Basic PPC Jargon – Know Your AdWords From Your Ad Groups

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The world of PPC is quite guilty of using acronyms and strange expressions that are bound to confound newcomers to the field. But behind this jargonistic jumble are relatively simple concepts, which are quite easy to understand when explained through straightforward language. Here, ClickThrough copywriter Martin Boonham gives a run-down of some of the more basic PPC terms.

If you’ve ventured deep enough into the digital marketing world to find this blog on PPC jargon, chances are you’re at least familiar with some of the key paid search terms, not least the ‘big one’: PPC, or Pay Per Click.

In a field that’s full of snappy acronyms and confusing shorthand, though, this is just the beginning. It can take a long time to fully familiarise yourself with the key terms, and PPC specialists will have had to study long and hard to get to grips with the ins and outs of the paid advertising world.

To help you get started, though, we’ve put together a list of 12 of the most common paid search acronyms and jargon phrases that you’ll come across.

Ad Group

This is how your advertising campaign is typically organised in Google AdWords. It’s made up of the keywords, the ads themselves and also the bids involved. Each ad group contains, on average, between five and ten keywords.


AdWords is Google’s advertising product. It is the platform on which ad campaigns for Google, and the Google Display Network, are managed. (The Google Display Network shows AdWords ads on sites outside of Google’s own search result pages.)


If you’ve ever tried bidding on an item on eBay, you’ve basically got the crux of what is meant by a bid in terms of PPC.

Taking eBay as a reference, a bid is the equivalent of the max bid option – it is the most you are willing to pay for a keyword click.

Bing Ads

The main advertising platform for the Bing and Yahoo! search engines.


This is a set of ad groups that share the same budget, as well as sharing location targeting, language and extension settings.


As the name would suggest, a click in the world of PPC is made when an Internet user clicks on a search or display ad.

CPC – Cost Per Click

Again quite logical when you break it down, this is the amount of money a business will pay a search engine for a lead (click) generated via its advertisement.


When something is ‘key’, it usually implies a high level of importance, and that is exactly what keywords are. Keywords are the word, or group of words, used by those in the PPC industry to get their ads featured in the sponsored search results. In very basic terms, the ad will appear when a user searches for one of the chosen keywords.

Landing Page

When a user clicks on an ad, they’ll ‘land’ on your site via a landing page. It is important to have a conversion-focussed landing page as that can make the difference between people simply browsing or actually making a purchase on a site. See it as your site’s ‘runway’ – it’s better to construct it from smooth, user-friendly tarmac than a semi-random collection of bits and pieces that are hard to navigate around.

PPC – Pay Per Click

As the name implies, this is a paid search advertising format in which advertisers pay for every click their ad receives on a search engine.

These paid ads generally live at the top and bottom of the SERP, and also on the side of the page. In Google, Yahoo! and Bing they appear in a faint yellow box.

SEM – Search Engine Marketing

Just one of the many forms of online marketing disciplines. This one particularly involves getting ranked in SERPs, whether through PPC ads, or ‘organically’ with SEO (search engine optimisation). When it comes to the Internet, getting your business on page one is the proverbial holy grail – this form of marketing aims to provide a firm with a sip from that cup.

SERP – Search Engine Result Page

When you type a search query into a search engine like Google, Bing or Yahoo!, this is the result. It typically includes ‘organic’ results (those which haven’t been paid for), as well as PPC ads and related information.

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