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2024 CPC of Google Ads Varies by Industry

Do you know how much each new lead costs your business? How does that cost line up with your competitors?

The 2024 CPC of Google Ads will follow the trend of recent years — increased competition, increased cost, still solid ROI. They are directly related, and each year, more competing companies realize that they just aren’t being found online unless they are running a well-organized and planned set of paid search campaigns. The bottom line is that the ROI is there.

In an increasingly ad-saturated world, search rankings are an extremely important determiner of success for most businesses. We’ve talked about how SEO-focused copywriting can help you stake your claim on that all-important first page of Google results, but paid advertising provides a critical edge in competitive spaces.

Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising is a great way to target your audience as they search the internet for services, products, and information. With trackable ROI, the right strategy can ensure that what you pay for each click is well-managed and profitable.

If you’re working to maximize your marketing budget, keep in mind that a lot of factors will impact the cost of your PPC ads. Here’s a crash course in PPC advertising and what you can expect to pay in your industry.

What is CPC?

People running representing CPC of Google Ads

CPC, or “cost-per-click,” is related to PPC advertising, also known as paid advertising or paid search marketing. As the name suggests, businesses who use these ads pay a fee to Google (social media platforms also measure CPC) each time their ad is clicked by users. This method of advertising is advantageous because it makes your marketing investment directly proportional to the attention you attract online. It also aligns the search engine’s interests with yours — Google makes money only when users interact with your business.

However, not all clicks cost the same. To maximize your ROI, you’ll have to be strategic.

What Factors Influence CPC?

The formula for determining CPC is complex and ever-changing, but there are levers businesses can pull that will reliably drive costs up or down. Knowing your priorities and making calculated trade-offs will help your business get the best value.

Important determiners of cost include:

  • Industry Competition: More saturated markets and competitive industries will likely have a higher CPC.
  • Keyword Bids: Higher bids will cost your business money, but they are likely to lead to better ad placements.
  • Quality Score: Google recognizes that higher-quality (and typically more costly) keywords contribute to a better user experience. Quality scores are also determined by how relevant a website or landing page is to the target keyword(s) of the ad.
  • Geotargeting: Ads focused on more competitive geographic areas can have a higher CPC.
  • Seasonality: Search trends and fluctuating consumer demand can impact your advertising costs.

What’s the Average CPC in Your Industry?

The same factors that make CPC so variable also make PPC advertising so very useful!

Google PPC ads allow businesses to hone in on their audience, targeting nearby people who are already searching for the kinds of goods and services they offer. Industry competition, keyword relevance, ad quality, and geographic location mean that two competing businesses in the same city can spend different amounts for each new lead.

While precise CPC will depend on the strategy of your ads management, industry averages are a good place to start.

Finance and Insurance Industry

The finance and insurance industry has one of the higher CPCs in Google Ads — the average monthly CPC climbed to $3.44 in 2023.

The finance industry is highly competitive, with many businesses vying for the attention of the same target audience. To succeed in this industry, advertisers need to have a well-crafted campaign strategy that cuts through the competition by targeting more specific keywords and audience segments. They should also focus on creating high-quality ads with clear calls-to-action that drive conversions.

Legal Industry

The average CPC for the legal industry clocks in at $6.75, making it one of the most expensive industries for Google Ads. CPC varies even further by practice area, with very saturated spaces like criminal (including traffic) law paying significantly more for each lead.

This is because the legal industry generally pits many law firms against each other within a relatively small geographic area. To outmaneuver the competition, advertisers need to have a highly targeted campaign strategy that focuses on high-value keywords and specific locations. They should also invest in ad content that speaks to their target audience’s pain points and offers clear solutions.

Health and Medical Industry

The CPC for the healthcare industry averages $2.62 per click, with specializations like dentistry and cosmetic surgery coming in a bit higher.

The healthcare space might be a bit less crowded than other industries, but because it is highly regulated, businesses have to be meticulous about content. To succeed in this industry, advertisers need to focus on creating targeted, high-quality ads that are compliant with relevant regulations.

Tech Industry

Tech used to be one of the least expensive industries for Google Ads, but the past year has seen CPCs increase to an average of $3.80. As the tech world becomes more saturated, it’s increasingly important for businesses to pursue specialized keywords and content that showcases their product or service’s unique features and benefits.

Retail Industry

Retail’s average CPC has increased over the past year, but it’s still one of the most affordable industries for Google Ads. The clothing category averages $2.72 per click with other consumer goods like personal care items ($2.89), furniture ($2.77), and miscellaneous retail and gifts ($2.44) hovering close by.

The retail industry is vast and competitive, but there are many opportunities to differentiate your business from others and claim targeted keywords. To succeed in the retail industry, a niched-down ad strategy is a must.

The Bottom Line

In conclusion, the CPC of Google Ads varies by industry, and it is influenced by a number of factors, including competition, keyword relevance, ad quality, and geographic location.

To get ahead in any industry, advertisers need to have a well-crafted campaign strategy that focuses on specific keywords and audience segments. They should also invest in high-quality ad content that is engaging, informative, and relevant to their target audience. By following these tips, advertisers can achieve better results from their Google Ads campaigns.