Digital advertising options abound on the internet, but when it comes to accumulating paid traffic, few strategies can hope to beat out pay-per-click (PPC). Google is the largest player in the PPC space, taking up over 73% of search ad revenue in the US last year.
With 45% of small businesses investing in PPC advertising strategies like AdWords and banner ads, there’s certainly value to be found in them.
How much do Google ads cost, though, and when do the benefits of PPC advertising outweigh the investment? Read on for these answers and more.
How Much Do Google Ads Cost? Breaking Down the Factors
According to some estimates, an average business that uses Google ads will spend $9,000-10,000 per month on advertising. However, that doesn’t mean they’re only investing in PPC, and it doesn’t tell us how much they’re paying for each click. The real cost of Google ads varies from pennies to well over $50 per click.
What factors are responsible for this huge discrepancy in price? Let’s dig a bit deeper to understand a few of them.
First and foremost, the keywords you choose are the largest determining factor in Google PPC costs. Vague, highly-searched keywords, like “IT services”, have a massive amount of demand. Countless businesses are constantly clamoring to feature on results pages for these terms, resulting in fierce competition.
The higher the search volume and demand for your keyword, the more you can expect to pay for clicks. If you’re concerned about costs, try focusing on location-specific longtail keywords instead of shorter and more generic ones. This strategy also has the bonus of directing warm leads straight to your landing page instead of ineligible customers on the other side of the nation.
Competitive industries, like competitive keywords, can also drive up the cost of Google ads. If your business operates in a sector that relies heavily on digital marketing, you’ll likely find higher prices for related keywords. Relatively unsaturated industries and niche markets may be able to take advantage of prices below $2 per click.
PPC costs on Google and other platforms are constantly in flux. Like the stock market, the dynamic prices rise and fall with demand. You may find that clicks cost more at certain times of the day, on weekends, or during certain months of the year.
The relationship between timing and price isn’t constant for every industry or keyword, though. If you’re concerned that you could end up spending too much when prices randomly spike, you can set a maximum per-click value that you’re willing to pay. Google won’t continue to promote your ad if costs rise above that number, but you also won’t blow your advertising budget on ten or fewer visitors.
When to Choose Pay-Per-Click Advertising
PPC ads are the obvious choice when you’re looking for fast results. Product launches, promotions, and months when you need a boost in revenue are all great times to take the plunge into PPC. With this strategy, you can see results as soon as your ad goes live and continue them for as long or short of a time as you want.
Another huge benefit of PPC ads is the direct link between cause and effect. You can shorten your feedback loop dramatically by running short-term advertising trials and comparing their ROIs. Whether you’re changing up your messaging or want to see which existing tactics work the best, PPC can give you the clear-cut metrics you need.
Keep in mind that you set your budget for Google PPC campaigns. If they turn out to be more expensive than you’d like, you can pull the cord at any time. Tracking the effectiveness of each AdWords slot is the best way to identify a worthwhile vs wasted investment.
When to Go With SEO Instead
SEO is the right choice when you’re looking for long-term, budget-friendly results. Unlike PPC, the only direct costs involved with SEO are your time, web hosting expenses, and any professional services you’ve enlisted. It’s always a good choice to invest in, though, as it can help you reach and maintain a page one SERP standing.
The downside of focusing on organic search engine optimization is that you’ll often have to wait weeks or months to see major spikes in traffic. Content creation takes time, and on top of that, you’ll also have to wait for search engine bots to crawl your posts and for people to notice.
Why Not Both?
If you’re asking yourself “should I choose PPC or SEO?” you might be missing the target. PPC and SEO aren’t either/or strategies—on the contrary, they’re best used in tandem. Choosing to exclusively use one or the other will leave you with huge gaps in your marketing.
As we discussed earlier, SEO is a long game.
Focusing your efforts on organic traffic is worthwhile, but if your messaging is off-kilter, you may not find out until months down the line. You may even find out that you wasted huge amounts of resources on a campaign that didn’t connect with customers enough to bring in significant revenue. To make matters worse, you won’t even be able to pinpoint the exact reasons your content didn’t click to rectify your mistakes.
Instead of falling prey to this mistake, test out your messaging with Google ads. PPC provides a short enough turnaround time on results that you can use it to fine-tune your messaging and long-tail keywords with 1:1 accuracy. Use these direct correlations to your advantage and run A/B tests to identify which products, content styles, and catchphrases resonate with your audience.
After you’ve gathered specific data, integrate your findings into evergreen content on your site. Seeing results will likely still take time, but you’ll have a better idea of how to expect your content to perform.
Navigating the Ups and Downs of Google Ads Pricing
Google pay-per-click costs aren’t always straightforward, but don’t let that deter you from using this powerful marketing platform. Developing a successful Adsense strategy could make all the difference in your business’s ROI in the coming months.
If you need help with answering the question of “how much do Google ads cost?” and deciding whether now is the time to invest in AdWords, drop us a line. VujaDay Creative Digital Agency’s team has an expert understanding of how to balance paid and organic traffic. Rather than wasting precious time and funds on a trial-and-error approach, we can help you get your ad spend priorities right the first time.
Don’t wait any longer to invest in growing your business. Reach out to us online or give us a call to get started.