PPC vs CPC – How Are They Different?

The digital marketing industry is famous for loving acronyms and cryptic terms. While the jargon makes communication more effortless when you’re already an insider, it can be pretty confusing to literally anyone that doesn’t deal with the world of online advertising. However, in an effort to make marketing more understandable for small business owners and young entrepreneurs alike, we’ve been working on a post to help you learn more about two acronyms that are often used by marketers: CPC and PPC.

In this short blog post, we will give you the definition of each of these two acronyms, as well as how they differ from each other. Hopefully, after reading this article, you will feel more at ease when talking to your marketing experts.

Let’s get started.

What is PPC?

The acronym PPC stands for pay-per-click, and it’s an essential component of almost any marketing campaign. It can quickly become one of the top funnel leads when executed well. PPC campaigns tend to extend your brand’s overall reach as they expose it to a large audience. When active, PPC campaigns will allow for your company to be shown in search engine result pages based on specific phrases and keywords that your potential customer is searching for. However, you only pay for the ad when users click on it (this is where the term pay-per-click comes from), which pushes search engines to show it only to users who are likely to be interested.

If you want to see a PPC campaign in action, you can do so by conducting a quick Google search. If you type “new cars” on Google, you’ll see that the first few results that appear have a small box in the corner that tells you they’re ads – which means that they are a part of a well-executed PPC campaign.

What is CPC?

Once a PPC campaign has started, it’s vital to measure its ads’ practicality and relevance. That’s where CPC or cost-per-click comes into play, as CPC calculates the overall cost per click of your PPC ads.

Let’s say you paid $100 for a PPC ad, and it gets 100 clicks – this would mean you’re spending $1 per click. However, as you start to get more clicks than you aimed for, the CPC will begin to go lower – an indicator that an ad campaign has been successful.

PPC vs CPC – Completely Different

In some media outlets, you may notice the two acronyms being used interchangeably, and that’s wrong. The simplest way to explain the difference is by saying that PPC is the approach while CPC is a performance metric.

Essentially, CPC and PPC are the two sides of the same coin. PPC is a marketing channel or an approach, while CPC is the metric used to measure its performance. If you’re running a PPC campaign, you need to take a look at your CPC in order to measure how effective it is (meaning how many clicks turn into qualified leads). There are cases where it’s better to increase your cost-per-click, as it may help you get to a more qualified audience, or it may help you rank above your direct competition.

Key Takeaways

We can now safely conclude that PPC and CPC don’t mean the same thing. However, they’re tightly connected to one another. When talking about PPC, you’re discussing an entire marketing approach, while CPC is only the metric you use to measure how practical that approach is.

If the whole PPC vs CPC situation was confusing to you before reading this article, we hope to have helped you gain a better understanding of it. If you want to learn more about PPC advertising or about digital marketing as a whole, then you can continue reading our articles on the Camberlion blog.

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