Search Engine Marketing Glossary

Search Engine Marketing Glossary

When a client is new to Internet marketing, the amount of information to take in is overwelming. This search engine marketing glossary is hand-picked, complete with  common marketing terms that are key to establishing a solid groundwork for your marketing endeavors.   


Alpha/Beta Testing
When we build campaigns for our clients we often use this testing practice. We figure out which broad keywords result in exact matches that convert and then focus heavily on those exact matches.

Above the Fold 
A term borrowed from the newspaper days that refers to the upper half of the search results. If your ad or website appears above the fold, you have a higher likelihood of getting clicked on because the user doesn’t have to scroll.

A handy tool you can install onto your website that allows you to view stats and activity of different types of traffic, including organic, PPC, direct, and referral traffic.

Google Analytics dashboard

Broad Match
A keyword match type for PPC. If you’re keyword is targeted under this match type, your add will show for any variations, misspellings, or synonyms related to your keyword. In AdWords, this is expressed in your keyword list without any additional symbols.

Broad Match Modifier
Another keyword match type for PPC, and a close relative of broad match, this requires that the keywords you’re targeting (preceded by a “+” symbol) must be included in the search query for your ad to show.

AdWords Budget
Often broken down into a daily budget, this is the industry term for the money you are spending directly to Google for your advertising — the money that pays for clicks.

A term used to describe businesses who market to other businesses.

No tricks here, a click is just what it sounds like — the term for what someone does when they click on your ad.

Click Fraud
Google calls click fraud “clicks generated with malicious or fraudulent intent.” It has its own system for determining this, so follow the link for more details.

A goal being completed on a website such as a purchase, form fill, call, etc.

Cost-Per-Acquisition (CPA)
Also expressed as a “Cost-Per-Converted-Click,” your CPA refers to the amount of advertising money you are paying for each conversion.

Cost-Per-Click (CPC)
How much you are paying each time someone clicks on your ad. Cost is determined by an auction that occurs each time a search is made and ads are populated.

Display Network
The network of partner websites where you can place image or text ads.

Dynamic Keyword Insertion
A piece of code that you can include in your ad text that automatically inserts the search query word into the header of the ad itself.

Exact Match
A keyword match type that specifies that your ad will only show when yourexact keyword has been used as the search query, denoted by brackets on your keyword list.

Ad Extension
Links that attach to your ad to show additional information, such as location and phone number. When someone clicks on one of these extensions, you are charged the same as you would be for a regular click.

Example of ad extensions

Every time an add shows it gets an impression. For example, if you do a search for “local bike shops” every ad you see on that page just got one impression.

Impression Share
The ratio of amount of impressions your ads receive to the amount of impressions you could get if you stayed on the page all day — essentially, it expresses what percent of the visibility you are getting vs. what you could actually be getting.

Internet Protocol (IP) Address
The binary number your device is assigned for identification.

Organic Search Results
Excluding paid ads, the “regular” search results on a search engine. These are the results that come up naturally when you search for a key term.

Pay-Per-Click (PPC)
Also known as paid search, this refers to the type of direct marketing where you are only charged whenever someone clicks on your ads.

Phrase Match
A keyword match type for PPC ads that is more open than exact match, but more limited than broad Match. Signified by quotation marks in your keyword list, it means that your ad will get triggered if someone types in a closely related phrase.

Return On Investment (ROI)
From an advertising perspective, the amount of financial return you are able to make on your marketing dollars.

Click-Through-Rate (CTR)
Expressed as a percentage, the ratio of the amount of clicks to the amount of impressions you receive for your ads. This is a good indicator for determining how well your ads are written and if they are showing to the right people.

An advertising tool for the Display Network where an advertiser places a tag on their website that drops a cookie on the browser of their visitors, which enables them to see ads reminding them of their brand on partner websites for a set amount of days after they have visited.

Search Query
The words that the searcher actually types into Google when they are looking for a product or service.

Search Network
Google Search and its partner search engines (like aol) where you can run ads under key terms and appear next to the organic search results.

The type of online advertising where you optimize your website to become more visible to search engines in the organic section.

The difference between paid and organic listings on the search engine results page

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