Google ads pricing graphic

Google Ads costs around $3.67 per click on average across all industries in 2024 for search ads.

Of course, this number will vary massively depending on industry, company and location.

Our Google ads pricing guide aims to give you the most accurate and up-to-date costs for Google advertising across all industries, so that you can consider what budget you might need to invest in Google ads.

Google Ads Pricing - Key Takeaways

  • ⛔️ Most averages you see online are massively skewed by Google Display Network, where CPCs are significantly lower
  • Average cost per click is $3.67 for Google search ads 
  • 44% of businesses spend $100-10,000 per month on Google ads
  • Average ROAS (return on ad spend) for Google ads is 2X
  • A highly profitable ROAS (return on ad spend) for Google ads is 4X
  • Some advertisers suffer from Google click fraud, diminishing their budget.

A Breakdown of The Average Costs

In this cost guide, we’re going to focus on Google since it accounts for almost 89% of the global search industry and it boasted 274 million unique users in the United States in 2023, the latest data we have available.

Google Search Network

In 2024, the typical cost-per-click (CPC) on the Google Search Network is between $1-5, depending on industry.

These are the ads you see at the top of Google after searching for a specific keyword, and you get charged only when there's a click on your ad.

Those ads cost significantly more, because you are showing them to a hyper-targeted audience who are actively looking for your specific product or service. 

See example below:

Google CPC average example graphic

Google Display Network

On the other hand, you can also pay for ads on the Google Display network or Performance Max network.

These are the ads that show up on the side of news websites, blogs, and other places on the Google network like YouTube and Gmail. 

Importantly, these ads cost significantly less per click, because they're not nearly as effective in driving new customers or conversions.

Here's an example below:

google display ad example

Below are some more benchmarks for paid search costs:

Google ppc ad pricing benchmarks

Google Ads Cost By Industry

Your industry is the biggest factor that influences the cost of Google Ads. Each industry has different competition levels, average bid prices, and customer behaviors. 

We've also put together a comprehensive list of all the average CPC (cost per click) pricing for Google Ads by industry in 2024.

  • Animals & Pets CPC - $3.13 
  • Fashion & Jewelry CPC - $2.72 
  • Arts & Entertainment CPC - $1.55 
  • Legal Services CPC - $9.21 
  • Automotive For Sale CPC - $2.08
  • Automotive Repairs CPC - $3.06
  • Beauty & Personal Care CPC - $2.89
  • B2B Services CPC - $5.47
  • Career & Employment CPC - $3.78
  • Dentists CPC - $6.69
  • Ecommerce CPC -$1.16
  • Education CPC - $4.10
  • Finance & Insurance CPC - $4.01
  • Furniture CPC - $2.77
  • Health & Fitness CPC - $4.18
  • Home & Home Improvement CPC - $6.55
  • Industrial & Commercial CPC - $4.35
  • Personal Services CPC - $3.90
  • Doctors & Surgeons CPC - $3.97
  • Real Estate CPC - $1.55
  • Restaurants & Food CPC - $1.95
  • Travel CPC - $1.63

This data was collected from multiple sources including Wordstream and SEMrush. The data includes only Google search network averages, not Google display network.

When we break down the total average from all of these, we get an average CPC of $3.67.

However, it's very important to note that these are simply averages, and that if you're only bidding on high value keywords, your averages are likely to increase.

There are several reasons for this disparity. For example, in some industries businesses will compete for the same keywords, which drives up the cost per click (CPC).

They might also have high customer lifetime values (see below), which also translates into higher advertising costs.

Let’s look at the legal sector as an example. Here, one new client could be worth thousands of dollars. A CPC of $9.21 seems a small cost for such a valuable lead.

The CPC can be lower for industries with less competition or more niche markets, like arts and entertainment. 

Customer lifetime value (CLV)

Customer lifetime value (CLV) is how much a customer is worth to a company in the long term. 

In industries or businesses where the CLV is high, companies are often willing to spend more on acquiring a new customer because the return over time justifies the higher cost.

High CLV Industries:

  • Business Consulting Firm - $385,000 CLV
  • Website Design Agency - $91,000 CLV
  • Financial Advisory Firm - $164,000 CLV
  • Medical Billing Services - $81,000

📊 When compared to the customer lifetime value, companies are willing to pay a significant sum of money on Google ads, because it's still incredibly profitable. 

Low CLV Industries:

  • Ecommerce Brands - $168 CLV 
  • Emergency Plumber - $400 CLV
  • Streaming Service (Netflix) - $291.25 CLV

Businesses that understand their CLV can allocate their advertising budget more effectively. 

