Contractor’s Guide to Google Pay Per Click Advertising

The number of paid search terms can be overwhelming for any contractor running PPC ads on Google. Digital marketing is constantly changing. This list of relevant PPC advertising terms, with easy-to-understand definitions, aims to make your paid search marketing a bit easier.

As a New Jersey based advertising and marketing company, specializing in contractor marketing, we give this glossary of web advertising terms to our clients. This helps when speaking to clients about their strategic advertising campaigns. Having educated clients helps us both reach our goals.

We hope this glossary of PPC terms helps you with your internet marketing.

Google Ads PPC Terms A to Z

Above the Fold:

The viewable space on a webpage when it first loads. Positioned in the upper half of a web page and so visible without scrolling down the page.

Absolute Top Impression Share:

Impressions you received in the absolute top location on the search results page divided by the estimated number of impressions you were eligible to receive in the absolute top location. Eligibility here is based on your current ads targeting settings, approval statuses, bids and quality.

Ad Copy:

This refers to the text within an ad. Ad copy is a very specific type of content. It is designed to get the reader to respond or take action. It also highlights the key features and benefits the customer will receive by calling, clicking, or making a purchase.

Ad Extensions:

A feature that shows extra business information with your ad, like an address, phone number, shop rating or more web page links. Ad Extensions are additional pieces of information that expand your advertisement to make it more useful to users. … Some ad extensions are automated, which means Google Ads automatically adds the extension information to your ad and these include click to call and automated calling, sitelink extensions.

Example of Google Ads Extension
Example of Google Ads Extensions.

Ad Group:

A set of keywords, ads, bids, placements and targeting methods. Each AdWords campaign is made up of one or more ad groups. An ad group contains one or more ads that share similar targets. You set a bid, or price, to be used when an ad group’s keywords trigger an ad to appear. This is called a cost-per-click (CPC) bid. … Use ad groups to organize your ads by a common theme, such as the types of products or services you want to advertise.


Ad Rank:

A value used to determine your ad position and whether your ads will show at all. AdRank in Google Ads is a key AdWords marketing concept that plays a huge role in determining how prominently your ads are displayed.


Ad Scheduling/Dayparting:

A setting that allows you to control and specify which hours and days you want your ads to appear, targeting periods of time when you expect your ads to be more successful. It also allows you to adjust bids during specific time periods. Dayparting is a pay-per-click (PPC) advertising tactic by which you schedule ads for certain times of day or certain days of the week in order to more effectively target audiences.


Ad Type/Format:

Various types of ads that can be created to promote your products and services. These include expanded text ads (ETAs), responsive search ads (RSAs), image ads, app promotion ads, video ads and shopping ads.

Basic ad formats · Image ads · Video ads · Slideshow ads · Stories ads · Instant Experience ads · Carousel ads · Collection ads.



Now Google Ads. This was Google’s name for paid ads prior to rebranding. AdWords became Google Ads on July 24th, 2018. After almost 18 years as AdWords.


Affinity Audience:

A group of people who visit similar websites and who have similar search/online behavior. With affinity audiences, you can reach people based on a holistic picture of their lifestyles, passions, and habits.

Google Analytics to Track Data
Example of Google Analytics


A web analytics service offered by Google that tracks are reports website traffic. Google Analytics lets you measure your advertising ROI as well as track your website, video, and social networking sites and applications.

Assisted Conversions:

Google’s measure of any other interaction, other than the final click, that led to a consumer converting on a website. Assisted Conversions. “The number of conversions for which this channel appeared on the conversion path, but was not the final conversion.

Attribution Window:

The number of days after a click during which a conversion will be recorded.

Automatic Placements:

The webpages, videos and apps on the Display Network where your ads will show automatically based on the targeting methods, such as keywords or topics, that you’ve selected. A term used in Google Ads reporting to reflect the webpages, videos, and apps on the Display Network where your ads show.

Average Session Duration:

The average length of a session. How long the view stayed on the website. The ‘average session duration’ metric measures the duration of a user’s entire visit to a website.


