To the PPC and paid media industry outsider the terms, abbreviations and phrases we use on a daily basis may sound more like Harry Potter-esque gobbledygook than modern day English. But, with the help of this handy little list you will be waving your PPC wand of knowledge like a real Google Adwords pro quicker than you can say abracadabra.
Acquisition – Refers to the point in time when a visitor to a website becomes a qualified lead or customer.
Acquisition Cost – See “cost-per-acquisition.”
AdWords – The pay-per-click (PPC) search-engine marketing (SEM) program provided by Google.
Banner Ad – Graphical image or small animation file embedded within a Web page and used for advertising, often containing a link to other sites, products, etc.
Click-thru Rate (CTR) – The percentage of people who actually click on a link (e.g., in an email message or sponsored ad) after seeing it.
Conversion – A desired action taken by a website visitor, such as making a purchase, registering for an event, subscribing to an e-newsletter, completing a lead-gen form, downloading a file, etc.
Conversion Cost – See “cost-per-acquisition (CPA).”
Conversion Rate – This is the percentage of visitors to a site or ad who actually take a further action, like buying a product or filling out a survey. For example, if your primary goal is to collect survey data through your site, and 20 people visit it, but only 5 people complete the survey, you have a conversion rate of 25%.
Cost-Per-Acquisition (CPA) – Represents the ratio of the total cost of a pay-per-click (PPC) campaign to the total number of leads or customers, often called “CPA” or “conversion cost.”
Cost-Per-Click – A method of paying for targeted traffic. For a fee, sites like Google or Facebook direct traffic to your site. You agree to pay a set amount for every click.
CPA – An abbreviation for “cost-per-acquisition.”
CPC – An abbreviation for “cost-per-click.”
CPM – This is the “cost-per-thousand” views of an advertisement. Often, advertisers agree to pay a certain amount for every 1,000 customers who see their ad, regardless of conversion rates or click-thrus. The “M” in “CPM” is derived from the Latin word for 1,000 (mille).
CTR – An abbreviation for “click-thru rate.”
Dashboard – Any area of administrative control for operating applications, especially social media settings, blogging software, and user profiles for websites that offer multiple customization options.
De-listing – See “ban.”
Impression – An instance of an organic search-engine listing or sponsored ad being served on a particular Web page or an image being viewed in display advertising. In paid search, “cost-per-impression” is a common metric.
Index – The actual collection of data and websites obtained by a search engine, also known as “search index.”
Inbound Link – A link from another website directed to yours, also known as a “backlink.”
IP Address – This series of numbers and periods represents the unique numeric address for each Internet user.
Microsoft adCenter – The pay-per-click (PPC) search-engine advertising program provided by Microsoft in conjunction with its Bing search engine, now also populating Yahoo! search results.
Paid Listings – Listings sold to advertisers for a fee. Also known as “paid placement.” See “pay-per-click.”
Paid Placement – See “pay-per-click.”
Pay-Per-Click – Also known as “PPC,” this type of paid search marketing involves placing advertisements that run above or besides (and occasionally below) the free search-engine listings on Google, Bing, and Yahoo!. Typically, to get the highest position among these ads, website owners place a per-click bid.
PPC – An abbreviation for “pay-per-click.”
ROI – An acronym for “return-on-investment.” ROI is the percentage of profit from a given digital marketing activity. For example, if you pay $50 a month for CPC advertising, and it leads to $500 in profit, your ROI would be 1000%.