The Most Expensive Google Ads Keywords by Niche – 2019 Edition

2019/06/19 20:00

expensive keywords

It’s not easy to make money online when there are countless other brands competing for the attention of your customers. However, some tactics do have the potential to increase traffic and generate more revenue than others, PPC campaigns being one of them.

With Google generating over 160 billion searches per month, it’s clear why Google Ads campaigns are still one of the most popular tactics amongst marketers. However, running PPC campaigns is a bit of an art and does require some trial and error before you understand how to make it work for your business.

Why People Click

So, what is it that convinces searchers to click on an ad in their search results?

According to a survey by Clutch, there are four main reasons why someone would click on an ad if it appeared in their search results:

  1. It answers their search query. 33% of searchers who were surveyed would click on an ad if it provided them with a clear answer to their search query.
  2. They recognise the brand. 26% of searchers are more likely to click on an ad that mentions a brand they are familiar with.
  3. The ad is located above other search results. 20% of searchers admitted that they generally click on an ad because it’s located above the other search results.
  4. They like what they see. 19% of searchers who were surveyed would click on an ad if the title, description or image was compelling.

There are a number of different components that contribute to the success of a Google Ads campaign but in order to appear in a searcher’s results, you need to bid on the right keywords.

The Most Expensive Google Ads Keyword Categories

These are the Google Ads categories that have the highest search volumes as well as the highest cost per click:

expensive PPC
Infographic by WordStream (
  1. Insurance: CPC = $54+ (Examples: auto insurance price quotes, ca automobile insurance, life insurance comparison quotes)
  2. Loans: CPC = $44+ (Examples: cheapest homeowner loans, fixed rate secured loans)
  3. Mortgage: CPC = $47+ (Examples: remortgage with bad credit, second mortgages)
  4. Attorney: CPC = $47+ (Examples: personal jury attorney, dui attorney)
  5. Credit: CPC = $36+ (Examples: home equity line of credit, bad credit home buyer)
  6. Lawyer: CPC = $42+ (Examples: criminal defence lawyer, personal injury lawyer)
  7. Donate: CPC = $42+ (Examples: car donation centres, donate a used car)
  8. Degree: CPC = $40+ (Example: online psychology bachelors degree)
  9. Hosting: CPC = $31+ (Example: managed web hosting solution)
  10. Claim: CPC = $45+ (Examples: accident claims no win no fee, personal injury claim)
  11. Conference: CPC = $42+ (Examples: toll free conference calls, best conference call services)
  12. Trading: CPC = $33+ (Example: stock trades online)
  13. Software: CPC = $35+ (Example: crm software programs)
  14. Recovery: CPC = $42+ (Examples: laptop hard drive recovery, raid server data recovery)
  15. Transfer: CPC = $39+ (Example: credit card balance transfer no interest)
  16. Gas/Electricity: CPC = $54+ (Examples: switch gas supplier, business electricity price comparison)
  17. Classes: CPC = $35+ (Example: business administration classes online)
  18. Rehab: CPC = $33+ (Example: crack rehab centres)
  19. Treatment: CPC = $37+ (Examples: alcohol treatment centres, drug treatment centres)
  20. Cord Blood: CPC = $27+ (Example: store umbilical cord blood)

Why Some Categories Cost More than Others

As you already know, Google Ads is an auction-based platform that allows advertisers to bid on keywords in order to gain a better position in Google search results for specific search queries.

There are a number of factors that determine a minimum and maximum CPC for each keyword – Quality Score being one of them.

Keyword categories with higher search volumes and costs are usually linked to businesses with a high customer lifetime value. Businesses that can afford to pay more to acquire customers tend to fall into expensive keyword categories.

Succeeding in a Highly-Competitive Keyword Niche

If you have no choice but to compete in one of the sectors mentioned above, there are a few things that you can do to increase the success of your campaigns and lower your CPC:

Improve Your Quality Score

A quality score is a rating that speaks to the relevance and quality of your Google Ads campaigns. Increasing your quality score can help you save time and money, while converting more website visitors into paying customers.

There are a few ways that you can improve your quality score:

  • Target Your Ad Groups. As you set up your campaigns, use as many ad groups as you need to, provided they are relevant to a particular keyword. Using multiple ad groups that are linked to the same keywords will make it difficult to serve the right ad to the relevant user. Each ad group should have its own set of keywords.
  • Choose the Right Keyword Combinations. The words that a user types into Google will determine whether or not your ad shows up. So, the more specific you can be with your keywords, the better. Choosing the right keywords is one thing but how you combine the keywords will either increase or decrease your chances of appearing in more search results.
  • Create High-Quality Ads. Ad structure and the copy you use will also make a difference to your quality score. High-quality ads only focus on one product or service, which means searchers know exactly what they can expect if they had to click on the ad. Ads that include too many components tend to perform poorly because it’s unclear what the user is truly getting. Aim to write ads that are neat, tidy and impactful.
  • Improve Your Landing Pages. Your landing page is the first thing people will see once they reach your site. Your ad could be excellent but if your landing page doesn’t deliver, your quality score will be low and you won’t achieve the results you’re hoping for. Make sure that Google Analytics is running on your site to make optimisation easier. Tools such as Google Page Speed Insights will also help you increase your quality score. A speedy landing page that contains relevant keywords will make it more relevant and appealing to searchers. While it’s not absolutely necessary to create a landing page for each of your ad groups, it will certainly provide your users with a better experience.

