Why is Google Ads so expensive?

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Why is Google Ads so expensive?: Understanding the Fundamentals of Google Ads Pricing


Google Ads operates on a pay-per-click (PPC) model, which means advertisers pay each time a user clicks on their ad. The cost is influenced by a variety of factors, including competition, keyword relevance, and Quality Score. It’s imperative for businesses to grasp these elements to manage their Google Ads expenditure effectively.

The Impact of Competition on Cost

In the realm of Google Ads, high competition for popular keywords can inflate costs. However, smart bidding strategies and keyword optimisation can help balance visibility with cost-efficiency.

Strategising with Keywords for Cost-Effectiveness

Keywords are the cornerstone of any Google Ads campaign, and strategic selection and management are key to controlling costs:

  • High-Competition Keywords: Necessary for market presence but can be costly.
  • Long-Tail Keywords: They target specific queries and often lead to higher conversion rates and lower costs.
  • Brand Keywords: These usually have the best conversion rates and the lowest costs due to their high relevance.

A Deep Dive into Quality Score and Its Influence on Ad Cost

Quality Score is a diagnostic tool that gives an idea of the quality of ads, keywords, and landing pages. Higher scores can lead to lower costs and better ad positions.

Effective Bidding Strategies to Manage Costs

Google Ads provides several bidding strategies that can align with different campaign goals:

  1. Cost-Per-Click (CPC) Bidding: For those focusing on driving website traffic.
  2. Cost-Per-Mille (CPM) Bidding: Ideal for brand awareness campaigns, charging per thousand impressions.
  3. Cost-Per-Acquisition (CPA) Bidding: For those who are targeting conversions, paying per action taken.

Utilising Advanced Campaign Types for Enhanced Performance

Diverse campaign types, such as search, shopping, display, image, and video ads, can cater to different user preferences, potentially boosting engagement rates and lowering overall costs.

Embracing the Art of Remarketing

Remarketing campaigns target users who have previously interacted with your website. By reminding and enticing these users to return, businesses can improve conversion rates and thus, the cost-efficiency of their Google Ads spend.

Use a Simple Google Ads Checklist for Reducing Google Ads Costs

To streamline your Google Ads costs, ensure to:

  1. Regularly Review Keyword Performance: Remove underperforming keywords.
  2. Optimise Ad Scheduling: Run ads during times when your target audience is most active.
  3. Implement Geo-Targeting: Focus on locations where your ads perform best.
  4. Use Ad Extensions Wisely: Enhance your ads with additional information without extra cost.
  5. Adjust Bids for Mobile Devices: Mobile users behave differently; tailor bids accordingly.
  6. Employ Negative Keywords: Avoid wasting budget on irrelevant search queries.
  7. Optimise for Quality Score: Higher scores can lower your cost per conversion.
  8. Conduct A/B Testing: Continuously test ad copy and landing pages for best performance.
  9. Utilise Smart Bidding Strategies: Allow AI to optimise bids for the best possible outcome.

Innovating with Ad Creatives for Higher Engagement

Innovation in ad creatives is crucial. Emphasising creativity and relevance in ad design can significantly improve engagement and reduce costs through higher Quality Scores and better conversion rates. This involves:

  • Crafting headline formulas that grab attention.
  • Utilising clear and concise calls to action that spur user interaction.
  • Designing visually appealing ad formats for display and video campaigns.

Understanding the Customer Journey for Better Ad Targeting

To effectively utilise Google Ads without exorbitant costs, understanding the customer’s journey from awareness to conversion is key. This understanding allows for:

  • Targeting ads based on the user’s stage in the buying process.
  • Creating tailored ad messages that resonate with the audience at each stage.
  • Allocating budget to the most effective campaigns at each funnel stage.

Leveraging Automation and AI for Cost Efficiency

Embracing automation and AI can drive cost efficiency. Google’s AI can:

  • Predict bidding outcomes with Enhanced CPC.
  • Optimize bids for conversions with Maximize Conversions.
  • Automate ad variations with Responsive Search Ads.

Final Thoughts on Mastering Google Ads Spending

Mastering Google Ads spending is an ongoing process that involves:

  • Understanding that higher costs can signify higher-quality traffic.
  • Recognising that a strategic approach can lead to cost reductions over time.
  • Remembering that patience and continual optimisation are key to success.

Expand Your Digital Marketing Knowledge

For businesses determined to refine their Google Ads approach and carve out a cost-effective path, continuous learning and adjustment are indispensable. It’s a journey of unearthing the subtle synergies between extensive market knowledge, customer insights, and the sophisticated mechanics of Google Ads.


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Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why do my Google Ads costs keep increasing?

  • The costs of Google Ads can escalate due to several factors. Increased competition for keywords can lead to higher bids required to maintain ad positions. For example, during peak shopping seasons like Christmas, retailers may see their Cost-Per-Click (CPC) rise by as much as 140% as more advertisers vie for the top spots. Additionally, changes in Quality Score, where a decrease can raise the cost per click, and the introduction of new ad formats by Google, can also contribute to higher costs.

2. How can I reduce my spend on Google Ads without compromising on traffic quality?

  • To reduce spending while maintaining quality traffic, advertisers should focus on enhancing their Quality Score by optimising ad relevance and landing page experiences. For instance, a well-known UK e-commerce company reduced its costs by 50% while maintaining its conversion rate by improving its landing page load times and ad copy relevance. Implementing negative keywords can also prevent ads from appearing in unrelated searches, thus preventing wastage of the ad budget.

3. Can I target specific devices or times to optimise my Google Ads budget?

  • Yes, Google Ads allows you to adjust bids for different devices and schedule ads for specific times of the day or week. For example, a Birmingham-based restaurant may increase its bids on mobile devices during lunch hours when potential customers are likely to search for dining options. This targeted approach ensures better use of the ad budget by focusing on high-intent times and devices, potentially increasing conversions by up to 20%.

4. Is there a way to predict the cost of running a Google Ads campaign before I start?

  • While it’s challenging to predict the exact cost due to the variable nature of auctions, Google Keyword Planner can give you an estimate of bid ranges based on historical data. For instance, a small business in the UK might use this tool to find that the estimated CPC for ‘bespoke suits London’ is around £2.50, giving them a baseline to calculate potential costs based on their desired clicks.

5. How important is the Quality Score, and what impact does it have on my ad costs?

  • Quality Score is crucial as it affects both the cost and the placement of your ads. It’s a rating out of 10 that reflects the relevance of your keywords, ads, and landing pages to users. A higher Quality Score can lead to lower costs and better ad positions. For instance, Google reported that improving your Quality Score by just 1 point could decrease your CPC by up to 50%. It’s essential to regularly review and optimise these elements to maintain a good Quality Score, thereby effectively managing your ad spend.


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