Advertising Jargon Explained

The World of SEM (search engine marketing, aka search advertising) is full of jargon and analytical terms that outsiders are baffled by. I strongly believe that clients should be educated about these topics so that they understand better the services that they are buying.

Here are the key search engine marketing terms (these are used in the Google Adwords campaign management pages)

  • Impressions (Impr): The number of impressions is the number of times your ad is displayed on Google or on sites in the Google Network.
  • Clicks: A click (sometimes called a click-through) occurs when a user sees your ad and clicks on the title of your ad, leading them to your website.
  • CTR: The click-through rate (CTR) is the number of clicks your ad receives divided by the number of times your ad is shown (impressions) when a user searches for your keywords or browses the web. It is usual to see a higher CTR on the Search Network than on the Content Network.
  • Average CPC: The cost-per-click (CPC) is the average amount that you pay each time a user clicks on your ad.
  • Cost: This is the total cost of your AdWords account for the month of October. As you are not billed by calendar month, the details above may not match your AdWords billing period. You can log into your account to view your billing summary.
  • Search Network: Ads on the Search Network appear alongside or above search results in Google and relevant search pages when your ad is triggered by your keywords. You can see the keywords that are performing well on the search network in the report above.
  • Content Network: Ads on the Content Network appear on partner sites that are relevant to your campaign based on the theme of your advertising. The content sites listed above are those on which your ads have received the most clicks.

Using this information you can ask your search engine marketing manager a few questions regarding the success of the campaign that you are paying for. Question to ask include:

  • How many daily impressions are my adverts getting?
  • What is the click through rate of the adverts – are they attracting readers?
  • What is the average cost per click? How much am I paying for every click?
  • What percentage of adverts are showing on the search network?
  • Are you targeting any content networks with my ads?

If you search engine marketing manager cannot answer these they are not monitoring your campaign properly, and an unmonitored campaign is destined to fail.

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