Understanding Keyword Tool CPC using 7 Different Products and Auction Bidding

Google Ads Keyword Planner (previously known as Adwords) has changed the way CPC metric is shown. A commercial keyword tool CPC is more easy metric to understand in context of other parameters. In addition to cost-per-click, tools show competition, search volume, keyword difficulty, trends, auction bids, suggestions and many other things.

This can help you understand on how advertisers are bidding on various keywords. To get the right ROI, you can use these phrase, LSI, related keywords as topics or semantic words for your next posts. A keyword with high CPC and low competition is always a good phrase to include in your content marketing strategy.

google ads keyword planner new interface cpc

This is the new interface of Google Ads Keyword Planner where CPC is shown as range of low and high

keyword planner old interface suggested bid

You can reach the old interface of Google Ads Keywords to view a more exact CPC in the form of “suggested bid”.

The low and high range of top of page bid are shown, if you don’t have any budget in Google Ads.

Also if you are using the old interface of that keyword tool, the CPC is shown as “suggested bid”.


A keyword tool like this may spit out CPC metric as part of its SEO analysis. For example, under the SEO Dashboard > Keyword Research > Keyword Overview, if you enter the keyword “high cpc keywords list” in the search box, you can see the “Related keywords”. There a CPC column is there which displays all the related phrase information with metric like volume, competition, trend, serp etc.

semrush keyword tool phrase words cpc

LSI graph

This is another semantic keyword research tool which shows CPC information. If you enter same word as earlier into this tool, you will get LSI keywords. This tool also displays CPC information and seo metrics like trend, competition, lsv etc. You can also see the top performing content based on social media shares.

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lsi graph premium cpc keyword features


It is another SERP analysis tool, which will compare the top 10 search results for your parent keyword. This will display the CPC of the original keyword you entered and you can add the remaining related words given by the tool to track as a project. It will show you the CPC, volume, competition and trend for that particular main keyword only.


This has a Keywords Explorer tool. When you enter a list of keywords in the search box, it will display the overview information. When you click on “Phrase match” on the left-hand side, you can see data like keyword, KD, cpc, volume, clicks, CPS, RR, parent topic etc. You can sort the keywords based on CPC in ascending or descending order.

ahrefs keyword tool cpc seo metrics


It is another keyword tool acquired by Neil Patel which shows the CPC of keywords. It is a freemium tool, where some features are free and some need consultation. To get keyword ideas, enter the seed keyword. In the data thrown, you can find metrics like keyword, vol, CPC, PD, SD etc. Most of the times this tool shows less data as I think it’s database is not populated yet.

ubersuggest tool cpc related keywords


It has both free and pro versions. With the free version you can find only related keywords. But if you want additional data like cpc, monthly search volume, api access, copy keywords to clipboard, 20,000 keywords per seed you need to buy the pro version for $49/month. This tool gives out long tail keywords for different brands like google, youtube, amazon, bing, yandex, Wikipedia and many others.

keyword.io tool cpc features pro free plans

What is CPC according to Google Adwords?

For SEO beginners and bloggers, who don’t understand the word CPC, it stands for Cost per click. Though it is a generic term, it is talked in context of Google, as it is the major player in the search engine advertising industry.

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You are shown some ads at the top, bottom and side when you type some query in Google. Advertisers who are interested to show their products, services in Google display their ads. When there are more than one advertiser for a particular keyword, auction or bidding is done as per algorithm.

So if any visitor to the search engine clicks the ad and performs the intended action of the advertiser, the advertiser is deducted some amount and paid to Google ad platform.

This is called as cost per click (CPC).

Though many keyword tools show CPC values, most of the data is from Google Ads (also known as Adwords). But some tools have their own mechanism of calculating the advertisers CPC and display a different value than shown in the Keyword Planner or Adwords tool.

Deep dive into Google Ads CPC and its Inner Meaning

There are two terms related to CPC. 1. Actual cost-per-click.  2. Maximum cost-per-click.

The first one is the final amount you (the advertiser) is charged for the click. This is generally less than the max. CPC. According to Google Ads auction, most of the times you pay for what is minimal required to rank for your ad position. This includes the ad formats like sitelinks etc. But sometimes, the actual CPC may exceed the max. CPC you have bid, when you have enabled “Enhanced CPC” in your bidding strategy.

To understand further on how keyword tool CPC works, your knowledge of Ad rank is necessary. Google takes into consideration different factors when deciding the position of your ad like auction time ad quality which includes expected click-through-rate (CTR), landing page experience, CPC bid, context of person’s search and other ad formats etc.

A typical example on how the CPC works on ad-positioning can be seen here.


  • Assume five advertisers are competing for a maximum of four ad positions above search results on the Google search results page. The respective Ad Rank of each of the advertisers is, say, 80, 50, 30, 10, and 5.

  • If the minimum Ad Rank necessary to show above the search results is, say, 40, only the first two advertisers (with Ad Ranks of 80 and 50) exceed the minimum and show above the search results. The advertiser with the Ad Rank of 80 pays just enough (Ex: rounded up to the nearest billable unit, which in the U.S. is $0.01) to beat the advertiser with the Ad Rank of 50. Since there’s no other eligible competition, the advertiser with the Ad Rank of 50 pays just enough to beat the minimum Ad Rank of 40.

  • If the minimum Ad Rank necessary to show below the search results is 8, then two of the three remaining advertisers (with Ad Ranks of 30 and 10) will show beneath the search results. The advertiser with an Ad Rank of 30 will appear in the first position beneath the search results, and will pay just enough to beat the advertiser with an Ad Rank of 10. An advertiser with Ad Rank of 10 will show beneath that advertiser, and will pay just enough to beat the minimum Ad Rank of 8. The advertiser with an Ad Rank of 5 didn’t meet the minimum Ad Rank and so won’t show at all.

Source: support.google.com

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To better understand keyword tool CPC, you first have to try some campaigns using Google Ads. Then you will know the exact CPC you are being charged for your keyword.

This when compared to the different CPC values shown in different SEO tools. This will give a fair amount of indication of what other keywords you should start bidding.

Tools like SEMrush have advertising tools also where you can see the typical ads of your competitors also. This is useful information while framing ads for your next campaign of keywords.

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