PPC Jargon: The Next Step

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Having previously given readers a basic grounding into the complex world of PPC acronyms and strange paid search expressions, ClickThrough copywriter Martin Boonham now imparts a run-down on PPC terms to take things to… [cue foreboding synth stabs] The Next Step.

PPC jargon and terminology can be ridiculously complex to newcomers. So if you’re still a little unsteady on your feet when it comes to knowing your ad groups from your Adwords, take a glance at my previous blog on Basic PPC jargon.

If you’re already armed up with a knowledge of the very basics, prepare yourself for another round of jargon we’ve simply called, like a Hollywood studio struggling to think of a ground-breaking title for the next film in its mega hit franchise, PPC Jargon: The Next Step..

Here we provide you with a combination of match type definitions and other basic-but-useful PPC phrases.

Match Types

When it comes to fashion, matching suitable items together is vital. The same is true for effective PPC marketing, a match type is basically how advertisers control when their ad shows up in searches, based on the terms that users search for.

Broad Match

There are a number of different match types you can apply to ads, and this is typically the default option. As you would imagine, a broad match basically means your ad will show up on a search term containing any number of related terms. For example, if your ad uses the keyword "women’s shoes" and you’ve set it to broad match, it might appear on searches , for "women’s shoes", as you’d expect, but also "ladies’ shoes", "buy shoes for women", "girls’ shoes", and so on.

Broad Match Modifier

If one thing is certain in life, it is that people will always misspell things, even brand names. The broad match modifier is an AdWords feature that  lets you take advantage of spelling errors in search queries, whilst giving you more control over where you ad appears, compared to broad match. As well as bringing up differences in spelling, using a broad match modifier also means your ad will appear on searches for close variants such as singular and plural forms as well as abbreviations, acronyms, and stemmings.  Synonyms or other related terms are not considered ‘close variants’.

You can add a broad match modifier in AdWords by adding a "+" before the keyword. So, "red +socks" might make your ad appear on searches for "colourful sox", or "bright sock".  The "red" is still taken as being broad match, whilst the "socks" has to be searched for either exactly, or as a close variant.

This is a good option to use when looking to increase relevancy by making your keywords more targeted to your products or services.

Exact Match

If broad match is the shotgun approach to match types, covering a wide area of impact, exact match is the sniper rifle. It targets a very precise set of keywords with no room for manoeuvring, that is to say the exact same words, in the exact same order. Using our red sock example, if you had the exact match at "red cotton socks", "red socks" and "cotton socks" would not cut the proverbial mustard, as it were. This is the most specific of match types, as you can imagine.

Phrase Match

This keyword setting is more targeted than broad match, but not as precise as exact match. Now here come those pesky red socks again. If you use "red socks" as your phrase match, in this case "cotton red socks" and even "red socks for men" would show, but "red cotton socks" would not. Your ads will only be displayed when users search your keywords in the exact order you prescribe, but other words can precede or follow the keyword phrase, and the ad will still show.

Search Network

This is the group of search-related websites where your ad can appear. Whilst this includes search engines such as Google, Yahoo! and Bing, it also encompasses the various search offerings these pages provide. In the case of Google’s search network for example, this means Shopping, Maps, Groups and Images.

Search Partners

Search partners are the websites which team up with search engines to show PPC ads on its search network (above). In Google’s case, this includes AOL.

Search Query

From "red socks" to "second hand didgeridoos", a search query is the word or phrase a user types into a search engine.

Top vs. Side

This phrase refers to the oft-argued benefits of ads being located on the top of the search engine results page (SERP), versus being located on the right hand side of the page. Where an ad is situated can often affect its performance, so this is important to bear in mind.

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