Definition: CPC [Cost Per Click]

What does CPC mean?

The Cost Per Click price is the amount paid every time a user clicks on an ad. When booking a Cost Per Click campaign a certain amount of clicks are promised, the CPC is paid out for each click delivered.

If you book 1,000 clicks for a €10 CPC for example, then you owe €10,000 if they are all delivered.

A cost per click campaign provides the most certainty for an advertiser. This is because you get what they pay for – a specific amount of users coming to your site.



CPC Definition

CPC means cost per click and is often referred to as PPC (pay per click). It is one of the three most common ad pricing models used along with CPM and CPA.

This is perhaps the most commonly used ad pricing model. It is simple to set up and is a reasonable compromise between the uncertainty of CPM campaigns and the complexity of a CPA campaign.

Running these campaigns, however, continue to require a fair amount of optimising work by the website or ad network. They also provide a level of uncertainty as to how much inventory they will eat up.

These campaigns actually pit the advertiser and website against each other more than other types of campaigns. This is because the website will want to get as many clicks as easily as possible, without any regard for the quality of the clicks. The website owner will also want to deliver that many clicks and no more. With both CPM and CPA campaigns, however, there is no upper limit to performance.


CPC Formula

The Cost Per Click equation is:

CPC Formula or Cost Per Click EquationClick to enlarge

CPC = Cost ÷ Clicks


Average CPC Rate

There doesn’t seem to be any concrete data on this. On Google Ads in 2012 the average cost per click was $0.35 (approx £0.20), which seems about right. However, across the internet Average cost per click rates were apparently at about $1.50 in 2015. If you pay more for clicks, you will probably get access to better inventory, however, so there isn’t really a great benchmark for this.


Technical Information

In Google Analytics, Paid Search is marked using CPC as the medium. This is because Paid Search historically only worked on a PPC basis, however, clicks can be bought using many types of marketing.



Cost Per Click Definition


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