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PPC. Say What?! A Guide To PPC Terminology

We chat Pay Per Click here at Tillison all day every day, to us it is second nature but we realise that isn’t the case for our clients. If the answer to the question, “Do you know what a broad match is? An exact match? or a broad modifier?” is No then read on. Here is our one-stop guide to (Pay Per Click) PPC terminology.

Broad Match

A broad match keyword will show when something within the same category is searched. It looks for broad matches, hence the name.

For example, if you search ‘Ladies dress’, results for ‘girl’s dress’, ‘dresses for girls’ and ‘female clothing’ will all show.

Broad Match Modifier

A broad match modifier works in a similar way to a broad match, but with a bit more freedom to those of us with slippery fingers. It’s a fact of life that everybody commits typos from time to time, so AdWords accommodates this. By opting for broad match modifiers it will still show results even though something may be spelt slightly wrong.

For example, if you are searching ‘mens jeans’ but spell it ‘mens jeens’, the results will still show. Your ad will still show in search results ‘boys jeans’ and ‘male jeans’ as broad match modifiers work in the same way as a broad match.

Exact Match

The clue is in the name. Exact match results will only show for specifically what is searched. For example, if you had ‘red hat’ as an exact match, ‘red hats’ or ‘red top hats’ will not show.

Phrase Match

Phrase matches don’t have as much freedom as a broad match, but are also not as strict as an exact match. Time for another example. If you have ‘white shirt’ as a phrase match, results for ‘small white shirt’ and ‘white shirt buttoned’ will also show but ‘white buttoned shirt’ will not. The words in the original phrase match need to remain in the correct order, uninterrupted, somewhere in the search term.

See: Google AdWords Keyword Match Types

Search Network

A search network is where your ads will appear. It refers to search engines, which support your ads, such as Google, Bing and Yahoo but also includes the more specific searches the website involves. This can include shopping, maps and videos.

Search Partners

Search partners are websites in partnership with search engines so that they can display ads. AOL is partnered with Google to show ads in the Google search network.

Search Query

A search query is anything that somebody types into a search engine. This can be anything from ‘red hats for sale’ to ‘cats doing funny things’.

Top vs. Side

Top vs. side refers to the positioning of where your ad shows. It is important to bear in mind when creating ads that ad performance differs when the ads feature in different places.

Click Through Rate

Click Through Rate (CTR) is the number of clicks your ad receives divided by the number of times the ad is shown (impressions). For example, if your ad campaign had 10 clicks and was shown 100 times, you would have a 10% CTR.

See: Why AdWords CTR is Important

Cost Per Click

Cost Per Click (CPC) is what you are paying per click. In AdWords, you set a maximum CPC which is the price you are prepared to pay (you usually pay less) and the actual CPC is what you are paying in the end. For example, you could set your maximum CPC at £1.00 but your actual cost per click, what you are paying is £0.80

Cost Per Acquisition

CPA (more commonly referred to as Cost Per Conversion) is what you need to spend on your campaign to achieve the desired action, i.e sale, contact form, phone call etc. It is worked out by your spending on AdWords divided by the number of conversions the campaign has achieved. For example, if you spent £100 on your AdWords campaign and achieved 10 conversions for this spend, your CPA would be £10.

See: Having No Conversion Tracking is Crazy

We appreciate that these are just some of the terms you may come across whilst investigating PPC for yourself or that you may hear during a Google AdWords training session but by having a basic understanding of what they mean will definitely help in getting to grips with the subject.

We hope you found this guide to PPC Terminology useful, for related Pay per Click content

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