Cost Per Click (CPC)

Date created: Oct 12, 2022  •   Last updated: Mar 26, 2024

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.

Cost Per Click Formula

How to calculate Cost Per Click

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.

Start tracking your Cost Per Click data

Use Klipfolio PowerMetrics, our free analytics tool, to monitor your data. Choose one of the following available services to start tracking your Cost Per Click instantly.

Klipfolio dashboard image

What is a good Cost Per Click benchmark?

The global average Cost Per Click is $2.69 for search and $0.63 for display advertising, while the average Facebook Ads CPC is $1.72.

Cost Per Click benchmarks

Average Facebook Ads Cost per Click by Industry

klipfolio imageklipfolio image
WordStream, 2020

Cost Per Click (Search) by Industry

klipfolio imageklipfolio image
WordStream, Aug 2019

Cost Per Click (Display) by Industry

klipfolio imageklipfolio image
WordStream, Aug 2019
arrow-right icon
arrow-right icon

How to visualize Cost Per Click?

There are a couple ways you can visualize your CPC data. Use a bar chart to segment your CPC by campaign. You can also use a summary chart to compare your current CPC with a previous time period.

Cost Per Click visualization examples

Cost Per Click

Bar Chart

Here's an example of how to visualize your Cost Per Click data in a bar chart to observe segmented data.

Cost Per Click


arrow-right icon


vs previous period

Summary Chart

Here's an example of how to visualize your current Cost Per Click data in comparison to a previous time period or date range.
arrow-right icon
arrow-right icon

Cost Per Click


Measuring Cost Per Click

More about Cost Per Click

The term Cost Per Click (CPC) is often used interchangeably with Pay-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).

Recommended resources related to Cost Per Click

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

Metric Toolkit