Learn the Basic Ads Terminology

Google Ads has a bit of jargon you need to understand before you get started in the platform.


There are 3 levels within the google ads platform:

  1. Account: the broadest level, where all your different campaigns live
  2. Campaign: the second level, where you set the budget and network for where the collection of ads appears
  3. Ad Group: the 3rd level, comprised of a group of ads that have similar keywords

You can nest a few ads into an ad group, a few ad groups into a campaign, and a large amount of campaigns in your account.


There are 2 different networks you can display your ads on.

1. Search: the search network displays ads in and amongst search results on Google. They match the ad results to the keywords people search for, and display relevant ads in the results, along with the organic results

You’d want to use the search network to target customers who are searching for your type of content

2. Display: the display network serves text and visual ads (think videos, images, etc) across a variety of partner sites. These ads are not connected to the user’s searches

You’d want to use the display network when you are trying to build awareness for your brand/company.

You can read more about the Google Network here.

Campaign Types:

Google gives you 5 different campaign types you can choose from…

  1. Search: comprised of text ads that show in the google search network (google results page and Google partner sites)
  2. Display: comprised of text/image ads that show on the display network, YouTube, and other sites
  3. Video: comprised of video ads that show inside YouTube, and other sites/apps that support video ads
  4. App: comprised of ads to promote apps, displayed on the display and search networks, as well as other apps
  5. Shopping: comprised of shopping information on your product (image, price, etc.), that shows up on search, display, and partner websites

Each of your campaigns serve different goals, so make sure the ads you are creating fit within the overall goals of the campaign they fall under. You can read more about the different campaign types here.


In some cases, you will have to set target keywords for your ads. In order to optimize your budget, you want to make sure your ads are only showing up for keywords that actually relate to your product. Modifying your keywords helps you achieve this by limiting when your ads show up for a specific keyword.

You can modify your keyword matching a couple different ways…

  1. Broad Match: this shows your ad if the keyword matches the search exactly, with misspellings, synonyms, related searches, and/or other relevant searches. This means your ad can be displayed for a huge variety of searches
  2. Broad Match Modifier: by adding in a “+” sign, your ad can display for every search that includes the specified words following the “+” sign. You can also add “-” words (known as negative keywords), which will exclude your ad from searches that include those negative keywords
  3. Phrase Match: your ad will display for searches that match, or closely match your phrase (a group of keywords). This is denoted with quotes “ ”
  4. Exact Match: your ad will display for searches that match your keywords exactly (or searches with the exact same searching intent). It can be denoted with brackets [ ]

You can read more about keyword match types here.

Ad Bidding:

Whenever someone completes a search, Google runs a mini auction to see which of the millions of possible ad options gets displayed. The winner is decided based off the ads components(relevance, readability, etc.…) as well as the bidding strategy and maximum price per ad set for that specific ad.
When you create your campaigns, you will have to set you budget amounts and bidding strategy.

There are a few different bidding strategies you can choose…

  1. You can focus on conversions using a smart bidding strategy
  2. You can focus on getting more clicks using a cost-per-click strategy
  3. You can focus on impressions if you want more people to see your ad
  4. You can focus on views or interactions if you have video ads

You can read more about the different bidding strategies here.

Now that you know the basics, let’s jump into setting up your account.