If you use Google AdSense on your website, you must have battled the issue of low revenue from clicks your visitors make on the ads. Sometimes just one click can make you significant money and sometimes several clicks may fail to yield even half a dollar! And you keep on wondering why AdSense CPC is so low. CPC is the Cost Per Click, that is the revenue you earn from one click made by the visitor. There could be several other reasons behind low CPC including Google penalizing your blog or website by slapping a manual or algorithmic penalty.
Let's first look at some data regarding low CPC. If you are getting low CPC, you might identify with this data! We have collected this data from a randomly chosen seven client websites and we are presenting an average here.
Low CPC in January 2016
Most of the AdSense users usually begin January with a dropping CPC rate. All seven of the websites were affected with low CPC.
- Total websites: 7
- Total Pageviews: 2.1 million
- CPC: $0.11
- Impression RPM: $1.23
- Page RPM: $2.78
- CTR: 1.12%
Experts generally attribute low CPC in January to the low remaining budget after spending binge during holiday period of December.
Low CPC in February 2016
In February, only one the seven sample websites picked up and the pickup was really sharp. So, we decided to exclude this website from the following results to avoid skewed data.
- Total websites: 6
- Total Pageviews: 1.2 million
- CPC: $0.11
- Impression RPM: $1.29
- Page RPM: $2.62
- CTR: 1.23%
As you can see, average CPC remained same in February also. Many people believe that advertisers tend to spend less in the first quarter of the year because they have already utilized most of their budget in the last quarter of the previous year.
Low CPC in March 2016
The CPC of the excluded website dropped. So, we are giving here the average of all seven sample website.
- Total websites: 7
- Total Pageviews: 2.0 million
- CPC: $0.10
- Impression RPM: $1.39
- Page RPM: $2.99
- CTR: 1.37%
March is the last month of the financial year -therefore budget available for spending remains at its lowest. As we can see, CPC dropped significantly in the month of March.
Low CPC in April 2016
A hope for rise in CPC begins when April starts. It is the first month of the new financial year. So, advertisers have their fresh budget allocated for advertisements.
- Total Websites: 7
- Total Pageviews: 2.2 million
- CPC: $0.09
- Impression RPM: $1.14
- Page RPM: $2.23
- CTR: 1.22%
But hopes were smashed and the overall CPC dropped even further in April.
Now that we have some idea what we are dealing with, let us try to understand reasons behind low CPC.
You should analyze your AdSense control panel and you'll find the CPC rate for various the ad units you have got. Lets see what are points that determine CPC.
The first and foremost factor that determines CPC rate is keywords. Some keywords may bring you dollars and some will fetch just a few cents. For those who are not initiated, let me explain what are the keywords in this context. Well, keywords are the words and phrases which appear on your webpage which Google picks up and display ads based upon these keywords. For example, if you have written a review about the new camera you’ve bought –probably the most important keyword on that page will be “camera” and Google will try to show ads from camera manufacturers or other related businesses.
The second factor that affects CPC is how much money advertisers are paying for a keyword. Competition among advertisers grow as the number of advertisers willing to buy a keyword go up. Consequently the bid amount also tend to go up and you get high CPC.
Placement of ads is another important factor. If you’ve 5 ad spaces on your page –there is high probability that the ad with highest CPC will be served in the first space. The CPC decreases towards the bottom of the page. So, if clicks are coming from the 4th of five ad spaces –it is likely that you’ll get a low CPC.
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Ad types can also affect CPC. Some ad types perform better than others. The foundation of this argument is that Google wants to make money. So, it will invariably push ads with higher bids. Lets say the highest bidder has only an image based advertisement. Now, if you are forcing Google to show ONLY text ads in your space you’ll lose the ad with highest bid and will have to make do with the ads having lower bids. So, it is better to put fewer restrictions on your ad spaces.
One more little known factor is the season! Yes, advertisers tend to place low bids during the holidays and weekends. So, if your CPC is low during these times –don't worry, it’s just seasonal! Highest bids usually come during the work hours of the day and work days during the week.
Just like time, advertisers can also target certain geographical regions. This is something you don't have much control on. If the high bidders have chosen to show their ads only in, say, Europe and if most of your visitors are from Asia –it is unlikely that you’ll get good CPC.
Advertisers are also allowed to select ad spaces. For example, an advertiser might say something like “I want to show my ad ‘towards the top of the page’ ” –and if your page has ad placement only towards the bottom of the page –you might lose that advertiser.
These are some of the reasons why your website is attracting low AdSense CPC. Low CPC is a very significant cause of low Google AdSense revenue. If you have carefully read the article, by now you do have an understanig of how CPC is determined! Don’t you? :-)
All the best!