Google Ads Term Glossary

If you’re new to Google Ads, some of the terminology might seem a little confusing. What is split testing? The billing threshold? How do you optimise your Google Ads in order to increase your conversion rate, and what exactly does that mean? It may be daunting, but don’t let it put you off. Google Ads is one of the most powerful marketing tools you have for getting your product in front of the right people. And with a little practice and some help from the experts, you’ll be seeing a high return on ad spend (ROAS) in no time! (don’t worry, we’ll explain that too). 

To get you started, here are some simple definitions for some of the most common Google Ads terms.

Google Ads Glossary

Ad Delivery:

The speed at which you spend your daily allocated budget. The more frequently someone clicks your ad, the faster your budget is used up. There are two methods of ad delivery. Standard, which is recommended for most marketers, optimises your budget by spending it throughout the day. Accelerated spends your budget more rapidly and is only recommended if you want your ads to be shown earlier in the day rather than later. Accelerated bidding is being removed as a feature as of 1st of October. 

Ad Extensions:

If you want a little more detail in your Google Ads, Ad Extensions lets you feature additional information such as your business’s phone number, location or website links, star ratings etc. 

Ad Group: 

A group of keywords and targeting strategies designed that should be tightly themed in order to display relevant ads. You can have multiple ads within a single ad group and multiple ad groups targeting different aspects of the same campaign (e.g. women’s clothes, men’s clothes etc). 


A feature that lets Google Ads communicate with Google Analytics. You need to turn this on before you can import Google Ads information into Analytics and measure how well your ad is performing.  You can also link Google Analytics with Google Ads and import goals directly from Analytics and see other important metrics that influence optimisation like, bounce rate, time on site, pages/session etc. 

Billing Threshold:

A level of spending that, when reached, Google will charge you for. In Google Ads the threshold usually starts at $50. If you exceed that amount in 30 days, you can expect Google to charge you.  

Bounce Rate: 

The number of visitors who leave your website after only viewing one page. 

Call-to-Action (CTA):

An instruction, commonly found at the end of a web page, urging the reader to take action (e.g. “buy now!”, “get yours today” or “subscribe here”). Some CTAs may involve a special deal offered only for a limited time (“half-price today only!”). 


A set of related ad groups centred around a common goal. You need to be running at least one campaign before you can create any ads. 

Click-Through Rate (CTR): 

A ratio to display how often web users click on your ad after they view it. The CTR is the number of clicks your ad gets divided by the number of times it’s shown. 


The technical term for what happens when the web user takes the desired action e.g. makes a purchase or gives you their e-mail address.  

Cost Per Click (CPC): 

The amount you pay Google each time a person clicks on your ad. 

Cost Per Thousand Impressions (CPM)

The amount you pay Google each time your ad sees 1000 impressions. 

Deep Link: 

A link to a page on your website other than the homepage. 

Destination URL: 

The URL of the website that your ad leads to when clicked.    

Display URL: 

The version of this URL used on your ad, which may look different from your destination URL (e.g. shortened). 

Google Analytics: 

A free tool to help you measure the metrics of the customers who visit your website: where they’re from, how much time they spend there and other useful information. Available from https://marketingplatform.google.com/about/analytics/. 


The measurement of how many times your ad appears on Google.  


Words and phrases used in your ads in order to match them with what Google users are searching for.  

Landing Page:

A stand-alone page that a visitor “lands” on when they’ve clicked one of your ads. Usually based around a CTA and has a form for visitors to leave their contact information. 


Making the necessary changes and adjustments to ensure that your Google Ad is as effective as possible. 

Organic Search Results: 

Unpaid search results, as opposed to the results you get from paid-per-click (PPC).   

Quality Score:

Google’s rating of the quality and relevance of your ads and keywords, used to decide your CPC. The three main factors that determine quality score are landing page experience, ad relevance and expected CTR. 

Return on Ad Spend (ROAS): 

The value in conversions that you receive for what you spend on your Google ads. Used to calculate how effective an ad, keyword or campaign is. 

Search Funnels: 

Sets of reports in Google Ads that allow you to see the steps your customers are taking and the links they’re clicking on in Google in the lead-up to a conversion. 

Split Testing:

A method of testing two or more versions of the same ad in order to see which one performs better. It can include A/B testing, which is testing two or more versions of a page, or multivariate testing, which is testing specific areas or sections of a page.

Active View:

A piece of technology on YouTube and certain websites and mobile apps that enable Google Ads to know if potential customers can actually view your ad. 

Ad Formats:

Any visual enhancements to ads that prominently display information about your business. Ad extensions (see Part One of this glossary) are one example of this. 


When Google allows your ad to run on their network (always a positive outcome, of course). 

Assisted Conversion:

When a web user clicks on an ad and then converts after clicking on another ad. An “assist” refers to any interaction that occurs before a conversion.

Automatic Placements:

The places that Google will automatically place your ads unless you’ve selected specific targeting methods. 

Bid Adjustment:

A particular increase or decrease in your bids set up across certain factors in your ads like keyword and location.

Bid Strategy:

Your option to choose how you want to pay for people to engage with your ads. Examples include CPA (cost per acquisition), manual CPC, enhanced CPC. 

Call Tracking:

The ability to track with a Google Forwarding Phone Number how many phone calls your business received as a result of your Google campaign. 

Contextual Targeting:

The way that Google targets particular websites on its display network using your keywords and topics. 


A Google Ads setting that allows you to select the day of the week and time of day to display your ads.  

Family Status:

A status that Google gives to every ad in order to rank how appropriate it is for younger age groups.


