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New to PPC advertising? Need a refresher on what all of the marketing jargon means? This glossary is here to help!
When it comes to pay-per-click (PPC) ads and Google’s Local Services Ads (LSAs), lots of marketing jargon gets tossed around. From acronyms to other uncommon phrases, these terms can be a bit mystifying for someone new to the process.
While terms like “clicks”, “budget”, and “bid” may come naturally, you may be wondering what on earth “broad match”, “CPC”, “CTR”, “CPM”, and more actually mean! Have no fear. This handy glossary will define some of the most common terms you may encounter along the way.
Common PPC & LSA Terms Defined
Instead of referring to ad content, marketers frequently refer to ad copy. However, this is simply the text in your ads, including any titles (headlines), descriptions, and calls-to-action (CTAs). You want to be sure you write engaging, relevant ad copy to attract more high-quality leads for your firm.
With Google Ads, you can utilize extensions to build additional information into your PPC ads. This additional information may be pricing information, rating information, phone numbers, addresses, or additional links. Check this article out to learn more about ad extensions and using them to maximize your Google ads performance.
This is a value that Google uses to determine where your ad will appear on the search engine results page (SERP) or other locations, as well as whether your ad will show at all. Ad rank is calculated by an algorithm that analyzes numerous factors, including bid amount, ad quality (including ad relevance, landing page experience, etc.), the context of a person’s search, location, extensions, and more! This term covers a lot of ground and can be a bit complex, but you can learn more about Ad Rank here and Google’s Ad Rank thresholds here.
Looking for information on how LSAs are ranked? Check this out to learn more about LSA ranking, which is slightly different than the Google Ads Ad Rank.
Automated bidding allows the Google algorithm to set bids for your ad based on the ad’s likelihood to achieve your law firm’s desired result. The idea is that the algorithm can optimize the bid for your specific goals based on the bidding strategies you have selected.
Broad Match is a type of keyword matching that tells your PPC provider that you want your ad to be served when the search query contains your keyword in any order, as well as if there are synonyms and other related variations. Using this type of keyword matching can help your ad reach a wider audience, perhaps an even larger audience than you would like. You can learn more about the different match types and view examples by visiting this article.
When you run a PPC campaign, you bid (just like you would at an auction) on specific keywords and placements to get your ad in front of potential clients. You are generally telling Google or your other PPC provider how much you are willing to pay for the resulting click or impression, depending on the bidding strategy you use.
Similarly, in the context of LSAs, a bid is tied to how much you will pay for a lead. For more information on the specifics of LSA bidding, see the definitions for maximize leads and max per lead.
A bounce occurs whenever someone visits your site or landing page and leaves without visiting other pages or taking some other action, such as submitting a contact form. Your bounce rate measures this behavior. If you want to learn more about how bounce rate impacts your overall marketing efforts, such as SEO (search engine optimization), check out this previous Justia Onward post.
As you probably have guessed, the general term “budget” in a PPC context refers to how much money you have committed to your PPC campaign. You can manage this budget by setting daily limits, limits on the CPC, and more.
In the context of LSAs, the term has a less general meaning and is tied directly to how many leads you would like to receive in a week. You provide an average weekly budget for your targeted spend and a monthly max for how much you are willing to spend in a month. You can learn more about the impacts of budgets on your LSA campaigns in this article from Google.
Call To Action (CTA)
The call to action (CTA) is where your firm tells a potential client within the ad, or at the end of an ad, exactly what you want them to do. You encounter CTAs regularly in almost every ad you see. Common examples include phrases like “Call Today”, “Contact Us Now”, and “Request a Free Consultation”.
As you may have guessed, a click is when someone browsing online clicks your ad, such as on the headline or an added phone number. You can learn more about how Google counts clicks in this resource.
Click fraud refers to malicious clicks on your ads, often done to drive up costs for advertisers. While click fraud may sound intimidating and no detection system is perfect, experienced legal marketers, including our Justia Amplify Team, have systems in place to help detect and report click fraud and exclude certain IPs to avoid your firm incurring frivolous, fraudulent costs.
Clickthrough Rate (CTR)
Your clickthrough rate or CTR is a ratio determined by comparing the number of times your ad is clicked to the number of impressions. This number can help you determine how well your ad itself is performing and whether you need to make any tweaks. The average CTR rate for the legal industry is generally quoted as just under three percent.
When you advertise your firm, you typically have a goal in mind. There is some desired action you want a person to take when they view your ad, visit your website, or otherwise interact with your firm. A conversion occurs whenever a potential client performs that desired action. For example, if your goal is to have people who click your ad submit a contact form from a landing page, everyone who actually lands on the page and submits a form is a conversion.
Your conversion rate helps you quantify your marketing campaign success and put conversions into context. This ratio is determined by comparing the number of people who completed the desired action to the number of people who reached one stage earlier in the legal marketing funnel. You can learn more about conversion rates and how to calculate them in this Justia Onward post.
