AdWords Jargon – Translated into English

The world of Google AdWords provides a wealth of opportunity to increase sales through targeted online advertising. And while it looks simple on the surface it can get complicated very quickly. If you ever find yourself getting lost, here’s a glossary of all the jargon you’re likely to hear surrounding AdWords, translated into simple English.

Ad groups

An ad group is a collection of ads that target a similar set of keywords. You might have a different ad group for each product you sell. For example, if you sell stationary, you may have one set of ads targeting pens and another for pencils.


AdWords works on a system of bidding for keywords. The more competitive the keyword, the higher you’ll have to bid for it in order for people to see your ad.

Click-through rate (CTR)

The percentage of people that click your ad after seeing it. E.g. if 100 people see your ad and only 10 people click on it, the CTR is 10%


A sale that has been made directly as a result of somebody clicking your ad.

Conversion rate (CVR)

The percentage of people that buy your product after clicking on your ad. If 10 people click your ad and only 2 people see it, the conversion rate is 20%.

Cost per action (CPA)

How much money you are spending on average in order to achieve a conversion.

Cost per click (CPC)

The amount of money you pay Google every time someone clicks on your ad.

Enhanced CPC

An advanced AdWords tool that automatically adjusts your bids, to spend more money on keywords likely to lead to conversions.


Additional information that can accompany your ad to help people make the decision of whether or not to click it. This could include buttons, location information and specific links.

First page estimate

The estimated bid you need to make for certain keywords to put your ad on the first page of results.


It’s possible to gear your ads to hit specific geographical locations. This is useful for small businesses or if you’re looking to hit a niche audience.

Google Display Network

The second place, other than search results, where Google displays your ads. Adverts can be displayed on web pages; above, below and to the side of page content. This is known as the Google Display Network.


The heart of AdWords. Your ads are found based on the terms that people are searching for on Google. These terms are known as keywords.

Landing page

The web page that users will be directed to when they click your ad.

Maximum clicks

The default system of keyword bidding. Rather than specify individual bids, you just specify your daily budget and Google will automatically adjust bids to get the most possible clicks.

Manual CPC

The system of manually adjusting the cost per click of your ad, rather than relying on maximum clicks.

Negative keywords

A list of keywords that you don’t want to lead to your ad. For example, if you sell fountain pens, you’d want to add terms like ‘water fountains’ to your negative keyword list. This prevents people clicking on your ads who are looking for something else and won’t be interested in your product.


An AdWords tool that suggests which keywords could benefit from adjusted bids. Either increased bods to capture more clicks, or decreased bids to save money.

Pay per click

In AdWords, you only pay when somebody clicks your ad. Hence pay per click.

Quality score

An estimate of the quality of your ads, between 1 and 10. Quality is estimated by click-through rate, ad relevance and landing page experience. Higher quality can lead to lower prices and better ad positions.

Return on investment (ROI)

The amount of money you’re making from increased sales, in comparison to the money you’re spending on AdWords.


An AdWords tool that runs ‘what-if’ scenarios to project how many more clicks you could have got if you had adjusted your cost per click.


Tracking refers to analysing your conversion data, in order to improve your ads in the future.

Still confused? Contact S2F for comprehensive support on all aspects of your digital marketing. Or click here to find more guides like this, including an advanced guide to AdWords.

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