If the expected revenue from a customer over their lifetime is substantial, investing more in Google ads make sense.

Conversely, it's crucial for businesses with a lower CLV to manage costs carefully to ensure a positive return on investment (ROI).

–Stewart Dunlop , CEO at

💡 A general rule of thumb is that your CLV (customer lifetime value) should be at least three times your customer acquisition cost (CAC). 

Often we'll find in Ecommerce that a strong ratio is 3:1 or 4:1, but it's not unusual for B2B service businesses to see ratio's of 10:1 or more, given the comparatively high customer lifetime values on offer. 


Price of Keywords

The cost of Google Ads largely depends on the keywords that you're competing on.

For instance, a high-intent keyword like "lawyer near me" implies an urgent need or a readiness to purchase. 

This keyword has a cost per click (CPC) of $4.50. It's often more expensive because it’s highly sought after by law firms that want to target potential customers at the moment they are ready to make a decision. 

As you can see below, it has more than 12,000 monthly searches in the US alone.

lawyer near me google ads cost

On the other hand, a keyword with lower buying intent, such as "how much does a lawyer cost," is less expensive at $1.30. 

This is because it typically represents a user seeking information rather than being ready to purchase immediately, resulting in less competition.

how much do lawyers cost keyword cost example

Bid Impacts Price

In addition to industry, customer lifetime value, market trends, and keywords, your bidding strategy plays a role in how much Google Ads costs:

1️⃣ Bid: Your bid is the amount you're willing to pay for a click on your ad. Higher bids can increase your chances of winning the ad auction, leading to better ad placement. Conversely, lower bids might reduce costs but could result in less favorable ad placements.

2️⃣ Budget: Your budget limits how much you can spend on a campaign. A higher budget allows more clicks, but it also means you might spend more overall. A lower budget limits spending but might reduce the campaign's reach and effectiveness.

How Market Trends Impact Price

Industry trends also play a big role in how much Google ads cost. Because of this, it's crucial to stay on top of developments in your industry. 

For example, during the COVID-19 pandemic, many companies either scaled back their advertising budgets or temporarily shut down altogether. However, more people than ever were shopping online. 

As a result, CPC fell across many industries.

Take the apparel industry, for instance. Before COVID-19, its average CPC was around $1.40. 

However, this figure decreased 50% to $0.70 in April 2020, coinciding with an increase in average conversion rates

Subsequently, the CPC adjusted to $0.89 in May, as companies realized they could make money online and competition for Google PPC ads subsequently increased.

Consider Seasonal Trends

Seasonal trends form part of market trends. For industries that experience seasonal spikes (like retail during the holidays), the cost can increase due to the higher volume of searches and advertisers vying for attention.

Additional influences on the cost of Google Ads

Along with bid and budget, here are three more factors that influence the cost of your Google Ads campaigns:

🕒 Ad scheduling: This allows you to choose specific days and times to run your ads. Scheduling ads during peak times can lead to higher costs due to increased competition, while off-peak times might cost less but could have a lower audience reach.

🌍 Geotargeting: Targeting specific geographical locations can impact costs. Ads targeting high-demand areas or regions with more competition (like urban centers) might have higher costs. Conversely, targeting less competitive, rural, or specific regions can be less expensive but might reach a smaller audience.

Below is an overview of average CPC costs for Google search ads for marketing and advertising in different countries. As you can see, larger economies tend to be higher on the list. 

Reference - Statista.

Statista CPC by country

📱Device targeting: Conversion rates for desktop devices tend to be much higher than on mobile phones. 

As a result, this means that the cost per click for desktop ads is significantly higher than for mobile ads. 

👉 On average we see desktop ad costs anywhere between 50-100% higher. 



Google ads device CPC desktop vs mobile

This is thought to be caused by user behavior. While users are more likely to browse products on a mobile, they are more likely to make a purchase on a desktop. 

What Other Google Ads Costs Can I Expect?

When running Google Ads campaigns, there are several additional costs you might encounter beyond your ad spend:

  • Monthly Ad Spend - $1,000 - $ 10,000 per month 
  • PPC Agency / Consultant - $500 to $5,000 or 10-20% of ad spend per month
  • PPC Management Software - $50 to 1,000 per month

In addition, you might end up paying extra costs for things like landing page design, which is vital to help improve your conversion rates.

Some companies pay a professional PPC agency to manage their campaigns for them (more on this at the end of the article).

