PPC Glossary


PPC Glossary, Pay Per Click Advertising Terms and Meanings

To help you increase your understanding of PPC or pay-per-click advertising terms, we’ve assembled this basic glossary of the most common words and acronyms used.


Paid Search

Paid Search results are the listings that appear on search engine results pages because they have paid to be included. They are usually located at the top of the results list in the area with a lightly coloured background or at the right-hand side of the results page.


Pay-Per-Click. Essentially another term for paid search, although PPC covers paid search text ads as well as remarketing and display ads on the display network. The term refers to the fact that an advertiser only pays when a user clicks on their ad, not when the ad is shown to users (known as an impression).

Display Advertising

Image/banner advertisements on the internet. These are usually run through the Google Display Network.


A remarketing campaign will show text or display advertisements specifically to internet users who have already visited your website. When they visit specific pages on your website they will be added to your ‘remarketing list’ and your ads will follow them around the internet, displaying on other websites they visit if those sites are part of the Google Display or AdSense Network.

Google Ads (formerly Adwords)

The most popular and powerful online advertising platform. This allows you to manage and run ads.


An impression occurs when your ad is shown to an internet user. This happens each time they search for a keyword you’re bidding on or they visit a website that is part of the Google Display or AdSense Network you are targeting with display or remarketing ads. You do not pay for impressions, you only pay when a user clicks on your ad.


The number of times an internet user has clicked on your ads.


Click Through Rate. Of those who saw your ad, CTR is the percentage who clicked on it. (i.e. clicks ˜ impressions x 100).


Cost Per Click. The average cost Google Ads charges you each time someone clicks on an ad.


Cost Per Acquisition/Cost Per Conversion. Not everyone who clicks through to your website from one of your ads will complete a conversion (such as make a purchase or submit a quote request). The CPA is the total cost of your clicks divided by the number of conversions achieved.

View-through conversions

A View-through Conversion happens when a customer sees your ad but doesn’t click on it, then later goes to your website themselves and completes a conversion (makes a purchase, contacts you, requests a quote etc). This is different from a Click-through Conversion, which happens when a customer clicks on an ad and then completes a conversion on your site straight away.


The Cost Per View-through Acquisition/Cost Per View-through Conversion.

Negative Keywords

Negative Keywords are terms that Google could mistakenly deem as related to your ads unless told otherwise. For example – showing ads for a Jaguar car when someone is advertising for tours of a Jaguar animal sanctuary – by adding ‘Jaguar car’ as a negative keyword to this campaign the ads would no longer show for that term.