Google AdWords - Key Terms Explained

- Posted by Michael Townsend in

The Google AdWords dashboard can be quite a daunting place to navigate if you are new to the platform especially when you are spending part of your marketing budget. We have created this mini glossary of AdWords features and key terms to use as a reference guide.


A campaign is made up of ad groups and keywords and is like the top tier of the tree-like structure of AdWords. The campaign is where you can make changes to settings like budget, ad scheduling and delivery. Campaigns should be structured in a systematic way separating out your key products and services.

Ad Groups

Ad groups should be set up based on the objective of the campaign. If you are selling TVs then your ad groups could be split into 3D TVs, Plasma TVs and OLED TVs. Creating ad groups with their own keywords will allow your ads to be shown to a more targeted group of customers which should lead to a higher click-through-rate (CTR).


Your keywords need to be carefully selected as these will trigger your adverts when users enter their search queries into Google. Each Ad Group should have around 5-20 highly targeted and relevant keywords. You can enter more than 20 keywords but the majority of your clicks can be delivered by no more than 20 keywords. It is important to put yourself in your customers shoes when drawing up a keyword list.

Negative Keywords

Negative keywords can be applied at campaign or ad group levels and allow you to select certain keywords that you don’t want your adverts appearing for. For example, users who are searching for ‘golf prices’ could be looking for a price of a car, price of golf clubs or the price of a golf membership. Three different searches all with different user intentions. Showing your ads on irrelevant searches could waste your click budget and affect your quality scores.


Shopping campaigns offer a simple and flexible way to organize your Google Merchant Centre product inventory within AdWords so you can easily create customized campaigns using retail-centric tools. Shopping campaigns will be replacing the regular ‘product listing ads’ this year.

Search Network

AdWords search network displays text-based ads in the Google search engine. These adverts will appear at the top of the search page, on the right hand side and sometimes below the last organic search result.

Display Network

The Google display network shows ads across Googles network of websites, videos, YouTube, Blogger sites and several more.

Ad Schedule

The ad schedule allows you to set which times of the day your ads will show to your customers. It also allows advertisers to set bid adjustments by certain pecentages at key times of the day. If you have analysed your AdWords data and spotted a positive trend in sales between 2pm & 3pm you can instruct AdWords to increase yours bids by XX% during this period in an attempt to maximise sales. Likewise if you see very little return from your clicks at certain times of the day you can make sure your ads aren’t shown during these low converting periods.

Call Extensions

This ad extension features a click to call button on mobile devices allowing customers to call your company phone number without having to search your website for it. This helps to cut out any unnecessary steps for customers to take that could lead to them abandoning your site if they can’t find information quickly. Call extensions are charged on a cost-per-click basis at the standard keyword bid cost.

Sitelink Extensions

Sitelinks appear underneath your ads allowing you to choose up to 4 links promoting certain pages of your website. These have proven to increase click-through-rates as it gives users more visible information that can fulfil their search needs.

Location Extensions

You can add the address and directions to your place of business to a standard text ad. This is beneficial if you have multiple stores and benefit customers who maybe close to your businesses location and could be tempted in to your store with a strong offer.

Michael Townsend

Michael Townsend is the Search Director at Square Social a leading SEO company offering a range of small business SEO & PPC packages.