Paid Search Glossary


Do you know the difference between Google Ads and Microsoft Ads? How about CTR vs CTA? Have you got negative keywords set up?

Find out all the jargon used in paid search by browsing through our Paid Search Glossary.

The glossary is being updated all the time. If you think there is anything missing, please get in touch to let us know at justin@theonlineadvertisingguide.com

Please note: The below contains acronyms, abbreviations, synonyms, and terms related to paid search.

If you’re looking for something specific, we recommend you use the search box.

 

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  • 3

  • 3rd Party CookiesCommonly used for analytics and conversion tracking, these are cookies that are not created by...   Learn More >
  • a

  • ABMAccount-Based Marketing (ABM) is a highly-tailored marketing strategy that targets a specific...   Learn More >
  • Accelerated DeliveryIn ad platforms, this is an option to specify that ads should be delivered as soon as possible....   Learn More >
  • Account-Based MarketingAccount-Based Marketing (ABM) is a highly-tailored marketing strategy that targets a specific...   Learn More >
  • AcquisitionIn online advertising, an acquisition means a purchase. It is most commonly used as the A in CPA...   Learn More >
  • Ad AgencyWhat is an Ad Agency? An Ad Agency is a company that handles other companies marketing work,...   Learn More >
  • Ad CampaignAn Ad Campaign refers to a set ads which are designed to run together.
  • Ad ExtensionsIn Google Ads, Ad Extensions are extra bits that can be added to search ads. These include phone...   Learn More >
  • Ad ImpressionWhat is an Ad Impression? An ad impression is one successful ad call - one ad loading on a...   Learn More >
  • Ad PlatformAn Ad Platform is a generic term meaning the product a company uses to serve advertising....   Learn More >
  • Ad Pricing ModelAn ad pricing model is the way in which an advertiser pays for advertising, such as on a CPM,...   Learn More >
  • Ad RankAd Rank is a metric used by Google to decide the positioning of an ad for different keywords on...   Learn More >
  • AdvertiseTo advertise is the process of drawing attention to a something (such as a product, service or...   Learn More >
  • AdvertiserAn advertiser is a person or company who pays for any form of advertising.
  • Advertising RateBefore you can work out how much money your site will make, you have to understand the different...   Learn More >
  • AdWordsAdWords is an Ad Platform from Google. It is a place where advertisers can run ad campaigns...   Learn More >
  • AnalyticsThe measurable statistics of a website or an ad campaign (such as impressions). Typically...   Learn More >
  • Analytics PlatformA provider of website analytics such as Google Analytics.
  • AuctionAn auction in digital marketing refers to the process of how an advertising platform decides...   Learn More >
  • b

  • Behavioural SegmentationBehavioural Segmentation is the process of splitting people by their activity (or lack of...   Learn More >
  • Bing AdsMicrosoft’s answer to Google Ads, Bing Ads is where you can run search ads on the Bing search...   Learn More >
  • Broad MatchWhen targeting keywords in Google Ads for paid search, broad match means inputting the keywords...   Learn More >
  • Broad Match ModifierBroad Match Modifier was a keyword match type that was retired by Google on 18th February 2021....   Learn More >
  • BullishAn attitude of aggressive confidence. Used in digital marketing to describe someone focusing...   Learn More >
  • c