The average time a web user sees your ad in the number one position over a certain time period. 

Google My Business:

A free platform that lets you create and maintain a Google Maps listing. 

Historical Quality Score:

A feature that allows you to compare your current quality score to previous ones. 

In-Line Editing:

The ability to change features of your ads such as keywords, bids, etc. via the Google Ads dashboard. 

Keyword Mining:

The planning of keywords for your Google Ad using tools such as Google’s Keyword Planner. 

Life Event Targeting:

As the name suggests, a feature that allows you to target your ads based on specific events like birthdays and weddings. 

Mobile Bid Adjustment:

An optional setting that allows you to adjust the amount of the final bid for customers using the web on mobile devices. 

Negative Match:

Negative keywords let you exclude specific search terms from your campaigns. However, an ad won’t show if the search contains all of your negative keywords, even if they’re in a different order. This is what’s known as a negative match. 


When Google displays your ad more frequently than your budget allows. When over-delivery happens, your cost could be up to twice your daily budget on high-traffic days. However, the number of low-traffic days will balance it out and you’ll never be forced to spend beyond your monthly limit.  

Radius Targeting:

A feature that allows you to set a radius around a particular address. 

Search Engine Results Page (S.E.R.P):

This is something you’ve no doubt already seen many, many times: a page of results from a Google search. 

Search Term:

The terms that web users type into search engines. As a digital marketer, you use keywords to lure these web users to your page. 

Search Terms Report:

The report from Google Ads that shows which of these search terms have caused your ads to appear. This is a crucial report to keep on track of. 


A way of displaying your data in Google Ads so that it compares one specific category of criteria (e.g. age, gender etc) against another. 

A/B Testing:

A strategy that compares multiple variations of a single piece of content, such as an ad or a landing page. 

Ad Group Default Bids:

A bid that applies to all keywords within a particular ad group instead of bids targeted at individual keywords. 

Ad Position:

The location in Google’s search results where your ad appears. 

Ad Rank:

Google’s formula for determining your ad’s place in the search results. A combination of your maximum CPC bid and your quality score. 

Ad Relevance:

How closely your keywords relate to your ad copy within the correlating adgroup. 

Ad Rotation Settings:

A setting in Google Ads that determines how you want Google to serve ads within each adgroup. You can either choose to have it rotate your ads evenly indefinitely or let Google optimise how they serve your ads. 

Ad Scheduling:

A handy setting that allows you to schedule your ads for particular days of the week and hours of the day. 

Ad Status:

A feature that informs you whether or not your ads are able to run and if not, why. 

Advertising Policies:

Google’s guidelines. Rules that you’d better make sure you follow if you want your ads to run without a hitch.

Adwords API:

A useful piece of technology that allows Google Ads users to build software applications in order to make changes to their campaigns. 

Below the Fold:

The ads, content and other useful pieces of information that the reader only sees once they start to scroll down the page. 

Broad Match:

A keyword match type that allows Google to trigger your ads when a variation or synonym for the keyword is used rather than the exact keyword. 

Consolidated Billing:

Like the name suggests a feature that allows only one bill for multiple ad accounts. 

Conversion Rate:

Conversion rates are calculated by simply taking the number of conversions and dividing that by the number of total ad interactions

Display Group:

A group of more than two million websites, apps and videos where your ads can appear on the Internet. 

Enhanced CPC:

An automated bidding feature that allows Google Ads to automatically kick the bid up 30% when it thinks doing so will result in a conversion. 

First Page Bid Estimate:

The bid that Google estimates that you will need to set in order to rank on the very first page of the search engine’s results. 


A performance metric that informs you of the number of times website users performed a desired action such as clicking a URL or viewing a video. 

Keyword Planner:

Keyword Planner is a very useful tool within Google Ads that allows you to research any keyword and determine the estimates clicks, CPC and competition. 

Managed Placements:

A form of targeting that allows you to select specific websites, apps etc. to showcase on the Google Display Network.  

Opportunities Tab:

One of the five mains tabs on your Google Ads dashboard. A mixed bag of suggestions from audiences to keywords to copy. 

Parked Domain Site:

A URL / domain name with no actual website constructed. If your ad leads to one of these, Google will not allow it to run. 

Seller Ratings:

An extension that rewards advertisers with high ratings by showing how highly they rate on a five-star scale. 

Under Review:

The notification your ad will be marked with while Google reviews it. Google reviews usually only take one business day. 


No doubt you’ve seen plenty of these, but it stands for Uniform Resource Locator and serves as the address and identifier for any resource (like a webpage) on the Internet. 


If you still feel like there’s a lot to learn before you’ve mastered Google Ads, you’re not alone. Fortunately, there are professionals out there who have mastered not only the terminology but the program itself as well. If you’d like to work with a company that can help you make the most of Google Ads, get in touch with Farsiight. 

There’s a fair bit to learn when it comes to Google Ads. But you don’t have to do it all on your own. 

Farsiight are professionals in every aspect of Google Ads, including the lingo. We not only know the terms and phrases that are necessary to craft an effective Google Ads campaign, but we also have the strategies in place to maximise the opportunity that exists in your market. 

Further Reading:

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About The Author
Josh Somerville

Josh is Farsiight’s Founder, Head of Growth & Spiritual Leader (or so the team call him). A PPC Marketer with over a decade of experience working both agency & client side for SMB’s to Fortune 500’s.  When he's not busy with strategy, he's still trying to beat his 60-year-old Dad at triathlon, the struggle is real.

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