How Much Does Google Advertising Cost

How Much Does Google Advertising Cost

How Much Does Google Advertising Cost
How Much Does Google Advertising Cost

Google Ads is a cost-effective pay-per-click advertising platform where businesses pay based on interactions, such as a click. The average cost per click, or CPC, is $2.69. However, CPCs range greatly from under $1 to $20+. The average small business using Google Ads has an ad spend of around $1,500 to $3,000+ per month.

Google Advertising Cost Estimates

The average cost per click (CPC) for Google search ads is under $2.69. However, CPCs can vary greatly, from as little as pennies per click to over $20 per click depending on a number of factors, from the relevance and quality of your ad to the competition surrounding your chosen keywords. There is no minimum daily ad spend, so businesses may spend as little or as much as they want to advertise on Google.

Sample Keyword Research Data: Multidisciplinary Law Firm

Search TermEstimated Cost – Chicago, ILEstimated Cost – Orlando, FLEstimated Cost – Providence, RI
“Family law firms”$9.36 – $18.60$6.92 – $35.00$6.88 – $31.87
“Corporate law firms”$3.79 – $14.55$2.00 – $10.00$2.29 – $22.00
“Slip and fall attorney”$30.02 – $107.31$66.92 – $211.89$7.77 – $83.80
“Car accident attorney”$64.82 – $206.96$80.00 – $285.29$30.00 – $96.26
“Divorce lawyer”$5.60 – $27.55$5.39 – $30.00$10.42 – $31.04

Sample Keyword Research Data: Dental Practice

Search TermEstimated Cost – Chicago, ILEstimated Cost – Orlando, FLEstimated Cost – Providence, RI
“Dentist near me”$6.33 – $15.75$11.51 – $25.00$9.00 – $15.06
“Pediatric dentist”$5.75 – $16.06$3.73 – $11.24$3.36 – $8.69
“Emergency dentist”$6.20 – $17.42$8.28 – $21.98$2.04 – $10.56
“Cosmetic dentist”$3.50 – $9.30$7.00 – $12.86$5.00 – $10.98
“Orthodontist near me”$4.81 – $13.24$5.28 – $10.86$2.95 – $7.47

Sample Keyword Research Data: Travel Planner

Search TermEstimated Cost – Chicago, ILEstimated Cost – Orlando, FLEstimated Cost – Providence, RI
“Bermuda all-inclusive”$0.29 – $2.10$0.27 – $1.28$0.26 – $1.84
“Bermuda cruises”$1.05 – $2.16$1.05 – $1.94$1.14 – $2.19
“Mexico vacation packages”$0.97 – $2.83$1.02 – $2.27$0.32 – $2.38
“Mexico all-inclusive”$0.78 – $3.49$0.54 – $2.18$0.59 – $2.07
“Cancun resorts”$1.06 – $3.64$0.94 – $3.17$0.72 – $2.27

To get specific CPC estimates for your business, use the Google Keyword Planner. It’s a free tool where you can input your keywords and receive information about the cost estimates for those keywords in your target locations, including average cost and search volume.

Average Google Ads Costs & Industry Benchmarks

Google advertising costs vary greatly from industry to industry as well as business to business, and are based on factors such as keywords, targeting, and competition levels. To find industry averages and benchmarks, we looked to WordStream, which compiles data from over 2,000 Google pay-per-click (PPC) accounts and the Google Keyword Planner. These figures can be used to better estimate your Google advertising costs by looking at costs and benchmarks within your industry.

Average Google Ads Cost per Click (CPC)

The average CPC on the Google search network is $2.69. WordStream’s CPCs are often $1 to $2 lower than the suggested bid from Google because most businesses actually use very specific search terms, yielding fewer competing bidders and thus lower CPCs.

IndustrySearch Term ExampleAvg. CPC by Industry
Auto“Cars for sale”$2.46
B2B“Affordable CRM systems”$3.33
Consumer Services“Tax services”$6.40
Dating & Personals“Free dating sites”$2.78
Ecommerce“Hiking shoes for women”$5.16
Education“Coding programs”$2.40
Employment Services“Management jobs”$2.04
Finance & Insurance“Variable universal life”$2.44
Health & Medical“Nutritionist near me”$4.62
Home Goods“Handmade dining table”$2.94
Industrial Services“Long-haul transportation”$2.56
Legal“Real estate attorney”$6.75
Real Estate“Commercial property for sale”$3.37
Technology“Wifi security camera”$3.80
Travel & Hospitality“Last-minute flights from SFO”$1.53

Source: WordStream and Google Keyword Planner

Source: Fit Small Business

Average Google Ads Cost per Acquisition (CPA)

Cost-per-acquisition (CPA) is a Google Ads bid strategy designed to optimize ad spend for conversions, where advertisers pay when their ads achieve conversions. The cost for CPA is higher than CPC since conversions are more valuable than clicks; the overall average CPA across all industries is $48.96.