  • CamelCaseAlso known as Title Case. Camel Case Means Capitalising Every Word In a Sentence. This is used...   Learn More >
  • ClickWhat is a Click? When it comes to online advertising, a click refers to a user clicking on an...   Learn More >
  • Click-Through RateWhat does CTR mean? CTR stands for Click-Through Rate. It is the percentage of clicks on a link...   Learn More >
  • ConversionWhat is a Conversion? Conversion is the generic term used for an action or acquisition...   Learn More >
  • Conversion PixelA conversion pixel is a 3rd party piece of code placed on a website that allows an advertiser or...   Learn More >
  • Conversion RateThe Conversion Rate (CR) of a campaign is the number of conversions achieved per click. It is...   Learn More >
  • ConvertedIn online advertising, a converted user is someone who has seen or clicked on an ad and...   Learn More >
  • CostCost is a catch-all term in online advertising that refers to budget or payment. It is used...   Learn More >
  • Cost Per AcquisitionWhat does CPA mean? The CPA price is the amount that gets paid when an ad leads to a sale (or...   Learn More >
  • Cost Per ClickWhat does CPC mean? The Cost Per Click price is the amount paid every time a user clicks on an...   Learn More >
  • Cost Per LeadWhat does CPL mean? The CPL price means that every time the advertiser gets a lead (a potential...   Learn More >
  • Cost Per ThousandWhat does CPM mean? CPM is an ad pricing model used to buy advertising space, most commonly for...   Learn More >
  • CPAWhat does CPA mean? The CPA price is the amount that gets paid when an ad leads to a sale (or...   Learn More >
  • CPCWhat does CPC mean? The Cost Per Click price is the amount paid every time a user clicks on an...   Learn More >
  • CPLWhat does CPL mean? The CPL price means that every time the advertiser gets a lead (a potential...   Learn More >
  • CPMWhat does CPM mean? CPM is an ad pricing model used to buy advertising space, most commonly for...   Learn More >
  • CRThe Conversion Rate (CR) of a campaign is the number of conversions achieved per click. It is...   Learn More >
  • Cross-Device ConversionA way of measuring when someone visits a website on one device, but then only completes a...   Learn More >
  • CTRWhat does CTR mean? CTR stands for Click-Through Rate. It is the percentage of clicks on a link...   Learn More >
  • d

  • DaypartingDayparting refers to optimising by the hour of the day (splitting a day into parts).
  • Demographic SegmentationDemographic Segmentation refers to splitting up an audience by their demographics. This is...   Learn More >
  • DemographicsDemographics are factors such as age, race, gender, sex, location which are often used to break...   Learn More >
  • Device TargetingDevice targeting is the process of making ads deliver on a specific type of computer - be it...   Learn More >
  • DiscrepancyDiscrepancy Definition Discrepancy means an unexpected (or unexplainable) difference between...   Learn More >
  • DogfoodingA phrase referring to the idea of Dog Food makers should test their own dog food (presumably on...   Learn More >
  • DownweightDownweight is a term used when optimising ads. It means reducing the appearance of an ad on...   Learn More >
  • Duck Duck GoA search engine with a focus on privacy in that it doesn't personalise results, and doesn't...   Learn More >
  • e

  • eCommerceeCommerce refers to buying or selling goods or services online, as well as online transactions....   Learn More >
  • eCommerce ConversionAn online sale. A subset of conversion in general, which don't have to be sales or money related...   Learn More >
  • eCommerce Conversion RateThe conversion rate of online sales (as opposed to other types of conversions).
  • ECPCIn Google Ads, ECPC stands for Enhanced Cost Per Click and is a setting where clicks are...   Learn More >
  • Enhanced Cost Per ClickIn Google Ads, ECPC stands for Enhanced Cost Per Click and is a setting where clicks are...   Learn More >
  • Enhanced Tracking ProtectionThe way in which Firefox blocks all third-party cookies automatically, making analytics and...   Learn More >
  • ETPThe way in which Firefox blocks all third-party cookies automatically, making analytics and...   Learn More >
  • Even DeliveryIn ad platforms, this is an option to specify that ads should be delivered evenly as possible...   Learn More >
  • Exact MatchWhen targeting keywords in Google Ads for paid search, exact match means inputting the keywords...   Learn More >
  • f

