Essential Digital Marketing Glossary, PPC, Part Two

If you missed part one of our PPC Glossary, here’s a quick note to catch you up on what we’re doing. Digital marketing is a landscape littered with jargon, acronyms, and other terminology that might be confusing for some. Many of our peers assume that you know what we’re talking about when, in fact, you do not.

So, Alex and I have taken on the monumental task of defining the terms you need to know and telling you why we think you need to know them. Instead of doing one ridiculously long blog post, we’re going to break it out into disciplines. This way, you can skip right to what you need to know.

This part will focus on part two of PPC. Here are the links to SEO, Part One, SEO, Part Two, and PPC, Part One.

PPC – Paid Search and Social

PPC (pay-per-click) is a general term that covers paid search, social, and paid efforts on app platforms or eCommerce websites like Amazon or Walmart. PPC is an effective way to quickly boost traffic by targeting a very specific audience by bidding on the words they would use to find you.

Here are the PPC terms we think marketers should know:

Image Ads

Ads that are made up of visual elements, such as images or graphics, in addition to text. Generally, the entire image ad is a call to action, meaning you can click anywhere on the ad to go to the landing page.

Why do you need to know?

Images are one of the best ways to get someone’s attention and can be used as a highly effective ad format. Make sure the visuals make sense, relate to the purpose of the ad, and entice the user to click.


The number of times an ad has been visible on a page.

Why do you need to know?

If the main goal of your campaign is awareness, then impressions are a useful and meaningful metric to track. Otherwise, impressions should be looked at as a metric secondary to things like clicks.

Impression Share

The percentage of impressions an ad received compared to the total number of impressions it could get.

Why do you need to know?

If your impression share is low, it could mean that your budget is insufficient and keeps your ads from showing more often than your competitors’ ads.

Instagram Ads

The advertising platform where you can run ads on the Instagram social media platform.

Why do you need to know?

Since Instagram is owned by Facebook, you can sometimes run the same ad on both platforms using their automated ad features. If your audience is not on Facebook but on IG, then only run the ads on IG.

Interest Categories (ICM)

Also known as interest category marketing or ICM, it is a targeting option within Google Ads that allows advertisers to target users based on their interests and behaviors.

Why do you need to know?

This is an effective option and allows you to target a much broader audience by targeting their interests and behaviors in addition to or instead of keyword matching.

Key Performance Indicator (KPI)

A metric used to measure the performance of an advertising campaign, such as click-through or conversion rates.

Why do you need to know?

Defining your KPIs should go deeper than just saying “We want clicks.” A key performance indicator should be tied to a specific goal, like an increase in revenue or more subscribers. Make your KPIs mean something that ties to your bottom line.

Keyword Tool

A feature within Google Ads where advertisers can research and select keywords for their campaigns.

Why do you need to know?

The keyword tool in Google Ads helps you find the right keywords to bid on. Use it to further target the right audience, improve your ad relevance, increase your campaign ROI, and lower costs by refining your keyword strategy.

Landing Page

The web page where users “land” after clicking on an ad. The landing page content should be relevant to the ad and provide a clear call to action.

Why do you need to know?

This definition is specific to PPC. Your landing page needs to be responsive, very brief, to the point, and entice the user to take action.

LinkedIn Ads

The advertising platform owned by LinkedIn allows advertisers to display ads on the LinkedIn social media platform.

Why do you need to know?

LinkedIn Ads can often be overlooked as a potential ad platform. The targeting in LinkedIn can get very specific, to the point where you can target a list of email addresses if they are associated with a LinkedIn account.

The ads can cost more but they are especially useful for B2B marketing where you are targeting specific people in specific companies doing specific jobs.

Location Extensions

An ad extension within Google Ads with which advertisers can display their business location and contact information alongside their ads.

Why do you need to know?

If your campaign is for a local audience, then you should consider using location extensions. It helps to hyper-target geographically condensed audiences. It also provides a better user experience as it helps the user to find your location more easily if that is an important piece of your conversion strategy.

