29 Google Ads Terms You Need to Know
The Google Ads platform has been described many ways. It’s versatile, allowing you to launch a wide variety of ad formats for a wide variety of industries. It’s efficient, offering opportunities to reach hundreds of thousands of consumers. It’s game-changing, helping you transform your business through the power of online search.
Google Ads has been described many ways. Easy is not typically one of those descriptions. After you’ve identified the keywords you want to target (and the keywords you want to avoid), the budget you want to allocate per day, your geographic targeting and your advertisement content, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed.
And it’s our goal to replace your confusion with peace of mind. That’s why we’ve outlined every, single term you’ll need to know in order to get started with Google Ads. From clickthrough-rate to cost-per-click, budget to bidding, we’re confident that you’ll find every must-have Google Ads term below.
Want to get started right now? Use our Google Ads Launch Checklist for the quickest distance to a fully optimized account at launch.
So here they are – our 29-Term Google Ads Glossary:
Ad Group – A collection of one or more ads, titled to segment and show ads according to theme, budget, keyword, location or another segmentation.
Ad Preview & Diagnosis – A Google Ads tool in previewing ad rank and appearance in search results, for a specific ad or extension.
The Ad Preview & Diagnosis tool is extremely useful when troubleshooting. Wondering why your extensions aren’t showing? Not sure why your headlines are showing in a certain order? Frustrated at your low ad rank? The Ad Preview & Diagnosis Tool can help explain those situations. If you’re troubleshooting any number of Google Ads issues, we want to help. Reference our Guide to Finding & Fixing Your Google Ads Issues, to stop PPC problems in their tracks.
Ad Schedule – A Google Ads tool that allows you to control times and dates when your ads are shown.
Attribution – A rule you define in Google Ads that identifies how credit is applied for a conversion to certain clicks.
It’s much easier to understand attribution rules with an example. If a consumer clicks on two of your ads, and you receive a conversion from one, which ad should the conversion be attributed to? Would you want the credit for that conversion to go to the ad that was clicked last? Would you want credit to go to the ad that was clicked first? Would you want to split the attribution between both ads evenly? These questions are all solved through attribution, where you define how conversions are attributed to ad clicks.
Bids – A price that reflects the highest amount of money you’re willing to pay for a single click.
Bid Strategy – This Google Ads tool helps you identify and pursue a goal for each of your campaigns. Set traffic or conversion-based bidding strategies based on your account and campaign goals, as well as the campaign types you create.
Our guide on the subject, Finding Bidding Strategies that Work with Your Campaigns, does just that: it helps you pair campaign types with bidding strategies that help you squeeze the most out of your Google Ads accounts.
Budget – The maximum amount of money you’re willing to spend per day, per campaign.
Campaign – A collection of ad groups, broadcasting organized ads, keywords and landing pages toward targeted audiences.
Each account can run multiple campaigns at a single time, each with similar or independent goals. Depending on your needs, you could be running Shopping Campaigns, Search Campaigns, Video Campaigns, Remarketing Campaigns, Display Campaigns, etc. For even more information on campaign type and efficiency, check out our Comprehensive Guide to Choosing & Launching the Right Campaign Type for You.
Change History – A Google Ads tool that identifies every major change an account has seen, logged by time, change type, and the user or users who facilitated the change.
Clicks – The total quantity of individuals who see, and subsequently click on, your ads.
Clickthrough-Rate (CTR) – A ratio that expresses how often consumers click on your ads, expressed as a ratio of total clicks over total impressions.
Conversions – An end-funnel action, taken by an individual who clicked on your ad, that you define as valuable.
Conversion Rate – The rate at which consumers typically convert from ad clicks. The percentage is expressed as a ratio of clicks to conversions.
Conversions are counted whenever someone interacts with one of your ads, and follows that click with an action you define. These conversion types could be counted whenever a consumer submits a form, completes a phone call of a determined length, reaches a specific web page, spends a certain amount of time on a page or website, or even visits a physical location.
If you have a conversion rate question, chances are we already have an answer. We address everything you’ll need to know about Google Ads conversions in our topical guide, Answering Your Top 10 Questions About Google Ads Conversions.
