The Most Common Google AdWords Terms Explained

Common AdWords Terms 

When you use Google AdWords for the first time you will need an introduction to some new terms. Here are a few of the most commonly used terms with Google AdWords:


Keywords you choose are the terms or phrases you want to prompt your ad to appear from. If you deliver fresh flowers, you can use "fresh flower delivery" as a keyword in your AdWords campaign. When a Google user enters "fresh flower delivery" in a Google search, your ad may appear next to the results in the list.


Similar to keywords, placements are another way to control where your ads appear. A placement is usually a website where you'd like your ad to appear. For example, if you select as a placement, your ad may appear there at that site.

Image ad

A graphical ad that may be static or animated which runs on the Google Display Network. Also called a display ad.

Campaign & Ad Group

AdWords accounts are organized into campaigns or ad groups. So start one campaign, which has its own daily or weekly budget and targeting preferences. You can have multiple campaigns running and might choose to create a campaign for all the different product or services you want to advertise. Within each campaign, you have one or more ad groups that are sets of similar ads, keywords, and placements.

Impression (Impr.)

The number of impressions is the number of times an ad is displayed in Google or on the Google Network. You can monitor your impressions and watch to see how many people see the ad and is shown to.


If a customer sees the ad and clicks on it to see more or to do find out more about your business, it is recorded in your account as a click. Monitor the clicks to see how many people choose to enter your website from your ad you created to introduce your product and webpage.

Clickthrough Rate (CTR)

Your click-through rate (CTR) is a metric that helps show how your ads is performing. The most relevant ads are the ads more users will click on them, resulting in a higher CTR. The Google system calculates your CTR accordingly- The number of ad clicks/number of impressions x 100. 

Cost-per-click (CPC)

In the cost-per-click (CPC) pricing model, AdWords will charge you for each click your ads receive. You won't incur a cost if your ad is displayed and no users click on it. CPC bidding is the default for ads running on Google and the Google Search Network. Most ad agencies or advertisers choose it for their campaigns that focus on getting a direct response from their audience, a sale, or a sign-up, or other action. 

Maximum cost-per-click (maximum CPC)

The highest amount that you are willing to pay for a click on your ad. You can choose to set a maximum CPC for individual keywords or for all the keywords within an ad group. 

Cost-per-thousand impressions (CPM)

With any campaign, you can choose to pay for views rather than clicks. The max CPM is the most you're willing to pay for each thousand impressions, or views of the ad. CPM bidding is only available for campaigns targeting the Display Network and not Google search or Google search partner sites. 

Quality Score

Quality Score is the basis for measuring the quality of the keyword you chosen and ad and determining your cost-per-clicks (CPCs). Score is determined by the keyword's click-through rate (CTR), relevance to your ad text, historical keyword success and performance, and other factors. The higher your Quality Score, the lower the price you'll pay per click. 

First page bidding estimate

Your Google AdWords acct will show a first page bid estimate for each of your keywords. This metric estimates the cost-per-click (CPC) bid required for your ad to reach the first page of Google search results as the search query exactly matches your keyword picked. The first page bid estimate is based on the Quality Score and current advertiser competition for that keyword. 


Optimization is the process of creating/editing keywords and Google ad text (or changing parts of the account) to improve performance of Google AdWords ads.