Long-Tail Keyword

A highly specific and targeted keyword phrase, typically consisting of three or more words, often used in the context of SEO.

Why do you need to know?

Long tail keywords can be used in PPC campaigns as another way to target your audience. For example, running ads for the keyword “shoes” will give you a very broad, diverse audience, whereas ads for “vintage Nike sneakers for sale” will get you a much more targeted audience with buyer intent.

Managed Placements

A Google Ads targeting option where advertisers can select specific websites or apps on which to display their ads.

Why do you need to know?

This useful tool allows you to choose exactly where your ads will display. If you have data to support advertising on a specific and limited number of websites or apps, using managed placements in this way makes sense.

Match Type

A Google Ads setting that determines how closely a user’s search query must match an advertiser’s chosen keywords to trigger an ad.

Why do you need to know?

You will want to make sure you understand not only your target keywords but also the possible variations that your target audience may search with to find the thing you are offering.

Message Extensions

An ad extension within Google Ads where users can send a message to the advertiser directly from the ad.

Why do you need to know?

To use this ad extension, you will need to have a phone number that can receive text messages and link your Google Ads account to a messaging platform that supports message extensions, such as Google’s own messaging tool or Facebook Messenger.

This is a great tool, if appropriate in your sales funnel, for customers to get in touch with you directly. With this, you can capitalize on the user intent in the moment. Just make sure that it fits into your sales funnel, is something you can support, and will make sense for the user.

Negative Keyword

A keyword identified in Google Ads that an advertising does not want to appear for.

Why do you need to know?

Implementing a strategic and appropriate negative keyword list will mean your ads will only show to relevant audiences, which should reduce your ad spend, increase click-through rates (CTR), and improve your ad quality score (see below).

Phrase Match

A keyword matching option in Google Ads that requires a user’s search query to match a specified keyword phrase in the same order as it is specified.

Why do you need to know?

If you are targeting a very specific search phrase, then you would want to use this phrase match option in Google Ads. Otherwise, be careful with this, as it could mean you are missing relevant searches for phrase variations.

Pinterest Ads

Pinterest’s advertising platform where advertisers display ads on the Pinterest social media platform.

Why do you need to know?

Pinterest is an advertising option for a specific type of audience. Look for popular boards (what Pinterest calls a user’s collections of images) to see if your target audience is “pinning” images related to what you are selling.

Placement Exclusions

A targeting option in Google Ads where advertisers can exclude specific websites or apps from displaying their ads.

Why do you need to know?

Sometimes, there are simply places where you don’t want your brand to appear. This is a way to make sure your ads don’t.

Price Extensions

An ad extension in Google Ads that allows advertisers to display their product or service offerings with pricing.

Why do you need to know?

If price is a big part of your target audience’s buying decision, using a price extension in your ad may make sense. It could also weed out the traffic where your price would be a deterrence to them converting to a sale.

Product Listing Ads (PLA)

An ad format in Google Ads that displays product information, images, and pricing directly within the search results.

Why do you need to know?

Google is always coming up with new ways to limit the number of clicks away from the SERP. Sometimes, that can be in your favor, if you know how to run these PLAs. Also, be aware that if you aren’t running PLAs and your competition is, it can seriously hurt your potential sales.

Promotion Extensions

A type of ad extension where advertisers can highlight specific sales, discounts, or promotions in their ads.

Why do you need to know?

Promotions are a great way to attract more clicks from interested users. People love a deal. Capitalize on this with promotion extensions.

Quality Score

A metric used by search engines to evaluate the relevance and usefulness of an ad and its landing page. Quality Score is calculated based on factors such as click-through rate, ad relevance, landing page quality, and historical performance.

Why do you need to know?

Obviously, this is important. If you are failing on any of the metrics mentioned in the definition, then your ad is not doing well. That said, do not rely on quality score alone. Look at each of those metrics individually and adjust as needed.

