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PPC Advertising Glossary


Above the Fold – In reference to ad placement in traditional media, such as newspapers, this defines the top half of a page. On the web it indicate whether a banner advertisment or other content is displayed on a web page without the need to scroll. This is likely to give higher click-through, but note that the location of the 'fold' within the web browser is dependent on the screen resolution of a user's personal computer.

Advertisement or Ad – Banners, buttons, interstitials and key words are all examples of online advertisements. The digital creative can be text, static graphic, animated graphic, video, audio or other.

Advertising Network or Ad Network – is a company that connects web sites that want to host advertisements with advertisers who want to run advertisements. Increasingly Ad networks are companies that pay software developers as well as web sites money for allowing their ads to be shown when people use their software or visit their sites.

Advertiser – Any individual or entity purchasing online advertising space including agency media buyers, OEM media buyers, and sole proprietors.

Ad Group – Specific set of keywords associated with a related ad or group of ads. It is possible to have multiple ad groups in a campaign.

Ad Rotation – Ad rotation is the practice of showing multiple advertisements in a single location on a web page. Sometimes the ads are rotated with each new page load, sometimes they are rotated in the context of a single page load, and sometimes both simultaneously. Because the ads are placed in the same location, they are typically the same size.

Ad Space – The space on a webpage reserved to display advertising.

Affiliate – Typical term for a website that drives traffic to another website in exchange for a percent of sales from users driven to the site.

Auto Bidding – A means by which your bid on a given keyword is automatically changed by 1 cent if your nearest competitor changes their bid. Although you set a maximum bid, you may pay less if auto budding works in your favor.

Average Position – The average placement position of your ad over all its impressions. It normally takes several weeks for your average position to rise to the top in Adwords, even with high bids.


Banner – An interactive online advertisement in the form of a graphic image that typically runs across the top or bottom of a webpage, or is positioned in a margin or other space reserved for ads.

Bid – How much you are willing to spend on a click. A bid can be a “default” bid on a group of keywords, or a specific bid on a single keyword.

Broad Match – A type of keyword matching that will show your ad for the widest variety of terms deemed relevant by the search engine. In general, broad match keywords give a higher volume with a lower conversion rate.


Campaign – The set of ad groups. Even though each ad group can contain different keywords and ads, the campaign has a daily budget, geographic targeting, and other settings which will be effective for all the ads in the campaign.

Click Fraud – Clicks from fraudulent activity. Some fraud comes from competitors intentionally clicking on your ad.

Click, Click-Thru or Click-Through – The activation of a hyperlink using a mouse or other input device. The click-through is essential to the interactivity of online advertising.

Click-Through Rate (or Ratio) (CTR) – The way of measuring the success of an online advertising campaign. A CTR is obtained by dividing the number of users who clicked on an ad on a web page by the number of times the ad was delivered. For example, if a banner ad was delivered 100 times (impressions delivered) and one person clicked on it (clicks recorded), then the resulting CTR would be 1 percent.

Click Tracking
– The process of counting and auditing the clicks for a campaign. Click tracking can be done by a different entity than that which serves the creative.

– The percentage of the advertising fee paid to the Publisher for hosting the creative on their website.

Content Bid
– The default bid for a set of keywords on the content network.

Content Matching – The placement of PPC ads on websites. Ideally, these sites should have content that is relevant to the service offering of the company running the ad.

Conversion – A desired action taken by a website visitor. With PPC, it is relatively easy to measure conversions on form fill-outs and purchases, but it is more difficult to quantify dollars earned from phone calls triggered by online ads. Search engines track visitors for up to 30 days, so your conversion may not happen until a subsequent visit several days later.

Cost per Action or Acquisition (CPA) – online advertising pricing model, where the advertiser pays for each specified action (a purchase, a form submission, and so on) linked to the advertisement.

Cost Per Conversion – describing the cost of acquiring a customer, typically calculated by dividing the total cost of an advertising campaign by the number of conversions.

Cost Per Click (CPC) – is the amount of money an advertiser pays search engines and other Internet publishers for a single click on its advertisement that brings one visitor to its website.

Cost per Lead (CPL) – is an online advertising pricing model, where the advertiser pays for an explicit sign-up from an interested consumer interested in the advertiser offer.

Cost Per Mile (CPM) – also called as cost per thousand (CPT) (in Latin mille means thousand). online advertising pricing model, where the advertiser pays for thousand views of ad.

Cost per Sale (CPS) – A CPA pricing method that typically pays a transaction percentage for the acquisition of a customer that makes a purchase.

