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Paid Media 12 min read

Paid Media 101: Glossary of Terms

Dallin Porter photo

Written by Dallin Porter

Marketing Director @ Galactic Fed

Dallin Porter photo

Expert reviewed by Dallin Porter

Marketing Director @ Galactic Fed

Published 16 Sep 2020

In the world of paid media advertising, there are many phrases, terms, and acronyms that seem to emerge every week. Luckily, Paid Media is one of Galactic Fed’s specialties. We have teams of experts who run paid media strategy and execution for brands of all sizes - so we have to stay up to date. As part of our Paid Media 101 series, we’re breaking down all of the most important terms related to the Paid Media universe.

Ad Extensions: a feature to Google ads, Ad Extensions refer to extra business information you can include that will make a viewer more likely to click on your ad. This can include a phone number, address, store rating, product information, and additional text, and sometimes referred to as snippets.

Ad Group: an ad campaign is made up of one of more ad groups, and refer to ads that share a similar target/theme. Ad groups are compiled of similar keywords. For example, the ad group titled “beverages” could contain keywords like “coffee,” “tea,” hot chocolate,” “soda,” etc.

Ad Rank: this refers to the position of your ad against competing keywords on the search engine results page (SERP.) It is essentially how visible your ad is to the viewer, and is calculated by your bid amount and ad quality.

Ad schedule: this feature lets you set when your ads are being shown, to ensure you’re reaching the right audience. You can see this to specific hours or days.

Apple search ads: these are the sponsored ads that show in the results page of the Apple App store, and like other paid ads, can be targeted to show when a specific keyword or term is searched.

Ad Attribution: this is the process of pinpointing where your conversions or leads originated from, and can affect your overall conversion rate. For example, if you received a download on a free trial of your product, ad attribution would be the process of tracing the steps to identify where that conversion came from.

Automatic Bidding: this is an ad strategy that is meant to effectively increase the likelihood that a viewer will click on your ad. It allows the ad platform (such as Google or Facebook) to bid on your behalf, within the ad campaign parameters you’ve set.

Banner ads: these popular types of ads are image based, rather than text, and are typically displayed at the top or side of a website. They are embedded as an image that by clicking, will lead to the web page being promoted.

Behavioral targeting: a common paid ads technique, this strategy uses users browsing data to show them related or relevant ads. This data can be things such as search terms, purchases made, or sites visited. It allows businesses to provide offers to those that have displayed related interests or habits.

Bid: your bid refers to the amount you are willing to pay for a conversion or a click, and in the ads auction on platforms like Facebook and Google, your bidding budget can determine the amount of people who see your ad.

Bounce rate: the bounce rate is the ratio of bounces to sessions (bounces/sessions). A bounce rate of 100% for a page means that users always bounced from that page. It’s important to keep bounce rates as low as possible, as they are a strong signal to Google of our relevance to our users, and they directly affect rankings.

Broad match: when identifying keywords for your ad, broad match is the default keyword modifier, and will be assigned to any keyword to which you’ve not selected a modifier. It will show any variation, phrase, misspelling etc of the search keyword.

Call to action (CTA): the CTA is the invitation given by a business to the consumer, to illicit an immediate response. CTA’s come in many forms, such as “Sign Up Now!” “Click for More” or “Add to Cart.” The role of the CTA is to move the potential customer to the next stage of the buyer’s journey.

Cart abandonment rate: this metric is in reference to the percentage or amount of potential buyers add items to their cart on a website, and then leave without ever making a purchase.

Click through rate: this stands for “Click-through-rate”. It’s calculated by dividing clicks by impressions (clicks/impressions). A 100% CTR means that every time an ad appeared, the user clicked on it. Typical CTRs tend to be between 5% and 20%.

Conversion rate: conversion rate references the percentage or amount of visitors to a website or ad that successfully completed the desired action. This could be making a purchase, a download, or subscribing. A high conversion rate is indicative of an effective website or ad.

Conversion rate optimization (CRO): in relation to conversion rate, CRO is the strategic improvement of the percentage of people who complete the desired action on your ad/website. It typically involves enhancing your website/ad to increase the percentage of conversions.

Cost per acquisition (CPA): also referred to as cost per action, the CPA indicates the total cost for a business to turn a lead into a conversion; whether it be an email sign-up, download, or payment. This metric is crucial to business, as it clearly shows the return on investment (ROI) of your paid advertising efforts.

