Glossary of Marketing Terms

Table of Contents

PPC (Pay-per-click)

PPC is generally understood to represent “paid” digital advertising, and is typically contrasted with “free” organic marketing (SEO). While widely accepted and used in this way conversationally, it’s not actually the true definition of the term.

Officially, P.P.C. is an acronym that stands for “pay-per-click” and references how you are charged for your advertising – you pay a certain amount each time someone clicks on your ad. PPC would be more aptly compared to pay-per-impression or pay-per-lead ad campaigns.


How many times your ads were shown to a user.


How many times your ad was clicked on by users.

CTR (Click-through-rate)

The number of clicks divided by the number of impressions. For example, a paid search campaign had 100 impressions, and was clicked 10 times, it would have a 10% CTR.


This is a total of how much your campaigns spent in a certain time period.

CPC (Cost-per-click)

Total cost divided by number of clicks. This is an average, as the cost of clicks should vary widely throughout the day. It’s not uncommon for one click to cost $100 and the next to cost $10, giving you an average CPC of $55, which doesn’t truly represent either click very well.


Usually, this is how many people contact you. Conversions are user defined goals, and should be carefully thought out before launching any campaigns. Conversions could be identified as phone calls (via a call tracking number), users who become a lead by filling out a website form, new chats, PDF downloads, or even a simple page view.

CVR (Conversion Rate)

Usually, this is the percentage of people that contact you after clicking your ad. It’s the number of conversions divided by clicks. If a campaign received 10 clicks, and 2 of those became conversions, that would be a 20% conversion rate.

CPA (Cost-per-acquisition, or cost-per-lead)

The number of conversions divided by cost.

SIS (Search Impression Share)

How often your ads show up when they are eligible to. Based on your campaign settings, locations and keywords, this is your target market.

IS Lost to Budget

Impression Share Lost to Budget is the percentage your ads were eligible to show, but you had run out of budget. This is missed opportunity and potential clicks/leads left on the table. This can be “fixed” by increasing your monthly budget or restricting your campaign targets.

IS Lost to Rank

Impression Share Lost to Rank is the percentage your ads were eligible to show, but didn’t rank high enough to beat the competition. This is missed opportunity and potential clicks/leads left on the table. This can be “fixed” by improving the quality of your campaigns – better landing pages, increased bids, more focused ad copy.


If someone visits your site multiple times through different marketing channels, how much “credit” does each channel get? Is the first click more or less important than the last? Does each channel/visit get an even amount of credit?