The most you are willing to pay for a click on your ad.

Google Analytics Session Count
Example of Session Data in Google Analytics

Bid Management:

Google Ads bid management is the process of raising and lowering your keyword bids to ensure you’re making the most of your Google Ads budget.


Bid Strategy:

A way of bidding that can be selected based on what network your campaign is targeting, and whether you want to focus on getting clicks, impressions, conversions or views.

Bounce Rate:

The percentage of single-page visits or visits in which the person left your site from the entrance (landing) page without triggering any other requests to the analytics server during that session.

According to Google’s definition, Bounce Rate is the percentage of single-page sessions (i.e. sessions in which the visitor left your site from the entrance page without interacting with the page). Essentially, the bounce rate tells you what percentage of total visitors only viewed one page of your site.

Broad Match Keywords:

A keyword match type that displays your ad when a search term contains your keyword terms in any order, and possibly along with other terms. Your ads can also show for singular or plural forms, synonyms, misspellings, related searches, and other relevant variations.

Basically, broad match keywords are a match type that search engines like Google, use to determine which search terms your ads are eligible to match against. It’s called “broad” because it allows your ad to match the wide range of keyword searches that are somewhat related to your keyword.

Broad Match Modifier (BMM):

A keyword match type that displays your ad when a search term contains close variants of your keywords in any order. Close variants include misspellings, singular/plural forms, abbreviations, and acronyms. Unlike Broad Match, it excludes synonyms or related searches.

In February 2021, Google began to incorporate behaviors of broad match modifier (BMM) into phrase match.

Call Extension:

An ad extension that shows your phone number with your ads. When searching on a mobile, users can click the extension to call your business directly. Call extensions let you add phone numbers to your ads, which can significantly increase click through rates.

Call out extension for a contractor in google ads
Painting contractor call out extension in Google Ads

Callout extensions:

An ad extension that allows you to add additional text so that you can show more detailed information about your business, products, and services. Callout extensions are small snippets of text that appear with your search ads and highlight additional features or benefits of your products/services. Up to 4 callouts can appear with your ad and each can be up to 25 characters long.


An ads campaign contains multiple ad groups which contain their own set of keywords. An AdWords campaign is an ad campaign within your Google Ads account.

Campaign Goals:

What you want your campaign to achieve for your business. Goals include sales, lead generation, website traffic, product and brand consideration, brand awareness and reach and app promotion. You select one goal per campaign. Your choice is important, because Google Ads uses it as a guide for your campaign settings options to help make your campaign a success.


Shows the number of times a user clicks on your ad.


Conversion Path:

The sequence of interactions (i.e., clicks/referrals from channels) that led to each conversion and transaction.


Conversion Value:

Monetary Value assigned to a conversion. In Google terms, this means a monetary figure that you can attach to a website action. Example: Click to “Home Page” $10, where a click to the “Contact Page” may be worth $20.

Conversion value in Analytics for a Tree Service Company
Conversion Value Set in Google Analytics for a Tree Service Company.


When someone clicks on your ad and completes a desired action on your website, such as a call, download, purchase or sign up.


Custom Affinity Audience:

An affinity audience that is more refined and narrow. An affinity audience that is more refined and narrow. Google defines custom affinity audiences as letting advertisers define whom they want to reach across the web, on any screen. By factoring in consumers’ most recent passions and ongoing interests, your message always reaches the right users.

Demographic Targeting:

A setting that allows you to only show your ads to, or adjust bids for, users of a particular age range, gender, parental status or household income. Demographic targeting provides digital advertisers with an effective way to narrow down their audience. Another reason to know or have a buyer persona.

Display Network:

A group of more than 2 million websites, videos and apps where your ads can appear. Though the audience intent is not as strong as a search ad, you get a much lower cost-per-click and many more impressions.

Enhanced CPC:

A bid strategy type that focusses on getting conversions and that works by automatically adjusting your manual bids for clicks that seem more or less likely to lead to a sale or conversion on your website. “In a few words, when you use Smart Bidding (the other name for Enhanced CPC Bidding), you give Google the right to increase or decrease your bid amount.

