Blogging Guides

The Ultimate AdSense CPC Guide: Real Concepts Revealed

Written by Iftekhar Ahmed

How can I increase my AdSense CPC and Why am I not getting good CPC are 2 of the most common questions that every blogger asks. Even while searching keywords, bloggers usually look for high search volume + high CPC (cost per click).

But…

Once they start getting traffic, they realize that the CPC is not what they expected. In fact, it happens to be much lower than what they had researched earlier.

It won’t be surprising if it happened with you as well. 🙂

So where is the mistake being made??

Does Google Provide incorrect CPC data to us?

What do you think??

Well, all such questions will be answered in this article…..

(And yes, Google doesn’t provide incorrect data)

Keyword Planner is not the only Tool in Adwords, there’s one more!

So, where does a blogger fail in his/her research?

This is a very simple concept that I can simply write in 2 lines, but I prefer to show in detail about how it all works and how a blogger can get an estimate of the REAL CPC he/she may get on his blog or Youtube Channel.

Hmm, so you must be knowing Google AdWords is an Ad network by Google for Advertisers. Advertisers can use AdWords to show ads on different mediums and locations like Search pages, websites, youtube videos, Gmail etc.

A lot of options are available for an advertiser on AdWords, and this helps an advertiser target their desired audience in a much better manner.

However, the good thing is we bloggers can also use the tools made for advertisers. One such tool is the very famous “Google Keyword Planner”.

Almost every blogger uses this to find keywords with its search volume and CPC. Moreover, every freakin’ tool uses its API to show data 😛

Right???

However, that CPC is not an exact rate, it’s a suggested bid but still, most of the bloggers and tools usually use that measure to identify and measure a keyword’s CPC rate.

Oh My !!! THIS IS THE BIGGEST MISTAKE… 

Keyword Planner tool is a good only to find the search volume for any particular keyword in any location and in any particular month or year.

But it’s (keyword planner) not at all a tool to get an estimate of CPC.

Why so??

Let me explain it in a simple manner.

Do you know that AdWords has 2 Different Tools for Advertisers?

I bet most of you don’t !!!

Well…

One is Google Keyword Planner and other is Display Planner.

Yes, 2 different tools and I am pretty sure that almost every blogger only knows about Keyword Planner and have no idea about the other.

Well, both keyword planner and display planner are for advertisers but since we usually require keyword data and CPC stats, it’s good to know and understand both the tools.

Also, These 2 tools will help you understand the concepts of CPC and all others terms. 

Hmm, so before I begin, do you know what are Search ads and what are display ads??

Understanding Google Search Ads and Display Ads

Well, search ads are those that gets displayed on Search Engines result pages (SERP). The one’s that gets displayed on top of search results and at the bottom of search results.

An example of search ads can be shown below:

And now, what are AdSense display ads ??

Well, they are the ones that get displayed in the form of banners or other multimedia elements on publisher websites/blogs or Youtube videos.

Example (Highlighted are display ads)

So Advertisers have 2 options (in fact more, including Gmail ads), either they can go for search ads or they can go for display ads.

The difference between Display Planner and Keyword Planner?

When it comes to finding/understanding the keywords or to know the suggested bids for a keyword or a set of keyword ideas, Advertisers can use either Display planner or keyword planner.

The difference is;

Keyword Planner is used by advertisers to analyze data for Search ads while Display Planner is used to analyze data for display ads.

Let’s dig into it…

Understanding Keyword Planner 

On keyword planner, an advertiser can see any keyword’s monthly searches along with an estimated bid (CPC). The advertiser is also offered with 100s of other related keywords with their search volume and CPC data (suggested bid).

Ideally, the advertiser picks the best keywords based on his/her product or audience and then runs the ads.

The advertiser is charged for every click that he gets on the ad displayed on the search page. The charge/CPC is based on the competition and bids.

This means that the suggested bid shown on keyword planner is  for search ads. It’s not at all directly related to the CPC of AdSense.

So, this is how search Ads work.

And As a blogger, it’s not important for you to understand the entire working of search ads.

Your topic of concern will be cleared once you read the next portion of this article.

But before that…

Let me ask you a question here, did you start sensing the mistake that a blogger usually makes??

Still, weird faces reading this line !!

