Glossary of PPC Search Engine Marketing Terms

Learn Pay Per Click: scripts - standard ad delivery

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Scripts are javascript language coding that works either input into the Google AdWords bulk operations area of the account or engages with the Application Program Interface (API) allowing for programmatic automation of account work. Scripts are a good practice to implement but require advanced knowledge to code correctly. Scripts can perform actions like Alpha / Beta campaign work, pay day bidding strategies, and check broken URL links in PPC accounts with an overwhelming number of ads that could not be reviewed manually by an account strategist.


Search Campaigns are a campaign type in a PPC account that allows advertisers or account managers to set up text ads that show on the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) above or below the organic listings. The quintessential PPC ad channel, search ads are a good way to reach users searching for relevant queries about a business's offerings and to show a relevant ad at the time of the user's search for a higher Click-Through Rate (CTR) and good return on investment (ROI) via lead generation or revenues from e-commerce purchases.

search campaigns

Search Engine Marketing, better known by its acronym SEM, refers to activities performed by an internal digital marketing team or agency that improves the performance of a business's Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising efforts on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP). As opposed to Search Engine Optimization (SEO), SEM focuses on the paid efforts to list a PPC ad and generate business via leads or purchase orders, seeking to meet Key Performance Indicator (KPI) goals for the account.

Search engine marketing (SEM)

The Search Network with Display Select campaign type is unique to the Google AdWords PPC marketing platform, allowing advertisers to set a solitary budget and other settings to advertise across the Google Display Network (GDN) and the Google search engine and its properties simultaneously. This practice is not typically used by top performing Pay Per Click (PPC) agencies as the settings should be segregated into individual search and display campaigns respectively for granular PPC account management and optimization for performance.

search network with display select

Search partners

Search Partners is a compilation of partner search engine websites upon which a PPC advertiser or account manager can choose to extend the search ads market share reach. Search Partners usually require a lower Cost Per Click (CPC) to perform well in the ad rank listings, but typically do not perform as well against Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). The search partners targeting setting can be turned on or off at the campaign level.

Search Terms

Search terms are the actual queries used by users on the search engine to trigger a PPC advertiser's ad. The search terms at length can be viewed using the search terms report, which includes the query and metrics including impression count, clicks and Click-Through Rate (CTR) and conversion stats. It is important to review the search term and consider adding it if performance is better than the keyword that was triggered by it. This practice is known as Click-Through Rate (CTR) keyword lasso.

The Search Terms Report allows PPC advertisers or account managers to review at length the queries used in search engines to trigger ad clicks. The report will not show search terms that only garnered impressions; they must have at least one click associated with it. The search terms report should be reviewed for better performing search terms than the keywords they triggered and to negate irrelevant search terms. It is also imperative an account specialist review search terms that trigger multiple keywords, especially from separate ad groups or campaigns; the account manager should negate the lower performing triggered keyword and optimize for the search term to show for the higher performing triggered keyword within the PPC account, or add the query itself.

Search Terms report

The search query is a string of one or more words, terms or phrases that a user types into the search engine. The search queries can trigger the PPC advertiser or account manager's keywords within the account and, those that accrue a minimum one click, will show in the search terms report. The search query will garner an impression based on the keyword and its match type in the PPC advertiser's account.

Search query

Seller Ratings are an automated ad extension on Google AdWords PPC marketing platform that shows aggregated reviews and ratings that reflect overall customers' experiences and level of satisfaction with the business itself, as opposed to specific product ratings. A threshold number of ratings must be available for the seller ratings to show for a Google AdWords PPC account, showing with search text ad copy.

Seller ratings

Shared budgets are a campaign level budget option in the shared library which allow a set daily budget to be shared between two or more campaigns. The shared budget is a good way to control budget for types of campaigns or an entire account, instead of setting multiple individual budgets that add up to the same shared budget amount. This is because a shared budget allows additional funds to be available for use by other campaigns should one or more campaigns not be able to accrue Cost Per Click (CPC) costs. This is also useful for the Google AdWords non-profit Grant accounts to use up the daily budget by distributing it among all the campaigns to meet monthly spend objectives.

shared budgets

The Shared Library in Google AdWords and Bing Ads allow the PPC advertiser or account strategist to make sweeping changes across multiple campaigns or accounts at once, saving rote task time and work. The shared library contains options to share budgets, create and apply negative keyword lists, create and apply remarketing audience lists, and so forth on the PPC platform.

shared library

Shopping ads allow e-commerce PPC advertisers or account managers to create individual product ads via the product feed submitted through a merchant center account to show the product image with a white background, name of the advertiser, price and a clickable title that sends users to the individual product's page. Additional shopping ad extensions exist for the Google AdWords PPC platform including special offers available for a limited time such as a coupon code, or local inventory shopping ads that show the product available for in-store pick-up or purchase based on a business location extension associated with the account.

shopping ads (formerly product listing ads - pla)

Shopping campaigns in the PPC account allow an advertiser or account manager to sell e-commerce products using shopping ads that show on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP) and select properties owned by the PPC marketing platform such as Google Images or Google Shopping. Shopping should be used to advertiser individual items sold by an e-commerce PPC advertiser to generate sales and send users to the page containing the item for high relevancy and lower Cost Per Clicks (CPCs) than traditional search ads. Remarketing is allowed for shopping campaigns via the Remarketing Lists for Search Ads (RLSA) retargeting strategy, allowing account specialists to bid higher or lower on these audiences vs. general users who have not visited the website or landing page. 

shopping campaigns

Sitelink extensions are a powerful ad extension type for search text ads allowing PPC advertisers or account managers to show additional clickable headlines that can send users to multiple pages on a website or landing page. Sitelink extensions allow for up to 8 but require a minimum of 2 sitelink ad extensions with link text (the equivalent of an ad's headline) with a maximum character limit of 25 characters and a final url where the user will be sent upon clicking the link text. Not required, but highly recommended are 2 description lines that allow for up to 35 characters each, for a total of 70 additional characters, that extend the sitelink ad extension to acquire more Search Engine Results Page (SERP) real estate. Sitelink ad extensions are the ad extension that increase the expected Click-Through Rate (CTR), a component of ad Quality Score (QS), leading to lower needed bids on average.

sitelink extensions

Split Testing, also known as A/B testing in the PPC industry, refers to the use of multiple variants or instances to test performance for ads, landing pages, or other components of a PPC account. Split testing allows for control and measure of performance of individual variables such as the hero image on a landing page or the description lines of a text ad.

Split Testing

The Standard Ad Delivery option is a campaign level setting that allows PPC advertisers or account managers to control potential daily budget spend by spreading out ad impressions across the day evenly. As opposed to accelerated delivery, which is intended to maximize ad impressions and use up the daily budget as quickly as possible, the Standard Ad Delivery method maintains a budget with the goal of lasting through the entire day or the hours set at the dayparting or ad schedule level of a campaign.

standard ad delivery

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