Research from WebFX shows that the amount companies spend with PPC agencies each month varies considerably:

Monthly PPC management agency spend:

  • <$100 = 3% of businesses
  • $100–$500 = 12.1% of businesses
  • $501–$1,000 = 15.2% of businesses
  • $1,001–$3,000 = 21.2% of businesses
  • $3,001–$5,000 = 12.1% of businesses
  • $5,001–$8,000 = 15.2% of businesses
  • $8,001–$11,000 = 9.1% of businesses
  • $11,001–$15,000 = 7.6% of businesses
  • $15,000+ = 4.5% of businesses

How to Calculate a Starter Ads Budget

As we’ve already seen, how much you should spend on your Google Ad campaigns depends on a range of factors. 

However, you could usually expect to pay thousands of dollars per month, rather than hundreds. 

Here’s a good process for calculating your initial spend. Bear in mind that you may have to spend more or less money, depending on the campaign’s success.

  • First, Decide how many new customers you want to get in a month. 
    • Let’s say this is 300 new customers.
  • Work out or estimate your conversion rate. 
    • Let’s say this is 12.5%. 
  • Work out how many monthly clicks you need to meet your target by dividing the target number of target customers by the conversion rate:
    • 300/0.125 = 2,400 clicks required
  • To work out your total budget, multiply the figure above by your cost per click. Let’s assume this is $2
    • 2,400 x $10 = $5,800
  • Calculate your potential profit by multiplying your earnings per customer by your target number of conversions. Then take away your total budget.
    • $100 earnings per customer 
    • 300 customers
    • =  $30,000 earnings with ad spend of $5,800

We explain how to work out your daily and monthly Google ads budget later in the article.

How Does the Cost of a Click Get Calculated?

When calculating the cost of a click, Google takes two things into consideration: Quality score and ad rank. Below we’ll unpack how each works. 

Quality Score

The quality score is a crucial factor that influences the cost per click. It's a rating that assesses the overall relevance of your ads, keywords, and the landing pages they link to. 

This score ranges from 1 to 10, where 10 represents the highest level of quality and relevance. Here's how the quality score influences the cost of a click:

✅ Relevance: Matching your ad with the user's search intent.

✅ Click-through rate (CTR): Higher CTRs indicate appealing ads, which enhance the score.

✅ Landing page quality: Well-designed, informative pages boost the score.

For example, if we Googled “house sitter Charlotte, NC,” here is one of the top results: 

example good ad house sitter charlotte

Here is why has a high-quality score: google ads quality score

✔️Clear CTA: Visitors can start looking for a house sitter straight away.

✔️Relevant: The page content matches the ad.

✔️Nice design: The page looks smart and is easy to use. 

✔️Strong branding: The Care logo and brand colors are simple and easy to recognize.

✔️Social proof builds trust: By including some ratings and numbers, Care builds trust with visitors unfamiliar with the brand.

Ad rank

Ad rank is the second key factor considered when calculating the cost of a click within Google ads.

It's a formula used by Google to determine the order in which ads are displayed in search results. Ad rank considers several elements, with quality score being one of them.

The ad rank formula is as follows:

📊Ad Rank = Bid Amount × Quality Score

Here's how ad rank works:

  • Bid amount: This represents the maximum amount an advertiser is willing to pay for a click. It's set by the advertiser during their campaign setup.
  • Quality score: As mentioned earlier, the quality score reflects the quality and relevance of your keywords, ads, and landing pages.

Calculating CPC

Let's move on to the next component of Google Ads cost: budgeting. Many companies find their monthly budget quickly used up, which creates the perception that Google Ads is too expensive.

Often, burning through ad budgets is due to a lack of understanding of how the Google Ads budgeting system works.

In the section below, we'll explain this in more detail and clear up any confusion and get into the basics of managing your Google Ads budget effectively. Here are the essential terms and concepts you need to know:

How Does Budgeting Work in Google Ads?

Google might occasionally spend more than your daily budget on days with high traffic potential, but it compensates by reducing spending on other days. 

This ensures you don't pay more than your monthly budget cap.

Your total spend for a campaign will not exceed your average daily budget multiplied by the average number of days in a month. 

Key Terms

  • Budget: Your total spending limit for Google Ads.
  • Bid: The maximum you're willing to pay per ad click.
  • Spend: The amount deducted from your budget for ad auctions.
  • Cost: The actual price paid per ad click.

💰Daily average budget

You define an average daily budget for each campaign that indicates the average amount you're willing to spend per day over a month. 

