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PPC Glossary: 16 Digital Marketing Terms Explained

Trying to demonstrate results from digital marketing is challenging – but the jargon can make it even more difficult. We explain the essential digital marketing terms.

We’ve put together this digital advertising glossary to define the common terminology and spell out the acronyms to help digital marketers better understand and discuss their campaign performance.

PPC Glossary of Digital Marketing Terms

  1. Clicks: Counted when a user clicks on the ad.
  2. Click-Through-Rate (CTR): CTR measures how often people click the ad after it's shown to them, which helps understand the effectiveness of the ad. The formula is clicks divided by impressions.
  3. Conversion: Uniquely identified actions such as form submissions or clicks on the ‘submit’ button when entering the website through an ad.
  4. Conversion Rate: Shows how often, on average, an ad interaction leads to a conversion, calculated by Conversions divided by interactions with the ad.
  5. Cost-Per-Click (CPC): The price you pay for each ad click in the ads auction. CPC varies based on keyword demand and competition.
  6. Cost: Ad spend
  7. Dynamic Keyword Insertion (DKI): Dynamic Keyword Insertion (DKI) is a Google ads function that dynamically updates your ad text to include one of your keywords that matches a customer's search terms. When a user includes one of your keywords in their search, Google ads automatically replaces the code in the ad with the keyword that triggered your ad. This results in more relevant ad copy and higher CTRs!
  8. Expanded Text Ad (ETA): Search ads that incorporate components including up to three headlines (up to 30 characters) and up to two descriptions (up to 90 characters). The alternative search ad is a responsive search ad.
  9. Frequency: Typically referenced on social platforms, frequency is the number of times a user has seen an ad.
  10.  Impression (Impr).: An impression is counted each time the ad is served to report how often the ad is seen.
  11.  Impr. (Abs. Top) %: Search absolute top impression rate is the percent of impressions that are shown as the very first ad above the organic search results.
  12.  Impr. (Top) %: Search top impression rate is the percentage of impressions that are shown anywhere above the organic search results.
  13.  Impression share: Impression share is the number of impressions received, divided by the estimated number of impressions your ads are eligible to receive based on ad rank and budget.
  14.  Reach: Typically referenced on social platforms, an ad’s reach refers to the total number of people who have seen your ad or content.
  15.  Responsive Display Ad: Newer than traditional static ads, responsive display ads leverage various assets (images, headlines, logos, videos, and descriptions), and allow Google to compile and auto-generate ads based on ad placement size and estimated CTR.
  16.  Responsive Search Ad (RSA): Responsive search ads let you create an ad that adapts to show more text — and more relevant messages — to your customers. Enter multiple headlines and descriptions when creating a responsive search ad, and over time, Google Ads will automatically test different combinations and learn which combinations perform best based on the audience and query.  According to Google, Responsive Search Ads have a 5% - 15% higher CTR compared to standard search ads!

Ad Performance vs. Conversion Performance

Most of the terminology in our PPC glossary is related to ad type, ad placement, ad bidding, and ad performance (versus other ads). These are important metrics to ensure that advertising budget is being wisely and efficiently used. But, these metrics only tell part of the story.

It’s essential to ensure you’ve built out your conversion goals in your CRM platform or Google Analytics platform so that you can measure your conversion rate (see #4 above). 

The conversion goal is the actual business goal you’d like to result from a click on your ad — download a piece of content, register for an event, purchase an item. These goals need to be configured and tied back to the ad platform. 

Without this data, campaigns can only be partially optimized. With conversion goal data available, you can optimize the spend, impressions, and campaigns to achieve your business goal.

Advanced PPC Glossary for Digital Marketing Terms

Looking to dive deeper into Google Adwords and understand more terms? Google maintains a detailed Adwords Glossary to support campaign managers.