Exact Match Keywords:

A keyword match type that only displays ads when the keyword matches the search term exactly. Exact Match is the Google keyword match type that allows you to show your ad when a searcher types the exact word or phrase you are bidding on.


Frequency Capping:

A feature that limits the number of times your ads appear to the same person. When you set the frequency cap for a Display campaign, you manage the number of impressions you will allow an individual user.

Goal Value:

Monetary value assigned to a goal. (See Conversion Value)


Specific user interactions on your site e.g form submissions, call or button clicks.

Impression Share:

Impressions you received on the Search Network divided by the number of impressions you were eligible to receive. Eligibility here is based on your current ads targeting settings, approval statuses, bids and quality. a 100% SIS (search impression share) means your advertisement showed every time it was eligible to be displayed.


Each time your ad appears on Google or the Google Network, it’s counted as one impression.

In-Market Audience:

People who are actively searching/researching for particular products or service.


Words or phrases relevant to your business offering which you want your ads to appear for in the search results.

Keyword Match Type:

Refers to the different ways of matching search terms to the keywords associated with your ads. The different match types are Broad Match, Broad Match Modifier (no longer available), Phase Match, Exact Match.

Landing Page:

The webpage that people are taken to after clicking on your ad. A landing page, sometimes known as a “lead capture page”, “single property page”, “static page”, “squeeze page” or a “destination page”, is a single web page that appears in response to clicking on a search engine optimized webpage, a search result, an advertising promotion, marketing email or any other online marketing activity. For ads it is the page one will first go to after clicking the ad.

Geographic or location ad targeting
Geographic or location Google Ads targeting.


Actions carried out by users intending to result in a conversion e.g email submissions, call, contact form, newsletter sign-ups and/or messaging a business.

Location Extension:

An ad extension which shows your address, a map to your location or the distance to your business. People can click on the extension to get further details on the location page of your business or website.

Location/Geo/Geographic Targeting:

A setting that allows you to only show your ads to, or adjust bids for, users within a certain geographical location range. We use geofencing quite a bit for certain clients.

Long Tail Keyword:

Phrases containing three or more words which are very specific to your business offering. Example: Tankless Hot Water Heater, opposed to Water Heater.

Managed Placements:

A targeting method you can use to specifically choose websites, videos and apps that are part of Googles Display Network, on which you’d like to show your ads.

Tip: The Weather Channel is a great website for many contractors to advertise on.

Manual CPC:

A bid strategy type that focusses on getting clicks and allows you to set a maximum price on the cost of someone clicking on your ad.

Maximize Clicks:

A bid strategy type that focusses on getting clicks. It is an automated strategy that sets your bids to help get as many clicks as possible within your daily budget. You are not able to set CPCs but you can set a maximum CPC for a campaign.

Maximize Conversions:

A bid strategy type that focusses on getting conversions and automatically sets bids to help get the most conversions for your campaign while spending your budget. Maximize Conversions is what Google calls a fully automated bidding strategy.

Message Extension:

An ad extension that allows users on mobile devices to send you a text message right from your ad. Google Ads Message extensions allow customers to message you directly from your Google ad, with the right type of ad, this can be a real money maker for contractors and service businesses.


Values used to measure and track performance of marketing campaigns.

Negative Keywords:

A type of keyword that prevents your ad from being triggered by a certain word or phrase. Your ads aren’t shown to anyone who is searching for that phrase. This is also known as a negative match. A negative keyword is a word or phrase that allows you to filter out who your ads will be served to.

We have seen many painting contractors running their own Google Ads and paying for clicks to paint stores, finger painting classes and more negative, non-lead generating clicks. Setting up negative keywords is very important to your ads budget.

Negative Placements/Placement Exclusions:

Specific pages, sites and videos you can exclude your ads from showing on.

Pages Per Session:

The average number of pages viewed during a session. Repeated views of a single page are counted.

Paid Media:

Refers to external marketing efforts that involve a paid placement. Paid media includes PPC/Paid Search, GDN and Paid Social/Social Media Marketing.

