2023 PPC Glossary: 30+ PPC Metrics & Key Terms

As a Google Partner, we know first-hand the impact a great PPC campaign can have for our clients. We’ve managed budgets of all sizes across multiple industries and have seen the results that a well-structured PPC campaign can yield.

The importance of PPC cannot be discounted in the digital marketing mix. Survey data from HubSpot found 68% of marketers agree that paid advertising is “very important” or “extremely important” to their overall marketing strategy, and many eCommerce sites can’t survive without it.

The Cost Of PPC In 2023

Despite this, in 2023, we’re seeing PPC costs going through the roof. Our team noticed this trend as far back as Q2 and Q3 2022, and the continuing cost of living struggle isn’t making life easy in 2023 for digital marketers managing PPC accounts.

So, what can you do to mitigate the rising costs and make the most from your PPC budget?

The answer lies in proper measurement, tracking and optimisation of your PPC campaigns.

There are dozens of PPC metrics that you can track to understand how each of your campaigns is performing, but understanding which ones matter most and when to use them can be overwhelming.

To help make things easier, we asked our PPC team to curate a list of the top 30 PPC metrics, terms and definitions that will help you to get under the skin of your PPC performance and optimise your campaigns for success.

30 Essential PPC Metrics & Terms

ClicksThe number of times users clicked on your ad.Helps measure the engagement and effectiveness of your ads.
ImpressionsThe number of times your ad was shown on search results pages.Provides insight into the reach and visibility of your ads.
Click-Through Rate (CTR)The percentage of impressions that resulted in a click.Measures how relevant and appealing your ads are to users.
Average Cost Per Click (CPC)The average amount you pay for each click on your ad.Helps monitor and manage your ad budget effectively.
Cost Per Acquisition (CPA)The average amount you pay for each conversion.Assists in evaluating the cost-effectiveness of your PPC campaign.
Conversion Rate (CVR)The percentage of clicks that resulted in a conversion.Indicates how well your ads and landing pages persuade users to take action.
Return on Ad Spend (ROAS)The revenue generated per pound spent on ads.Evaluates the overall profitability of your PPC campaigns.
Ad RankYour ad’s position on search results pages.Higher ad ranks lead to better visibility and potentially more clicks.
Cost Per Click (CPC) BidThe maximum amount you’re willing to pay for a click on your ad.Determines your ad’s competitiveness and helps control ad spend.
Cost Per Thousand Impressions (CPM)The cost of 1,000 ad impressions.Useful in comparing the cost efficiency of different campaigns or ad platforms.
Cost Per View (CPV)The cost of one view for video ads.Measures the cost-effectiveness of video advertising campaigns.
View-Through ConversionsThe number of conversions that occurred after a user viewed (but did not click) your ad.Indicates the indirect impact of your ads on user behaviour.
Search Impression ShareThe percentage of impressions your ad received out of the total available impressions.Helps identify missed opportunities and areas for improvement.
Ad ExtensionsAdditional information added to ads, such as phone numbers, addresses, or extra links.Enhances ad visibility and can improve click-through rates.
Negative KeywordsKeywords that prevent your ad from showing up for irrelevant searches.Helps improve targeting and reduce wasted ad spend.
Ad GroupA group of ads within a campaign that share a common set of keywords.Helps organise and structure your PPC account for better management.
Conversion TrackingThe process of measuring actions taken by users after clicking on your ad.Enables you to optimise campaigns based on performance data.
Display NetworkA group of websites where your display ads can appear.Allows for broader reach and increased visibility across various platforms.
Search NetworkA group of search engines where your text ads can appear.Helps reach users who are actively searching for your products or services.
Ad RotationThe process of displaying different ads within an ad group.Tests ad performance to optimise for higher-performing creatives.
Ad SchedulingThe ability to control when your ads are shown.Helps target users during specific timeframes and manage ad spend efficiently.
Geo-TargetingThe practice of displaying ads to users in specific geographic locations.Increases ad relevance and targeting, improving overall performance.
Keyword Match TypesThe parameters that control how closely a search query must match your keywords.Affects ad targeting and relevance, influencing campaign performance.
DaypartingThe practice of dividing the day into periods and adjusting bids accordingly.Optimises ad spend by targeting users during high-converting times.
Bid AdjustmentsModifying bids for specific criteria, such as device or location.Allows for greater control and optimisation of ad performance.
Device TargetingThe practice of displaying ads to users on specific devices.Improves ad relevance and user experience, potentially increasing conversions.
Landing PageThe web page users are directed to after clicking on your ad.Affects user experience and conversion rates, impacting overall campaign performance.
RemarketingThe practice of targeting ads to users who have previously interacted with your website or ads.Increases the likelihood of conversions by reaching interested users.
Dynamic Keyword InsertionAutomatically updating ad text to include the user’s search query.Improves ad relevance and can increase click-through rates.
Dynamic Search AdsAds generated based on the content of your website, rather than using specific keywords.Streamlines ad creation and targets a broader range of search queries.

