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How Much do Google Ads Really Cost in 2024? 

How Much do Google Ads Really Cost in 2024? 

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If you’re in a rush, we have a very simple answer for this. Last year, the ad accounts we managed totalled over half a million clicks. That’s a good ol sample size to get a reliable estimate of cost. So, based on this, the average Google Search Ad costs (drum roll please) £0.41 per click. But as I’m sure you know; the real answer lies a little deeper than that. 

How is the Price of Google Ads Worked Out?

Google Search Ads & Google Shopping Ads are both charged on a cost-per-click basis. This means that every time a user clicks on one of your ads, you get charged for that interaction. The cost of each click is decided by an auction which pits your ad against your competitors for a particular keyword. Your ‘bid’ is based on a combination of factors, and these can very simply be boiled down to: 

  1. Supply and demand of the keyword (how many times the term is searched for vs. the number of advertisers bidding on it) 
  2. The bid level 
  3. The quality of your advert 

As a result, the cost depends heavily on the keywords you target, what your competitors are doing and how good you are at running Google Ads. For a rough estimate, a tool like Google Keyword Planner or SEMRush can give you a better idea of an estimated cost per click for each keyword. 

How to Work Out Your Own Costs

We’re going to use Google Keyword Planner to show you how you can estimate costs for your particular keywords. 

Create or login to a Google Ads account. Go to tools & settings and in the planning section click on ‘Keyword Planner’. 

In the search box, enter your desired keyword. We’ll run this as an example for a local plumber in Leeds. So, we’ll type in “plumber” and select our location to Leeds.  

How Much do Google Ads Really Cost in 2024? 

As you can see, we then get a list showing our target keyword along with some related ones that we may want to target. Along the columns, you’ll see the average number of monthly searches along with Google’s estimate of a low top of page big and a high top of page bid. 

Usually, with well-created ads, you will be charged somewhere in-between these two numbers. Based on our research, we take a slightly higher than average for the best picture. Add up the two (low & high) and divide by 1.6.  

In this case, our estimated cost per click for the keyword “plumber”, would be £5.94 

Download a copy of our handy tool that does all the maths for you.

Focus on Quality

You may be tempted to focus on some of the cheaper keywords in the list. The logic goes, the cheaper the click, the more people you get to the site, and the more likely to are to get leads.  

Sadly, it doesn’t quite work like that. It’s better to focus on quality, high-intent keywords. These may be more expensive per click but will likely lead to more enquiries or sale overall. 

A good example of high-intent commercial keywords are people looking for things “near me”, “emergency” etc.  

To test this, you can also run a quick Google search, scroll down to the organic results and look at the kind of websites Google is bringing up. If the first few results are pages on Wikipedia, Reddit and Quora, chances are people need a question answering.

If the results are for businesses, products and services just like yours, then it’s a good sign that the keyword is exactly what you’d like to target. 

One challenge to watch out for is if you offer a service that could also be a product. For example, a business that provides an oven cleaning service may think that “oven cleaner” is an ideal search term. However, this search throws up product results not service results. In this case, we’d stick to keywords like “oven cleaning service”, “oven cleaner near me” & “oven cleaner Leeds”.

(Also make sure to add product names and brand names as negative keywords to your campaign).

Search engine results page for oven cleaner

How to Optimise Your Google Ads for Lower Costs

Going for quality also applies when you create your ads. The ‘quality score’ of your ads is one of the key factors in assessing your bid against competitors. This is made up of ad relevance, expected click-through rate & landing page experience. 

Ad Relevance

This is exactly as it sounds. How relevant is your ad to the users’ search query? The best way to get a high score here is to include your target keywords in couple of headlines and descriptions in your ads. This is also why we advocate a maximum of 10 keywords in an ad group (ideally less than 5 keywords), as the fewer you have, the easier it is to stay relevant. 

Expected Click-Through Rate

This is Google’s estimate of how engaging your advert is. If Google thinks people are going to click on the ad, then you receive a higher quality score. This can be driven by historical data, but there are a few things to try to make sure you nail this. 