Anyways, here’s the thing…

Advertisers not only runs search ads, they also go for display ads. Some advertisers run both, some just display and some just search ads. It’s all up to them, but the good thing is, Google AdWords has no shortage of advertisers. 😛

Understanding Display Planner (AdSense Ads)

The advertisers willing to run display ads usually use a tool display planner.

And just to clarify again, Display ads are the AdSense Ads that gets served on your website or blog or Youtube Channel. 

Display Planner is also a tool that helps the advertisers find keywords related to their main keyword. Apart from this, an advertiser can also view data like websites/blogs/Youtube Channel URLs where he can display the ads, the placements available on sites and so on….

And these URLs are the AdSense publisher sites or the publisher Youtube channels !!!

ahaaa…. Boom… Your mind explodes with ideas now 😛

Waitttttttt, don’t just close my article 😛 do read it till the end….

Since I have talked about Display Planner, let me show you the options an advertiser is offered.

So the advertiser first has the options to search keywords that he/she wants to target. Apart from that, an advertiser can also change the bid type and the size of the ads.

An advertiser can simply uncheck all the ad sizes that he doesn’t want to use.

While reading this do keep in mind about the settings and options you yourself have as an AdSense Publisher.

After clicking on the “Get ad group ideas” button, here’s what an advertiser usually sees.

As you can see that the total available inventory for my searched keyword “blogging tools” is shown as 10+ Billion impressions and 1-5 Billion Cookies.

Understand the fact that these are not the searches for the keyword, instead, this is approximate of the total traffic impressions of the blogs with “Blogging tools” related keywords. (Weekly results are shown in snapshot)

You must also be knowing that AdSense shows ads to a visitor based on his interests, and this data is collected by Google (AdSense) through a user’s browsing history and cookies. So the cookies available in the inventory suggests that thing.

Well, this isn’t it.

The advertisers have a lot more to analyze and pick.

An advertiser can not only see the traffic and impressions data, but he can also view all the sites and Youtube Channels that are available for their target keyword.

They can also see the ads that a particular website allows and based on that they can filter out the sites or channels which don’t meet their requirements.

This snapshot will explain it better;

As you can see, the advertiser can see every detail of a site including the available placements and a rough estimate of CPC.

There’s a special metric called relevance that tells the advertiser about how relevant a particular site is for a given keyword (or a set of keywords). Good Advertisers make use of this metric to target only those sites that they feel are most relevant to their keyword.

Furthermore, advertisers even have the option to click on any site name and look more about its details.

Have a look below;

In the snapshot, I clicked on the site, topmommyblogs.com and I (as an advertiser) can now see the total impressions this blog gets along with all the demographic stats.

Same is with Youtube Channels, an advertiser can search for any keyword and look for the channels list. He/She can then check relevancy and other stats before picking up a channel for advertising.

 

This clearly shows that an advertiser has full power to select a site or a channel to show his ads.

Which means an advertiser has access to data of AdSense publishers.

They can easily identify the stats and see if their ad is worth displaying on your site or not.

A good advertiser never burns money on sites where his ads will not be relevant. 

Clear???

My whole point here was not to explain the working of Display Planner, rather I wanted you as a blogger or a YouTuber to understand the advertising process from an advertisers view.

Let’s move on to the next part !!

How does this effect the CPC of a Blog or Youtube Channel?

First of all, let me show you an example…

A blogger usually searches keyword volume and CPC (in the form of bid suggestion) on keyword planner, right !!

So here’s a keyword planner search for the term “Apply Personal Loan” (I chose this term randomly) 

So the keyword has around 1000-10000 Monthly Searches (1300 Exact Volume) and it is suggesting a BID of  Rs. 163 ($2.5).

As a blogger, most of us here would think of this as a good CPC since most of us usually consider the bid as an approximate measure of CPC.

Right??

But, here’s the thing…. (See Snapshot)

I did the exact search on Display Planner and guess what, advertisers can run campaigns on “Apply Personal loan” keyword for a CPC of Rs 0-50 ($0-0.78)

Yo boy!!! What say?? 😛

Both the suggested bid (of keyword planner) and CPC (of display planner) are approximate but you can clearly see the difference.

Since I already have captured your attention, let’s see another example. 

Let’s pick a Classic keyword, a keyword that most of us feel will give us a CPC of 50$ 😛

Yup !!! You guessed it right…

I am talking about “Mesothelioma” !!!

