Account: A Google AdWords account provides the Web space in which you design and operate a campaign. Opening an account costs nothing; activating your account costs five dollars. Account holders have access to Google’s keyword research and traffic estimation tools, even before activation. Therefore, you can conceive and budget a complete ad campaign before spending a dime.
Activation: To activate a Google AdWords account, you select a payment method and currency and provide billing details. After you activate an account, you’re ready to launch a campaign.
Activation fee: A five-dollar fee is charged when AdWords advertisers first activate their accounts. An additional five-dollar fee is imposed every third time you reactivate a campaign after Google has stopped it due to underperformance.
Actual cost-per-click: As compared to cost-per-click, the actual cost-per-click is the billable amount charged by Google when a searcher clicks your ad. This amount might be the same as or lower than your maximum bid for your ad placement, but it’s never higher.
Ad Group: The main subdivision of an ad Campaign, an Ad Group consists of one or more ads associated with one or more keywords. Keywords define the Ad Group. New Ad Groups in a Campaign are associated with different keywords, though they might have the same ads.
AdRank: Advertisements are placed in sequence based on AdRank, with the top-ranked ad at the top of the column. AdRank is measured as a combination of bid value (maximum CPC set by the advertiser) and clickthrough rate (CTR). Successful ads with high CTRs are sometimes ranked and placed higher than less successful ads with higher CPC bids. The measurement, ranking, and placement of ads are automated.
AdWords column: The right-hand stack of AdWords advertisements on a Google search results page. Ads are placed in that column according to AdRank, which is a calculation of maximum CPC and clickthrough rate.
Affiliate (aff): Affiliate marketers direct their clickthroughs to third-party destinations that sell products or services. The affiliate receives a commission when the clickthrough results in a sale. Google’s guidelines require advertisers to indicate in their ad copy if they’re engaging in affiliate marketing. To save space, the aff abbreviation is often used.
Broad match: The default keyword-matching setting in Google AdWords. Broad match displays your ad on search results pages that match your keywords and a large peripheral universe of keywords that Google determines is relevant — so your ads appear on the results pages of keywords you might not have directly chosen. Broad match is an easy way to spread your ad out to keywords that haven’t occurred to you. In choosing this option, however, you’re relying on Google’s relevancy algorithm to choose keywords related to your selections. (See also keyword-matching options, expanded match, exact match, and negative match.)
Call to action: Google recommends using short phrases that command the viewer to do something. These calls to action encourage clickthroughs with phrases such as “Learn more,” or “Download now for free.” Some marketers dispute the effectiveness of calls to action. A good way to test the value of calls to action is to use multiple ads in an ad group, some with calls to action and others without.
Campaign: The largest subdivision of a Google AdWords account, a Campaign holds one or more Ad Groups. Campaigns can be paused, resumed, budgeted, networked, and scheduled — these settings affect all Ad Groups simultaneously and equally. Ad Groups have their own settings for finer control.
Clickthrough: Clickthroughs occur when a viewer clicks your AdWords ad. Clicking through generates a charge to your account.
Clickthrough rate (CTR): The CTR is a calculation of an ad’s clickthroughs divided by its impressions (the number of times it’s displayed). CTR measures the effectiveness of an ad.
Content network: Non-search-engine sites that publish Google AdWords make up the Google content network. These sites participate in the AdSense or premium AdSense programs. AdWords advertisers decide whether or not they want to release their ads to this expanded network.
Content-targeted ads: AdWords ads targeted to the information pages of the content network and distributed through Google’s AdSense program.
Control Center: The Control Center is the entire suite of ad-creation and campaign-reporting tools located in Google AdWords.
Conversion: Conversion occurs when a site visitor performs an action planned and desired by the Webmaster. In a business context, conversion usually involves a capture of information (such as registering at the site or joining a mailing list) or a transaction (such as buying a product). In the context of AdWords, conversion is the final step of a successful clickthrough.
Conversion rate: A calculation determined by dividing a site’s conversions by AdWords clickthroughs. Conversion rate measures the success of an AdWords ad and, ultimately, the return on investment (ROI) of the campaign.
Conversion tracking: A tool in the AdWords Control Center that measures conversions resulting from ad clickthroughs.
Cost-per-click (CPC): The maximum or billable cost of a viewer clicking an AdWords ad. In Google’s system, unlike competing systems (at the time of this writing), actual CPC is often lower than the maximum CPC established by the advertiser. Cost-per-click is assigned to an entire Ad Group, or to individual keywords of that Ad Group, or both. You can think of your maximum CPC as a bid for placement in the AdWords column.
