The most common questions we hear from advertisers is, “How many clicks can I get for my budget?” and the related question, “How many leads should I expect for my budget?”
And these are good questions. With most products you buy, you expect to know the exact quantity you’re getting. But with advertising, these are more complicated questions to answer. A $100 budget could get you 300 clicks, or it could get you just one.
In this article, we’ll go over why the cost of a click can vary so dramatically, why (sometimes) the more expensive clicks are better, as well as a few tips and industry benchmarks.
Cost Per Click (CPC) is a measurement of how much it costs advertisers each time someone clicks on their ad. It’s an invaluable metric when it comes to forecasting your results: Divide your total budget by your average CPC, and you’ll be left with an estimate of how many clicks you can expect.
While CPC is a simple enough concept, the rules behind how it’s calculated are not.
Think of online advertising as a live auction.
It’s the profit-driven network’s (perhaps Google or Facebook) role to sell each auction item—limited real estate for an advertisement—to the highest bidder.
The buyers each place a ‘bid’ for how much they’re willing to pay for that online real estate. If you’re in an industry with a lot of competition, there will be several bidders that ultimately drive up the price. If your market share is relatively uncontested, there will be little competition and you can win the auction with a low bid.
The highest bidder will then nab the most prominent real estate (say, the first position on Google), while the next highest bidder will get the second position, and so on and so on.
This is what the advertising world refers to as the Google Ads Auction.
And it works even if you don’t manually set a bid, as the networks will automatically bid on your behalf with an algorithm designed to maximize your clicks.
There are many factors that make an auction competitive, including:
|1||best mesothelioma lawyer||No Geo||$935.71|
|2||dallas truck accident lawyer||Texas||$425.70|
|3||truck accident lawyer houston||Texas||$411.04|
|4||louisville car accident lawyer||Kentucky||$393.79|
|5||houston 18 wheeler accident lawyer||Texas||$388.84|
|6||are personal injury settlements taxable||No Geo||$377.70|
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|8||accident lawyer sacramento||California||$358.11|
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|10||car accident lawyers los angeles||California||$350.42|
|11||phoenix accident lawyer||Arizona||$348.78|
|12||los angeles car accident attorney||California||$332.58|
|13||mesothelioma compensation||No Geo||$326.85|
|14||car accident lawyer in atlanta||Georgia||$326.76|
|15||houston truck accident attorney||Texas||$319.36|
|16||injury lawyer dallas||Texas||$313.42|
|17||personal injury attorneys phoenix||Arizona||$306.63|
|18||motorcycle accident attorney||No Geo||$305.58|
|19||attorney pensacola fl||Florida||$297.36|
|20||new york accident lawyer||New York||$293.75|
|21||trash truck accident||No Geo||$291.73|
|22||phoenix truck accident lawyer||Arizona||$290.02|
|23||los angeles accident attorneys||California||$284.69|
|24||lawyers in mesa az||Arizona||$279.82|
|25||auto accident attorney fees||No Geo||$276.61|
|26||mesothelioma lawsuit settlements||No Geo||$276.44|
|27||accident lawyers in phoenix||Arizona||$271.64|
|28||las vegas injury lawyers||Nevada||$269.37|
|29||accident injury lawyer||No Geo||$269.31|
|30||motorcycle accident lawyer los angeles||California||$265.80|
|31||slip and fall lawyer philadelphia||Pennsylvania||$262.80|
|32||las vegas accident attorney||Nevada||$262.76|
|33||car accident lawyer pittsburgh||Pennsylvania||$262.14|
|34||trucking accident lawyer||No Geo||$262.11|
|35||auto accident attorney sacramento||California||$259.72|
|36||18 wheeler accident lawyer||No Geo||$259.58|
|37||workers comp lawyer philadelphia||Pennsylvania||$257.97|
|38||medical malpractice lawyers philadelphia||Pennsylvania||$255.61|
|40||medical malpractice lawyers in pa||Pennsylvania||$253.38|
|41||houston accident lawyer||Texas||$244.07|
|42||car accident lawyer in houston||Texas||$243.89|
|43||charlotte auto accident attorney||North Carolina||$242.11|
|44||personal injury attorney phoenix||Arizona||$240.37|
|45||car accident lawyer orange county||California||$239.97|
|46||personal injury attorney santa ana||California||$239.70|
|47||car accident attorney dallas||Texas||$239.29|
|48||18 wheeler accident attorney||No Geo||$239.13|
|49||personal injury lawyer new orleans||Louisiana||$236.82|
|50||denver accident lawyer||Colorado||$236.20|
To see what the average Cost Per Click looks like for your industry, select the industry below that best matches your business type:
|Food and beverage:
Retail and consumer goods:
To compute these benchmarks, we took the most popular keywords for 29 major industries and found a nationwide (U.S.) average for what businesses paid in 2018. These metrics are specific to Google search campaigns, but other networks (Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.) generally follow a similar trend.
