Use these definitions for Google AdWords™ terms to better understand the terminology found on the AdWords web site and in Google’s AdWords reports.
The AdWords Hierarchy
Campaign – Defines the daily budget, language, geographic scope and the networks where ads are displayed.
Networks where ads are displayed:
- Google Search – Ads displayed on search results pages in Google web site.
- Search Network – Ads displayed on Google search partner sites, which includes Google Groups and search sites such as Ask.com and AOL.
- Display Network – Formerly called the Content Network, this network consists of context-driven ads displayed on non-Google sites through the Google AdSense affiliate network.
Ad Group – A group of ads within a Campaign that are focused on a set of closely related keyword phrases.
Ad – An individual Google ad within an Ad Group. Ad Groups can contain numerous text ads with different ad wording.
Google Report Terminology
Avg. CPC – The average cost-per-click that has been charged.
Avg. Pos – The average rank position for an ad. A rank position between 2 and 3 tends to be most productive and cost-effective.
Campaign Daily Budget – The daily spending limit for an entire campaign. When the daily budget limit is reached, ads cease to display until the next day.
Clicks – The number of users who have been sent to a site because they clicked on an ad.
Content Total – The number of clicks, cost and other statistics related to ads displayed on non-Google sites through the Google AdSense affiliate Content Network.
Conv. Rate – The conversion rate based upon a snippet of Google code added to a Web page. The code is most commonly added to an order confirmation page or a thank you page following an e-mail form submission. This indicates the percentage of users who clicked on an ad and followed through with an order or a request for information.
Cost – Actual cost charged for clicks. Cost is displayed for Ad Campaigns, Ad Groups, Search Total, Content Total and individual keywords.
Cost/Conv. – The average cost for converting a user who clicks on an ad into a customer or for someone who requests further information. Requires a snippet of Google code to be added to an order confirmation or thank you page following an e-mail form submission or order submission page.
CTR – The click-through-rate of clicks divided by impressions. A CTR greater than 0.5% is considered to be average. A CTR of 2% or better is very good.
Current Bid – If you opt for bids on individual keyword phrases this column will display to show the current bid for each.
Current Status – The current status for a Campaign or an Ad Group. Active means ads are displaying, Paused means that ads have been manually disabled.
Destination URL – The actual URL of the page that an ad links to. This must be part of the same domain as the one shown in the display URL.
Display URL – The URL shown on an ad. This does not have to be the same page URL as the destination URL, but it must represent the site being linked to.
Impr. – The number of impressions, which means the number of times an ad has displayed based upon either a user’s search using a keywords phrase (Search network) or based upon the content found on a page for a site that is part of the Google AdSense program (Content network).
Keyword – An individual keyword or keyword phrase assigned to an Ad Group.
Keyword Matching Options – There are several different methods for targeting AdWords ads to more precisely match the ads to the intended search keywords.
- Broad Match – The default option for your keywords. With no special characters surrounding the keyword phrase, AdWords ads should display when users search using any of the words in a keyword phrase and possibly with other words that may be used in the search. At one time a broad match meant that all of the words in a keyword phrase needed to be part of the search, but that was changed to any of the words in a keyword phrase. This is an important reason as to why broad match keywords should only be used on a limited basis. The problem with a broad match is that ANY word in a phrase can be used to trigger an ad. In other words, if you targeted search phrase is ‘Phoenix ticket sales’, any search using the word ‘Phoenix’, ‘ticket’ or ‘sales’ can trigger the display of an ad.
- +Modified +Broad +Match – This is much improved version of the broad match. With a modified broad match, a plus sign (the broad match modifier) is placed directly in front of each word that must be included in the users search phrase in order to trigger an ad. That could be one word or multiple words. An additional benefit is that Google can substitute similar words and misspellings, which allows you to trigger ads based upon a wider range of closely related search phrases.
- Phrase Match "rubber balls" – Surrounding a keyword phrase with quotation marks makes the ad appear only when a user searches for the words "rubber balls" in that order, and possible with other search words. The ad may appear if someone searches for "red rubber balls", but not if they search for "balls made out of rubber".
- Exact Match [rubber balls] – Surrounding a keyword phrase with brackets makes the ad appear only when a user searches for the words "rubber balls" in that word order and without any other search words. The ads will not appear is a user searches for "red rubber balls".
- Negative Keyword – If you sell rubber balls, but do not want your ads to appear if someone searches for "free rubber balls" you can add negative keywords to either a campaign or individual Ad Groups by adding them to a list that is available when you scroll to the bottom of a page under the Keyword tab for any Ad Group. Some popular negative keywords are free, cheap, cheapest, surplus, ebay and craigslist. Negative keywords prevent ads from showing for searchers who are not looking for what you offer.
Max CPC – The maximum cost per click that has been bid for a set of keywords. The bid price is one factor that determines the rank position for an ad.
Search Total – The number of clicks, cost and other statistics related to ads displayed on Google search results pages as part of the Search network.
Served – Displays on individual ad statistics and shows the percentage of times that particular ad has displayed relative to other ads in an Ad Group. Google uses an automatic optimizer algorithm that displays more productive ads most often, so a low Served rate for an ad may indicate a need for rewording.
Status – The status of individual keyword phrases within an individual ad.
- Normal – The ads for this keyword are showing at full delivery.
- In Trial – The ads for this keyword are showing but do not meet Google’s quality threshold and may be slowed or disabled.
- On Hold – The ads for this keyword are not being shown and do not meet Google’s quality threshold.
- Disabled – The ads for this keyword are not showing any longer.
Google will automatically Disable keywords or place them In Trial or On Hold when the keywords are not being used in searches or when users are not clicking on the ads represented by the keywords. This helps focus the ads on the most productive keywords.
Individual Ads may also be disabled for using wording that does not meet ad quality guidelines.