The Conversation Starter

Contributed by Jason Alleger

Generally speaking, we’re a money-conscious society. That statement is as true in marketing as it is in shopping for new shoes. We always want to know what something is going to cost us. And if you’ve ever tried to find out the cost of placing an ad on Google search, you may have ended up with a handful of aspirin and an icepack, because the the answer isn’t so simple. That’s where I come in—to help answer the age-old question, “How much does it cost my company if someone clicks on my search ad in Google?”

And the answer is . . . well, it depends. You didn’t expect the mysteries of the universe to be revealed all at once, did you? Stick with me for a minute and I’ll explain.

The price tag for Google search ads is based on industry/keyword categories. The most expensive category on Google is for insurance, which costs on average $54.91 per click. Yes that’s right, if you search “auto insurance price quotes” and click on an ad, you just cost someone $55. The next highest categories are mortgage ($47.12/click), attorney ($47.07/click) and loans ($44.28/click).

But don’t worry, most searches cost significantly less. In fact, if you have a well-built search campaign you can expect to pay around $1 to $2 per click. Advertising experts actually place bids on keywords that they predict will be typed in. An average company typically targets 50,000 keywords or more.

Ads are measured based on their click-through rate (CTR), which measures the average amount of times an ad is clicked, versus how many times it is seen. The average ad is clicked about 2% of the time. This may seem low, but considering that Americans conduct more than 18 billion searches per month, that’s a lot of clicked-on ads.

But do ads work? Yes! You wouldn’t click on an ad if it wasn’t what you were looking for.

Once you click on an ad, advertisers can see what pages you visit on their site, how long you stay there and if you buy anything. Both parties win in the exchange – consumers get their goods, and advertisers get relevant traffic to their site.

So the next time you do a search on Google, ponder on the majesty of Google’s wizardry to match your exact keyword query with the perfect ad. Then if you want to charge a company up to $55—click on it.

To help fuel your guilt the next time you search, below are the 20 most expensive categories on Google.

Infographic Source:

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  • Jason Alleger
    Jason Alleger 9 months ago Reply

    Be sure to check out my other article about how much ads on YouTube cost:

    • Muchael Washington 8 months ago Reply

      Thanks for the useful information, would you be happy to put you r helpful information into video and get it broadcasted via our network, we’ll broadcast them absolutely free.


    • Ishank 3 months ago Reply

      Great Stuff:)

  • Thabo 9 months ago Reply

    This is such helpful information you supplied. I’m definitely subscribing to your site. Brilliant.

  • I’m amazed, I must say. Rarely do I encounter a blog that’s both equally educative and engaging, and without a doubt, you’ve hit the nail on the head. The problem is an issue that not enough people are speaking intelligently about. I am very happy that I found this in my hunt for something concerning this.

  • André O McIntosh 7 months ago Reply

    Thank You.

  • jango 5 months ago Reply

    Excellent, Concise and yet elaborate. Clearly says what few dare to say 🙂 its win win and less expensive then print media, yet so powerful. Now if I wanna take revenge from some company and esp if its insurance or mortgage, I know what I have to do. One more thing will make is complete: what if I click same ad many times. Do they pay once or multiple times? Is google smart enough to know same person clicked many times.

    • Jason Alleger
      Jason Alleger 5 months ago Reply

      Good question. Google has a team that looks at fraudulent click data and refunds the account. So clicking multiple times won’t necessarily charge them multiple times.

  • ling 3 months ago Reply

    Just a quick question, this article was published on 15 December 2011 and it took 3-1/2 years for people to comment. Is the info still valid? Is there any update after this? Cheers.

  • ling 3 months ago Reply

    Many thanks for the reply and those links on Twitter, FB.

  • Jogindra 3 months ago Reply

    Dear Google Team,

    I have required google add for my brand name ARINGEL. Kindly look this mail & give the reply ASAP.

  • Jogindra 3 months ago Reply

    please suggest google add

  • Chineye 3 months ago Reply

    Thanks a lot for info , my organization ask me to do a research on what it will cost them to run google advert

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