This is the amount you pay to a display network, such as Google, or other ad publishers for a click on your ad. It can also refer to the type of bidding in the Google Ads system most people with PPC ads think of when they consider how they pay. That is, this is a bidding strategy under which you tell Google how much you want to pay for each click your ad receives. You can learn more about CPC bidding here.
As the term implies, this metric involves calculating how much each conversion costs your firm by comparing your conversions to your advertising spend. For many firms, this boils down to a cost-per-client. However, you can also analyze the cost-per-conversion in other contexts, such as contact forms submitted or calls received.
Cost-Per-Engagement (CPE) allows you to quantify and evaluate your advertising spending by tracking a comparison between people who interacted with your ad and the number of people who viewed your ad.
Similar to CPE, this metric helps you evaluate your ad spending compared to a certain result. In this case, that result is a lead. You are calculating how much money you spend per lead through your advertising efforts.
Cost-Per-Thousand Impressions (CPM)
This is a bidding strategy where you bid (and pay) per one thousand impressions on the Google Display Network or your PPC provider’s network. With Viewable CPM (vCPM), your law firm will only pay when your ads can be seen.
This type of bidding is typically exclusive to video campaigns. When someone views your video ad, you pay for the view. If someone interacts with the ad, you pay for the view. Legal marketers typically do not encounter CPV very often, but you can learn more about it from Google here.
Exact match is a type of keyword targeting that helps you limit your ad to being served only when someone searches for your ad or extremely close variants. With this match type, you are casting a narrower net than when you use broad match. You can learn more about the different match types and view examples by visiting this article.
This term refers to an LSAs provider within the legal vertical that has gone through all required background and insurance verification checks and has achieved “Google Screened” designation for their LSA. Notably, Google recently announced that lawyers no longer have to go through a related background check to receive their Google Screened badge for LSAs.
This is the number of times your paid ad is shown on various properties. Depending on the type of ads you are running and the platform you are using, this may mean the number of times your ad is shown on the search engine results page (SERP), across the Google Display Network, or somewhere else.
Keywords are how you define where you want your ads to appear. As explained by Google, keywords help you describe your product or service (law firm and practice) to determine when and where your ads will appear. You want to be sure you are selecting relevant keywords for your law firm so that your ads are more likely to appear for matching searches.
In the context of digital marketing, a landing page is typically a standalone webpage that is distinct from other pages on your website. It is not your website homepage. Instead, this targeted page serves a distinct purpose, such as having potential clients fill out a contact form. Unless you are running a specialized branding campaign, your PPC ads and LSAs will typically link to a landing page, rather than your law firm website.
This refers to longer and more specific keyword phrases that specific users may use to find what they are looking for online. Typically, these queries contain three or more specific keywords and may have a lower total search volume, but come from high-value searchers.
Match type refers to the various parameters or conditions your firm sets on your PPC campaigns that determine when your ad might be shown to searchers. Match types work with keywords to help you target your ads to the right audiences.
Max Per Lead
Max per lead is utilized in connection with your LSAs to manually set your bid. In addition to setting a budget, when you use max per lead bidding you tell Google the maximum amount you are willing to spend on a lead. You can learn more about max per lead bidding here.
This LSA bidding strategy is an automated methodology that lets Google set your bid through an automated process that is designed to help you get the most leads for your budget. You can learn more about maximized lead bidding here.
Negative Keywords (Negative Match Keywords)
Negative keywords help you prevent your ad from showing for certain search queries. You are telling Google, or your other PPC provider, that you do not want your ads to appear on the search engine results page (SERP) for searches with those words. By using negative keywords, you can connect your ad with more high-value potential clients.
While many people are familiar with the standard PPC ads pay for each click model, many are less familiar with Google’s LSAs pay-per-lead model. Under this pay-per-lead structure, law firms will only pay when they receive an actual contact by a lead through their LSA, not simply for clicks.
Phrase match allows you to reach more searchers than exact match, but less than broad match. With this type of matching, you are essentially bidding on a group of keywords such as “personal injury” but typically not the word “injury” by itself, such as in the term “sports injury.” You can learn more about the different match types and view examples by visiting this article.
This term is used in the context of LSAs to refer to listings that have gone through the Google LSA onboarding process, but are still pending final verification as “Google Screened” through any applicable background and insurance checks.
This refers to the total number of users who have viewed your ads.
Remarketing and Retargeting
While technically remarketing and retargeting have different definitions, many marketers and non-marketers alike use the terms interchangeably. At their core, both remarketing and retargeting are strategies that help you reengage potential clients who have already visited your law firm website without completing a desired action (converting). We previously shared more information on Google Remarketing and Facebook Retargeting here.
Don’t see what you are looking for? Want to suggest a term we should add to our glossary? Let us know!
Final Thoughts: Why Do You Care?
The first step to successfully running your PPC campaigns is to understand what the related jargon means for your practice. Luckily, you don’t have to do this alone!
While this glossary of terms is a great starting point, the PPC gurus on our Justia Amplify team are ready to help your firm achieve your PPC and LSA advertising goals. And don’t worry! We keep track of the terms for you and are always happy to explain what they mean for your firm in more detail. Contact us today to request your free consultation!