Cost-per-thousand (CPM): A measurement of the cost for each thousand impressions (displays) of an ad. CPM is not used in Google AdWords, which employs a cost-per-click (CPC) system. However, some other search engines sell advertising on a CPM basis.
Creative: The text copy of an AdWords ad. Google is reducing its use of this word to describe ad text, but it remains in widespread use in forums and articles about the AdWords program.
Daily budget: Set at the Campaign level, the daily budget establishes a ceiling on Campaign expenses. Google recommends a daily Campaign budget based on projected impression frequency and clickthrough rate. The actual ceiling is set by the advertiser.
Destination URL: Not necessarily visible in the ad, the destination URL points to the ad’s landing page.
Display URL: Visible in the ad, the display URL doesn’t necessarily match the destination URL. The main purpose of a different display URL is to reduce the destination URL to a size that fits in the small ad box. The shortened URL makes it easy for viewers to see the ad’s target site before clicking.
Distribution preference: This setting allows the advertiser to release or not release a Campaign’s ads to Google’s content networks.
Exact match: One of Google’s keyword-matching options, exact match forces Google to display your ads only on search results pages that exactly match your selected keyword or key phrase. Exact match may be selected for individual keywords in an Ad Group. (See also keyword-matching options, broad match, expanded match, and negative match.)
Expanded match: Expanded matches are variations of your selected keywords (such as plurals, synonyms, and misspellings) that Google deems relevant and helpful to your ad’s success. Expanded matching is included in the broad match option. (See also keyword-matching options, broad match, exact match, and negative match.)
Geo-targeting: Google enables advertisers to target ads by geographic region, according to a preset list of countries, American states, and certain American metropolitan areas. Geo-targeting works by identifying the searcher’s IP (Internet Protocol) address, thereby locating the searcher geographically. Geo-targeted ads are displayed only to searchers viewing Google in the targeted area.
Google advertising network: The total reach of Google AdWords, consisting of Google.com, Google Groups, the Google Directory, and Froogle, plus its search partners (AOL Search, Netscape, AskJeeves, and others), and the Google content network of AdSense sites.
Impression: A single ad displayed on a user’s screen.
Keyword: The specific word combinations and phrases users search on and advertisers bid on.
Keyword Suggestion Tool: This interactive tool is Google’s in-house keyword generator for AdWords users. The Keyword Suggestion Tool spits out long lists of words and phrases related to a selected keyword.
Keyword-matching options: Google offers four keyword-matching options for expanding or restricting how your ads match keyword searches. These options are broad, expanded, exact, and negative. Refining the keywordmatching options can turn around a faltering campaign.
Landing page: A Web page represented by the destination URL. The landing page usually seeks to convert visitors to customers.
Negative match: This option prohibits an ad being displayed once a negative term has been applied. (See also keyword-matching options, broad match, exact match, and expanded match.)
Optimization: In the context of Google AdWords, optimization has nothing to do with Web site design. AdWords optimization is about the distribution of multiple ads in an Ad Group. Google tracks the relative success of ads and manages their rotation accordingly. This optimization can be turned off by advertisers who prefer a random rotation of ads in an Ad Group.
Overdelivery: Overdelivery refers to Google’s optimization allowance. In the Terms of Service agreement, Google is permitted to exceed your daily budget by 20 percent but must reconcile this overdelivery of ad impressions (and resulting clickthroughs) every month. Your monthly budget, which is determined by multiplying the daily budget 30 or 31 times, can’t be overcharged. Furthermore, if Google overshoots the daily budget by more than 20 percent, it issues an overdelivery credit for the additional clickthroughs.
Paid placement: Search result listings paid by sponsors, these listings might be indistinguishable from index results. Some search engines accept paid placement as a form of advertising, but Google does not.
Pay-per-click (PPC): Pay-per-click is another term for cost-per-click (CPC).
Phrase match: One of Google’s four keyword-matching options, phrase match forces Google to restrict the placement of your ad to search results pages that exactly match your key phrase, including matching the word order. Other words might be included in the user’s keyword string, but the exact phrase specified in your phrase match must be present.
Return on investment (ROI): A general business and advertising term, return on investment measures the profitability of a campaign. Simplified, ROI calculates a formula by which expenses are subtracted from sales to measure revenue gain. As an AdWords measurement, ROI is about conversions exceeding clickthrough expenses.
Rotation: Rotation is the formula by which multiple ads in an Ad Group are selected for display. In Google, rotation may be random or optimized.
Start and end dates: Google enables AdWords advertisers to determine in advance the start and end dates of a Campaign.
Traffic Estimator: The Traffic Estimator is an indispensable tool in the AdWords Control Center that enables advertisers to gauge the clickthrough rates of individual keywords
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