The Results: PPC Semantics Poll [Infographic]

A few weeks back, we posted a poll regarding PPC Semantics. The point of the poll was to help understand the different ways that people within the industry use different terms and acronyms, including things like: PPC, SEM, and retargeting vs remarketing, among others.

In the end, we had 82 responses and, as we suspected, the results of the poll did not disappoint! There wasn’t a single question that had 100% consensus on an answer, which only serves to underscore the need for clarification and context when using these phrases – or when conversing with someone who is using these phrases.

The first question asked what people meant when they used the acronym “PPC”. The majority of people (67.9%) responded that they used it to refer to anything that is “pay per click” including search, display, social, etc. 12.3% are referring *only* to paid search and 17.3% use PPC to refer to paid search and GDN, only. This question is particularly interesting to me because it seems like one that has shifted over time. My guess is that if the same question had been asked to people in 2010, more people would’ve responded that they use it solely to talk about search – or possibly search and Google Display Content Network, only.

Next, we asked the same question, but in regard to “SEM”. This question had a really close split: 53.1% use it to refer to both paid and organic search while 46.9% use it *only* to refer to paid search. Of all of the questions, this one was the very closest to an even divide.

The third question was in regard to “click-to-call”. The question asked what “click-to-call” referred to. The options were: Anything with click-to-call functionality, including landing pages, ads, and call extensions; call-only ads; or call extensions.The majority (60.5%) responded that they use click-to-call to refer to anything with click-to-call functionality. The other two options were fairly evenly split: with 18.5% referring only to call-extensions and 14.8% referring only to call-only ads. 6.2% responded “other”.

The fourth question was particularly interesting, mostly due to my surprise at how much variation we received in response. The majority (92%) of people use remarketing and retargeting interchangeably. One person noted that most PPC’s called it “retargeting” until AdWords began calling it “remarketing” – which is true from my perspective. Several others added notes for how they view the terms to be entirely different from one-another. (Check out the infographic below for specifics!)

The next question asked whether people used the term “Display” to include programmatic, or if they specified when they were speaking in regard to programmatic. This one was somewhat close but the majority of people (56%) said that they were not referring to programmatic when using the word “display”, unless they specified.

Last but not least, we asked if there were any other terms or topics that should’ve been included and – by the looks of it – we may need to do another survey! Without further ado, check out the charts!

digital-marketing-semantics (3)

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