Google is a great thing. They aim to make things simple, easy to use and functional for everyone. And for the most part, they do pretty well. When it comes to advertisers however, it’s not quite as simple. If you’re planning to delve into the ‘back end’ of Google and use it to promote your business, it isn’t quite as simple as typing in a query and hitting ‘search’. Like everything in life, there is some jargon that goes into Google AdWords, and to make the most out of your campaigns (and your money), you need to be able to understand it. So this week we’ve gone jargon-busters to help you get to know those essential AdWords terms, and what they mean.



Let’s start at the top of the alphabet with ‘AdRank’ AdRank is the term and measure Google uses to work out where you ad will place on search results. Generally, the higher the value, the better you’ll rank. This means more people will see your ad, and increases the likelihood that someone will click on it. Your AdRank is determined by your maximum bid for the ad, multiplied by your Quality Score. Don’t worry, we’ll get to both of those as well!



The entirety of Google Ads is based on a bidding system. When you create an ad, you will select the maximum amount you’re willing to pay for a click on your ad. The higher that amount, the better your chances of being seen, and the better the placement. You are competing against other advertisers who want to appear for the same keyword, and so for more popular terms your bid might need to be higher, and on others you might be able to grab a bargain. There are three options for bidding:

  • CPC – Cost-per-click is the amount you pay for each individual click on your ad.
  • CPM – Cost per mille. This is the amount you pay for every one thousand ad impressions. In other words, how much you pay for 1000 people to see your ad.
  • CPE – Cost per engagement. The amount you pay when someone takes a predetermined action with your ad.

Don’t worry if that all seems a bit confusing – our next blog is all about bidding strategies!


Campaign Type

Before your ad campaign can go live on Google Ads, you need to choose the type of campaign you want to run. There are three types to choose from: search, display or video, and each have their own benefits.

  • Search: Text ads that are displayed at the top of the search results page in Google. These are probably the type of ad you are most familiar with.
  • Display: Image-based ads that are shown on web pages within the Google Display Network. This is a wide network of websites across the web, so your ad could appear almost anywhere you choose! (We talk about this a bit more later)
  • Video: Between six and 15 second video clips that appear on YouTube, before the main video plays.



Click-Through Rate

Otherwise known as CTR, your click-through-rate represents the number of clicks you get on your ad as a percentage of the number of people who saw it. The higher your CTR is, the better. A high CTR means your ad matches the search intent and targets the relevant keywords, meaning you’re much likely to get a higher…


Conversion Rate

Also known as CVR, this is a measure of form submissions as a  proportion of total visits to your landing page. In simple terms, a high CVR means your landing pages are smooth, deliver a seamless experience and match the promises made by the ad, so people are more likely to buy and convert from leads to customers.


Display Network

When you choose to advertise on Google, your ads can be displayed on either the main search results pages, or a web page within Google’s Display Network (GDN). The GDN is a huge network of websites that allow space on the webpages for Google Ads in text or image formats. These ads can be displayed right alongside content relevant to your target keywords, which means customers are already engaged and interested in what you’re offering. A great example is Amazon – if you’ve ever felt like a Google search is following you onto Amazon or other shopping sites, this might well be what’s happening!



Ad Extensions allow you to add more information into your Google Ad for no extra cost. There are only a few areas of information you can choose though, which are: Sitelink, Call, Location, Offer or App. We’ll look at all of these in another blog coming soon, so keep an eye out!



Keywords are one of the cornerstones of the whole SEO world, including Google advertising. When a user types a query into the search bar, Google will return a range of results that match the searcher’s intent. This is decided by Google’s very clever AI by using keywords, which align with the content a searcher will want to satisfy their query. To make a success of any Google Ad, you need to do your keyword research. Luckily, we have a guide for that, which you can read here. You can also build a list of negative keywords, which will help ensure you don’t turn up in searches for the wrong thing. Find out more about negative keywords here.



PPC stands for pay-per-click, and is a type of advertising where you pay for each and every click on your ad. It’s not a specific term to google – it’s found in a lot of other places too – but it is the most common type of paid campaign we run. It’s very important to understand the ins and outs of PPC before you dive in, so we recommend you speak to a professional (or at least read this and this) before you get started.


Quality Score

Your quality score (or QS) is a measure of the quality of your ad. It’s worked out by looking at your click-through rate, the relevance of your keywords, the quality of your landing page and your accounts past performance. In other words, a bit of everything. Your quality score is a key part of determining your AdRank, and can be improved over time. We tell you how in this article.


And that’s it! You now know all of the basic terms you need to get started advertising on Google. Of course, there are some more advanced terms, along with tips and tricks that can help boost your performance – and we’ll be sharing in the future. In the meantime if you’d like to discuss any of the terms above, or just want some help getting your Ads to perform better, we would love to help!