All the PPC Terms You Need to Know
Digital marketers rely on many acronyms and abbreviations when discussing their work. PPC terms and acronyms help to ensure everyone is referring to the same paid media metrics and data points. Learning the meaning behind CPM, ROAS and other terms helps brands and marketers stay in sync and focused on the core KPIs that drive success.
What Does PPC Mean in Marketing?
PPC is an acronym for pay-per-click, the most common type of paid search campaign online today. PPC is often used as an umbrella term for all paid search efforts, including Google, Microsoft, Amazon and other advertising networks.
We’ve put together the most important Google Ads terms our PPC team uses every day.
Paid Search Terms and Definitions
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. Banner ads are effective for PPC, brand awareness and remarketing campaigns.
Click-thru Rate (CTR) – The percentage of people who click on a link (e.g., in an email message or sponsored ad) after seeing it. CTR is calculated by dividing the number of clicks by the total views, or impressions, generated by an ad.
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 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%. We help clients improve their conversion rate with conversion rate optimization techniques.
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. The “M” in “CPM” is derived from the Latin word for 1,000 (mille). CPM meaning is constant across marketing and shows up in digital and traditional advertising packages.
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 – Now known as Microsoft Advertising, this is the 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 beside (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. Check out our Paid Media FAQs for an overview of PPC in action.
PPC – An abbreviation for “pay-per-click.”
ROAS – An abbreviation for “return-on-ad-spend, our ROAS definition is a paid media KPI that compares the total cost of advertising spend with the revenue generated by that campaign. If an ad campaign spends $5,000 and generated $15,000, the return on ad spend would be a ratio of 3 to 1, or a ROAS of 3. ROAS is often referred to with an ‘x’ to donate the ratio. The ROAS would be 3x in our example.
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%.
Looking for More PPC Acronyms? Who Isn’t?
The list above is just the tip of the iceberg. Make sure to consult the complete Google Advertising Glossary of Terms for a comprehensive list of paid media search terms.
We’ve got more where that came from. Check out all our glossaries for service-specific terms we use every day!
- All the YouTube Terminology You Need to Know
- The Ultimate Glossary of Content Marketing Terms (and Jargon)
- The Big Google Analytics Glossary – with GA4 Definitions
- Web and Graphic Design Terminology and Glossary
- Social Media Marketing Terms
- Glossary of Common Web Development Terms
- The Big, Bad List of SEO Terms
Go Ahead and Drop “CPM” in Your Next Marketing Meeting
Oneupweb is committed to adding value to our clients’ marketing efforts and growing their understanding of digital marketing. We’re a vertically integrated agency with in-house experts in a range of services and industries. Let’s see if we’re speaking the same language; get in touch or call 231-922-9977 today to schedule a chin-wag.