Search Tips - Basics & Terminology

Paid search management is a digital, paid media channel. The channel is a pay-per-click service. Brands should use the channel to maximize RIO and gain valuable insight into consumer behavior.

Paid Media

Search advertising is under the paid media umbrella. Paid media falls under the promotion marketing P as paid promotion. The media channel enables reach expansion for brands - beyond earned and owned media. Consumers that have exposure to paid advertisements might or might not intend to interact with a brand. Current consumers typically see a change in brand recall, sentiment, or loyalty after they see an ad. New consumers will likely see changes in brand awareness, recognition, recall, sentiment, or loyalty since it's their first ad exposure.

Digital Media

Paid search management platforms fall under digital media, not traditional media. Consumers can access a variety of search platforms through phones, tablets, or desktops.


People utilize phones for quick access to information and entertainment. Consumers access the device multiple times a day for a variety of activities.


Consumers use tablets for reading, gaming apps, and quick edits. Consumers use the device at work, on trips, and for long downtime periods.


The device typically results in longer research sessions and processes. Consumers typically make purchases that are small to large on the device.


Paid search is bought on a pay-per-click basis. Brands only pay when someone clicks on an ad. As a result, a brand doesn’t need to have a set budget, unlike traditional media channel buys. Brands can raise or lower the overall budget based on needs or performance.


  • Click: The number of times searchers clicked on a brand’s ad.

  • Impression: Represents the number of times a brand’s ad was shown

  • Click-Through Rate (CTR): The rate at which a brand’s ad was clicked on.

  • Avg Cost-Per-Click (CPC): The cost to brands for ad clicks.

  • Search Impressions Share (SOV): The percentage a brand’s ad was shown vs the total amount of opportunities it could have served.

  • Competitive Overlap Rate: The rate a brand’s ads showed next to a competitor’s ads.

  • Click Share: The percent of clicks a brand received versus the total number of possible clicks it could’ve received.

  • Keyword: The words or phrases the brand bids on. Keywords match brands to a searcher’s search terms.

  • Responsive Search Ads (RSA): The standard paid search ad type. It can include up to 15 headlines & 4 descriptions. Machine learning creates the best ad for each search.

  • Landing Page: The page an ad drives the searcher to. It can be a microsite or a page on the main site.

  • Extensions: Additional creative. Search engines display extensions when it feels the additional real estate can improve performance.

  • Ad Schedule: A setting that excludes days and times of the week. It should maximize the budget.

  • Geography: The campaign’s target location. Ads will only serve within the geo or when searchers show interest in the geo.

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