Online advertising vocabulary
Here are below a list of terms you will often face when dealing with Search Engine Advertising:
Ad: it corresponds to an advertisement, a communication message in order to promote a product, a service.
Ad server: the machine in charge of delivering the ads. In general it is not the search engine itself which is delivering the ad as it has already a lot of work to do. So there is most of the time another technology dedicated to process the ads.
Campaign: it refers to an advertisement campaign.
Clicks: refer to the number of clicks a given ad received. In general a click does not mean that you should start to be happy, it means that you spent money, now you need to get this money back in.
Conversion: it means that one specific action that you consider as really important has been achieved. For example a purchase on an e-commerce website, a quote received on a lead form, a white paper with lead information which has been downloaded.
Conversion rate: it is nothing more than a basic calculation taking the number of conversions you got compared to the number of clicks you received.
Conversion tracking code: SEA platforms are not fortune teller, once the internet user is not on the search engine anymore they cannot know what is happening next. As a result if the platform needs to know if this click resulted in a goal achieved
on your website they need you to insert something on your website. This something is called a conversion tracking code. This code is reading the cookie which has been recorded in the browser of the visitor once they clicked on your ad. Thanks to this
cookie the tracking code can be activated and can send the data back to the advertising platform. Note that this action require you to go within the source code of the website/application.
Cost: it refers to the amount of money you need to pay to the advertising platform. In general they do not charge you in real time but are waiting for a significant amount in order to send you an invoice and debit you.
Cost per conversion: this metric will tell you how much it costs you to get one conversion. This is very useful as it will help you identify which campaign make you earn money and which one do not.
CTR: Click Through Rate, it is a basic rate calculation, you take the number of click that you divide per the number of impression an ad received. So for example an ad which have been displayed 100 times will have a number of impressions equal to 100. If someone clicks on it, it will have a click equal to 1, as a result the CTR = 1 / 100 = 1%. Somehow the CTR is here in order to tell you how attractive your ads are.
Display advertising: it refers to the fact that the ads are not shown when a search is performed but when a content is displayed. In general those kind of advertisement are less efficient than search ones as people do not like to be bothered when
they are reading content.
Impression: it represent the number of time an ad has been displayed. In general the ad needs to be viewed within the browser of the internet use in order to be counted as an impression but it depends of the ad server delivering the ad, so you need to double check.
Impression share: it is telling you the number of market share in terms of impression you got. It is giving you a good idea how fierce is the competition and how many fish you lost.
Retargeting: a technique which consists of showing back an ad to someone who already saw it in the past. In general this ad won't be exactly the same as the person has been exposed at least once. So the tone of the message is changed in order to
influence the internet user to perform the desired action.
Return On Investment: this is probably the most important metric to follow. It is telling you if you made a profit out of your advertising campaign.
Search Engine Advertising: corresponds of performing advertising through search engines.
Search Engine Marketing: corresponds of performing Search Engine Advertising and Search Engine Optimization.
Targeting: it corresponds of criterias you are selecting in order to display the ad. It can be any data that the ad platform allow you to use: user agent, location, center of interest, keywords typed...