Popular terms in PPC marketing explained

We all know that in the world of Pay-Per-Click (PPC), the lingo can seem as challenging as mastering the strategies. This blog will explore the most popular terms in PPC, no acronyms, no jargon, just clear, simple explanations to help you get your head around what really matters.

Ad Delivery

Ad Delivery is the process that decides who to show your ads to, when to show them, and where (like which websites or apps) to display them. This process is usually controlled by settings you can adjust, like how much money you want to spend each day on your ads, or whether you want your ads shown more during certain times of the day. These settings allow you to have some control over your ad delivery, to help make your advertising as effective as possible.

Ad Delivery Example:
You run a local coffee shop so adjust your ad delivery settings to only target people within a specific radius of your store. 


Ad Extensions (Also known as Assets)

Ad extensions (now renamed as assets) are additional pieces of information that can be included in ads to provide more context and encourage user engagement. These could include things like your business's phone number, address, additional website links, and images etc. The aim of ad extensions is to improve your ad's visibility, provide more information to potential customers, and increase the overall effectiveness of your ads. They can help make your ad more attractive and interactive, giving people more ways to interact with your business directly from the ad itself.

Ad Extensions Example:
You are running a PPC campaign for a shoe business. You create separate sitelinks to each section of your website: Running shoes, Gym shoes, Trial shoes etc.

A few key Assets available for Google Ads include

Location: This asset displays your business's address, a map to your location, or the distance to your business, directly in your ad.

Call: A call asset allow you to add a phone number or call button to your ads.

Sitelink: A Sitelink asset allows additional links to be added to your standard ad - these can link to specific pages on your website.

Logo: This asset allows you to display your business logo alongside your ads.

Ad Group

An ad group is a collection of related ads grouped together and organized around a common theme or targeted set of keywords. Each ad group can have its own set of keywords (the words or phrases that trigger your ads to show), and its own budget. This helps you make sure your ads are being shown to the right people, and that you're spending your advertising budget in the most effective way.

Ad Group Example:
You run an online music store and have set up some search ads organised into relevant ad groups for each individual instrument category you sell in order to target specific keywords. 


Ad Rank

The ad rank is a value used by search engines and advertising platforms to determine the position and visibility of an ad in search results or on websites.

The Ad Rank is determined by a couple of things:
Your Bid: How much money you're willing to pay every time someone clicks on your ad.
Quality Score: This is a measurement of how good and relevant your ad is to the person searching. It considers things like how well your ad and website match the search term, how good your ad's been in the past at getting people to click on it, and how good your webpage is once people get there.

Ad Rank Example:
An search ad for “Guitars” has a low rank on search engines therefore it displays further down the search results compared to similar ads with a better rank. 



The audience is the people your ad will target. This can be defined by a number of aspects including demographics, interests, behaviours, geographical location, and more. Understanding who your audience is and how to target them effectively is a crucial part of successful PPC marketing. By defining your audience correctly, you can ensure that your ads are being shown to the people who are most likely to be interested in your product or service, increasing the chances of conversions and reducing wasted spend.

Audience Example:
You are a pet supplies company so your target audience could be dog owners aged 25-45 who are known to buy pet supplies online. 



A bid refers to the maximum amount you are willing to pay for a single click on your ad. The purpose of bidding in PPC is to compete with other marketers for ad placement in search engine results.

The higher bids typically lead to better ad positions and increased visibility. However not always! Advertising platforms like Google and Facebook use complex algorithms to determine ad placement. This includes factors such as the relevance and quality of the ad and landing page, the expected impact of extensions and other ad formats, and the ad rank thresholds.

The choice of bidding strategy and how much to bid will depend on factors like your campaign goals, budget, and how competitive the market is for your targeted keywords or audience.

You decide to use the Cost-Per-Click bidding strategy and do some research to find out the avg CPC for your desired keyword is £2. You set your max CPC at £2.5 to ensure you are competitive in bids against that keyword and therefore your ad is more likely to show near the top of the search results. 

Types of bidding strategies include:

Cost-Per-Click (CPC): You bid based on how much you're willing to pay for a click on your ad.

Cost-Per-Thousand Impressions (CPM): You bid based on how much you're willing to pay for 1,000 ad impressions (or views.)

Cost-Per-Acquisition (CPA): You bid based on how much you're willing to pay for a conversion.

Cost-Per-View (CPV): Used mainly in video advertising, you bid based on how much you're willing to pay when a viewer watches or interacts with your video.

Bid Optimisation

Bid optimisation is the process of adjusting and improving your bids in a PPC campaign to get the most value out of your ad spend. The ultimate goal of bid optimisation is to increase the efficiency of your advertising, resulting in higher returns on investment (ROI).

Bid Optimisation Example:
You are an an online music store and after analyzing your ad data you realise the keyword "acoustic guitars" generates a high level of conversions for a low cost. You, therefore, decide to increase the bid for this keyword while lowering the more expensive and low-performing keywords like “electric guitars” to maximise your budget and improve performance.



Clicks are simply the action a user takes when they click on your ad and are taken to the landing page that you've linked the ad to. "Clicks" is one of the most basic and important metrics in PPC but remember, while clicks are important, they're not the ultimate goal for most advertisers. The ultimate goal is usually conversions (see the next term.)

Clicks Example:
Your search ad has gained 500 clicks from potential customers in 2 weeks. Meaning 500 people have clicked on your ad over the given time period.



Conversions refer to the desired actions that you want users to take after clicking on your ad and landing on your website or landing page. The specific action that qualifies as a "conversion" depends on your individual business goals. This can be a form filled out, making a purchase, submitting an email address etc. 

