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Cost Per Click

What is Cost Per Click?

Cost Per Click (CPC) is the price an advertiser pays a publisher for each click on a link. The publisher is typically a search engine (search advertising) or website owner (display advertising) where users are directed to the advertiser’s website each time their ad or link is clicked.

Alternate names: Pay Per Click, PPC

How to calculate Cost Per Click

ƒ Sum(Total Advertising Costs) / Count(Clicks)

What is a good Cost Per Click benchmark?

According to 2019 Wordstream data, the global average Cost Per Click is $2.69 for search and $0.63 for display advertising.


If your ad receives 10 clicks in total, and 2 of the clicks cost $0.50 each, 3 of them cost $0.40 each, and the remaining 4 cost $0.20 each (for a total cost of $3.00), then your Average Cost Per Click would be; $3.00 / 10 clicks = $0.30 CPC.

More about this metric

The term Cost Per Click (CPC) is often used interchangeably with Per-Per-Click (PPC), though PPC is generally thought of as the advertising model whereas CPC is the specific dollar cost.

It's important to know the difference between the two major PPC types - Search and Display. Search, which displays advertisements within the context of search engine result pages, is a high-intent, higher-cost advertising medium. Display has a broader context in that ads will get seen significantly more but, because user intent is weaker, Click Through Rates (CTR) will be lower. As a result, CPC for Display will be lower than for Search.

It’s important to know what type of visibility or clicks you are aiming for. Are you looking for brand visibility or "ready to buy" users? Make sure you test your messaging and your landing pages and invest the time to improve your quality score (a system Google has developed to reward "good" advertisers).

Additional Cost Per Click recommended resources

Google on how it calculates Average Cost Per ClickAn excellent article on CPC by WordStream

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