The Pocket Sized List of PPC Terms You Need to Know

magic book of knowledgeTo 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%.

Still looking to expand your already extensive knowledge of digital marketing terms and phrases? Try out the Big Bad list of SEO Terms and the 33 Web Design Terms You Need to Know!

Is there a need to know term that we left out? Leave a comment below.