Close this search box.

Table of Contents

Cost Per Click (CPC)


Cost Per Click (CPC) is a digital advertising term that represents the amount an advertiser pays each time a user clicks on their online ad. This model is used to direct traffic to websites, with the advertiser only paying when their ad is actually clicked. The total cost of a campaign is calculated by multiplying the CPC by the number of clicks received.


Cost Per Click (CPC) in phonetics is: /kɒst pɜr klɪk/ (CPC: /siː piː siː/)

Key Takeaways

<ol> <li>CPC is a significant performance metric in digital marketing. It refers to the actual price you pay for each click in your pay-per-click (PPC) marketing campaigns. It’s an important measure to assess the cost-effectiveness and profitability of your digital advertising campaign.</li> <li>A lower CPC is typically more desirable, as it means you are paying less per click. To lower your CPC, you can improve your Quality Score, which is directly influenced by your click through rate (CTR), ad relevance, and landing page experience. PPC platforms such as Google Ads use Quality Score to determine how much you pay per click.</li> <li>Finally, while CPC is important, it’s not the only measure of a campaign’s success or failure. Other metrics like conversion rate and return on ad spend (ROAS) can provide a broader picture of campaign performance. Therefore, assessing different metrics together gives a more comprehensive view of your advertising success.</li></ol>


Cost Per Click (CPC) is a crucial term in business and digital marketing because it is a direct measure of how much a business pays for each click in pay-per-click (PPC) marketing campaigns. It allows businesses to objectively assess the effectiveness and profitability of their online advertising strategies. The lower the CPC, the less a company pays per customer acquired, thus optimizing advertising spend and potentially maximizing return on investment. Understanding and effectively managing CPC is a fundamental aspect of running successful, cost-efficient digital marketing campaigns, making it an important term in the realm of business and finance.


Cost Per Click (CPC) plays an instrumental role in digital advertising as it is used to determine the financial success of online marketing campaigns. Essentially, it is a measurable metric that directly reflects how much an advertiser is paying every time a user clicks on their advertisement. The purpose of analyzing CPC by companies and marketers is to optimize their digital marketing budget and gain maximum return on their advertising spend.In practical terms, CPC is used for evaluating the expense related to directing potential customers to a website and engaging their interest through digital ads. It provides valuable insights into whether an ad’s investment is proving profitable by driving the desired online traffic without exceeding the set advertising budget. Furthermore, it serves as an essential tool when companies are deciding which online platforms and marketing strategies to invest in, based on the cost-effectiveness of the click-through rates. This helps companies to efficiently allocate resources in the realm of online advertising and achieve their marketing goals.


1. Google AdWords Campaign: A small business owner may set up a Google AdWords campaign for their online store. They opt to pay Google for each time their ad is clicked on, hence utilizing the Cost Per Click model. The owner sets their maximum CPC (bid) at $3 meaning this is the maximum they will pay whenever a user clicks on their advertisement.2. Social Media Ads: A local restaurant wants to increase its popularity within its area. The restaurant owner decides to set a Facebook ad campaign that uses a CPC model. They decide to spend $2 per click. Whenever a Facebook user clicks on their ads, the platform charges the restaurant $2 and the total cost will depend on the total number of clicks they garner over the set time period.3. Email Marketing Campaign: An online fitness coach decides to reach more potential clients through an email marketing campaign. They employ a third-party email marketing service who uses a CPC model. The coach would pay the service provider a set fee for every recipient who clicks on the embedded links within the marketing emails.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is Cost Per Click (CPC)?

Cost Per Click (CPC) is a term used in digital marketing. It refers to the amount an advertiser pays each time a user clicks on their digital advertisement. The cost is determined by the advertiser’s bid amount and the advertising platform’s algorithms.

How is CPC calculated in online advertising?

The calculation for CPC is quite simple. It is determined by dividing the total cost of your clicks by the total number of clicks. For example, if you spent $100 on an ad campaign and got 200 clicks, your CPC would be $0.50.

How does an advertiser determine its maximum CPC?

An advertiser determines its maximum CPC by assessing its budget for a particular campaign and deciding how much they are willing to pay for each click.

How does CPC affect the overall costs of an advertising campaign?

CPC is a critical factor in the overall cost of an advertising campaign. The lower the CPC, the more clicks the campaign can generate for a given budget. Likewise, a higher CPC may improve the quality of the clicks but will also increase the cost.

What’s the difference between Cost Per Click (CPC) and Cost Per Impression (CPM)?

The main difference between these two models lies in what an advertiser pays for. While CPC requires an advertiser to pay for each click their ad receives, CPM charges the advertiser for every 1,000 impressions (or views) their ad gets.

How can I lower my CPC?

Lowering your CPC could involve several strategies such as improving your Quality Score (Google Ads ranking of the quality and relevance of your keywords and ads), targeting long-tail keywords, and experimenting with different bid strategies.

Is a higher or lower CPC better?

Generally, a lower CPC is better as it means you’re paying less per click for your ad. However, it’s also essential to maintain a balance between what you’re spending and the value you’re getting from each click. Sometimes a higher CPC might be more beneficial if it attracts a quality audience that’s more likely to purchase your product or service.

What industries have the highest CPC?

The legal industry, insurance, and finance generally have a higher CPC due to the high competition and the potential value of a customer conversion.

Related Finance Terms

  • Pay-Per-Click (PPC)
  • Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
  • Google AdWords
  • Advertising Budget
  • Click Through Rate (CTR)

Sources for More Information

About Due

Due makes it easier to retire on your terms. We give you a realistic view on exactly where you’re at financially so when you retire you know how much money you’ll get each month. Get started today.

Due Fact-Checking Standards and Processes

To ensure we’re putting out the highest content standards, we sought out the help of certified financial experts and accredited individuals to verify our advice. We also rely on them for the most up to date information and data to make sure our in-depth research has the facts right, for today… Not yesterday. Our financial expert review board allows our readers to not only trust the information they are reading but to act on it as well. Most of our authors are CFP (Certified Financial Planners) or CRPC (Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor) certified and all have college degrees. Learn more about annuities, retirement advice and take the correct steps towards financial freedom and knowing exactly where you stand today. Learn everything about our top-notch financial expert reviews below… Learn More