keywords than thousands that do nothing for your business.


What is it?

A landing page is the page a customer will be taken to when clicking on your ad. To choose a landing page, copy it into the ‘destination URL’ field of an ad. It’s that simple!


What does it mean?

If you have a small budget in a competitive market, you’ll become used to seeing this alert. Google likes to tell you how many clicks you’re missing by not spending enough on advertising – they express this as a percentage, and seeing that you’re missing 90% of the impressions you could be getting can cause concern!

Should I be worried?

Generally speaking, no! It goes without saying that the more money you spend on your advertising with Google, the more money Google gets. But unless you’ve got a very low daily budget and a high cost per click, which means you can only afford a couple of clicks before you’re spent up for the day, then I wouldn’t worry.  The estimates Google gives you of how much per day you should be paying are often not too realistic, and as long as you’ve got a decent volume of traffic getting to your website, without paying too much for your clicks, you’re doing something right.


What are they?

These are words or search terms that you really don’t want your ads showing up for.

How do I use them?

Think about the keywords you’ve used. Do any of them have more than one meaning, or apply to more than one business area? Say you run a gourmet coffee company, and only sell filter coffee and coffee beans. You’d want to set ‘instant’ as a negative, and also ‘table’, to stop people seeing your ad when they’re searching for instant coffee and coffee tables.

Be careful, though – you don’t want to add a negative that will stop potential customers from seeing your ads! Having ‘images’, ‘photographs’ and ‘pictures’ is usually a good bet to filter out people looking for pictures of what you sell on Google Images. However, if you’re a photographer this is a very bad idea. Think hard before you choose a negative!


What are they?

Quality scores are Google’s way of ensuring that the ads that get top positions on a search page are relevant to what the user has searched for. The way these are calculated is quite complicated, but the two major contributing factors are a keyword’s click-through rate (CTR) and the relevance of the landing page of your ad.

Run that by me again?

No problem! Your landing page needs to be relevant to your ad, and the keywords used to trigger that ad. The better the click-through rate of your ad and its keywords, the more credibility this gives the ad itself, and that means its position will be higher. Your ad is also judged on whether or not your keywords are actually on the landing page the ad leads to.

“Wait a minute!” I hear you cry. “I thought that I get better positions by bidding higher?”

Yup, that’s definitely part of it. But a keyword with a quality score of 10 will only need a small bid to boost its position, whereas a keyword with a quality score of 3 will need a much larger bid to do the same thing. Having better quality scores saves you money – simple!


What is it?

Search for something on Google and look at the results page. You’ll find a shaded box at the top of the list, and the first ad is in position 1. The ones below that, if there are any, will be in positions 2 and 3. After the shaded box, the ads jump to the right-hand sidebar, continuing down the page. Sometimes there will be no shaded box, and in that instance, the top ad in the sidebar will be in position 1.

What positions should I aim for?

For maximum visibility, positions 1-3 are your best bet. But surprisingly, statistics show that position 2 is a better position to be in than the top spot! A main motivation for users of Google AdWords is to get first-page visibility, whereas your natural ranking might be on the fourth or fifth page, so make the most of it if your budget allows.


What is it?

Exactly what it sounds like: it’s the average time users spend on your site, as measured by Google Analytics. If your Analytics is installed correctly, your site as a whole has an average time on site, and each of your AdWords campaigns will have their own average time on site to compare it to. You can even go as far as to see how long people are spending on your site after clicking an ad for a specific keyword.

How should I use it?

It will help you pinpoint your traffic’s quality. You might have a keyword that has had lots of clicks, but if the average time on site for that keyword is five seconds, no one is staying around for much longer than that. What can you really do on a site within five seconds? Not much! You should pause the keyword and channel your clicks elsewhere.


So there you have it – a glossary of the major AdWords terms. Did I miss anything huge? Let me know, and I’ll see about adding it.