A dummy’s guide to PPC acronyms

In the world of PPC – meaning pay-per-click – digital marketers love to use shortened words and acronyms. This can lead to misunderstandings between agencies and businesses, and can even cause communication problems between the most savvy of digital marketing experts.

This article aims to teach you the meanings of the most common acronyms used between PPC experts, so you will be able to have better conversations about your PPC campaigns and understand the results that are presented to you.

Let’s clear up the confusion and explain the meanings of these over-used abbreviations.

CTR

Clickthrough Rate = The total number of clicks divided by the total number of impressions.

Translation: Based on all the people who see your advert, the CTR is the percentage who clicked on them. This, in turn, is an indication of how well your adverts are resonating with users.

CPC

Cost per click = The total cost divided by the total number of clicks.

Translation: Out of the total ad spend, the CPC is the average cost per click.

CPM

Cost per Thousand Impressions = The total cost divided by the total number of impressions; the result of which is then multiplied by 1,000.

Translation: The average cost per 1,000 impressions.

CR

Conversion Rate = The total conversions divided by the total number of clicks.

Translation: Out of all the people who clicked on the ad, this is the percentage of users who took an action, known as a conversion.

IS

Impression Share = The total number of impressions received divided by the total number of impressions you were eligible to receive.

Translation: Out of all the available impressions, this is the percentage of users your ad is reaching.

QS

Quality Score = A keyword-related score based on ad relevance, expected CTR and landing page experience.

Translation: This is not disclosed by Google, however, three of the key known variables are ad relevance, expected CTR and landing page experience.

CPA

Cost per Acquisition = The total cost divided by the total number of conversions.

Translation: The cost of each conversion – which could be a lead, a confirmed order or an e-newsletter sign-up, for example.

ROAS

Return on Ad Spend = The ad revenue divided by the ad cost.

Translation: Used as an indication of how effective a campaign has been compared to others, ROAS (similar to ROI) helps advertisers measure campaign success