Retargeting (also known as Remarketing)

A digital advertising technique where ads are shown to people who have already interacted with a brand or website in some way, such as by visiting a product page or adding an item to their cart. These targeted ads appear for these users as they browse the web, with the aim of encouraging them to return to the site and complete a purchase.

Why do you need to know?

While this can seem a little creepy, these ads can be highly effective. The web is full of distractions, so sometimes it is helpful to remind a user that they were interested in your product or service.

It’s important to think through your retargeting campaign to be certain that the user will want to see the ads and that it makes sense. Also, the timing of the ads is important as you don’t want to waste ad spend following someone around with ads for weeks.

You will want to pay attention to your stats and run campaigns in short cycles at first until you have a better idea of what ads and what ad cadence are the most effective.

Retargeting (Remarketing) Lists for Search Ads (RLSA)

A Google Ads feature where advertisers can target people who have previously visited their website when they search for relevant keywords in the Google SERPs. By targeting these users with ads that are tailored to their previous interactions with the brand, advertisers can increase the likelihood of converting them into customers.

Why do you need to know?

Marketers can better use their existing audience data to create highly targeted campaigns using remarketing lists for search ads. RLSA can result in improved ad performance, increased conversions, and more efficient utilization of advertising resources.

Return on Ad Spend (ROAS)

A metric measuring the revenue generated by an advertising campaign relative to the amount of money spent on that campaign. It is calculated by dividing the campaign’s total revenue generated by the total campaign cost.

Why do you need to know?

Kind of obvious, really. Are your advertising efforts worth it? Are you generating more money than you spend on your ads and management costs? Of course, ROAS is harder to calculate if there is no purchase or revenue to track.

Search Partners

Third-party websites and apps that display search ads run from your Google Ads account. These partners offer additional ways for advertisers to expand their audience beyond Google’s own properties.

Why do you need to know?

As with most features in Google Ads, you do not want to ignore it or trust that Google will make it all work out well for you. If your ads are performing well, great. If not, consider removing search partners from your campaign.

Search Query

The word or phrase a user types or speaks into a search engine to find information on a particular topic. Most campaigns are set to target specific search queries.

Why do you need to know?

Identifying the search queries used by your target audience to find goods and services you offer is critical to your campaign’s success. Otherwise, you are simply guessing and bidding on words blindly.

Search Query Report (SQR)

A Google Ads report that shows advertisers which search queries triggered your ads to be displayed.

Why do you need to know?

This information can be used to refine keyword targeting and improve ad performance. You may want to try new words and phrases if the ones you use are not producing. Track the user journey to note which queries produce clicks and conversions.

Seller Central

The Amazon platform that allows third-party sellers to manage their listings and orders on the Amazon marketplace. It is used for managing inventory, setting prices, and tracking sales performance.

Why do you need to know?

This is where you would run and manage ad campaigns on Amazon. See below.

Seller Central Placement Ads

Ads that third-party sellers use to promote their products on Amazon’s search results pages and product detail pages. These ads can increase your product visibility and sales on the Amazon marketplace.

Why do you need to know?

Amazon, Walmart, Target, and others are great advertising platforms to explore if you are selling products of any kind.

Seller Ratings Extensions

An ad extension in Google Ads that allows advertisers to display their seller ratings, reviews, and feedback directly in their search ads.

Why do you need to know?

This is a great way for you to build trust and credibility with your ads. These ratings and reviews, when displayed publicly, can also result in increased click-through rates and, ultimately, ad performance. Of course, you need to earn those positive ratings and reviews.

Shared Budgets

A feature in Google Ads that allows advertisers to share a single budget across multiple campaigns, which can help to simplify the campaign management efforts.

Why do you need to know?

If you have limited resources or are running multiple campaigns with a small team, you might consider utilizing the shared budgets feature.

Sitelinks Extensions

An ad extension in Google Ads that allows advertisers to include additional links to specific pages on their website within their search ads.

Why do you need to know?

This can help users quickly and easily find the information they are looking for and can also increase click-through rates by providing users with links to the things they want.

