Following on from the wild success (cough) of my last blog, SEO Jargon Explained, I decided to take on the often equally baffling world of Search Engine Marketing (SEM). It’s time to banish that haze of numbers and ads and ascertain what exactly this extremely useful service is all about!

Average position: Want to tell if your ad is beating others? The average position indicates how your ad ranks against others and where it appears. For example, an average position of 1 means your ad is appearing on the first page of search results. Of course, where you ad appears will vary over time – this is why the average position is a useful tool indeed!

Cost Per Acquisition (CPA): Otherwise known as Cost Per Action, this refers to the total cost associated with a conversion, whether that be a sale, lead or enquiry. For example, Sally created an online campaign that cost $200. A total of 20 sales were attributed to the campaign. Therefore, the CPA is $10 ($200/20 sales).

Cost Per Click (CPC): Ads placed on search engines such as Google aren’t free. Sad, but true. Instead, advertisers are charged a certain amount of money every time their ad is clicked, resulting in visitors being led to the advertiser’s website.

Click-through Rate (CTR): A useful measurement statistic, CTR looks at both the number of clicks an ad receives and the number of times the ad is displayed. CTR = number of clicks/number of displays or impressions. So if your ad received 10 clicks and had 150 displays/impressions, your CTR = 6.7%.

Google Adwords: We know that online ads cost money. Google Adwords is the platform that lets advertisers display ads on Google. Through Adwords, you can create and manage campaign accounts, modify budgets and track impact.

Impression: Also known as an ad view, this represents one view or display of your ad. That means, if your super cool ad for tile grout whitener appeared 50 times on Google last week, you received 50 impressions!

Pay Per Click (PPC): Sounds just like CPC, doesn’t it? While the two terms are very similar, PPC is more of a general term used to describe the type of advertising where advertisers pay for each click on their ads. You can have a PPC campaign, and then a specific CPC for each ad within that campaign.

Return on Investment (ROI): ROI refers to the money generated from ads minus the money spent on producing the ads.

Search Engine Marketing (SEM): Broadly speaking, SEM is a type of Internet marketing that strives to promote a website within search engines using techniques such as paid listings. The overall goal of SEM is to increase a website’s exposure and attract the right kind of visitors, thereby leading to better conversion rates.

Phew! The SEM world is sure jam-packed with acronyms! Hopefully, though, things are now looking crystal clear or at the very least, translucent! For more information or help with SEM jargon, contact the SEM team at Search Factory and learn how PPC can have an impact on your ROI!