The average Google CPC for bars and nightclubs in the United States is $2.07. The competition, however, may come less from other bars and more from furniture stores selling home bars. If you’re able to filter out this competition with negative keywords like furniture, home, and buy, you may be able to get a much better CPC.
The average CPC for coffee shops is $1.59, which is 32% below the median CPC across all industries.
Food trucks and pop-up restaurants see an average CPC of $0.64, which is cheaper than all but one of the other industries on this list (book stores).
Anything below the average CPC of $2.12 is considered good for restaurants in the United States. However, high-end restaurants with greater profit margins typically see more competition in the advertising world, and thus higher costs for specific search phrases (luxury restaurants, best restaurants).
Anything below the average CPC of $1.72 is considered great for the typical auto dealer. If you’re in a densely competitive area, such as an auto mall, this figure may be significantly higher due to multiple dealers targeting the same lots.
Jewelry stores see an average CPC of $1.19 on Google Ads, making it a favorite channel for jewelers nationwide.
The legal industry sees some of the greatest discrepancies in keyword costs. While the average click will set you back $5.27, searches for cases that can potentially yield seven-figure settlements will have a lot more bidders to drive up the price. Securing the coveted top spot for searches like ‘auto accident lawyers’ or ‘medical malpractice attorneys’ will typically cost over $200 in most competitive markets.
Hotels, resorts, and other accommodations see an average CPC of $1.44 for a position somewhere on the first page of a search engine result. If you’re looking to nab that coveted top spot, however, you’re looking at something closer to $2.96.
The financial services industry sees an average CPC on Google Ads of $5.48. Competition follows the dollars, however, and high-margin services like wealth management see a CPC closer to $31.31.
In the auto insurance industry, anything below $5.19 is considered a good CPC. However, insurance is among the most competitive industries on Google Ads and costs can average as much as $76.54 for the first position on Google. (Don’t worry though – our customers have seen great results targeting much more affordable lower positions.)
Hair salons clock in at an average U.S. CPC of $0.49, offering some of the cheapest clicks on this list.
The healthcare industry averages a $2.32 CPC, although cosmetic services (like botox and chemical peels) tend to see greater competition and higher click costs.
Dentists see one of the higher average CPCs on this list, coming in at $5.34. Similar to what we saw in healthcare, cosmetic services (like teeth whitening) tend to be more expensive, while generic searches for ‘dentists’ average out to $2.78.
Schools and educational services face an average CPC of $3.25. This number is heavily inflated by the highly competitive for-profit and online education industry, which sees keyword costs climb as high as $34.36 for a prominent position. Traditional schools and universities will see CPCs closer to $1.50-$2.50.
Lawn care professionals maintain an average CPC of $4.17 in the United States. Specialized services like patio construction and water features tend to be on the higher end, while basic lawn mowing and fertilization services see CPCs averaging closer to $2.
In the photography industry, anything below $2.73 is considered a good CPC on Google Ads (Search). Wedding photographers can expect to pay slightly more, due to heightened competition, especially in peak wedding season.
The real estate industry averages a $2.09 CPC in the United States, which is 10% cheaper than the average CPC across all industries.
Not happy with your CPC? Feel like you’re not getting enough sales from your clicks? You’re not alone.
Search engine marketing takes minutes to set up and a lifetime to master. Getting to a profitable CPC can take months of testing. Fortunately, our team has the experience to optimize paid ad campaigns to connect companies with their most probable customers, to focus clicks on those most likely to convert into paying customers. We’re happy to review your existing campaign, or plan and implement an entirely new ad campaign for your company.
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