PPC vs. CPC – A Complete Guide on the Difference Between Them

We live in an era where creating an online advertising campaign for your product or service is indispensable. And if there is one thing that digital marketing is full of, it is acronyms. Some of the most common ones are SEO, PPC, and CPC. 

This can cause serious confusion if you’re not an expert in advertising campaigns, leading to terrible mistakes when promoting your business, whether through video ads or any other kind of digital advertising. If this is your case, this article will help you solve your doubts and understand everything you need.

We will show the main difference between PPC campaigns and CPC and other common questions regarding the theme. Take a look at all aspects and differences between both of them to create a successful ad campaign for your company.

What Are PPC Ads

illustration of a woman using a laptop along with the text PPC above her

If you have ever read about marketing online, you definitely heard of PPC ad placement. PPC (or pay-per-click) is a paid advertising technique that makes your content appear to certain users looking for a product or service you offer.

The name pay-per-click comes from the fact that, differently from SEO, the PPC model doesn’t use organic traffic and, instead, uses monetary investments from the business owner to promote the web page or any other content on the chosen platform.

There are several advertising platforms for creating paid brand ads. The most popular ones are Google Ads and Facebook, but along with them, there are other search engines like Bing Ads and famous social media platforms like TikTok.

How Does PPC Work

The basics of paid advertisements are very simple. The business owner or marketer chooses the best advertising platform based on the goals you want to achieve with the campaign. Then, they start investing in the platform and provide all the necessary information to reach the target audience best.

It might look like a simple process at first sight, but creating a PPC campaign has numerous details you must take care of.

Main Factors and Items of Pay-Per-Click Advertising

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Now it’s time to see some of the main details you must consider when planning your next campaign, whether Google PPC ads or any other paid advertisement. Here are the main ones:

Advertising Budget

For having an organized strategy, it is vital to set an advertising budget before starting any effort or uploading assets to the platform. This will help you decide essential details like the best platform and the strategy to invest in.

Campaign Goal

Each campaign can have a different goal. Whether you invest in search ads, video ads, or any PPC asset, the platform will ask you what you want to achieve with the PPC campaign. Each platform has specific automated goals you can select, or you can manually set up all of its aspects.

Some of the most common goals when doing PPC advertising are:

  • Increase Sales
  • Increase Lead Generation
  • Maximize Clicks
  • Increase Website Traffic
  • Increase Brand Awareness

Along with these, there are many others, and they vary depending on the platform you’re using. It is always recommended to use automated options since the platform automatically adjusts every aspect of your online advertising to ensure the best results.

Advertising Costs

Another aspect to be considered is the actual advertising cost. You have a budget to dedicate to the PPC ad, but another price information you need to consider is how much the ads cost. 

Every aspect of the campaign has a different cost. It is not as simple as paying for every time your ad appears. Google Analytics and Facebook’s Dashboard feature valuable information on your campaign costs, including the average cost of each user that sees your ad and the total money spent on the campaign.

But What Is CPC

image showing the formula for calculating CPC along with illustrations for each element

To understand how both pieces of information relate to each other when you run ads, it is important to understand what CPC is. The CPC stands for the cost per click of your campaigns, and, as you might expect, it regards the approximate value spent for making a user click on your ad. 

It is one of the most important metrics of any digital marketing campaign, whether to generate leads, increase traffic on your landing page, or any other objective. It is a metric seen in every platform you advertise on, like Amazon Ads, Google Search Ads, or others.

Why Cost-Per-Click Is So Important

There are several reasons why CPC is one of the most important metrics when doing sponsored product ads or any other kind of campaign. First, the cost-per-click can tell a lot about the efficiency of your campaign and how good the return on investment you’re making is.

For example, a high cost-per-click can mean that you’re not using the right keywords or there are specific keywords that are not worth investing in, due to their cost. You can open Google Ads and see if this is the case in your dashboard.

Moreover, seeing a lower CPC throughout the campaign period indicates a successful strategy. It is a performance metric that will dictate numerous aspects of your pay-per-click (PPC) campaign.

