In today’s market, it’s vastly important for you to have an online presence. Customers are relying on the internet more and more to find businesses and their products; if you’re not easily found, you’ll miss out on all those potential customers.

So, how do you make sure your business is seen?

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Pay-per-click advertising enables you to be at the very top of your target demographic search results. By carefully selecting keywords you can ensure a Google Ads campaign will put your listing on the first page.

Sounds pretty simple, right? But, once you actually get into a PPC campaign, you might feel like you’ve gotten in a little over your head. We’re here to help ease you through the learning curve.

Common PPC Terms You May Not Know

The first step in overcoming the learning curve is knowing the terminology. We’ve defined some of the most common PPC-specific terms to help you adjust.

Ad Extensions

This term refers to the additional bits of information that can be displayed with a basic ad. Examples of PPC ad extensions include link extensions and phone number extensions. To ensure you’re getting the most out of your PPC ad, we recommend creating a few different types of ad extensions because Google will help you out by assembling your ad in different ways to test and see which extensions work best for you.

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Ad Rank

The term “ad rank” refers to the internal metric that Google uses to figure out the position of your PPC ad. This is how Google determines what order the PPC ads should be in for a given keyword’s results page. Google calculates your ad by taking its max CPC (including bid adjustments) and multiplying it by the keyword’s quality score. A boost is then added based on how well Google thinks your ad extensions will do. Increasing your ad rank can get you listed first on desired results pages.

Ad Relevance

This term refers to the algorithm used to determine how closely your targeted keyword relates to the text of your PPC ad. If you have low keyword density or worse, no keywords in your ad, you’ll have poor ad relevance.

Average Position

This term refers to the ad’s placement on the search results page compared to other ads (not organically ranked content). A position of one is the first ad listed on the page.

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Bid Adjustments

You use bid adjustments to adjust your individual ad spend based on the value of the user. Common bid adjustments to maximize your CPC are:

  • The device being used (phone, tablet, computer)
  • The location of the user
  • The time of day and day of the week the user is searching

This could prove useful by allowing you to put your money where it will best work for you. For example, if you find more customers are searching for you on mobile devices, you could increase your bid there.

Click Through Rate (CTR)

The CTR is the percentage of total impressions that resulted in clicks for your PPC ad. High CTR means your ad is relevant to the keywords chosen and the right demographic was targeted. Low CTR, however, means that your ad is irrelevant and/or unappealing to the keywords triggering the impression.

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Cost Per Click (CPC)

Cost per click, or CPC, is the amount you spend per click you get. There are three types of CPC to determine in order to successfully plan your PPC campaign.

Actual CPC

Your actual CPC refers to the final amount you spend getting a click. This is calculated by your ad position (based on ad rank) and the minimum amount you could have bid to maintain that rank. The goal in determining this is to get a higher ad position at a lower price due to a higher quality score.

Average CPC

This refers to the average cost of a group of a group of clicks. This number is an average of your actual CPC.


Max CPC refers to your bid for a keyword, meaning the most you are willing to pay for an ad click for a given keyword.

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Cost Per 1,000 Impressions (CPM)

This number is more important for those focused on having the ad seen than getting clicks. Despite the name, you don’t need 1,000 impressions to find this number.


The term “impressions” refers to the number of times your PPC ad is served. Each time your ad appears on a search results page counts as an impression.


Landing Page Experience

This term refers to the internal metric Google uses to determine how the written content of the landing page for your PPC ad and how “usable” Google thinks that page is. For example, a good landing page experience would be optimized for both mobile and desktop users.

Quality Score

This refers to the internal metric Google uses to determine how useful your ad will be for a specific keyword or search phrase. There are three major factors in finding the quality score:

  1. Click Through Rate (CTR)
  2. Ad Relevance
  3. Landing Page Experience

Increasing this score ensures you get a better performing ad for a lower cost. This ideally would mean you would spend less on clicks than the competition, but your PPC ads would rank higher.

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How We Can Help

A PPC campaign can be highly useful to many businesses, but it can also be highly confusing. In addition to the steep learning curve, you have to be open to learning and adjusting on the fly, as Google is constantly changing their algorithms in an effort to improve them. Our online Columbus marketing agency is here to help. Our trained experts can help guide you through the process of launching and managing a successful PPC campaign. Our hands-on approach helps you ensure your PPC ads are what you want them to be and that you are as involved as you want to be every step of the way.

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Eric Keeneth
Eric Keeneth3Keen Marketing
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