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The ABCs of Understanding Google

The ABCs of Understanding Google

"My PPC is up and running on GSN, but my CTR could be better. Uh oh, the CPA isn’t reaching my ROAS. I am killing my SERP goals, but am worried my CTA isn’t strong enough on my LP." 

Did you follow all that? If so, your Google ABC knowledge is an A+, but if not, this post is for you!

Let’s start with the SEM acronyms you may have heard, but never quite understood.

First thing’s first … SEM = Search Engine Marketing. This is when you pay Google to run ads on their Google Ads (formerly Google AdWords) platform. There hundreds of thousands of sites that participate in the Google Ads Network, plus you can advertise directly on Google within the search results.

GDN = Google display network

The name of the network you can run display or visual graphic ads on.

Bigstock Google Display Ad

GSN = Google search network

The network you can run text-only ads on.

Google Search Ad Example

PPC = pay per click

A type of Google ad campaign you can run to promote your business, service or product. As it implies, you only pay when someone clicks on your ad.

CPC = cost per click

The cost of one click on your Google ad.

CPA = cost per acquisition

A type of Google ad campaign you can run. This focuses on how much you want to spend to acquire a customer or lead. This is also used to know how much you are paying on a per customer or lead basis.

CTR = click through rate

The rate or percentage in which your ad is clicked on versus when someone sees it (impression). 

Clicks / Impressions * 100 = CTR 

The higher your rate, the better, as that means more people are making their way to your website.

PLA = product listing ad

Also known as Google Shopping ads. To run ads on the Shopping network you must have an ecommerce website where someone can purchase directly from your website.

Google Shopping Ad Results

CPM = cost per mille

Mille means thousand, so this is the cost per thousand. Thousand what you ask? Thousand impressions. This is another type of ad campaign you can run. So for every 1,000 impressions you will pay a set price. Example: $30 CPM means for every 1,000 times your ad is shown you’ll pay $30, no matter how many people click or convert on that ad.

CPV = cost per view

This type of ad campaign relates to video. So the cost you pay per view of your video ad.

LP = landing page

This is the page you send a visitor to when they click through on your ad.

CTA = call to action

This is telling the visitor or customer what you want them to do. Buy Now! Sign Up Today. Order Now. Learn more. CTAs are used within ads, but also on landing pages to direct the user to the desired outcome.

ROAS = return on ad spend // ROI = return on investment

These two go together and are sometimes used interchangeably. Basically it boils down to how much did you spend versus how much did you make? Example: $50 in sales / $100 spent = 50% ROAS or ROI. This isn’t very sustainable. But a $200 in sales / $100 spent = 200% ROAS or ROI.

Phew! Are you tired yet? I’ve got a few more to go! Let’s switch gears and talk about SEO related acronyms.

That means starting with SEO = Search Engine Optimization. This is the process of optimizing your website to make Google happy and to attract as many organic visitors as possible. Instead of paying Google to get your business noticed, you can use SEO to rank high in the natural search results and attract visitors to your site that way.

SERP = search engine results page

When you do a search on Google, you end up with a search engine results page. This page is typically filled with ads and natural/organic results based on the keyword(s) or phrase you entered into the search.

Wombat Pet Google Search Results

GMB = Google My Business

One of the best ways to make your business stand out for local searches. This listing contains everything from your contact information to photos to posts about your business to get searchers interested. You can learn more about managing your GMB listing in this post.

JH Specialty Google My Business

GA = Google Analytics

One of the greatest, if not the greatest, free (yes you read that right, FREE!) offerings from Google. You can learn so much about who is visiting your site, what users are looking at, what device they are using and so much more, just by installing a small snippet of code onto your website.

GDPR = general data protection regulation

This is the European regulation that went into effect on May 25, 2018 which states that websites must inform visitors what personal data will be collected, how it is being retained and whether it is being shared with any third parties outside of the European Union. The collection of this data is typically done through cookies.

I hope this list helps you navigate some of the terminology you may hear or encounter while working on your website or a paid search campaign. Now go check GA and see if your LP for your GDN is hitting your ROI goals! And of course, if you’d rather not remember all these terms, we are here to help with your SEO and SEM campaign goals.

Special Note: Our development team is quite fond of the wombat, a furry little creature from Australia. The love for the wombat has rubbed off on the rest of us as well. Thus, lots of searches being done about our favorite little friend.