Cost per click (CPC): CPC is the exact price a business pays for an individual click on their ad. Factors that affect this are your maximum bid, ad rank, and quality score.

Daily budget: this refers to the daily amount you set for each of your ad campaigns, and includes the maximum you would spend for clicks on any given day. Some ad platforms, such as Google, allow for increased daily budget based on your ads popularity.

Display ads: display ads are online advertising, typically a combination of images and text, that are shown on a website. They will usually have a CTA to encourage the reader to click through, leading to a website or landing page, where a conversation can be made.

Dynamic ads: this type of ad refers to ads that use content on your website to specifically target users who are more likely to convert based on what they see. It combines keywords, images, and headlines to show the best possible combination to the viewer, and can change automatically based on things like a promotion. This is very efficient for companies with a large inventory or a variety of items.

Exact Match: this keyword modifier allows advertisers to reach people who are searching only for the exact or very close to words you select. It does not allow for extra words, phrases, or misspellings.

Facebook ads: the ads that can appear on a person’s Facebook feed. They are shown on mobile, desktop, and tablet, and are paid for by businesses of every kind.

Facebook pixel: this is Facebook’s analytics tool that is a piece of code you can place on your website to collect data to track users behavior such as conversions. It can be used to ensure your ads are being seen by the right people, and to measure the effectiveness of those ads.

Google ads: these are the ads that are shown on the Google SERP. They come in various forms such as display, search, shopping, and video, and are paid for by businesses.

Google Analytics: the web analytics tool offered by Google that provides crucial insights into a website and its traffic. It tracks metrics like session time, bounce rate, individuals using the site, source of the traffic and can help indicate the ROI on ads.

Keywords: these are the literal words and phrases you identify that people would use to search for your business, product, or service. Sometimes they are related keywords, and sometimes they are exact, but they are at the core of how your ads get displayed.

LinkedIn ads: similar to Google and Facebook ads, LinkedIn ads work on a bidding system, allowing you to control your budget, and target your audience. These ads tend to be more B2B or corporate-focused.

Lookalike audience/targeting: creating and taking advantage of Facebook looking audience means you are targeting a group of people who have shown potential interest in your business based on past purchases, and that resemble an existing audience of yours.

Manual bidding: this is a cost strategy that allows you to set the exact bid and budget for how much you are willing to pay for any single cost-per-click (CPC.) This can reduce ad spend as you choose the limit instead of allowing Google or Facebook to automatically bid on your behalf.

Negative keywords: In the context of paid ads, negative keywords are words you can select that prevent certain ads from being displayed when they are associated with those words or phrases in the search query.

Pay-per-click (PPC): PPC is an internet advertising model where businesses can pay for clicks to their website or landing pages. Depending on the fee, businesses can have their products or ads shown with higher priority than others.

Pageview: this is a metric in Google Analytics, which refers to a page being viewed once by a user. If a user visits a page multiple times, it will register as multiple pageviews.

Phrase match: this refers to a keyword modifier that shows your ad only when an exact phrase or close variation to it is used, typically allowing for words before or after.

Quality score: this is a metric used by most popular search engines that affects both your ad rank and cost per click (CPC) cost. Search engines use this score to determine the placement of your ad on the SERP.

Remarketing: this is an advertising strategy that allows you to advertise to users who have previously interacted with your website, app, or products

Return on ad spend (ROAS): this refers to the metric used to understand or determine how much money is made back for every dollar spent on advertising.

Search ads: these area ads purchased by businesses that show up when relevant or similar search queries are made. For example, if you’re a construction company, you can pay to have your business show up when local users search “construction companies near me.” These ads typically show before or above. the organic results.

Search Engine Marketing (SEM): not to be confused with Search Engine Optimization (SEO), SEM relates to the marketing tactics as they related to promotion and visibility of an advertisement, paid for by a company.

SERP: this stands for “Search Engine Results Page”. Type a query into Google and hit enter. What you see is a SERP, and each individual listing is a “result”.

Shopping ads: these are the types of ads shown to people who are already searching for a similar product to yours. They most often include an image, price, and some product information.

Target audience: this is the group of consumers who are most likely to want or need your product/service. Factors in choosing or advertising to a target audience can be location, age, gender, income, or profession.

As the Paid Media experts, we will be sharing some of our success secrets and best practices in our Paid Media 101 Series. View all of our Paid Media articles here.

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Dallin Porter photo

Dallin Porter

Marketing Director @ Galactic Fed