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This is going to be the first article of a series entitled ‘A Complete Explanation of PPC’ with the aim to look at every detailAn Explanation of CPC in PPC and element within PPC so that there is a database of articles on which can inform web users (be it experienced advertisers or not) on everything there is to know about PPC. The problem I find is that many advertisers learn PPC the hard way: through making costly mistakes in their campaigns. By completely understanding all the elements there are to PPC will help eliminate future costly errors.


The first article in this series will be looking into CPC.

CPC is an abbreviation for Cost-Per-Click. It is a value which is associated with the amount you pay for each individual click you gain from using pay per click advertising. For example, if a web user clicks on your advert, you will have to pay the value of your CPC since PPC evolves around paying to bring contextual traffic onto a designated landing page.


However, Cost-Per-Click does not stop there. There are different meanings to the CPC of a campaign with them listed below:

  • When people refer to the CPC of a campaign, they often mean the maximum CPC. This is the maximum amount of money they are willing to pay for a click on their advert. The maximum CPC is an upper limit to the price you are willing to pay: this does not mean you will always pay this price for each click. Dependant on where your advert is shown and what keywords you use to target your traffic will affect the final CPC you pay. In general, you will usually pay a lot less than your maximum CPC.
  • This means there needs to be a name for the CPC you actually pay for each click onto your advert. The name for this is the actual CPC. The actual CPC is what you actually pay for the click onto your advert and, as mentioned above, is generally much less than your maximum CPC.
  • The reason why your actual CPC is less than your maximum CPC is because getting a click on an advert involves bidding against other advertisers for that advertising space first. You bid with your CPC so whoever has the highest CPC will get that advertising space. From this, that is the actual CPC for that advert.
  • You can bid against other advertisers in two different ways. There is manual bidding and automatic bidding. With manual bidding, it is up to you to choose how much you want to bid. With automatic bidding, Google supplies an automated service which automatically bids for your campaign against other advertisers baring in mind the budget you have allocated for your campaign.


Within PPC, the CPC will vary mostly depending on what you are trying to advertise. For example, after looking into different keywords, I found that the highest paying keyword in Google AdWords was staggering $55! However, you will find that the average CPC for most campaign is between $0.20 and $2.

After reading this, you might also be interested in reading Everything You Need To Know About CPC in PPC which looks into more detail at the CPC in PPC.

Will created Ask Will Online back in 2010 to help students revise and bloggers make money developing himself into an expert in PPC, blogging SEO, and online marketing. He now runs others websites such as Poem Analysis, Book Analysis, and Ocean Info. You can follow him @willGreeny.

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