Cost per View (CPV) – is an online advertising pricing mode, where the advertiser pays for a single view of its ad.


Data Reporting – The presentation and delivery of publisher website and advertiser campaign data. Data reporting is typically a combination of tabular and graphic presentation.

Demographics – Statistical data that describes the makeup of a given user base, and includes information such as age range, gender, education levels, and average household income. Demographic data is one of the tools used to match ad space with an advertising campaign.

Dynamic Keyword Insertion – The placement of a variable field in ad text that will show a searcher’s actual search phrase (within limits) in the body of the ad.


Exact Match – A keyword setting that only lets your ad show up when a precise keyword is searched upon.


Frequency – The rate a particular user is exposed to a particular creative or a particular campaign during a single session or period of time. Frequency capping is essential to the success of online advertising campaigns to maximize creative effectiveness.


Geo-targeting – is the method of determining the geolocation (the physical location) of a website visitor and delivering different content to that visitor based on his or her location, such as country, region/state, city, metro code/zip code, organization, Internet Protocol (IP) address, ISP or other criteria.


Impression – Also known as ad views. "Impression" is the term used to describe the viewing of an ad by the user's browser.

Inventory – The ad space available for sale on a website. Ad inventory is determined by the number of ads on a page, the number of pages containing ad space and an estimate of future page views. Also called ad avail.


Keyword – A word or phrase used to focus an online search and to target advertising. Advertisers can purchase keywords on search engines to guarantee that their website information is displayed prominently and/or display an associated creative.

Keyword Bid – The maximum amount of money you are prepared to pay for every time that a user clicks on your PPC ad on a search engine and thus visits your website.


Landing Page – is the page that appears when a potential customer clicks on an advertisement or a search-engine result link.


Minimum Bid – The minimum amount set up a PPC search engine for either a specific keyword, type of keyword, or the overall minimum bid acceptable for any keyword.


Negative Keyword – prevent your ad from appearing if search terms doesn´t unrelated to your website. For example, if your sell mobile phones and you have set “mobile phone” as a keyword, you can prevent demonstration of your ad when searches are made on “repair of mobile phones” by defining “repair” as a negative keyword.


Page Views – The number of times a web page is viewed.

Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Advertising – Internet advertising model used on websites, in which advertisers pay their host only when their ad is clicked. With search engines, advertisers typically bid on keyword phrases relevant to their target market.

Pay-Per-Click Search Engine (PPCSE) – A search engine that offers pay-per-click advertising as an option to businesses.

Phrase Match – A keyword matching type that only shows your keyword when someone types in the specified phrase in a search query.

Position Preference – A setting that specifies the desired position of your PPC ads. Note that this can sometimes keep your ad from showing.

Publisher – An individual or entity selling online advertising space, including portal media planners, Webmasters and other ad networks. Publisher, web publisher, Webmaster and host are synonymous with respect to online advertising.


Reach – total number of different people or households exposed, at least once, to a medium during a given period of time.

Referral – A new member of the ad network (either a publisher or advertiser) referred directly by a current member through a button link or other means.

Return on Investment (ROI) is the ratio of money gained or lost on an investment relative to the amount of money invested.

Run-of-Network (RON) – A campaign buy that distributes creative to all or most of a network of publisher websites with no targeting or other filtering applied, other than standard frequency capping. Run-of-Network campaigns provide Advertisers with the greatest reach at the lowest cost.


Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
A variety of techniques whereby you change the content, keywords, meta tags, placement of text versus code, etc., in order to enhance your ranking in a search engine.


Targeting  The type of advertising whereby advertisements are placed so as to reach consumers based on various traits such as demographics, purchase history, or observed behavior.

Tracking The collection and automated analysis of data associated with the serving of digital creative. Tracking provides the frequency control, accounting, stats data and anti-fraud components of a campaign.

Traffic (Web traffic)  is the amount of data sent and received by visitors to a web site. It is a large portion of Internet traffic. This is determined by the number of visitors and the number of pages they visit.


Unique Visitor is a statistic describing a unit of traffic to a Web site, counting each visitor only once in the time frame of the report. This statistic is relevant to site publishers and advertisers as a measure of a site's true audience size, equivalent to the term "Reach" used in other media.


Zip Code Targeting – Real-time geographic targeting of advertisements based on the zip code of the user.

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PPC Advertising News

Mar 15, 2013
Social media has grown up

A new study has declared that social networks are no longer in their infancy and have graduated to a new phase of development.

Nov 16, 2012
Online technology to be looked at by the OFT

The Office of Fair Trading is set to examine how companies monitor the online habits and actions of shoppers.

News archive>>>

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