This budget can vary based on your advertising goals and available funds.

Google calculates your monthly spending limit by multiplying this daily budget by the average number of days in a month (30.4). 

So, fluctuations in daily spending are normal as long as they don't exceed this monthly limit.

💰Spending limits

Google might occasionally spend more than your daily budget on days with high traffic potential, but it compensates by reducing spending on other days. 

This ensures you don't pay more than your monthly budget cap.

Your total spend for a campaign will not exceed your average daily budget multiplied by the average number of days in a month. 


The amount you pay for Google ads depends greatly on your bid, which in turn depends on how much you are willing to pay for a click. 

Your bids need to be high enough to compete with other bidders to earn those higher positions in the search results.

It's important to note that Google ads have two bidding types: manual and automated. We discuss them briefly below:

🔺Manual bidding

Manual bidding allows you to set bid amounts for keywords or ad placements yourself. This means you have full control over bid amounts for different keywords and ad groups. 

You can also adjust bids based on insights and trends.

⚠️This bidding strategy is best for advertisers who are starting out in order to gain data, before moving on to an automated strategy.

🔺Automated bidding 

Automated bidding lets Google set bids for your ads based on the likelihood of achieving your specified goals. It uses machine learning to optimize bids in real time. This is a great option for saving time and optimizing budgets. 

How to determine your average daily budget?

Determining your average daily budget for Google Ads involves careful consideration of your advertising goals, expected costs, and overall budget constraints. 

Here are steps to help you determine an appropriate average daily budget:

👉 Calculating average daily ads budget

To calculate your average daily budget for a campaign, divide your total monthly budget for that campaign by 30.4 (the average number of days in a month).

Example: If your monthly budget for a campaign is $304, your average daily budget would be $10 ($304 ÷ 30.4).

👉 Deciding on a monthly ads budget

When deciding on a monthly budget, here are the factors to consider:

➡️ Overall Google Ads budget: Consider the total budget allocated to all your Google Ads campaigns.

➡️ Cost per click (CPC): Look at the average CPC for your targeted keywords, which can be estimated with tools like Google Keyword Planner.

➡️ Campaign priority: Allocate more budget to campaigns that are more crucial. A campaign that promotes your best-selling product might get a larger portion of the budget compared to one aimed at generating general awareness. 

For example, you might want to allocate a bigger portion of your budget to a key sales-driving campaign and less to a campaign aimed at top-of-funnel customer engagement.

Professional PPC Management

Understanding Google Ads and its impact on PPC costs are key. You might not want to do all the work yourself. If this is the case, you may want to hire an agency. 

Many businesses choose to work with such agencies for better results. Although appointing a PPC management agency might seem like a big budget consideration, it's important to remember that expert help can really boost the effectiveness of PPC ads. 

A pay-per-click (PPC) agency specializes in managing online advertising campaigns. A PPC agency (like offers the following services: 

  • Strategy development: Creating a comprehensive PPC strategy tailored to the client's business goals. This involves understanding the target audience, market trends, and the client’s unique selling points.
  • Keyword research: Identifying the most relevant and profitable keywords for each campaign. This step is crucial as it determines the visibility of the ads to the right audience.
  • Ad creation and optimization: Designing and crafting ad copy that is compelling and targeted. This also includes optimizing the ads for higher click-through rates (CTR) and conversions.
  • Landing page design: Developing or improving landing pages that ads link to. Effective landing pages are essential for converting visitors into customers or leads.
  • Bid management: Managing bids on keywords to ensure that the client’s budget is used effectively, aiming for the best possible return on investment (ROI).
  • Campaign management: Monitoring campaign performance by making necessary adjustments in real time to improve results. This can include changing bid strategies, adjusting keywords, or modifying ad copy.
  • Analytics and reporting: Analyzing data to track the performance of PPC campaigns and providing clients with detailed reports. This helps in understanding what works and what doesn’t to guide future strategy.
  • Testing: Implementing A/B testing to determine the most effective ad elements, from copy to visuals and call-to-action buttons.
  • Competitor analysis: Keeping an eye on competitors’ strategies and performance to stay ahead in the market.

Bottom Line

We've analyzed in detailed the average costs of Google Ads, and also exactly what influences the price of Google Ads.

If you're considering investing in Google Ads, then it's not enough to just have a budget and expect it to work magic.

You need to understand exactly what your customer lifetime value is and exactly what you're prepared to pay to acquire a new customer.

This more than anything will help you budget better for Google Ads and achieve success.

Stewart Dunlop