Google Ads Terms You Should Know

July 6, 2023
Google Ads Terminology That Every Marketer Should Know – Ontario SEO

In a fast-changing world, Google is constantly modifying its Google Ads terminology. As a result, it is important to understand the meaning behind this terminology to identify missed advertising opportunities and strengthen your PPC strategy. In this blog, we will define Google’s paid search terminology and the various campaign types available to advertisers.

Paid Search Terminology

Search Query

A search query is what a user types into a Google search bar to access information. These queries can be typed, tapped (suggested) phrases, or spoken into a device.

Search Terms

Search terms are the actual words that users typed into Google that triggered your ad. You can see the search terms that triggered your ad on Google through the ad platform, as long as they meet privacy standards.

Negative Keywords

Negative keywords are specific terms you add to your campaigns to exclude your ads from showing in an auction.

By providing the platform a list of “negative keywords” you can prevent the ad platforms from showing your ads if a user query contains keyword that you do not want to bid on. Using negative keywords is a smart digital advertising practice because it ensures that your ads are only shown for relevant search queries and reduced wasted ad spend.

Search Keyword

Search keywords are the words you bid on in your campaigns. As a result, they are essential for targeting your ads to relevant audiences.

There are 3 search keyword match types that you can use to control when ad platforms show your ads.

1. Exact Match

Exact match keywords will only show your ads for searches that mean the same thing as your keyword. This match type provides a higher level of control over who sees your ad when compared to “broad match”. However, despite what the name suggests, “exact match” doesn’t have to be an exact match. It can include searches with the same meaning or intent. Google relies on advanced technology, like BERT, to understand search query intent. Exact match keywords are denoted by square brackets in the Google Ads platform. For example, [Italian restaurants].

Exact Match Search Queries Include:

  • Misspellings
  • Singular or plural forms
  • Stemming
  • Abbreviations
  • Close variants

Close variants of search keywords can also trigger exact match keywords. Close variants are search queries that resemble the keywords but are not an exact match. These include reordered phrasing, adding or removing function words, implied words, synonyms, and paraphrases. This ensures that your ads are shown to a broader audience, increasing your chances of conversions.

2. Phrase Match

Phrase match keywords will show your ads for close variations of the keyword. When you use a phrase match type, you control which search queries to target based on the order of words. For example, search terms for the phrase keyword “Italian restaurants” may include “Italian restaurant menu” or “best Italian restaurant”, but not “restaurant menu in Italian”. Phrase match keywords are denoted by quotation marks in the Google Ads platform.

3. Broad Match

Broad match keywords are indeed broad and can display your ads for search queries that are broadly related to your keyword.

You need to use good negative keywords to ensure that your ads aren’t triggered by irrelevant searches. Broad match uses signals that other match types don’t, such as previous searches, user location, landing page content, and other keywords. It is important to note that broad match keywords can match the same search queries as exact match and phrase match, but they can also match phrases that don’t contain the keyword terms. For example, a broad keyword match for Italian restaurants may include a search such as “pizza places near me”. Using broad match keywords can improve the performance of smart bidding. They offer increased flexibility to optimize towards your goals and the ability to uncover more conversion opportunities.

Despite what Google recommends, we don’t generally recommend using many broad match queries for campaigns that are for very specific service offerings or niche products.

Google Ads Campaign Types

Google Ads allows you to choose from a variety of campaign types to communicate your value proposition to your target audience.

Search Campaigns

Search campaigns are the text ads that appear on the Google Search Network. Therefore, these ads will show up on the Google search results page (SERP) or Google partner sites. When users type in the keywords you have bid on, your ad may show if it is relevant. This allows you to target people who are actively searching for products and/or services that your business offers. Search campaigns can also help your brand gain exposure, boost customer consideration, and drive action to your website.

Display Campaigns

Display campaigns are image-based ads that show up across the Google Display Network. This type of campaign allows you to target audiences beyond the Google search results. Engaging display ads allow businesses to increase brand awareness while appealing to customer interests in a visual format.

Video Campaigns

Video campaigns are video ads that can be shown across Google’s network of apps and websites, primarily on YouTube. A video ad campaign will help you reach your target audience at scale and differentiate from the competition. Video campaigns are the perfect medium to share your business’ story and engage your audience with the brand’s message. Video campaigns tend to be relatively inexpensive.

Discovery Campaigns

Discovery campaigns allow you to advertise in the Google Discovery feed in the Google app. They are designed to help your business get noticed. By using creative messaging, you will be able to stimulate customer interest and drive action.

Performance Max Campaigns

Performance Max campaigns allow your business to become visible across all of Google’s advertising channels through a highly automated delivery that is driven by AI. Google uses machine learning to optimize your creative, bids and ad placements to create value for your business. This strategy is ideal for broad branding campaigns in high-volume channels to reach more customers in more places online.

App Campaigns

App campaigns allow you to promote your app across various channels including the Google Play Store, YouTube, Google search results, and more. This multi-channel marketing strategy allows you to target a large audience. It can increase app downloads, in-app actions, and user engagement.

Local Campaigns

Local campaigns promote your business’ locations across multiple channels. This campaign is designed to bring customers to your physical store by advertising in-store offers and events.

Smart Campaigns

Smart campaigns are automated advertising campaigns run by Google. You simply provide Google with your business information and create some ads. Google will implement the optimal targeting strategy to help you achieve your business goals.

We generally do not recommend “smart campaigns” to our clients, although some have had success with them.

Shopping Campaigns

Shopping campaigns are product listings that appear beside the Google search results for product-based queries. By promoting product listings, you can send traffic to your e-commerce website. This campaign is ideal for e-commerce businesses because it makes it easier for customers to access product information and make purchases online.

Optimize Your Google Ads with Ontario SEO

If you run multiple Google Ads campaigns and use different keyword match types, it is extremely important to stay up to date on Google’s terminology updates. Ontario SEO can help you manage your PPC strategy for success.