  • Include numbers in your headline. E.g. Prices from £250.00, Established in 1962. These tend to stand out next to text-based search ads and provide clear information to the searcher 
  • Include locations. Make your ads engaging to your target audience by making it about them. Use things like their location to make them take notice.  
  • Focus on a positive tone. Adverts with a positive tone are more likely to be clicked on. We utilise Google’s own machine learning tool to assess this, to ensure we’re driving people to action. Here’s a handy video from Google ad servant, Ed Leake, on how to use Google’s tool to assess ads for sentiment 
  • Include a URL path 
  • Provide a clear call to action. 

Landing Page Experience

You don’t need to worry a great deal about the landing page experience. Whilst it’s a key factor for ranking your ads, you don’t need to rip up your site and start again. We’d check 3 key things: 

  1. Does your landing page load quickly? Use Google page speed insights to run a test for this and work to fix any glaring issues. Generally, reducing the number of images, resizing the relevant ones and converting them to WebP will save a lot of pages a good amount on load time 
  2. Is your landing page relevant to the advert? The best way to ensure engagement is to check the page is related to the advert. If you search for “Night Out Leeds” and land on a web page for commercial drain repairs, chances are you’ll click off. Whilst this is a ridiculous example, the principle applies for subtler differences too. 
  3. Does your page guide users to a clear action? Your page should encourage people to take an action. Whether you want them to fill in a lead form or buy a product, this should be clear and easy for the user. 

Broad Match or Exact Match

Does match type affect your cost per click? Like most things PPC, it depends. Whilst Google sees broad match keywords as the holy grail, they aren’t always the answer to your prayers.  

The way to think about this is that Broad Match opens you up to more variance. Whilst you may show for cheaper keywords, there’s also a chance you’ll show for costly search terms you hadn’t considered, particularly competitor brands. 

With Exact Match, whilst our testing shows the average cost is generally slightly higher than with Broad Match keywords, there are fewer surprises. The costs stay more consistent, and you waste less spend on irrelevant keywords too. 

Bid Strategy

Another factor that may affect your CPC in Google is your bid strategy. For example, a bid strategy of maximising clicks is likely to get you cheaper clicks. With these clicks, Google isn’t interested in sending you relevant searchers. It will send you anyone searching for your target keywords. Whilst this may seem great, it can provide you with little reward. Just because they are searching, doesn’t mean the user is likely to buy or enquire. 

On the flip side, Maximise Conversions will bring you higher-value users, and will probably cost you more for each individual click. Target CPA (cost per acquisition) is the sweet spot of the two. You give Google your ideal cost per lead, and it uses its machine learning to ensure you get relevant users for the price you want. The catch here is, that you need enough data to feed the machine learning to find these users. We would usually say more than 25 conversions in a month is enough to switch to this bid strategy. 

Focus on Value Not Cost

We believe the key question here is, not how much Google Ads cost., but how much value they can bring you back in. A cost per click of £10.00 is almost irrelevant if they’re going to bring you a million-pound client. 

The quick way of working this out is estimating your CPA (cost per acquisition) and comparing it to your average order value. It works like this: 

  • 1500 people search for a keyword 
  • Our estimated cost per click is £4.30 
  • Our on-page conversion rate is 10%. (1 in 10 people who visit the site, call, fill in the lead form or buy). This puts our cost per conversion at £43.00 
  • Our close rate (conversion percentage of leads to sales) is 40% 
  • This means our cost per customer acquisition is £107.50 
  • Our average order value is £650.00. This puts our ROAS (return on ad spend) at around 6x

 

Download our spreadsheet to work out your cost per acquisition. 

Whilst this provides a great estimated ROI, we can go one better. Using tools like HubSpot, we can link the leads directly to a keyword, ad group or campaign in Google Ads. As we mark leads through the sales process, we can see the total value of the client, and what we spent on Google Ads, giving us our true ROI. 

Quick Tips for Cheaper Clicks:

  • Select good-quality, relevant keywords 
  • Add costly, irrelevant searcth terms as negative keywords 
  • Keep ad groups focus on 5 or less keywords 
  • Write relevant & engaging ad headlines & descriptions 
  • Make use of extensions 
  • Set up conversion tracking to understand where you’re wasting spend 

To see if you could run profitable Google Ads for your business, book in a digital health check with our PPC team. 

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