The Ultimate Google Ads Jargon Buster

Whether you’re thinking about advertising on Google or already have campaigns running, Google AdWords comes with an array of often confusing technical terms.

So we’ve made a list of some common terms and explained them here as simply and accurately as we can. This list is in alphabetical order but you can also hit ‘Ctrl+F’ and search for the exact term that you’re looking for:

  • Ad: This is the advert as it appears on a Google search.
  • Ad Group: This is a subset of your AdWords campaign that targets a specific set of keywords and products.
  • Ad Scheduling: This involves setting your campaign to display ads on specific days and times, so you invest your budget at times when you’re on hand to service potential customers.
  • AdWords: This is Google’s pay-per-click advertising platform, which allows you to run adverts across the web.
  • Analytics: This is a tool used to collect, measure and analyse web data so you can see how many visitors you have and what they are doing when they’re on your website.
  • Average Position: The average position from the top of the page where your ad appears on Google. Remember though, it doesn’t necessarily pay the best returns to be number one!
  • Bid: The maximum price you, the advertiser are willing to pay for someone clicking on an advert for any given keyword.
  • Broad Match: You can set up your keywords to match in three different categories; ‘Broad match’ will show your ad for a wide variety of search terms related to the original term.
  • Campaign: This is a series of related Ad Groups (consisting of adverts and associated keywords) with a shared budget.
  • Click-Through Rate: This is the percentage of people who see your ad (impressions) and then go on to click through to your website or landing page.
  • Conversion: A conversion happens when your visitor completes an action you deem to be valuable; namely, completing a purchase or filling in an enquiry form.
  • Conversion Rate: The percentage of people that click on your ad and then go on to complete the action you want them to once they have reached your website or landing page, e.g. make a purchase, filling in an enquiry form.
  • Conversion Tracking: By setting up some code on your website, your conversions can be recorded and counted, providing a very effective ad performance metric and a means for improving your campaign ROI.
  • Cost Per Conversion: The average amount you pay for each conversion, such as an enquiry form completed or purchase made on your website.
  • Clicks: This is the number of times your Google advert has been clicked on in any given time period.
  • CPC or Cost Per Click: The average cost you pay when someone clicks on your advert.
  • CPM or Cost-Per-Thousand: An alternative metric that measures the average cost you pay for your ad to be seen 1000 times.
  • Daily Budget: The daily maximum allowance we set for your Google AdWords campaign.
  • Display URL: The web page address (URL) shown to people when they see your ad on Google; note, this doesn’t have to be the same web page address you send them to.
  • Exact Match: You can set up your keywords to match in three different categories; ‘Exact match’ is the most targeted match type, and will only show your ad to people who search the exact keyword phrase.
  • Geo-targeting: Target who sees your ads based on their location. This could be by country, postcode or a set distance from your business location.
  • Google Display Network: A network developed by Google, meaning you can place ads on a variety of news sites, blogs and other niche sites across the Internet to reach more potential customers.
  • Google Shopping: Relevant to e-commerce websites only. This is a Google service which allows users to search for products on online shopping websites and compare prices between different vendors.
  • Impressions: This is the number of times your advert has been seen on Google within a given time period.
  • Impression Share: This is the number of times your ad has appeared on a Google search compared to the total number of searches made on those keyword phrases.
  • Keyword: Words or phrases commonly used by people to search for information via Google.
  • Keyword Insertion: A tactic that enables the dynamic insertion of the actual keyword searched for into either the headline or description of your ad text.
  • Keyword Research: Conducting research to find out which words or phrases relevant to your business that people are searching for, and set a maximum amount we’ll bid based on the volume of searches and how competitive it is to be seen there.
  • Landing Page: The web page you direct people to when they click on your advert. Often, the more tailored a Landing Page is to a specific search query, the better the conversion results.
  • Lost Impression Share: The number of times your ad has not appeared on a Google search, expressed as a percentage of the total number of searches made. This stat provides a clue as to how much more you could invest in your AdWords campaign without using new keywords.
  • Negative Keyword: You can stop your advert being shown if it has these specific words or phrases (Negative Keywords) included in a search term.
  • Organic Search Results: The standard (non-paid for) search results compiled by Google which appears in the centre of the search results. Google and other search engines use complex algorithms based on a variety of ranking factors to rank sites in this way.
  • Phrase Match: You can set up your keywords to match in three different categories; ‘Phrase match’ is more targeted than ‘broad match’ but more forgiving than exact match. This option requires specific words to be included in the same order within a search term for your advert to show.
  • Position: This is the position (from the top of the page reading down) that your advert appears in the list of adverts shown to someone performing a search.
  • PPC or Pay-Per-Click: Where advertisers only pay when someone actually clicks on an advert that is found by using a search engine.
  • PLAs or Product Listing Ads: Relevant to e-commerce websites only. These are ads that show the customer a picture of the item, its price and your shop name. Customers who click on your ad will be directed to your website where they can buy your product.
  • Quality Score: This is a numerical score out of ten assigned by Google AdWords. It measures how relevant a keyword is to your ad and the web page that you direct your clicks to. This score is based on a variety of factors, but the biggest contributory factor is your click-through rate. The benefit of a high quality score is being able to bid less because you are (in Google’s eyes) providing a quality, relevant experience to the end user.
  • Reach: The total number of people exposed to an ad.
  • Remarketing: A form of advertising whereby you show ads to users who’ve previously visited your website as they browse the web. Remarketing is configurable so you can target people who have visited specific pages for a specific period of time.
  • ROI or Return On Investment: A performance measure used to evaluate the efficiency of your pay-per-click marketing investment.
  • SEO or Search Engine Optimisation: A series of strategies and tactics designed to improve your search engine ranking position within organic search results.
  • Search Engine: Websites such as Google, Bing and Yahoo! that enable users to search for information on the web.
  • Total Cost: How much your AdWords campaign has spent in total, based on the specific timeframe set.

Didn’t find what you were looking for? Google also has some great resources to help with understanding the AdWords platform.