  • FCWhat is a Frequency Cap? A frequency cap is a limit to the number of times each user sees an...   Learn More >
  • Fear Of Missing OutAn acronym that stands for Fear Of Missing Out, which refers to the idea that people always...   Learn More >
  • Federated Learning of CohortsFLoC was a way of tracking people for advertising purposes (both targeting and conversion...   Learn More >
  • FLoCFLoC was a way of tracking people for advertising purposes (both targeting and conversion...   Learn More >
  • FOMOAn acronym that stands for Fear Of Missing Out, which refers to the idea that people always...   Learn More >
  • FreemiumA service that has a basic version that is free to use, but for which a premium version of the...   Learn More >
  • FrequencyWhat does Frequency mean? In online advertising, frequency refers to how often an ad appears to...   Learn More >
  • Frequency CapWhat is a Frequency Cap? A frequency cap is a limit to the number of times each user sees an...   Learn More >
  • g

  • GAGoogle Analytics is one of the most commonly used providers of web statistics. It's free and...   Learn More >
  • Geo-TargetingIn Digital Marketing, Geo-Targeting means aiming content (an ad, webpage etc) at a particular...   Learn More >
  • Golden TriangleA concept in Google Ads where you rely on it to optimise your campaigns. The core of this...   Learn More >
  • GoogleGoogle is the largest and most popular search engine. They also have a wide range of...   Learn More >
  • Google AdsFormerly known as Google AdWords (the name changed in 2018). Google Ads is one of the largest...   Learn More >
  • Google AnalyticsGoogle Analytics is one of the most commonly used providers of web statistics. It's free and...   Learn More >
  • Google Tag ManagerGoogle Tag Manager is an efficient way of dynamically managing tagging on a website from Google....   Learn More >
  • Growth EngineThe mechanism that makes a startup grow in a sustainable fashion. This can often mean a...   Learn More >
  • GTMGoogle Tag Manager is an efficient way of dynamically managing tagging on a website from Google....   Learn More >
  • h

  • Head KeywordKeywords that are one or two words long (usually less than 15 characters in total), which...   Learn More >
  • i

  • ImpressionWhat does Impression mean? Impression means when something (usually content, an ad or post) is...   Learn More >
  • Impression ShareImpression Share is a metric in Google Ads. It is the percentage of impressions that your ads...   Learn More >
  • Insertion OrderAn IO is an Insertion Order which in online advertising is the contract that provides the...   Learn More >
  • IOAn IO is an Insertion Order which in online advertising is the contract that provides the...   Learn More >
  • k

  • KeywordA keyword means something that is entered into a search engine. They can be targeted by Paid...   Learn More >
  • Keyword TargetingKeyword targeting is the process of targeting marketing activities at specific sets of useful...   Learn More >
  • Keywords EverywhereA plugin for Google Chrome that provides keyword suggestions for free within search results. You...   Learn More >
  • KISSAn acronym standing for Keep It Simple Stupid. KISS is a sort of pseudo-ethos that advocates for...   Learn More >
  • l

  • Landing PageThe page where a person enters a website (ie the page they "land on"). In online advertising,...   Learn More >
  • Last ClickSometimes referred to as Last Touch, this is the most common type of attribution for conversions...   Learn More >
  • LeadA potential customer, or a way to get in touch with a potential customer (eg email address,...   Learn More >
  • Lead GenerationLead generation (or Lead Gen) is the gathering of potential customers' contact information and...   Learn More >
  • Lifetime ValueLTV (often called Customer Lifetime Value or CLTV) is an attempt at predicting the amount of...   Learn More >
  • Long Tail KeywordMultiple word keywords which really define the company targeting it.  These keywords have low...   Learn More >
  • Long-TailThe Long Tail refers to the vast majority of websites that get comparatively little traffic, but...   Learn More >
  • Low Hanging FruitLow hanging fruit is an expression that means the easiest things to do. For example, the low...   Learn More >
  • LTVLTV (often called Customer Lifetime Value or CLTV) is an attempt at predicting the amount of...   Learn More >
  • m