In PPC advertising, tracking your conversions is crucial as it helps you understand how effective your ad campaigns are at driving valuable user actions. Conversion data can give you insight into which keywords, ads, and landing pages are most effective at driving these actions.

Conversion Example:
You are running a PPC campaign in the hopes of having more people sign-up for your newsletter. Your conversion goal would therefore be ‘form submission’ i.e. every time someone submits their details via a form to receive your newsletter. You can then track the performance of your campaign based on the number of conversions/conversion rate.


Daily Budget

The daily budget is the amount you are willing to spend each day for a specific campaign. Depending on the platform, this can usually be set at campaign, ad group or ad level. When determining your daily budget, it is crucial to take into account your marketing goals, the anticipated cost-per-click (CPC) or cost-per-acquisition (CPA) within your industry, and your total budget for the advertising period. This guarantees that your campaign is in line with your business objectives and financial capabilities.

Daily Budget Example: 
You have a campaign budget of £800 for a 2-week campaign. You, therefore, set your Daily Budget at £57 to ensure you don’t go over your total budget.


Destination URL

The destination URL is the URL in which you want people to end up after clicking on your ad.

Destination URL Example:
If you wish to send people to your website homepage, you would set this as your Destination URL. i.e. https://h2o-creative.com/ 


Display URL

The display URL is the URL that is displayed in the actual ad. This is usually shorter than the destination URL as its purpose is to give users a clear idea of the destination they will be taken to if they click.

Display URLExample:
For the above example https://h2o-creative.com you may want to change this to https://h2o-creative.com/Oxford/MarketingAgency



The headline is the main title or text that appears at the top of your ad, capturing the attention of users. The purpose of the headline in PPC is to grab the audience's attention, create interest, and encourage them to click on your ad. You can usually add variations of a headline and optimise which performs best for your campaign.

Headline Example:
You are an online music store and you run an ad promoting your sale. You may set your headline variations as “Guitar Sale - Up to 30% Off!” and “Save 30% on your new guitar”.



Impressions refer to the number of times your ad is displayed or shown to users. Each time your ad appears on a user's screen, it counts as one impression, regardless of whether the user interacts with the ad or not.

Impressions are not to be confused with Reach which measures how many distinct users have seen your ad at least once.

Impressions Example:
Your Facebook ad has had 10,000 impressions and a reach of 7,000. Meaning your ad has been seen 10,000 times by 7,000 unique people.



Keywords are specific words or phrases you bid on so that your ad is displayed when the chosen word or phrase is searched by a user. The more popular and competitive the keyword is the higher the bid usually is. The purpose of keywords in PPC is to target the right audience and show ads to users who are actively searching for products or services related to those keywords. Your combination of keywords will depend on your overall campaign goal and strategy.

Keywords Example:
You may be a shoe store running a PPC camping around running shoes. You could target [running shoes], "buy running shoes", running shoes, +running +shoes and include -trail in your negative keyword list.

Keywords can be categorized into several types based on how they match user search queries.

[Exact Match Keywords]: These trigger an ad only when a user's search query matches the keyword exactly. 

“Phrase Match Keywords”: These trigger an ad when a user's search query includes the keyword in the exact order, but it allows additional words before or after the keyword. 

Broad Match Keywords: These trigger ads when a user's search query contains the individual words of the keyword in any order, and it may also include synonyms and related terms. 

+Broad +Match +Modified +Keywords: These allow you to specify certain words that must be present in the user's search query to trigger your ad. To create a broad match modified keyword, you add a plus sign (+) before one or more words in the keyword. 

-Negative -Keywords: These exclude certain search terms from triggering your ads. Very useful for preventing your ads from appearing in irrelevant searches.

A Landing Page

A landing page is a standalone web page specifically created for a marketing or advertising campaign. Its primary goal is to convert visitors into leads or customers by encouraging them to take a specific action, such as making a purchase, signing up for a newsletter, or filling out a contact form

A Landing Page Example:
Your Google search ad sends users to a purpose-built landing page where they submit their name and email for a monthly newsletter.


Quality Score

Quality Score is a metric specifically used in platforms like Google Ads. It is an important factor that influences the position of your ads, how often they are shown, and the cost you pay per click. Quality Score is assigned to each keyword in your PPC campaign and is calculated based on several factors related to the relevance and performance of your ads and landing pages. The Quality Score is also used as a factor to determine Ad Rank (see definition above.)

Quality Score Example:
You ad has a very high quality score and is therefore more likely to appear in the top position in search results.


Search Query

A search query refers to the specific words or phrases that users enter into a search engine when looking for information, products, or services online. It is the actual text users type into the search bar to initiate a search. Matching search queries with relevant keywords is crucial to ensure ads are displayed to users who are actively searching for products or services related to their offerings.

Search Query Example:
You search on Google for “Best Marketing and Design Agency Near Me”. This would then be recorded as your search query.

To wrap things up, having a grasp on the commonly used terms in PPC marketing is crucial for effectively carrying out and overseeing a PPC campaign. This blog has hopefully provided you with a straightforward explanation of the jargon, helping you navigate through the complex world of PPC marketing with ease. Armed with this knowledge, you are now ready to dive into PPC marketing and ensure that your ads reach the right audience at the right time, optimising their impact and your success. 

If you are looking for further guidance with your PPC marketing we’d be happy to help. Get in touch here.

You may also be interested in our blog “Decoding PPC Marketing: An Acronym Guide for Beginners” which further unravels the mystery of PPC marketing acronyms and terms! Read the blog here.

For a more in-depth guide to PPC Marketing Acronyms and Terms specific to Google Ads, Google have their own glossary here.