In short terms, you are charged for clicks – not impressions.
Let me give you some more context…
Impressions are the times that your ad has won a place in a Google search auction and is shown on the Google search results. This doesn’t just mean the top of the first page of results, but any of the ad positions on a page.
On average there are 3 Ads at the top of the page above the organic search results, and then there are 2-3 at the bottom of the page. This however does depend on the product or service being searched and the amount of business’s offering that product/service in that area at the time of the search.
An example: I am located in Queensland, and it is 10am in the morning and I am searching for someone selling sunscreen. This is going to be a dense marketing space, so there should be plenty of Ads on the search page. However, if I was searching for fleecy winter coats, I’m not likely going to have many ads showing.
When your ad is then clicked on, this will cost you money. The amount will depend on the auction and how many competitors were vying for the same keyword, in the same location, at the same time. It will also depend on the budget on your campaign and how much the maximum cost per click was set on that keyword or ad group.
There are many variables that go into how much a click can cost and I have barely scratched the surface. Ultimately Google want the flow from start to finish to be smooth and direct. From the moment someone loads onto the Google search page, puts in their search phrase, to the content of the ad and then finally to the landing page on the website. If they all contain the same information, or relevant information, then Google’s algorithms are happy with this and reward you with a lower cost per click. This is part of Google’s Best Practices, and something we hope to achieve in all of our campaigns.
If you feel you are paying too much per click, then it is time to talk to your Google Guru. They can give you some insight into the costing, and potential options to bring it down.