  • MetricsMetrics are measurable statistics that are used in digital marketing to improve performance such...   Learn More >
  • MicrosoftA technology company founded by Bill Gates. Microsoft makes a wide variety of the software...   Learn More >
  • MSA technology company founded by Bill Gates. Microsoft makes a wide variety of the software...   Learn More >
  • Multi-Touch AttributionSometimes referred to as multi-channel attribution, this is a way of attributing conversions...   Learn More >
  • n

  • Navigational Search QueryA search aimed at finding a specific website or webpage. While these searches generate a lot of...   Learn More >
  • Negative KeywordKeywords which are targeted away from as opposed to target towards. For example, an airline...   Learn More >
  • Non-Organic TrafficNon-Organic Traffic means traffic that has been paid for. This would include users on a site who...   Learn More >
  • o

  • OptimisingWhat does optimising mean? Optimising means making changes to improve performance. It is a...   Learn More >
  • Outbound MarketingOutbound marketing means marketing activities where you go out and try and find customers. For...   Learn More >
  • p

  • Paid MediaPaid Media refers to any advertising you have to pay for. This includes PPC or Display Ads,...   Learn More >
  • Paid SearchWhat Does Paid Search Mean? Paid Search refers to ads placed in search engines above 'organic'...   Learn More >
  • Pay Per ClickPay Per Click (or PPC) is another way to say CPC (which stands for Cost Per Click). It is a type...   Learn More >
  • Performance MaxCommonly referred to as PMax. A type of Google Ads campaign where everything is automatically...   Learn More >
  • Phrase MatchWhen targeting keywords in Google Ads for paid search, phrase match means inputting the keywords...   Learn More >
  • PixelA pixel is what makes up the images displayed on your computer. They are minute dots of colour,...   Learn More >
  • PlatformA platform is a generic term that means a computer/server which does something. An Ad Platform...   Learn More >
  • PMAXCommonly referred to as PMax. A type of Google Ads campaign where everything is automatically...   Learn More >
  • Post-Click ConversionA Post-Click Conversion, or PC Conversion is when a user converts after a click. This click can...   Learn More >
  • Post-Click WindowThe Post Click Window, or PC Window, is the amount of time after a user has clicked on an ad and...   Learn More >
  • Post-Impression ConversionA Post-Impression Conversion or PI Conversion is when a user buys a product after seeing an...   Learn More >
  • Post-Impression WindowThe Post Impression Window, or PI Window, is the amount of time after a user has viewed an ad...   Learn More >
  • PPCPay Per Click (or PPC) is another way to say CPC (which stands for Cost Per Click). It is a type...   Learn More >
  • q

  • Quality ScoreQuality Score is a metric that Google Ads (formerly AdWords) uses to work out whether they...   Learn More >
  • QuarterA quarter is a three month reporting period (as in a quarter of the year). There are four...   Learn More >
  • r

  • Responsive AdsA type of text ad in Google Ads where you can add multiple different headlines and descriptions,...   Learn More >
  • Retargeting adsAds which are shown people who have taken some action before. For example visitors to a webpage...   Learn More >
  • Return On Ad SpendWhat is ROAS? Return On Ad Spend (ROAS) is a metric used in online advertising to calculate how...   Learn More >
  • Return On InvestmentWhat is an ROI? ROI stands for Return on Investment and means the amount of money you get back...   Learn More >
  • RevenueThe total amount of money taken in by a person or company, before any expenses (such as taxes...   Learn More >
  • RFPAn acronym standing for Request For Proposal. This is what is put out when an organisation is...   Learn More >
  • RLSAAn acronym standing for Retargeting List for Search Ads. It is a feature in Google Ads to target...   Learn More >
  • ROASWhat is ROAS? Return On Ad Spend (ROAS) is a metric used in online advertising to calculate how...   Learn More >
  • ROIWhat is an ROI? ROI stands for Return on Investment and means the amount of money you get back...   Learn More >
  • s

