CPC vs PPC. What’s the Obvious Difference?

Whether you’re new to Internet marketing or a seasoned expert, chances are you’ve heard about PPC marketing.

PPC is a model for Internet advertising that is used to increase the number of visitors and views that a website receives.

If you want to try launching a PPC advertising campaign, it is important that you learn the basics and the most common terminology. Let’s find out more about PPC as well as the difference between CPC and PPC.



CPC and PPC are terms that are used interchangeably. However, there is a distinction when it comes to CPC vs PPC.

PPC is a type of advertising program. On the other hand, CPC means cost-per-click.

CPC refers to the fee that an advertiser is paying for each click within a PPC advertising program. While PPC is an approach to advertising, CPC is a performance metric. PPC and CPC are very related, but not the same.

Let’s take them one by one, shall we?


PPC = Pay per Click

Pay-per-click (PPC) refers to a form of Internet marketing where advertisers pay a certain amount of money each time an Internet user clicks on their advertisement. PPC allows website owners to purchase visits to their website instead of relying on organic traffic.

One of the most common forms of PPC is search engine advertising, which is when advertisers pay for the placement of their ad on a search engine’s results page.

For example, if you search the keyword “buying a car”, you will probably see ads for car dealerships show up in the search engine’s sponsored links.

The first few results after a Google search are usually the sponsored links. These sponsored results will have a small box with the word “Ad” in the corner.

PPC Google Ads

The goal of PPC for advertisers is to make a profit by paying less for the visit than the amount it is worth. For example, an advertiser will make a profit if they pay $0.50 for a click that leads to a $100 sale. Of course, it is important to keep in mind that not every click will result in a conversion.


CPC = Cost per Click

Cost-per-click (CPC) refers to the amount of money advertisers pay for each click on one of their PPC ads. The CPC is the fee that platforms like Google Adwords and Bing Ads charge advertisers.

There are several factors that determine the CPC. These factors include the maximum bid, the ad text, the keywords, and the landing page.

The maximum bid is the highest amount that an advertiser believes a click is worth. If you’re not sure what to set as the maximum CPC, it is a good practice to select $1 in AdWords, according to Google.

The average CPC varies depending on the type of business, the industry, and the networks on which you are advertising. In general, the average CPC will be the highest for the most competitive industries. The industries with higher-priced conversions also tend to have a higher average CPC. Some examples of such industries include enterprise software, law, and finance.

It is important that you pay close attention to the CPC. If the CPC is $0.50, for example, you will end up paying $50 after 100 clicks on your PPC ad. A CPC that is too high will hinder your ability to achieve a decent return on investment (ROI).


Types of PPC Campaigns

There are three major types of PPC campaigns:

  • branded campaigns;
  • remarketing campaigns, and
  • offer-based campaigns.


This section will describe the different types of PPC campaigns in detail so that you can have a better idea regarding what type of campaign might better fit your business and products.

The branded campaign involves bidding on a keyword that is branded. Advertisers run branded campaigns to make sure their company’s website ranks in the first few results when an Internet user searches the company name.

For example, if the company name is “Polaris Food”, the branded campaign would target this keyword as well as variations of this keyword.

A remarketing campaign allows advertisers to show ads to users who have already visited their website.

For example, if you browse the selection of an online clothing store and add items to your shopping cart, and then leave the website, you may start seeing advertisements for the online clothing store or the items you left in the cart.

Remarketing campaigns involve tagging visitors to a website and then displaying relevant ads on different websites and apps. The main advantage of remarketing campaigns is increased brand exposure and higher conversion rates. Here are a few strategies vetted by Google itself for better converting remarketing campaigns.

Offer-based campaigns involve featuring a specific offer. The goal of these campaigns is to expand the target audience of a company and draw new prospective customers into the funnel.

There are top-of-funnel (ToFu) PPC campaigns and middle-of-funnel (MoFu) PPC campaigns. In general, ToFu PPC campaigns are more versatile while MoFu PPC campaigns are best during periods of peak sales.



Wrapping up, PPC campaigns are very popular among Internet marketers, and for good reason. In 2017, about 7 million advertisers spent $10 billion on PPC ads. A PPC campaign has the potential to raise brand awareness by up to 80 percent and the majority of marketers believe PPC is beneficial for business.

If you’re starting your first PPC campaign, don’t just spray and pray, hoping that you’ll get a positive ROI immediately. Instead, test and iterate on your winning ads. It is important to do thorough keyword research and have an organized and local structure. You should also evaluate the performance of your PPC campaign from time to time and make adjustments as you deem necessary.

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