Google AdWords Beginner’s Vocabulary

As a small business owner/marketer, I am pretty sure you have got a whole lot on your to-do list ranging from unwavering efforts to remain competitive in your niche with your SEO, to making sales, to even retaining existing customers and I am quite sure that the vernacular of Google Adwords doesn’t really rank high on that list.

But you know it’s time for a different approach and there’s a need to get your message to your market where they are – online. Investing even a modest amount in Google AdWords pay-per-click ads is a wonderful way to reach your audience faster and target exactly who you want to click your ad to buy from you.

The Adwords learning curve can be quite tough. However, here’s a vocabulary guide to your getting started with Google AdWords and making it work correctly for you to increase the conversion rates of your paid campaign.

Google AdWords Terms – Lunch and Learn

Search Engine: A website that gathers and sorts information from the Internet based on a specified topic

Search Field: The input box on the search engine. For example: the input box in the middle of the Google homepage

Search Query: The keyword(s) a user types into the Google search engine to find information on the Internet

Keyword Based Advertising: Advertisements that are triggered by users search query

Keyword: The keywords you choose are the terms or phrases you want to prompt your ad to appear. For example, if you deliver fresh flowers, you can use “fresh flower delivery” as a keyword in your AdWords campaign. When a Google user enters “fresh flower delivery” in a Google search, your ad could appear next to the search results. There are four types of keyword match types:

  • Broad–Match Keyword: triggers ad from a search query including related words or mixed words
  • Phrase-Match Keyword: Ad triggered when keyword phrase is included in the search query
  • Exact-Match Keyword: Most precise method of targeting/ triggers ad only when precise phrase is searched
  • Negative Keyword: Prevents ad from appearing when irrelevant keywords are present in a search query.

Landing Page: Clicking the link in your ad copy takes visitors to a particular web page, called a landing page. It should be targeted for a specific product or audience.

Bid Strategy: Your bid strategy is basically how you set your bid type to pay for viewer interaction with your ads

Split Testing: Split testing includes A/B and multivariate testing. It’s a method of controlled marketing experiments with the goal being to improve your objective results (such as higher CTR’s, increased conversion or even better Ad Ranking).

Campaign: AdWords accounts are organized into campaigns and ad groups. You start with one campaign, which has its own daily budget and targeting preferences. You can have multiple campaigns running and might choose to create one campaign for each product or service you want to advertise. Within each campaign, you have one or more ad groups.

Ad Groups: These are sets of related ads, keywords, and placements which are found within a campaign.
Campaign Type: Your campaign type is where you want your ads to be seen. Google has:
  • “Search Network only” (which means Google search only)
  • “Display Network only” (which means your ad shows up in Google’s Display network of websites, videos, YouTube, Blogger and more. This is also known as AdSense)
  • “Search Network with Display Select” (which is a combo of search and display)

If you have a Google Merchant Center account and want to use Product Listing Ads, you can also choose “Shopping” as a campaign type.

Impression (Impr.): The number of impressions is the number of times an ad is displayed on Google or the Google Network. Monitor your impressions to see how many people your ad is shown to.

Click: If a customer sees your ad and clicks on it to learn more or to do business with you, it is recorded in your account as a click. Monitor your clicks to see how many people choose to enter your website from your ad.

Clickthrough Rate (CTR): Your clickthrough rate (CTR) is a metric that helps show how your ads are performing. The more relevant your ads are, the more often users will click on them, resulting in a higher CTR. The system calculates your CTR as follows:

 Number of ad clicks/number of impressions x 100.
Cost-per-click (CPC): Under the cost-per-click (CPC) pricing model, AdWords charges you for each click your ads receive. You won’t incur any costs if your ad is displayed and users don’t click it. CPC bidding is the default for ads running on Google and the Search Network. Most advertisers also choose it for their campaigns that focus on getting a direct response from their audience, whether a sale, sign-up, or other action.
Maximum cost-per-click (max CPC): The highest amount that you are willing to pay for a click on your ad. You can choose to set a maximum CPC for individual keywords or for all the keywords within an ad group.

Quality Score: Quality Score is the basis for measuring the quality of your keyword and ad and determining your cost-per-clicks (CPCs). Quality Score is determined by your keyword’s clickthrough rate (CTR), relevance of your ad text, historical keyword performance, landing page relevance and other relevancy factors. The higher your Quality Score, the lower the price you’ll pay per click.

First page bid estimates: Your AdWords account will show a first page bid estimate for each of your keywords. This metric estimates the cost-per-click (CPC) bid needed for your ad to reach the first page of Google search results when the search query exactly matches your keyword. The first page bid estimate is based on the Quality Score and current advertiser competition for that keyword.

Optimization: An optimization is the process of creating/editing keywords and ad text (or adjusting other parts of the account) to improve the performance of AdWords ads and produce a greater ROI.

Daily budget: The daily spending limit for an AdWords campaign

Ad Copy: This contains Ad Headline, Description and Display URL of your ad.

  • Text ad headline: The title of your ad – used to attract users interested in your product or service
  • Display URL: URL means Uniform Resource Locator (also called web address). The Display URL is the last line of an AdWords ad. It indicates the URL of the website the ad is linked

Ad Rank: The result of your maximum CPC bid x Quality score. Mostly recently it also includes ad extensions.

Ad extensions: Ad extensions are extra information about your business, such as your local address, phone number, and even coupons or additional websites. They’re what shows up in blue below your ad descriptions.

Superlatives: Words that emphasize superiority over others (i.e. Best, Greatest, etc)

Call-To-Action (CTA): This is a phrase. For example “Buy here” or “Click here” are not allowed in ad text because they are unrelated to the content of the site

Trademark: A word, phrase, logo, or symbol that identifies and distinguishes a product or service from others in the marketplace

Copyright: The legal right granted to an author, composer, playwright, publisher, or distributor to exclusive publication, production, sale, or distribution of a literary, musical, dramatic, or artistic work

Invalid Clicks: These are clicks generated through prohibited methods often with the intention of driving up advertiser’s costs

Keyword Tool: This generates potential keywords according to your existing campaign settings and account performance history

Query Parsing: Google uses the query entered into the search field to determine what language and location ads should show

Standard Delivery: This shows ads smoothly throughout the day

Accelerated Delivery: This shows ads until the budget is reached

AdWords Discounter: This reduces the cost of CPC or CPM to the minimum amount needed

Report Center: AdWords tool that allows you to generate, email, and view reports on the performance of your account

ROI: This is known as Return on Investment or Return on Ad Spend. It is calculated as:

(Revenue – Cost)/ Investment x 100

Conversions: Purchase/sale, lead, sign-up, page view, or other

Conversion Tracking: This is a way to edit the HTML of your webpage to automatically track conversions

Site Stats Block: This is a block that appears in the corner of your webpage to confirm conversion tracking is working

Buying Cycle: This is the process consumers go through before purchasing; awareness, purchase, retention

My Client Center: Account management tool provided by Google


There you have it – all the basic terms you need to get started with Google AdWords. You can talk like a pro! It wasn’t that hard, right?

If you want to know even more terminology, check out Google’s own AdWords Glossary.

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