Snapchat Ads

Snapchat’s ad platform where you can run campaigns to reach their highly engaged user base with vertical, full-screen video ads, sponsored lenses, and more.

Why do you need to know?

Snapchat Ads are highly customizable and can be targeted to specific audiences based on factors such as age, gender, interests, and location. If your audience demographic matches that of Snapchat, you should consider running a campaign on this platform.

Smart Bidding

A machine learning-based bidding strategy in Google Ads using historical data to automatically optimize bids for maximum return on investment (ROI).

Why do you need to know?

Using this sort of automation can save you time and money, but as we’ve stated with other features like this, don’t let it run unchecked. It’s important to monitor your campaign bidding to ensure your ad dollars are utilized in the best way possible.

Structured Snippet Extensions

A Google Ads ad extension used to highlight specific aspects of your products or services within your search ads, such as product categories, brands, or styles.

Why do you need to know?

As with any ad extension, just because it’s there doesn’t mean you should use it. Run it through two filters before pulling the trigger: one, does it help the user? Two, does it help you to reach your conversion goals?


Selecting specific groups of users to show ads to based on their demographics, interests, and behavior.

Why do you need to know?

Targeting is very important when running any PPC campaign. That said, you need to identify your target personas and fully define them before targeting them with your ads. Otherwise, you risk targeting the wrong demographics, interests, and behavior.

Text Ad

Text-based ads displayed on search engine results pages or other websites. Text ads typically include a headline, description, and a link to the advertiser’s website.

Why do you need to know?

Sometimes text only works better than any sort of fancy image or design. But before you put all your eggs in the text-only basket, consider running a test campaign with one text ad and one ad containing an image and see which does better.

Topics Targeting

A Google Ads feature that allows advertisers to target their ads to specific topics or categories of content on the Google Display Network.

Why do you need to know?

Your ads are displayed alongside relevant content targeting users who may be interested in your products or services if you know what this content is. As with any feature in Google Ads, make sure you do your homework first, so your targeting is spot on, and you aren’t wasting ad dollars.

Tracking Code

A snippet of code added to your website that tracks user behavior and collects data on website performance related to traffic coming from ads.

Why do you need to know?

This data can be used to optimize your campaigns and track conversions. It’s important that all appropriate tracking codes, such as Google Analytics, Facebook Pixel, and others, are added properly so you aren’t missing out on important tracking data.

Traffic Estimator

A Google Ads tool that estimates the potential traffic and cost for specific keywords and ad formats.

Why do you need to know?

Initially, this can help you plan and budget your campaigns more effectively. Eventually, though, your campaigns will generate real data, which should help you to optimize your campaigns better than an estimator could.

TrueView Video Ads

A type of video advertising in Google Ads that allows advertisers to run in-stream video ads on YouTube and other video partner sites.

Why do you need to know?

YouTube and other video partner sites are full of engaged users. These ads are highly customizable and can be targeted to specific audiences based on factors such as age, gender, interests, and location. Don’t sleep on video ads.

Universal Event Tracking (UET)

A tracking tool for Bing advertisers for monitoring and optimizing the performance of their Bing Ads campaigns.

Why do you need to know?

Just like any tracking tool, it is important to add the UET to something like Google Tag Manager so you can fully track the data of your Bing Ad campaign.

View-Through Conversion

A conversion that happens when a user sees an ad but doesn’t click on it, then later converts on the advertiser’s website, providing valuable insight into the impact of display advertising.

Why do you need to know?

Using things like cookies or pixels, this is an important metric to track, especially with display ads, as the user will not always click on the ad, but the ad may compel them to seek out the product or service in question.

PPC Done!

Well, there you have it! All the PPC terms we think you need to know. Next up will be marketing automation, think HubSpot, etc.

We hope as you come along with us on this journey to demystify all the digital marketing jargon thrown at you, that you feel more comfortable with your marketing efforts.

We also hope that you feel empowered to try new things, as the possibilities are endless in digital marketing if you know where to look!

Make sure you don’t miss the next installment of definitions by joining our newsletter today!

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