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The eCommerce marketer's dictionary guide to Google Ads

Firstly, why does your business need Google Ads? 

"At this point, if you're not advertising on Google, you're not on the Internet." - Nick Montagu

In case you want to be reminded about the value of Google Ads, here are some pretty eye-opening eCommerce trends for now and the future:

  • Australia is currently the 10th largest eCommerce market in the world by revenue, with 80.8% (or 8 out of 10) of Australians shopping online.
  • By the end of 2020, one out of ten items will be bought online.
  • By 2021, the eCommerce penetration rate is expected reach 85%.  

This is a huge opportunity for any eCommerce business to improve online visibility and sales.  And the best way to do that? Google Ads.

But like all advertising channels, Google comes with it's own set of features and- let's be honest- some of them sound like jargon, which can make the platform seem like a pretty daunting place to be.

These include: bidding, campaign types, CTR, CPC, CPM, ad extensions... just to name a few.

Your guide to Google Advertising - terms and their meanings

To simplify what others have made complicated (just like we did with these popular marketing buzzwords), here is a list of all the terms you need to know when setting up a campaign in Google Ads. 


1. Google Ads - top level

An online advertising platform where the sellers display advertisements to attract traffic to the website & increase the business growth in terms of revenue.  

The terms you need to know within Google Ads include:


There are millions of business people who want to sell their products/services to you by showing their ads at the top position on the SERP (search engine results page). But not everyone can their get their ads into position 1; that’s when bidding comes to picture. Bidding typically refers to what price you can offer to show your ad in the first place of SERP. 

Bidding strategies

There are multiple bidding strategies in Google based on your business objectives/goals. 

Campaign type

Campaigns are often used to organise categories of products or services that you offer. Campaign types include Search campaigns, Display campaigns, Shopping campaigns, and YouTube campaigns


Click Through Rate is one of the important KPI across all google campaigns that measure the number of clicks that an ad receives per number of impressions. Ideally, a campaign CTR should be above 2%.


Cost Per Click is the amount that you pay to Google every time a user clicks on your Google ad.


Cost per thousand views/clicks. It is the cost that the advertiser pays for one thousand views of an ad. The best strategy for Video campaigns.

Conversion Rate

Conversion rate is the percentage of the visitors that have made a conversion(fill out a form or purchase a product) on your site out of the total number of visitors who have been to the site.

Ad Extensions

Extensions are a feature that provides additional information about your business like “free shipping”, “next day delivery” or your business phone number.

alphawhale-nike-shoes-google-ads-sitelink-extensionsMatch Types

Match types help in preventing irrelevant traffic to the site. It helps control which searches on Google can trigger your ad. With this feature, you have an option to control what kind of traffic/ visitors you can receive to your site. Each match type has it’s own advantage or disadvantage. Below is the list of match types that we can use in Google Ads:

3-google-ads-match-types-by-reach-and-relevanceNegative keywords

Adding negative keywords to the campaign is the best way of reducing unwanted traffic/clicks to that particular campaign or the whole website. They’ll help you save money by getting rid of unnecessary cost for the clicks.

Quality score

It’s a metric that will help the advertiser understand how relevant ads, keywords and landing pages are to the search query. High-quality score leads to lower costs and better ad ranking. The ideal quality score of a keyword should be at least 5 


2. Google Search Ads

These are the text ads that are displayed in the search results on a Google page.

google-text-ads-example-wedding-ring3. Google Shopping Ads

Product image ads with the price displayed at the top of the search results are the shopping ads. Below is one the example for shopping ads:

5-google-ads-google-shopping-ad-gecko-tank-exampleThe terms you need to know within Shopping Ads include:

Google Merchant Centre

If you are an eCommerce manager & looking to get your products online, the first step is to sign up with Google Merchant Centre as this is where the advertisers upload their product feed to make it available for the shopping campaign.


Product Shopping Ads

It’s the type of ad with details about the product image, price, title of the product, business name etc. 


Catalog Ads

Catalog Ads are for showcasing your local products using a local inventory ad feed from the Google Merchant Center account (GMC).


Google Display Network

Unlike search where you use keywords to match search terms of a consumer, the display network is more used for targeting an audience who has a specific interest. Display ads let you reach out to millions of people across different platforms and let you strategically show your message/product. 



In this guide we've covered the various settings and definitions within Google Ads, Search Ads and Shopping Ads. 

Definitions aside, Google Ads can be a bit of a complicated beast to set up, maintain and optimise - even if the payoff is incredibly rewarding.

If you're ever feeling overwhelmed about your PPC management, get in touch with alphawhale and we'll take the stress out of your next campaign.

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Sushma Kollu
Sushma Kollu
Sushma is an ex-Google PPC specialist who worked on optimising high-end accounts in the US market before joining alphawhale. She likes experimenting with new ideas and transforming them into effective outcomes for clients.

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