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Quick Description = A user clicking an ad shown on one of Google’s networks

Referred to as = Clicks

When a person clicks on one of your ads, typically this takes them to your website, this is called a ‘Click’, when more than one person does this, they are collectively referred to as Clicks. This is the most fundamental metric and basic measure of success for an account; if you are unable to track conversions Clicks may be the only real measure of success.

Clicks are also Google’s biggest product, selling Clicks is their business and if you are buying Clicks, you are Google’s customer. Although in the case of CPM bidding, you are buying Impressions rather than Clicks.

Clicks are also referred to as ‘paid website traffic’, ‘paid traffic’ and ‘CPC traffic’; once the person is on a website they are also referred to as ‘users’, ‘customers’ and ‘visitors’. Below we have listed some important features, behaviour, and information on Clicks below:

  • Website errors preventing users from accessing either the landing page or the whole site do not prevent Clicks from being counted. Thus having an error 404 page be triggered for your CPC traffic will still incur a cost.
  • The total volume of Clicks available is capped by ‘search volume’ and the amount of Clicks a keyword can deliver is limited by the volume of users searching in Google for that keyword and variations of it.
  • The volume of Clicks you can expect to get from a keyword can be estimated by dividing the budget by the Average Cost you expect to pay per Click (Avg. CPC).
  • Clicks are defined the same way on both the Search and Display networks.


Because of the fundamental nature of Clicks, you can see Clicks by default in almost all reports in AdWords, there are few exceptions to this. This is typically where you will see clicks in:




Ad Clicks


Keyword Clicks

Ad Groups

Ad Group Clicks

First Click & Last Click

These two phrases refer to attribution models that look at attributing value to the first click or last click in a path of clicks by a user. We discuss these in more detail in other guides.

Clicks Vs. Sessions

If you are new to using AdWords and / or Google Analytics you will invariably come across the variance between Clicks and Sessions. You can view both of these metrics independently within Google Analytics but they should not be confused.

Clicks represent the number of times your advertisements / ads were clicked by users; Sessions represent the amount of unique sessions initiated by your users. We typically can explain the reason why there is a difference between these metrics with the following:

  • Invalid Clicks are not removed for Google from the Sessions report, this will result in more sessions than clicks, although your clicks + invalid clicks would bring the two metrics closer together.
  • Users can click your ads more than one time, if these clicks fall within the same session, Google Analytics will record a single session and AdWords will record each click. Google Analytics records multiple PageViews per session rather than individual clicks.
  • In some cases the Google Analytics tracking code may not be triggered (a number of things can cause this) hence no session will be logged but a Click will be recorded.
  • If a user who has previously clicked an ad, later returns to the site directly, the original sessions referral information is retained, resulting in a single click spanning two or more sessions.


Raptor offer a range of PPC services such as PPC audits, keyword research, training and account management.
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