Don’t Forget about Negative Keywords

Negative keywords allow you to filter out the users who shouldn’t see your ads and prevents your ads from showing up for irrelevant searches. When your ads are showing up for the wrong search requests, you will be wasting money on clicks that won’t lead to conversions.

Many marketers tend to forget to include negative keywords when creating their campaigns but it’s an excellent precautionary step that can help you compete in challenging keyword categories.

Here are a few tips to help you manage negative keywords:

  • Pull weekly reports. Make sure that you review your campaign’s search term reports on a weekly basis to start creating a list of negative keywords. Once your campaigns have been running for a while, you will only need to pull these reports on a monthly basis.
  • Include universal negatives. It is best to exclude universal terms such as ‘free’ from your campaigns.
  • Use Google’s suggested search terms. To get ideas for additional search terms you may want to include on your list of negative keywords, type some existing terms into Google and wait for the suggestions to pop up.
  • Focus on your core offering. If you sell products, be sure to include service-related terms on your negative keyword list and vice versa. Sell plumbing supplies but don’t actually offer repair or plumbing services? Add any service-related keywords as negatives.
  • Watch out for conflicts though. Make sure that you aren’t blocking potential traffic by adding conflicting keywords to your negatives list. For example, if you are targeting ‘plumbing service’, having ‘services’ on your negative keyword list would be a conflict.
  • Add close variants as negative keywords. Google has been matching keywords to close variants since 2014, so this can cause your ads to show up for irrelevant searches. For example, ‘veteran’ would be a close variant of ‘veterinarian’, which could cause your ad to show up for a completely different type of search.

Go Beyond Keywords

cheaper ppc ads

While keywords are important, there is more to bidding than that. There are a few additional areas that you can look at to optimise your campaigns and lower your CPC.

Ask yourself the following questions to determine where your CPCs can be increased or decreased:

  • Which types of devices are generating good and poor results?
  • Which of my targeted locations are generating the most conversions?
  • Is there a specific time of the day or week when my conversions are higher?

By increasing your bids based on high-performing elements, your ads will become more visible and hopefully your conversions will increase too. Knowing when you should be pausing an ad or cancelling a campaign will also lower your CPC and save your business money.

Your Google Ad and Google Analytics reports can both provide you with valuable insights that will make campaign optimisation that much easier.

Test Different Match Types

Keyword match types control which searches trigger your ads. The different match types are Broad Match, Broad Match Modifier, Exact Match and Phrase Match.

Depending on the structure of your campaign, you might notice variations in avg. CPC for the same keywords that are allocated to different match types. To lower your CPC, you could test out the same keyword across different match types by setting up several ad groups. The other option is to create a separate campaign completely.

Once you see which match types are more expensive, you have the option to change keyword to less expensive match types to lower your CPC. Just be sure to triple check your negative keywords to avoid any irrelevant traffic if you’re going to take this approach.

If you’re wondering which match type performs better in general, Broad Match Modifier is the type that most marketers use.

Lower Your Bids

Once you notice an increase in your quality scores and ad ranks, another optimisation option becomes available to you.

Lowering your bids is one of the most straightforward ways to lower your campaign’s CPC. Lowering your bids means you won’t be charged as much per click, which means your ROI increases too. There is still a chance that your position would drop a bit but it won’t be by much and you will at least be able to afford additional clicks on the same budget and increase your overall exposure at the same time. Following the introduction of Automated Bidding and Machine Learning, many marketers are taking this approach to maximise their ROI. For those who would prefer to control how much they pay for every click, Manual CPC will be necessary.

If you do choose to lower your bids, it’s important to keep an eye on your numbers to make sure that your traffic volumes aren’t dipping too low and reversing your past efforts.

In Closing

Lowering your CPC can increase your turnover but it certainly shouldn’t be your only priority. Meeting the needs of potential customers and improving the overall user experience should always be your top priority when running Google Ads campaigns because this is what will increase website traffic and conversions.

Another thing to keep in mind is that highly-competitive niches may have higher CPCs but the conversions rates are higher too, which is when calculations such as lifetime value become important to establish whether it will be worthwhile for your business. Remember, expensive keyword niches are more costly because businesses are seeing returns. Becoming a player in these niches can be challenging but the results are well worth it if you do things correctly.