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Blogs by Madeleine Helme

Madeleine Helme

| 3 min read

Our Handy PPC Jargon Buster

By Madeleine Helme

PPC Jargon Buster
PPC Jargon Buster

Struggling to tell your PPC from your CPCs? We don’t blame you! Pay-per-click advertising (or PPC) is one of those areas that’s rife with jargon and acronyms. And they can be hard to wrap your head around. Yet PPC could be a valuable tool for your business, so we don’t want you to ignore it just because it sounds complicated.

To help you out, we’ve got a PPC jargon-busting glossary that will guide you through the basics of PPC. Let’s start with those confusing acronyms…


Cost per click – the amount the advertiser pays when someone clicks on their ad. Sometimes called cost per engagement (CPE) for ads that can be engaged with in ways other than clicks.


Cost per acquisition – This takes into consideration the number of conversions made after the click. CPA equals the average cost of gaining a conversion.


Cost per thousand – This metric considers impressions rather than clicks, i.e. the number of times the ad is shown. CPM equals the average cost per one thousand impressions.


Click-through rate – measures the ratio between number of impressions and number of clicks. The higher the CTR, the more effective your ad is at drawing people in.


Return on ad spend – measures the amount of revenue generated by the ad compared to the amount spent to run it. A higher ROAS indicates greater success and profits.

There’s still more PPC jargon! Here are some other keywords and phrases that will help you out while setting up and running a PPC campaign…

Ad Extensions

Certain extensions can be added to your advertisement when they are relevant to the search. E.g. a call extension displays a ‘click-to-call’ button, a location extension displays your location on a map, and review extensions ad user reviews.

Ad Rank

Your ad rank is based on the CPC bid you make (see below) and the quality score of the keyword that matches your ad. This determines the position the network displays the ad in the search listings.


PPC runs on a kind of auction system. Users bid on certain keywords and phrases to compete for the top spots in search listings when someone searches for those keywords. The amount you bid determines how much you are willing to pay for clicks on your ad.

Daily budget

As well as the CPC you bid for, you can also set a daily budget. This determines the maximum amount you are willing to pay per day. If your ad reaches this limit, then it will stop being displayed to users until the following day.


The number of impressions your content has refers to the number of times the ad network displays it. An impression is counted even if the user doesn't see or interact with your ad. Impressions will also be counted multiple times if your ad is shown to the same person more than once.


Users bid on keywords that they want their ad to show up for in search listings. Keyword research is necessary to identify keywords that are relevant to your audience and their search habits. Keywords can be long-tail or short-tail.

Quality Score

A score assigned to your keywords, ads, and the landing pages they link to, measuring their quality and relevance. Your quality score helps to determine your ad rank.

If all the PPC jargon is still weighing you down, then why not outsource your pay-per-click advertising to the professionals? Here at Vitty, we can help you top the search results with our PPC services.