Check out ZATO’s Terminology of PPC for SMBs. 2021 Edition!
Google Ads – This is the name for Google’s Paid Advertising Solution (formerly known as Google AdWords). It allows advertisers to pay money to display on Google’s search engine, as well as other sites that have legal affiliation with Google.
Ad Extensions – These are part of a Google Search Ad and they add more information to an ad. Some types of Ad Extensions include: sitelink extensions, callout extensions, phone extensions, and price extensions.
AI – This terms is often used to describe the algorithms Google uses to target the rights searchers at the right cost. However, it is a misnomer as Google’s algorithms are Machine Learning algorithms, as opposed to true Artificial Intelligence.
Clicks – When a user clicks on an ad. This is different from an ad impression, which is when a user sees an ad.
Conv. – Conversions (Goals/Leads/etc) This is a generic term for the intended large goal of a website. In an ecommerce site, a conversion is probably a hard sale. In a service related website, a conversion is most likely a “lead” or a “contact me” request. It is essential to determine what the goal conversion(s) for your website or advertising campaign. See below for specifics on Micro, and Macro-Conversions.
CRO – Conversion Rate Optimization – This is the art and science of utilizing various elements to increase the number of conversions on a website or advertising channel without increasing the number of visits. This generally involves things like: different forms of testing (Running side by side A/B ads), historical data comparison (did something work before that doesn’t now? Or did we change something we shouldn’t have that used to work?), and many other methods of optimization
CPA – Cost per Acquisition. This is the same as Cost per Lead, or Cost per Goal. In this KPI, the advertiser is concerned about determining the average ad spend they have invested per goal (Cost / Goal number). A company with multiple goal types, may want to have unique CPA targets for each goal type since these will vary based on what the goal is. A demo completion is far more valuable (and rare), than a newsletter signup and the two should have separate CPA goals.
CPC – Cost per Click. In this advertising method, an advertiser pays only when their advertisement is actually clicked. Variations of this are: CPM (Cost per 1,000 Impressions – number of times the ad is viewed) and CPA.
CTA – Call to Action. This is an essential aspect of the overall design and messaging of a website or advertisement. This is the main action (which should align with your Macro-Conversion) you want the user to take when viewing an ad or web page.
CTR – Click Through Rate. The percentage of users that click on your ads in relation to how many times it is shown. A higher CTR is typically seen as a positive ad KPI because it shows more users were interested in the ad content, and thus clicked on it. Clicks/Impressions = CTR
GDN (Google Display Network) – This is part of the Google Ads platform that allows the advertiser to target picture, video, or text ads around the internet on websites that have opted in to displaying ads from Google. The targeting has continued to increase in accuracy so a specific website can be chosen based upon content or visitor demographics. This can be a good channel but it is tricky and it’s easy to allow non-targeted, or fraudulent clicks through if not careful!
Search (Google Search Network) – This is part of the Google Ads platform that displays text ads on Google’s search engine as well as other search engine affiliates that display Google results. This is the most common place to use advertisements with Google Ads
Google Shopping – This is a part of the Google Ads platform that allows users to search for, view, and compare products. These products are displayed when a customer uses Google to search for a product. They can appear in a number of places, but primarily on the main search engine results page and within the shopping tab.
Impressions – The number of times an ad is displayed to a user.
Keyword – This is the term for any word or word phrase that can be bid on to trigger an ad. For example, this is one keyword: widget, and this is one keyword: buy widget in billings mt.
KPI – Key Performance Indicator. A KPI is another way of referring to any reporting metric that may lead to insights for business growth. For example, ROAS or CPA would be examples of KPIs.
Landing Page – This is a generic term for a page on a website that is used specifically for the purpose of sending users to it, usually from an ad. It is generally a good idea to have a landing page be as targeted as possible to a specific target audience and ad group.
LTV – Lifetime Value. Usually employed by businesses with return customers, or SAAS companies with subscription models, LTV describes not simply the value of the immediate purchase, but the estimated value of the entire life of that user. This allows more accurate analysis of targets for advertising as it includes true value, not simply the first payment of value. There are various formulas for calculating LTV that can be found with a simple Google search of “calculating LTV”.
