Glossary of Terms

The following is a list of terms and definitions frequently used in pay-per-click advertising.


Ad
An advertisement. [Learn more about text ads here]
Ad Group
A set of corresponding ads and keywords. [Learn more about ad groups here]
Ad Position
Where your ad appears in reference to other ads, sequential from the top of a search engine results page. Decimals indicate a calculated average.
Ad Rank
A value used to determine your ad position, comprised primarily of your bid and quality score.
Ad Scheduling
Setting your ads to run at certain hours of the day, or certain days of the week. Sometimes referred to as dayparting.
Bot
A robot. Can mimic and simulate clicks, just like a human.
Campaign
The highest organizational method in a PPC account. [Learn more about campaigns here]
Conversion
An action taken by a user which is important to your business. Examples may include submitting a form, making a phone call, purchasing an item, and more.
Conversion Rate
How often a conversion occurs compared to the number of clicks received. Conversion rate = conversions / clicks.
Cost
How much money you’ve spent.
CPA
Cost per acquisition. The price paid for a conversion. CPA = cost / conversions.
CPC
Cost per click. The price you actually pay for an individual click.
CPM
Cost per 1,000 impressions. An alternative to PPC bidding where advertisers buy impressions instead of clicks.
CTR
Clickthrough rate. How often an ad gets clicked compared to how often it gets viewed. CTR = clicks / impressions.
Frequency
How often ads are shown to the same person.
Geotargeting
The physical location in which your ads run. Also known as location targeting.
Impression
A view. More technically, when an ad is served by the advertising platform.
Impression Share
Your market share. The number of impressions your ads receive compared to the number of impressions they were eligible to receive.
Invalid Click
Clicks that are accidental, or clicks that are intentionally fraudulent (such as clicks from bots). You are not charged for invalid clicks.
Keyword
The words you select to trigger an ad. [Learn about keywords here]
KPI
Key performance indicator. A metric that you determine is important for a successful campaign.
Max. CPC
Maximum cost per click. The most you are willing to pay for an individual click. Otherwise known as your bid.
Partner Network
Publishers that have partnered with an advertising network. For example, DuckDuckGo is a publishing partner for Bing Ads.
PPC
Pay per click. A digital marketing method where advertisers only pay when someone clicks on their ad. [Learn more about PPC here]
Remarketing
Advertising to people who have previously visited your website. Frequently said interchangeably as retargeting.
ROAS
Return on ad spend. How much money the campaign made, minus the cost spent on ads.
ROI
Return on investment. How much money the campaign made, minus the cost of running the campaign.
Search Query
Words entered into a search engine.
SERP
Search engine results page.
SEO
Search engine optimization. The practice of increasing website traffic from search engines, without spending money on ads.
SEM
Search engine marketing. Typically refers to paid search, but may also include SEO.
Split Test
An experiment which compares the performance of two elements. Also known as an A / B test.
Quality Score
A metric that estimates the quality of your ads. Consists primarily of your expected CTR, ad relevancy, and landing page experience.