Phrase Match Keywords: 

A keyword match type that displays your ads when someone’s search includes the exact phrase of your keyword or close variations of the exact phrase of your keyword, with additional words before or after.

PPC/Paid Search:

A form of digital marketing where search engines such as Google and Bing allow advertisers to show ads on their search engine results pages (SERP).

Price Extension:

An ad extension that shows up as 8 cards showing different options and prices. Each listing has its own link so people can tap straight from your extension to what they want on your website.


Serving targeted ads to people who have already visited or taken an action on your website.

Remarketing List:

A list of users who have visited your site and met certain rules and conditions you’ve set up.

Remarketing Tag:

A block of code added to a website which adds website visitors to remarketing lists.


Search Network:

Google’s search engine or Google search partner sites where your text ads can appear, most commonly above and below the search results. Google’s Search Network is a network of third-party search-related websites and apps that have agreed to feature Google ads.

Search Partners:

Sites in the search network, such as YouTube, that partner with Google to show ads. Search Partners is everything else, searches that happen on non-Google search sites fall into the “search partner” category. You might not think there are many because how many different search engines can you think of really? Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc. However, there are more than you can imagine.

Search Query/Term:

A word or phrase entered by a user into a web search engine.

Search Volume:

The number of searches that are expected for a keyword within a certain period of time. Normally a month.

Seller Rating Extension:

An ad extension that shows your seller rating. Google gathers seller ratings from reputable sources that aggregate business reviews.


A group of interactions one user takes on your website within a given time frame. Google Analytics defaults this time frame to 30 minutes.

Short Tail Keyword:

Phrases containing up to three words which are not highly specific to our business offering. Short tail keywords are search phrases with only one word. Their length makes them less specific than searches with more words. “Paint” (1 word) is an example of a short tail keyword, whereas “Exterior House Painting Company” (4 words) is a long tail keyword.


Similar Audience:

A group of people who have similar search behavior to your existing remarketing list members.

Site Link:

An ad extension that allows you to add more links to your ads that take people to specific pages on your site.

Structured Snippet:

An ad extension that allows you to highlight specific aspects of your products and services. It shows beneath your text ad in the form of a header and a list of values. Structured snippets are a Google Ads extension that allows advertisers to highlight additional and relevant details about their business.

Target CPA:

A bid strategy type that focusses on getting as many conversions as possible at, or below, a set cost per acquisition. Bids are automatically adjusted based on how likely a user is to convert.

Target Impression Share:

A bid strategy type that focusses on getting impressions and driving brand awareness. Bids are automatically set to help achieve your impression share goal.

Target ROAS:

A bid strategy type that focused on getting conversions and sets bids to help you achieve a target return on ad spend when you value conversions differently.

Google Ads automatically sets bids to help get as much conversion value as possible to achieve an average return on ad spend (ROAS) at the target you set. Some conversions may have a higher or lower return than your target.

Within the Maximize conversion value strategy, this target ROAS is the average conversion value you’d like to get for each dollar you spend on ads.

Top Impression Share:

Impressions you received in the top location on the search result page divided by the estimated number of impressions you were eligible to receive in the top location. Top location is anywhere the ads appear above the organic search results. Eligibility here is based on your current ads targeting settings, approval statuses, bids and quality.


Refers to web users who visit a website and is measured in visits, also known as sessions.


A conversion that is an e-commerce purchase.

View Through Conversions:

Conversions that are recorded when users view (but don’t interact with) an ad and then convert later. These conversions are counted based on a period of time called a view-through conversion window.


That was a long list. 92 Google Ads Terms to be exact.

Understanding common PPC ad terms will help you get better results from your advertising campaigns. Contractor Marketing Network is a leading Google ads specialist for contractors, construction companies and service businesses. If you need any help, we are here to help you.

Article Name
Google Ads Glossary for Contractors: Know Your Ad Terms
Contractor's Guide to Google Ad Terms. Glossary of Google PPC ads terms.
Publisher Name
Contractor Marketing Network