Cost-per-Click (CPC) – The average cost when a consumer clicks on one of your ads.
CPA – Cost-per-action refers to the average cost spent to acquire a single customer.
Extensions – Additional, supplementary “extensions” that appear after your descriptions that offer additional business information.
Ad extensions help you offer substantial business information, in addition to your headlines and descriptions. Extensions are free to add to your account, campaign or ad group, and help you extend helpful information like a physical address, business phone number, additional features, or sitelinks that appear below the descriptions, etc. For more information on deciphering which ad extensions are right for you, you need our guide on the subject – How Google Ads Extensions Can Help You Triple Click Rates.
Geographic Targeting – A Google Ads tool that allows you to identify countries, states, provinces, cities, zip codes and radii where you want your ads to show (or not show).
Google Ads Editor – A downloadable software program, created by Google, that allows you to easily apply small and large-scale changes to your account while working offline or outside of the Google Ads platform.
Learning the basics of Google Ads Editor is one of the quickest ways to cut down on average optimization times. We’ve made learning Google Ads Editor easier than ever; in fact, we think you can learn it in 30 minutes or less! Our guide to Learning Google Ads Editor in 30 Minutes or Less is available for free, right now.
Google Analytics – An analytics program that helps you track website user activity and traffic.
Headlines & Descriptions – Headlines offer three, 30-character advertisement headlines that show at the top of your Google Ads. Descriptions offer two, 90-character advertisement descriptions that show below the headlines of your Google Ads.
Headlines and descriptions make up the cornerstone of your Google Ads approach. Content is THE MOST important facet of any Google Ads strategy, and we want to help you get it right the first time. If you’re not sure where to start when it comes to creating dynamite ad content people will actually click, our 7 Ways to Write Better PPC Ad Content, Right Now resource is perfect for you.
Impressions – The total quantity of individuals who see your ads.
Impression Share – A metric that reflects how frequently your ads are showing, compared to how frequently your ads could be showing if your budget or ad rank were optimized.
Keywords – Terms or phrases a consumer types into a search engine, that results in your ad potentially showing.
The keywords you identify and install into your ad groups help determine where and when your ads show. The length and match type of your keywords greatly influence the performance and quality of your ads. We’ve solved the mystery behind selecting best-performing keywords in our free resource on the subject, 7 Steps to Dynamite Keyword Performance.
Label – An organizational assistant in labeling certain accounts, campaigns, ad groups, keywords or ads for segmentation or future reference.
Landing Page – The web page that a user lands on after clicking your ad.
Pay-per-Click Advertising (PPC) – An online advertising model that allows you to run ads across search engines, where you only pay the set bid amount every time a potential consumer clicks on your advertisement.
Quality Score – A Google Ads metric that identifies the collective quality of your Google Ads assets: campaigns, ad groups, ad content, keywords, landing pages, etc.
Search Terms – The keyword or phrase that a consumer types in, which results in them seeing your advertisement.
The Search Terms report is one of the first steps in auditing your account performance on a weekly basis. If you’re not sure how well your ads are performing, this is a great place to start. Comb through the Search Terms report to identify potential new keywords, add new negative keywords to prevent further irrelevant searches, and gauge the current performance of your search terms.
Split Testing (A/B Testing) – The act of testing one campaign, ad group, advertisement or landing page against another, to determine which feature or features perform better with your consumers.
It’s All About the Next Step Forward
If you think any of the above information is at all confusing, we totally agree. It’s our goal to help you eliminate as much of the Google Ads learning curve as possible. If you have specific questions on how you can improve your Google Ads account performance, we’d love to take a look! Schedule a time now to speak with one of our in-house PPC specialists, for a free performance audit. We’d love to help you take your Google Ads performance to the next level!
More than understanding the terminology or deploying correct bids the first time around, patience is undoubtedly the most important characteristic for any successful Google Ads manager. Take your time, get the details right and you’re well on your way to successful, well-oiled Google Ads campaigns that can help you pave the way to the online advertising results you know you need.