ML – Machine Learning. ML is a term for the automation Google employs within Google Ads to better target searchers and set ideal bids for the advertiser. With Machine Learning, the algorithm is trained to educate itself as it learns (machine teaching machine), rather than simply to be educated by only the inputs added in by a human.
Micro-Conversions and Macro-Conversions – These are segments of the previously defined conversions. A Macro-Conversion is typically the main goal you want a user to complete on your page. The Micro-Conversion(s) tend to be the smaller actions a user can take that place them somewhere in the buying funnel leading up to the Macro-Conversion. These may be something like signing up for a newsletter, inquiring about a product, or even visiting a specific number of pages for a length of time on your website.
ROAS – Return on Ad Spend. This KPI is revenue / cost and is typically quick way to analyze directly tracked ecommerce sales profitability. It is different from ROI, as defined next.
ROI – Return on Investment. While ROAS looks solely at ad cost, ROI takes into account all associated costs with a campaign. It may include employee costs, returns, shipping and handling costs, product margin, and any number of other expenses.
SIS (Search Impression Share) – this is the number of times your ad actually appears to searchers (but is not necessarily clicked on) within the SERPs in which it is eligible to appear.
Queries / Search Terms – What users actually type into Google to see your ads.
SEO – Search Engine Optimization. Short answer: This is the art of helping a website appear higher in organic search. Long answer: Wikipedia article.
SERPs – Search Engine Result Page. This is a term describing the page that appears when someone types a keyword into a search engine (like Google or Bing) and then presses the search button. The page that displays the search results is referred to as a SERP.
SMB – “Small to Medium Sized Budget or Business. For ZATO terms this means “Small Budget”, it is also referred to as “Small Business”. This is the term we use for a client that is looking for professional PPC services with a smaller budget. While budget sizes themselves may vary, typically a local business or smaller online shop investing less than $10,000 per month on PPC is considered small budget. We would suggest that a business spending less than $1,000 per month on PPC be considered as Micro-Budget to remain distinct from Small Budget, since the difference between spending $500 and $5000 on PPC is vast.
SSC – Smart Shopping Campaigns. This is a campaign type created in 2018 by Google that uses machine learning to run Shopping Ads on the Search Network, Google Display Network, Gmail, and YouTube. It has been somewhat controversial with advertisers, as it generally performs well but does not offer data such as search terms or channel expenditure reports.
Target Audience – This refers to the intended group of users you are most invested in reaching. Sometimes a target audience is not necessarily who you think they are. Sometimes there can be more than one target audience. For example, a basketball manufacturer may find that their target audiences are: (1) college Athletic Departments (2) street-ballers (3) parents with toddlers (who want small basketballs for backyard play). It is then helpful to designate various landing pages targeted specifically to each target audience. It should also be noted that there will always be anomalies and unique individuals that visit for various reasons. A target audience however, is identified as a majority of people that you most want to reach for a specific purpose. It is then wise to organize and theme the website (or the website parts) as specifically as possible to those target audiences. Check out ZATO’s list of Google Audiences here: https://zatomarketing.com/blog/the-zato-google-ads-audience-targeting-list/
TROAS – Target Return on Ad Spend. In this automated bidding model, Platforms will use machine learning to attempt to hit the ROAS target input by the advertiser while also maintaining campaign budget.
TCPA – Target Conversion per Acquisition. Similar to TROAS, TCPA is a bidding model in which the Platform aims at a certain Cost per Action or Conversion without focusing on the specific cost per click (CPC), per traditional bidding models.
UI – User Interface. This is sometimes used when referring to the Google Ads User Interface where an advertiser works and makes changes to campaigns.
UX – User Experience. This is a term used in marketing/web design to identify elements that should be a certain way because of the fact that a real person will be looking at them/using them. A good marketer and a good web designer will always keep UX in their minds and be thinking about how each change or suggestion will affect real people interacting with the website.
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