You will laugh at the stats 😛

Keyword Planner shows a Bid of Rs 5345 ($82). But this is for search ads.

Have a look at the Approx CPC for display ads…

Haha, somewhere between Rs 50-300 ($0 to $5)

An Advertiser can literally analyze this data and run display ads for mesothelioma keyword for less than $5.

Quite funny, right?? Most of the bloggers just keep on researching keyword planner for CPC ideas whereas they must be looking for the stats at display planner.

I feel so satisfied after sharing this, coz I got so many messages from people who made blog posts (or eve complete blogs) about “mesothelioma” and got low CPC.

Anyways.. Moving on.

How to Get High AdSense CPC on a Blog or Youtube Channel?

So ultimately after understanding all the theories, the last question that arises is how to get high CPC on a blog or video. 

The best way that I found is, Keep your blog relevant to a single niche and deliver quality. 

Why??

Well, Advertisers are shown a good amount of data about your Blog, audience, and traffic. Not only this, whenever an advertiser searches for a keyword to run display ads, he is suggested sites/channels by the tool on the basis of relevancy. Your blog or channel will be relevant to their keyword only if your blog is around that keyword. Otherwise, your blog will never get their attention. And believe me, all big and high-spending advertisers take a lot of care when it comes to targeting and setting up their ads. Every data is meaningful to them. 🙂

Just for an example, if an advertiser is looking to run display ads on “mesothelioma” related keywords, then he can use display planner to get a list of channels and websites that he can add in his ad group for advertising.

Ideally, an advertiser would add only those sites that have all audience or most of the audience targeted to mesothelioma keyword. An Advertiser would not simply add all sites that are related to law. A good advertiser will always be specific. 

Plus the relevancy metric shown in display planner proves out to be a good tool for them to decide their target sites and youtube channels.

That’s the whole point !! 

As a blogger, you will understand only if you also think from an advertisers perspective. After all, they are not on AdWords to waste their money, they also have specific targets and budgets that they are required to meet in order to run a profitable campaign.

You might have also noticed that a multi-niche blog usually gets low CPC as compared to a keyword targeted blog, well the reason might be same. A multi niche blog proves out to be less relevant for most of the advertisers who are looking for targeted traffic and as a result, there are less competing advertisers on such sites.

Lastly, notice that AdSense has a vast number of publishers in the form of bloggers and YouTubers and as a result, the advertisers can always find the space to run ads at lesser rates due to a huge number of possible placement options available to them. 

So, my word for getting high CPC would be to keep your site updated with quality and relevant content. (Though I will be preparing a full guide on it). Till then you can refer to the Beginners guide to increase Adsense CPC.

Hmm, that’s it folks !!

Got the entire concept of CPC?? I hope you did !! Let’s share this so that I can get social signals and this post starts rannking for terms that hardly anyone searches. 😛 (Just joking, but yes I do need a share.)

 

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About the author

Iftekhar Ahmed

Iftekhar Ahmed is the owner of iftiSEO.com and writes on various topics like Online Earning, SEO, Blogging etc. He has worked on many blogs and also works as an SEO Analyst.

68 Comments

  • Seriously bro, this post blown my mind ;_; I never knew that there is another tool called “Display Planner” Thank you so much for opening my eyes 😀 <3

  • another mind blowing idea, this will help not only publisher to get something special but also advertiser to take advantage of display planner.

  • Hey Iftekhar,

    That was really an informative article, mate.

    By-the-way, I am using Google Keyword Planner since a long time for my keyword research but now as they have started showing ranges instead of a number for volume, is there any way/trick to get the exact volume in Google keyword planner?

    Cheers,
    Nik

  • Really, you are the champ. I read all the details and now, came to know that “How to get good cpc on a niche blog”. Thanks, You always shared masterpiece… 🙂

  • Hey Iftekhar Ahmed
    i read your whole article and found awesome stuff, and reading many new things about Google adsense CPC
    Thank you for sharing
    but i want to know if my pillar keyword have very low CPC, and i can’t put any other keyword who have high CPC , then what i do?
    i am waiting for your reply
    Thank you

  • This post will definitely get maximum shares.

    Very precise and informative articles.

    Removed all myths from my mind.

    Thanks ifti.

  • can we use display planner like keyword planner,thanks bro

    why all pro-bloggers are not using adsense on thier branded sites,you are one in this category ?

