PPC Glossary for Beginners

Written by - 24/11/2015

Whilst working with PPC advertising, or considering doing so, it is likely you will have come across some terms which you are not familiar with.

Some terminology can be hard to digest so we’ve put together some of the most common PPC terms you’ll need to know along with a quick definition to get you up to speed.

Ad extension

An addition to the ad which allows you to display extra information and take up more ad space in search results. Extensions can include your address, sitelinks and ratings.

Ad group

A set of related ads and keywords organised by a common theme, often surrounding a particular service or product range.

Ad rotation

A setting that determines how frequently your ads are displayed. You are able to choose whether to show each ad in an ad group evenly throughout the day or boost your more successful ads to show more frequently.


Google’s advertising programme, allowing you to pay to promote your company within Google search results.

Average position

The average position your ad is displayed in search results. For example, a position of 1.4 means that the ad tends to be shown in the first or second position.


The maximum amount that you allocate the account per day. This can be easily changed depending on the performance of your campaigns.


A set of ad groups that are grouped to share a budget and various other settings.


The number of occasions where a user has clicked on an ad.


A conversion is recorded when a user completes a desired action set by you, this can be anything from a paid transaction to the submission of an enquiry form.

Conversion rate

The number of clicks divided by the number of conversions. This shows how many people who are clicking on your ad are going on to complete your desired action.

CPC (cost-per-click)

The amount you are charged once a user clicks on your ad. This will vary for each click as there are a number of factors involved.

CTR (click-through-rate)

The number of impressions divided by the number of clicks. A high CTR tends to signify high ad relevance as people are showing interested in what you are offering.

Display network

The display network is owned by Google and allows your ad to be displayed on websites, apps and videos which have allocated ad space. Both text and image ads can be created and displayed on specific placements, such as Google Maps and Youtube, to target those who are likely to be interested in what you are selling.

Enhanced CPC

A feature which can be enabled where Adwords will increase the maximum bid by 30% if it believes it to be relevant to the user.


A feature allowing you to target your audience by location, for example, if you own a local shop, you could choose to specifically target a 20 mile radius.


A list of words and/or phrases related to the products or services that your business is trying to promote. These keywords determine which search terms your ads may appear for.


The number of times the ad has been displayed. Impressions do not take into account whether the user clicked the ad.

Landing page

The web page you specify for users to arrive on after clicking your ad.

Long-tail keywords

A keyword consisting of multiple words which is often more relevant to a user’s search term. Long-tail keywords are descriptive and tend to be used to target more specific terms, attracting users looking for a very specific product or service.

Match type

Match types allow you to define which search terms will trigger your ad:

  • Exact match triggers your ad when only the exact term is entered by a user.
  • Phrase match includes close variations of the phrase, such as additional words before or after.
  • Broad match includes variations of the term as well as misspellings and synonyms.
  • Broad match modifier is more refined than broad match and will only trigger for that term or close variants.

Negative keywords

Keywords used to exclude irrelevant traffic. Creating a list of negative keywords will mean your ads won’t be displayed if a user’s search term includes one of those particular keywords. Common examples across many companies include “job”, “vacancy” and “free”.

Organic search results

Listings that appear in search results due to their natural relevance, they are not charged for and cannot be bought. Paid ads often appear above organic results.

Quality score

A number from 1-10, 10 being the best, calculated by Google based on landing page quality, ad relevance and expected CTR. Quality score can also influence cost per click and ad position.


A feature which allows you to show your ads on the Google display network to people who have previously visited your website, so you can encourage them to return.


The process of improving natural search rankings.

Search network

A group of web page results related to a term searched by a user, where your ads can appear.

Search partners

Websites that you can choose to display your ads on within Google’s search network, examples include YouTube and Google Maps.