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What is your Cost–Per-Click?

Improving your Metrics

There are a variety of important metrics to consider when optimizing your paid search campaign, each with its own meaning and optimization techniques. One paid search metric that is often highlighted over everything else is the Cost-Per-Click metric, or CPC. Perhaps because it directly correlates to the dollar amount spent on each keyword, CPC is often looked at as one of the most important factors in a paid search campaign, and as a result, CPC improvement is highly important to paid-search managers.

When you find yourself obsessing over your CPC, keep these following components in mind and you should be driving down that CPC in no time! 

​​1. Structure: 

How is your campaign organized? Do your ad groups contain keywords that follow a similar pattern or have similar root words? If not, make sure they do. How many keywords are in your ad groups? More than 15 or 20? Split them into more focused groups. Always make sure each ad group is as closely related as it can be

Ex. 1: Take these two groups of keywords.

Group #1

  • The Overhead Door Company
  • Aluminum Garage Doors
  • ​Garage Openers
  • Garage Doors
  • Garage Experts 

Group #2 

  • ​Overhead Door Company 
  • Overhead Door 
  • The Overhead Door
  • The Overhead Door Company 
  • Overhead Door

​​​While group #1 does follow the keywords within the garage door industry, they are completely different from each other. One is a brand term, two are product terms, one is a board generic term and the last one is a service term. They’re too broad and don’t match each other well. They should be their own separate ad groups.  

Group #2 is a tightknit group of similar brand terms. The user may use a different variation of the term but they are generally looking for the same thing. Keeping the terms in each ad group that similar will have a great impact on your CPC. Try your best to get something similar to group #2, not group #1​. 

2. Ads: 

What does your ad copy look like? Are you using keywords in the headline? Are you using dynamic keyword insertions? What about ad extensions? Your ads should be as closely tied to the keywords within their ad groups as they possibly can be. They should also answer the question the searcher is asking with their search terms.​ 

Ex. 2: Take the second group from example #1. 

  • ​Overhead Door Company 
  • Overhead Door 
  • The Overhead Door
  • The Overhead Door Company 
  • Overhead Door

When writing a headline for group #2 you could write...

The Overhead Door Company - Your Experts in Garage Door Service


Garage Doors in Your Area - Experts Near You


While each ad is a good indication of what you have to offer, the bottom ad isn't giving the user what they searched for, it doesn't include any of their search term at all. Keeping your ads as closely related to your keywords will please both searchers and search engines, improving both CPC and click-through rate.​ 

3. Landing Pages: 

When a user clicks through your ad onto the landing page, is it giving them what they want? Is it the final destination or do they have to keep searching once they’ve clicked through? What about the copy? Does it match your keywords or at least the intent of the keywords? Make sure your landing page is the final destination and is as relevant to the keywords as it is to the ads. You don’t want a generic landing page that doesn’t fulfill the needs of the searcher. This not only hurts your CPC, but your click-through rate as well. 

4. Competition: ​

How is the competition on the keywords your bidding for? Are your keywords considered high, medium or low competition? (Competition can be located in the Keyword Planner of Google AdWords) If the competition is just too high and expensive and you’re struggling to even appear on the first page, consider removing it. It’s only eating spend that could be used on less expensive, higher producing keywords. Don’t try to force your way into an auction you can’t compete in, it will only waste precious media budget. ​

5. Bids: 

What do you have your max bid set at on your ad groups – your individual keywords? Google won't go much higher than those maxes, set your max bids at a level you're comfortable with, don't over extend just to get higher placement. It's only increasing your CPC and wasting your budget. 

6. Match Types: 

Are your match types broad matches? Phrase matches? Exact matches? The more exclusive the match type the better your CPC. If your CPC is just too high, you may have to sacrifice impressions for cost. 

While this might seem like a lot to consider, the time spend driving down your average cost-per click allows for a more evenly distributed budget, giving you more clicks and more opportunities to convert those clicks to leads. 

 Published August 14, 2017

Here are some tips to improve your cost-per-click from ER Marketing​.