  • SaaSA business model where users are charged a subscription fee for using software as opposed to a...   Learn More >
  • SEASEA is a rarely used acronym that stands for Search Engine Advertising. It is generally referred...   Learn More >
  • Search EngineA search engine is a website that attempts to index all websites and then allows users to search...   Learn More >
  • Search Engine AdvertisingSEA is a rarely used acronym that stands for Search Engine Advertising. It is generally referred...   Learn More >
  • Search Engine MarketingSearch Engine Marketing (or SEM) is a type of marketing where you focus on improving the...   Learn More >
  • Search Engine Results PageSERP stands for Search Engine Results Page. A SERP is a webpage loaded by a search engine in...   Learn More >
  • Search QueryThe actual words used in a search engine by a user. Contrasts to keywords, which are groups of...   Learn More >
  • Search Query ReportA report in Paid Search platforms which tells you the actual search terms which your ads showed...   Learn More >
  • Search RankingSearch Ranking refers to how high up in search results a website appears for a certain term on...   Learn More >
  • SegmentationSegmentation can take place in any form of digital marketing, and simply involves breaking...   Learn More >
  • SEMSearch Engine Marketing (or SEM) is a type of marketing where you focus on improving the...   Learn More >
  • SERPSERP stands for Search Engine Results Page. A SERP is a webpage loaded by a search engine in...   Learn More >
  • SERPs DominationSERPs Domination is when a single website is returned for all the results on the first page for...   Learn More >
  • Single Keyword Ad GroupsAKA SKAGs. An Ad Group on a paid search platform which only targets a single exact match...   Learn More >
  • SKAGsAKA SKAGs. An Ad Group on a paid search platform which only targets a single exact match...   Learn More >
  • Software as a ServiceA business model where users are charged a subscription fee for using software as opposed to a...   Learn More >
  • Split TestingA way of testing whether one thing is better than another. For example, you could split test two...   Learn More >
  • SQRA report in Paid Search platforms which tells you the actual search terms which your ads showed...   Learn More >
  • Surveillance MarketingMarketing that collects and uses a surprising amount of data to target people. A terrifying and...   Learn More >
  • SWOTAn acronym standing for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats. SWOT is used to start...   Learn More >
  • t

  • Third-Party CookiesCookies that are dropped onto a person's computer when visiting a website that are not from the...   Learn More >
  • Tracking LinksA hyperlink that is designed to be easily trackable, often by adding UTM parameters, or else by...   Learn More >
  • TrafficTraffic in online advertising is a catch-all term for visitors to a site (the online equivalent...   Learn More >
  • TraffickingTrafficking in online advertising is the process of uploading, troubleshooting, managing,...   Learn More >
  • TroubleshootingThe process of systematically testing for, finding and fixing problems (such as broken ads,...   Learn More >
  • u

  • UnderdeliveryWhen an ad campaign does not fulfil the specified amount of impressions/clicks/conversions etc.
  • Uniform Resource LocatorThe web address of a website or webpage. For example, the address of this website is...   Learn More >
  • Unique Selling PointAn acronym standing for Unique Selling Point. This is a concept based around how a...   Learn More >
  • UnoptimisedIf something is unoptimized, it has not had any efforts put in to improve its performance.
  • UpweightAn Upweight in online advertising is a term to do with optimising ad campaigns. It means when a...   Learn More >
  • Urchin Tracking ModuleUTM parameters are 5 tracking parameters you can add to the end of a URL which can be read by...   Learn More >
  • URLThe web address of a website or webpage. For example, the address of this website is...   Learn More >
  • USPAn acronym standing for Unique Selling Point. This is a concept based around how a...   Learn More >
  • UTMUTM parameters are 5 tracking parameters you can add to the end of a URL which can be read by...   Learn More >
  • v

  • Value For MoneyWhat Does VfM Mean? If you are unable to track conversions for your ad campaign, there is a...   Learn More >
  • VfMWhat Does VfM Mean? If you are unable to track conversions for your ad campaign, there is a...   Learn More >