AdSense Tips: Low CPC (Cost Per Click) Reasons and Solutions

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 rate can kill your blog!
Low AdSense CPC can kill your blog!

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.

Keywords

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.

Bid Amount

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.

These tips will help you using Google AdSense in much smarter way.
Placement of Ads

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

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.

Timing

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.

Geographical Targeting

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.

Placement Targeting

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!

47 thoughts on “AdSense Tips: Low CPC (Cost Per Click) Reasons and Solutions”

  1. Thanks for this insight, I think I have forced text and also placed the ads at the lowest part of the site but with this information, I do know where to make changes. Thanks

  2. Really Really Thanks Lalit Kumar
    The article is awesome the research is great
    My website most of visitors belongs to Gulf countries I am facing the issue of low cpc from starting of this new year..In dec the cpc is whooping high..Now i understand how sessions were also effecting cpc
    The first and newest thing i get from your awesome article

  3. Thanks for sharing such a great article dude. :) I have one question left in my mind, is it safe to block ad categories ? As many people are saying it wont effect your CPC. :(

    1. Hi Karmpal, I don’t believe blocking certain ad categories will improve your CPC. You may think about blocking only those ads that do not gel with your content. For example, if you’re writing about vegetarianism -then you might want to block ads from non-vegetarian outlets like KFC.

  4. Hi Lalit,

    Great article and have lot to increase a knowledge of newbie like me. :P

    Just have few question and would like to connect with you to discuss further. If you don’t mind, can we connect.

  5. Hi,
    I just wanted to know how much stuff i have to add to my website to achieve a minimum of 10 to 20 cents per click, at least. Also if u can tell what keywords i should focus on.

  6. I am a Hindi blogger. My February to March 2016 CPC is 0.10$ . But now in April CPC is 0.05$. How to solve?

    1. There is nothing to solve in it. CPC varies from time to time. You should look into the problem if your CPC falls over a period of several months (e.g. six months or more)

  7. Hi I am learning a lot with your blog! Can you please check my blog and tell me how to improve the AdSense ads, maybe the placement? my ctr most of the time is low 1% or less, and other question you say that search organic is better for AdSense maybe to get high cpc, to get that a backlinks work is necessary and write good content almost every day?

  8. I’ve got even lower CPC (it’s in euros, but more or less the same as $), e.g. yesterday:

    Page views: 7,487
    Clicks: 301
    Earnings: €1.97

    That means less than 1 cent per click!
    How is that possible?
    Thanks

    1. If Google deems a click as invalid, it will not pay you for that click. So, if you have higher number of clicks —it does not always mean that you will earn proportionately. Actually, earning only about 2 dollars for 300 clicks should worry you. You need to ensure that you’re not violating any Google AdSense policy. Such violation could be marking clicks as invalid.

    1. Roxy, 1670 AdSense views are too little to make any money. Focus on producing more and better content.

  9. Hello , i am mahesh i am posting art ( drawing & painting speed up videos ) videos on my youtube channel..daily iam getting 600 to 800 clicks per day…my CPC is between $0.03 to $0.05 …is it ok for art channel..? Please help me ..how to increase my cpc…i am confused… Atleast i expecting $0.10 to $0.20 enough :)
    Thank you :)

    1. Mahesh, we can not really do much about increasing CPC. It is automatically decided by Google. Type of content, quality of content and overall trust in your YouTube channel are big determining factors in the CPC you get. So, the best this you can do to increase your CPC is to keep on producing good and useful content. With time, CPC will improve (I am saying this from my experience!)

    1. There is no such tool available. It is not actually possible to find out which advertiser if paying how much. But if you really want to, you can restrict low paying niches. That would restrict the entire category of advertisers irrespective of how much CPC they will offer. I visited your blog. And my suggestion would be not to indulge in these niche blocking tactics. Just focus on writing interesting and useful stuff. You’ll do fine.

  10. I just want to know whether posting so many links everyday on social networking sites would put my blog in danger? Because i get traffic from facebook pages.

    1. Hi Nitin, rest assured. There is no real danger in putting links on Social Media channels and getting traffic from there. Keep blogging good stuff!

    1. You can not really detect that. But some of the advertisers like Google, Blogspot, network with religious messages often give low CPC ads. CPC is anyway lower in ads originating from Asian countries.

  11. With regard to ad types, I have tried every possible Adsense ad variation: text/image, image only, and text only. I finally settled on text ads because most of the image ads are totally irrelevant, which I spend way too much time blocking.

    Any opinion on why that is? Could it be that the image ads I see are not the same as the ones my visitors see?

    1. Jim: There is high probability that you and your visitors see different ads because AdSense ads are not only contextual but also depends on the interest of the visitor and his/her geographical location. Different people have different experience to share regarding text, image and text/image ads. In my opinion, it is indeed best to let Google decide which ads to display -because in that case Google will be able to show the highest CPC ad available. Also, image ads may increase your CTR.

  12. Practically, I don’t think Google will block your account (unless it detects that you are copying stuff)

    But copying content and putting it on your site will not take you anywhere anyway!

  13. Great Guide sir … salute u..:)
    Sir i was apply my blog for AdSense but they reject me for copyright materiel.After that i make new adsense acoount for youtube monetization. maybe YouTube monetization account is called hosted account.after that i add blogger to this hosted account.Now im using hosted adsense for blogger.Ads is show properly.Now problem was that can u tell me that goggle AdSense WILL PAY ME because im using AdSense on rejected site(for copyright metiral).

  14. I get low earnings on saturdays and sundays.
    You have mentioned that
    “Yes, advertisers tend to place low bids during the holidays and weekends”

    can you provide more information and some good source confirming this ?

  15. Hmmm! Have been wondering why 211 clicks from the month of September gave me less than $20. Now I get it.
    Thanks for the article.

  16. Thanks for the info. Couldn’t figure out why my one site has a CPC of $0.09 and the other has a CPC of $0.57. I guess I shouldn’t complain hearing about $0.03 CPC’s.

    1. Hi, DigitalBlacksmith,

      CPC depends on a lot of factors. Some of those I have described in this article. I guess, the art of increasing CPC lies in balancing the above given factors in a way so as to the outcome becomes the best.

    1. Hello Rekha,

      As I said the article, CPC also depends a lot on what you write about. If your content does not attract high CPC contextual ads -then you’ll have to make peace with low CPC. But then, if you’ll keep producing good content (on whatever subject), other factors will step in and they might increase your CPC.

      All the best!

  17. great explanation for those new to adsense, i have carefully read everything and i was most surprised about the seasonal theory behind cpc!
    thanks again

  18. Thanks for tips~~ I will try implement them, i AM FACING VERY LOW Cpc OR AROUND $ 0.14 . hOW MUCH IS AVERAGE?

    1. Himanshu, there no “average CPC”… everyone gets a CPC depending upon the factors listed above. But if you have to know, I would say, your CPC looks like average CPC in India.

  19. This article is definitely awesome. Get to know some more info regarding Adsense.

    Thanks for this one. Wd definitely love to get some more insights regarding adsense in future.

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