IndustrySearch Term ExampleAverage CPA
Auto“Cars for sale”$33.42
B2B“Affordable CRM systems”$116.13
Consumer Services“Tax services”$90.70
Dating & Personals“Free dating sites”$76.76
Ecommerce“Buy shoes online”$45.27
Education“Nursing degree programs”$72.70
Employment Services“Job boards”$48.04
Finance & Insurance“Financial advisors in Hartford”$81.93
Health & Medical“Cosmetic dentists”$78.09
Home Goods“Furniture stores near me”$87.13
Industrial Services“Long-haul transportation”$79.28
Legal“Car accident attorney”$86.02
Real Estate“Homes for sale”$116.61
Technology“Home surveillance systems”$133.52
Travel & Hospitality“Cheap flights from Portland”$44.73

Factors That Influence Google Advertising Cost

There are a number of factors that influence Google Ads cost. Ultimately, however, Google determines cost based on market competition (i.e., how many others are competing for the same keyword) and your quality score. These primary factors determine how highly your ad ranks within the Google search results and what your cost is for that ad placement.

Quality Score

Quality score is indicated by your keyword relevance, click-through rate, landing page quality, and overall account performance. This helps explain why competing businesses will often have different costs per click on the same search term. Understanding the factors that impact your CPCs will allow you to create better ads and see better performance.

Factors that influence Google Ads’ quality score include:

  • Keyword relevance: A measure of how closely your keyword and landing page match a user’s search intent.
  • Click-through rate: The number of times your ad was clicked on compared to the number of times it actually displayed.
  • Landing page experience: How well does the landing page provide relative content to the user’s search query.
  • Historical account performance: Campaigns and ads with a history of performing well are considered to be good search results.

Another alternative that can help you maximize your ad spend and get a higher return on your Google Ad PPC campaigns is putting it in the hands of experts, such as those at Lyfe Marketing. There, your campaigns will be fully managed by an advertising specialist assigned to your account, giving you more time to focus on other things and your campaigns will be more effective. More effective campaigns mean more conversions and a higher ROI. Get your free proposal today to see what Lyfe Marketing can do for your business.

Visit Lyfe Marketing

The Influence of Quality Score on Ad Position

Advertisers are all vying for the coveted top spot on the first page of search results. How your ads rank in comparison to those competing for the same keywords, and even your cost per click, depends on your ad’s quality score. Google scores advertisers from one to 10, with 10 being 100%. As you can see in the table below, the higher your quality score, the higher your ad ranks, and also the lower your cost per click.

How Google Uses Quality Score to Determine Ad Rank:

Max. BidX Quality Score= Ad RankAd Position
Company 1$2.5010/1025#1
Company 2$45/1020#2
Company 3$63/1018#3
Company 4$81/108


“The biggest factor that influences CPCs is relevancy. When the ad you are serving and the landing page you are linking to are most relevant to a user’s search, Google will reward you with a high ad rank and lower CPCs.”

– Brett Stevens, Director of Paid Search, Lendio


Keywords tell Google which search queries you want your ads to show for. There are three main factors to consider when choosing keywords: their length or specificity (aka long- vs short-tail), keyword match types, and negative keywords. Each of these will generate differing CPCs. If you’re not sure where to begin researching keywords, you can find a Google AdWords expert on Fiverr for as little as $5 to perform your keyword research for you.

Ad Placement Options

Ad placement is where your ads will be located. Unlike ad rank, which is where on Google search results your ad appears, ad placement includes which network you choose for your ad to display on, device types, and location targeting. Each of these options will influence the placement, competition level, and cost of your clicks.


The network is where your ads are eligible to show. Under campaign settings, you have the option to choose to display your ad on the Google Search Network only or Google Search Network with search partners. Google network means ads will display in Google searches. Search partners means your ad may display in searches outside of Google on sites such as, AOL, and EarthLink. Typically, including search partners will cost less.

Ads on Google and Google’s Search Partner,

Device Type

Ads can display on three device types: desktop, mobile devices with full browsers, and tablets with full browsers. Many businesses find that certain devices perform better than others, and each device type will vary in cost for the same search terms. Typically, desktops are the most expensive and tablets are the least.