What’s The Best Way To Manage These Metrics?

All of the PPC platforms you’ll come across, including Google and Bing, have built-in reporting systems and tools which you can use to track these metrics. These are great for getting a top-level view of how your campaigns are performing.

If you want to dive deeper and track more granular information, we highly recommend exporting data to a data visualisation tool like Looker Studio, where you can build bespoke reports specific to your own goals and objectives.

How Much Budget Should I Invest In PPC?

The amounts you invest in PPC should be a carefully calculated decision. Factors that will determine this include your industry, target audience and overall marketing budget.

It’s worth noting that PPC campaigns can begin to generate a return on investment relatively quickly, so it’s definitely worth considering if you want to start seeing results quickly for your business.

A starting budget of £1,000 per month is a great foundation and should give you enough data to then review and optimise your campaigns. We’d also recommend that you build in a contingency budget for times when your campaigns experience peaks and troughs or if you need to increase budgets at any point during the year.

When it comes to upping your existing budget, a Statista survey found that 18.75 per cent of marketers from the United Kingdom stated they were going to increase their spending on Google Ads over the next 12 months, as well as investing more in paid and organic social media and SEO.

How Time-Intensive Is Managing PPC Campaigns?

There’s a reason that many brands and retailers outsource their PPC campaigns to agencies and freelancers. Despite the abundance of automation tools, there’s still an element of manual work that goes into managing PPC campaigns.

Examples of manual checks that we carry out for our clients include:

  • Ensuring campaigns are targeting the right locations using geo-targeting
  • Checking keyword match types and adjusting bids as needed
  • Creating appropriate ad schedule strategies
  • Monitoring for brand safety, ensuring ads don’t appear alongside inappropriate content

Another factor is the size of your budget. Large campaigns require more effort because there’s a lot more to keep track of. Smaller campaigns with fewer keywords and targeting requirements can be managed with less effort.

Ultimately, the time you need to commit to managing PPC campaigns is something you’ll need to weigh up, as well as training, support and the ongoing management you’ll need for any new employees or team members.

So, How Can I Get the Best Results From PPC?

Whether you’re doing PPC in-house, using a PPC agency or just exploring whether PPC is the right fit for your brand or website, knowing your metrics is a great place to start.

Using the metrics and definitions we’ve shared today will provide you with insights into the performance, effectiveness and cost-efficiency of your PPC campaigns so you can track how much you’re spending, how many clicks and impressions you’re getting, and the success rate of particular keywords or ad extensions.

All this information helps you identify what’s working well and what needs improvement to maximise your budget and drive more sales.

If you need help with setting up or managing your PPC campaigns, our team of PPC experts are here to help. We’re a Google Partner PPC agency with extensive experience managing campaigns across multiple industries. Contact us today if you need support or advice with your PPC campaigns.

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