Difference Between Cost-per-Click and Click-Through Rate

board comparing CPC and CTR pointing out their differences and when to use them

Another confusing topic when creating Amazon PPC ads or any paid campaign is the difference between CPC and CTR. Here is a quick explanation so you never mistake one for the other:

As mentioned, the CPC regards the cost incurred each time users click on your ads. Whether when creating ad copy on search results or an attractive image on Facebook ads, this value will regard the average cost for each potential customer redirected to the page specified on your ad.

On the other hand, the click-through rate refers to the number of clicks your ad received from potential customers compared to the number of times it appeared for them. The calculation formula for it is CTR = clicks/impressions.

You can also use the CTR to measure the user clicks on certain keywords, being one of the most precise tools to measure their effectiveness. For example, if you create your custom audiences and notice they don’t click on a specific keyword, it means that this term is not worth investing in.

PPC vs. CPC –  Which One to Use

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Even though both pieces of information directly relate to each other, they are completely different things, so it’s quite unusual to compare them. However, one of the key differences between the two is that, while PPC is a form of digital marketing, the CPC regards one of the multiple details related to these campaigns.

To summarize, PPC is a digital marketing technique, while CPC is a part of this technique. You should use PPC when looking for a way to increase your business performance and online presence. Pay-per-click is the way to go whether you want to increase sales volume or generate brand awareness through search terms.

On the other hand, if you run a PPC advertising campaign and want to measure how effective your efforts are or if your strategy is properly planned, the cost-per-click is what you should be looking at. You can also use the CPC model when advertising.

In this model, the advertisers will pay for each click, regardless of the outcome or other related factors. Keeping track of this information is indispensable if you want to lower CPC and achieve a better ROI.

How to Lower Your CPC

illustration of a person using a tablet along with the text Cost per click CPC at the top

Regardless of the objective of your PPC campaign, the lower your cost-per-click, the better for your business and the bigger its ROI. To do this, there are several actions you can take.

Here are some of the most effective ones. Make sure to take a look at them to see how you can use them on your business for better results and a lower CPC.

Keyword Research

As we mentioned, bidding on keywords that are not effective will result in a higher CPC, which will also increase the total cost of your campaign. It is indispensable to conduct keyword research to avoid that and use only keywords that effectively drive traffic to your ads.

This practice can bring numerous benefits, whether you’re creating product listing ads or promoting a service using only ad copy. The keyword research will tell you which words and terms will most likely make people click on your advertisement. Better keywords mean higher click-through rates and, consequently, higher revenue.

Change the Bidding Strategy

Another detail directly related to the performance of your campaign and its CPC is the chosen bidding strategy. As we mentioned, the advertiser can choose between numerous strategies when creating PPC ads for businesses, from sales increase to website traffic generation.

If you notice a low performance and an elevated CPC, it can be thanks to the settings selected when creating the campaign. We highly recommend choosing one of the automated strategies provided by the platform. They will evaluate the data provided and optimize your campaign in every aspect.

Why a Marketing Agency Is Important for Your Campaign

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There are several reasons why having a digital agency to create your PPC campaign is vital for the best results. By having professionals taking care of your PPC ad, you ensure the best chances of success and don’t need to worry about assigning this task to other team members, allowing the business to run at full capacity. Moreover, by having an agency on your side, you can easily discuss strategies based on what you want to achieve and what’s the best way to do that.

At GamerSEO, we have the best professionals on the market with years of experience. Whether you need simple keyword research or complete PPC campaign planning, we have exactly what you need to create the most effective strategy for your company.

Join the GamerSEO family, and together, we can create quality marketing aiming at your goals. A good marketing strategy is the first step to stay ahead in the competitive scenario.

Conclusion on PPC vs. CPC

image showing a comparison between CPC and PPC with illustrations showing the main objective of each one

No doubt, both CPC and PPC are vital parts of digital marketing. They complement each other, and keeping track of the cost-per-click is one of the most critical parts of measuring the success of your PPC campaign.

It is responsible for pointing out the necessary adjustments you should make and helps you understand the effectiveness of each aspect of the strategy. Whether you’re making a campaign to increase search volume or generate more revenue, the CPC will always be an important metric that you should look at.

To summarize, the PPC is the form of marketing used, while CPC is a metric directly attached to it. What you will do with both of them will depend on the goal you want to achieve.

Now, it’s time for you to start planning your next PPC campaign. Make sure to analyze all aspects of your strategy and keep a look at the cost-per-click to ensure the best results for your business.

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