Location Targeting

Location targeting tells Google where your ads should be shown. By choosing exact cities or setting ads to show within a certain radius, you can provide a better search result for users, leading to higher click-through rates, more conversions, and less wasted ad spend. Tailor ads by location and adjust bids based on the performance by location.

Account Settings

Account settings such as bid strategies and ad schedules provide Google with further information on when to display your ad and at what cost. Bid strategies give you the option to bid different ways. You can manually set a maximum bid per keyword or allow Google to automatically adjust your bid based on competition.

Ad schedules let you determine when your ad is shown. For example, let’s say you run a hair salon and run ads with the goal of getting calls to make appointments. You would want to set your ads to display during your business hours to ensure that if users call, someone will be there to answer, avoiding wasted ad spend on unanswered clicks.

Market Competition

General competition among each of the above factors impacts advertising costs. Google doesn’t necessarily place ads on top of search results for the highest bidder, but it is a system based on bidding, so the more bidders there are, the higher the costs will generally be.

Source: Fit Small Business

Ways to Reduce AdWords Costs

There are a number of ways to reduce Google AdWords costs that can actually help you not only reduce your cost per click but also maximize your ad spend and yield a higher return. Each factor influencing the cost per click also provides opportunities to reduce your total CPC when you understand them.

  • Get specific with keywords: The more specific a keyword is, typically the less expensive it will be. For example, “best restaurants in Dallas” will be more expensive than “best Italian restaurants in Dallas.” More specific keywords will have lower CPCs as they have less competition, and also provide users with better search results.
  • Use negative keywords: Negative keywords are those that may be similar to keywords you use but are ones for which you do not want your ad to appear in search results. Every advertiser should use negative keywords to help reduce wasting ad spend on irrelevant (aka bad) clicks.
  • Consider keyword match types: Consider keyword match type carefully when looking to reduce your Google advertising costs. Choosing the least expensive match type does not always prove cost-effective, as more quality (and costly) match types often perform better and increase your return on ad spend.
  • Find the right bid strategy: Bid strategies are the different ways you can bid on your keywords. There are five different bid strategies, each with varying pros and cons, as well as costs. Testing different bid strategies can help you discover which is the most cost-effective for your ad campaigns.
  • Increase your quality score: Having a high quality score is the most effective way of decreasing costs and increasing performance. They’re a combination of click-through rate, ad quality, landing page experience, and conversion rate—all indicating to Google how good you are as a search result.
  • Adjust bid by device type: Increase or decrease your bids by device type based on the quality of clicks you receive from each device type. For example, if you receive a lot of clicks from tablets, but very few conversions, consider decreasing your bid on tablets so that less of your ad spend goes to device types that produce fewer returns.
  • Try radius targeting: Aside from geotargeting, where you select cities, states, and countries where you want your ads to display, consider using radius targeting. This is especially useful for brick-and-mortar businesses that want to ensure their ads display only to those who are within close proximity to them.

To lower your Google advertising costs, businesses should consistently work to improve and optimize ads. Analyze campaign data to gain an understanding of which elements of your campaign work and which need the most improvement.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is a good return on ad spend?

In its most simple form, return on ad spend, or ROAS, is revenue divided by cost. This means the breakeven point is 1:1, where $1 in revenue is generated for every $1 spent on ads. Individual advertising goals will dictate what a good ROAS is. For example, a 1:1 ROAS may be considered good for a brand awareness campaign, whereas a campaign to generate sales may want to be closer to 4:1. Learn more about return on advertising spend.

Which is cheaper: Google Ads or Facebook Ads?

Google Ads and Facebook Ads are both affordable pay-per-click (PPC) advertising platforms, though generally, users see lower CPCs with Facebook Ads. Keep in mind that users on Facebook aren’t actively searching for you like they are on Google, so the click quality should be compared on top of cost per click. See Facebook Advertising Costs by Industry to compare.

What are the best PPC management companies for small businesses?

The best PPC management companies are those that provide expert-level services at an affordable price. Those that are frequently considered the best include Hibu, Lyfe Marketing, Adzooma, Smart Sites, and DiscoSloth. Which is the best for your business will depend on which services and features you’re looking for, your budget, and industry. Learn more to determine which is the best PPC advertising firm for your business.

Bottom Line: Google Ads Cost

Google Ads is an affordable advertising platform for businesses of nearly any budget. It has an average CPC of $2.69 and an average CPA (cost per acquisition) of $48.96. Since advertisers only pay when users interact with their ads and because they can control how much they spend on Google Ads, it is a cost-effective way to generate leads and drive sales.

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