One of the most common questions we get asked when it comes to search advertising is, ‘How much are Google ads?’ And annoyingly, the answer is going to be, ‘it depends’, [🤦‍♀️]. But the short answer is it DOES depend, and while I would love to tell you E=MC² when it comes to how much Google Ads will cost, there are a few things to consider. Lets me walk you through them now.


Industry, competition, customer lifecycle & trends


How much your Google ads will cost you will depend on what industry you are in and how much competition there is. People who work within the business services industry, such lawyers, accountants, and real estate, these industries are highly competitive which means the cost per click (CPCs) are among the highest of any keywords. As a general rule, the more competition the keyword has, the more expensive it will be to bid on that keyword. 



In this example we can see that the CPC for the keyword accountant is 7.6x more expensive than the keyword for a dog walker. The field of accounting is within the business services industry, it is very competitive, it is a high ticket service and most individuals will only use this service once a year. So how much Google ads are for accountants will need to consider all these things when it comes to their keyword planning.


Broad Match vs Phrase Match vs Exact Match


The different match types is another influence for how much are Google Ads. Generally speaking, the more exact a keyword is, the more expensive it costs to bid on. Google allows you to bid on keywords using three different match types: broad, phrase, exact. Match types tell Google how strict you want a search query to trigger one of your ads. 

“So if broad match keywords are cheaper, just bid on broad match keywords to keep costs down, yeah?”

Well that depends (here’s that annoying answer again!), because while broad match keywords are generally cheaper, contextually they may not be relevant to your product or service.


In this example from Google the keyword is lawn mowing services. The exact match criteria indicates thats ads will show on searches that are the same meaning as your keyword. So if you own a lawn mowing business, you would have no problem with your ad being clicked if someone searches for lawn mowing service or grass cutting service as both of these search queries have the same meaning. 

On the other hand, for broad match keywords, ads may show on searches that relate to your keyword. If a user searched lawn aeration prices and your ad appeared and the user clicked on it, but you don’t offer lawn aeration as service, this is a wasted click, and wasted clicks equals wasted money even if the click had a lower CPC then the exact match equivalent. So you’ll want to make sure you have the right balance of match types so that you get both the right traffic at the right price.


Quality Score + Ad Auction


Every keyword is assigned a quality score, and the quality score is the one of the biggest factors that you can control for the final price in how much Google ads are. Your keyword quality score is determined by:



Essentially what this means is that if there is strong relevancy from your keywords to your ads, your landing page takes users the best (most relevant!) page on your website, and that your expected CTR is high, then you will be rewarded with a high quality score. YAY 🎉

“But how does this relate to how much are Google ads?”

Once your quality score is determined, in the ad auction, Google combines your quality score with the maximum you’re willing to pay for a keyword to work out your Ad Rank.



Let’s say both you sell ceiling fans, and your maximum bid is $1.00. Your competitor is also using Google Ads and their maximum bid is $1.30, but their quality score is lower than yours. Using the Ad Rank formula, your ad would win the ad auction, even with a lower bid. So your quality score is pretty important in your Google Ad account.


So you can see, there is never a straight answer when it comes to how much are Google Ads, but hopefully you have a better understanding in what determines how much it cost to use Google Ads.

If Google Ads is something you would like to explore for your business, check our Google Ads Management page to see if our agency service is a good fit for you. 




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