  • Amazing Buddy. Full informative & you have got good skills to not divert any readers mind, keeping them engaged!! Thanks for this Masterpiece.

  • That was worth reading!
    Each time you share something extraordinary!
    Now I understood the whole game of CPC.

    Thanks!

  • Wow Great Sharing brother,
    This is very Useful Post and Well Explain But Your Writing Style So Cute 😛
    Appreciate for The Share!

  • This guide is awesome. I am sure everyone will start using Display planner along with keyword planner. I wonder why didn’t anyone else didn’t mention this tool till now…

  • This is a really a great post bro. I was just looking for this type of information from few days.

    Thanks for sharing ?

  • Thank you Iftekhar bro. So far I don’t anything about display planner. But now i have learned a new thing 🙂

  • Yeah , Keyword planner is for Keyword related searches , its High CPC because most of the times the user is looking to buy some product to solve his/her problem .
    I have been using Adwords and Display Planner is the main tool , I use for showing Ads on Websites that match my niche and also specifically to youtube channels or even single videos … Adwords charges less price for display ads than search results … its same for any search engine

  • One question ifti Bhai, Do Adsense Placement also affect CPC? And Why CPC on LINK ADS are much higher than banner ads?

  • Amazing, Now I really understand the concept of CPC. It is one of the best guide on CPC. Thanks for great article, loved a lot 🙂

  • Very useful article. Before reading your article I just knew about keyword planner. Thanks for introducing Display Planner to all the blogger like me.

  • Hii Iftekhar,

    This is a really amazing article. The actual truth is very few people is/was aware of the difference between “Keyword Planner” and “Display Planner”.

    Thanks for showing the proof.

    Just loved it.

  • I was unaware about display planner. Now its totally clear that how cpc varies. Thanks Iftekhar for providing this valuable information.

  • Know something unique first time but Little confused multiniche site get low cpc. If we talk about some big sites they are also multiniche

  • Amazing Article,never knew about display planner. After reading your article i came to know about display planner.

    Thank you so much for sharing articles.

    Waiting for next post.

  • As a digital marketer, I knew this already, but don’t have any idea about blogging. Now I am feeling like a genius.

    Now eagerly waiting for the next post.

  • Weird Observation, The CPC keeps moving up and down for the same keyword in Display Planner. Why does that happens?
    For example ‘ xyz ‘ with ‘ abc.com ‘ as landing page shows CPC Rs. 100-150 and ‘ xyz ‘ with ‘ pqr.com ‘ as landing page shows CPC Rs. 0-50

  • Hi Ifti bro,

    I’m shocked, I never used Display Planner before. This thing is just wow, and thanks for opening my eyes!

    Keep up your interesting way of writing these guides! 😀

  • Really such a awesome article
    Every blogger should read this and share this post.
    Thanks I will follow you

  • Thanks Ifti for your words, It’s enhanced my knowledge. On other hand slightly inspired to get the traffic on “mesothelioma” LOL..

    Anyways I have also observed multi niche get low CPC cause of different articles based ads, also observed that number of advert is also matter in CPC along with the country based traffic today I got 0.22$ CPC from Italy and 0.15$ from USA and have mostly traffic from USA.

    This is really amazing to readout you, by the way your event blogging case study is also appreciable 🙂

  • Txns for the 3rd last paragraph. I was having a multi niche blog and it’s CPC was too low now I got the point. Also this complete article was awesome

  • That’s just exceptional, buddy! 🙂
    First, I started believing in KwPlanner data and that surprised me!
    Later, I used to try multiple tools to get CPC details and then I took an average of them, it worked better for me. 😀
    Thanks for the comprehensive guide!
    ~ Ahmad

  • Really I don’t know what is display planner is untill I read your post. Iam using keyword planner to write articles I thought that is enough to get good cpc but today I realized that.☹️

  • I’ve recently started a blog, the info you provide on this blog
    helped me greatly. Thank you for all of your time & work.

  • nowadays my adsense cpc is very low. thanx for sharing valuable information. Your good knowledge and kindness in playing with all the pieces were very useful.

  • That’s a great article about keyword research… It will help many newbies who were just using Keyword plannerfor CPC.

  • I am using this Google Adwords from last many years but never used the Display Planner 😛 At least now I come to know what it is all about and how important it is just like the keyword planner. Again learn something from this blog. Thanks, mate 🙂

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