How Much Does Google Ads Cost in 2024? The Ultimate Guide

14 min read
Google ads


Google Ads, a key player in the digital advertising world, has become an indispensable tool for businesses seeking to expand their reach and boost visibility. As 2024 unfolds, understanding the cost of Google Ads stands as a vital aspect for any business wishing to strategize effectively.

With the capacity to reach over 90% of internet users worldwide, Google Ads offers a platform that helps businesses target specific demographics and locations with ease. However, this extensive reach comes with its own set of costs which can vary widely based on several factors.

The cost of Google Ads in 2024
is influenced by aspects such as:

  1. The competitiveness of the industry
  2. The quality score of your ads
  3. Your chosen keywords and bidding strategy


Grasping these variables is essential to anticipate expenses, allocate budget effectively, and most importantly, maximise return on investment (ROI). This guide aims to provide a comprehensive overview of the factors influencing Google Ads costs, breaking down industry-specific rates and offering practical insights on budget optimisation.

Understanding Google Ads Cost

When it comes to Google Ads cost, there are several factors that come into play. The first of these factors is the competitiveness of the keywords you choose. High-demand keywords tend to have higher costs, which can significantly increase your overall advertising expenses.

Another crucial factor is the Quality Score assigned by Google, which takes into account the relevance and quality of your ads and the landing page. A higher Quality Score can lower your costs and improve your ad’s position.

The average Cost-Per-Click (CPC) ranges can also impact the total Google Ads cost. With 61% of businesses paying between £0.11 and £0.50 per click, and 56% paying between £0.51 and £1.00 per 1000 impressions, balancing CPC with the volume of impressions becomes a critical aspect of managing ad expenses. Please note that legal, financial and other premium services can reach £20, £30+ cost per click but the returns are worth it!

Here are some key points:

  1. Keyword Competitiveness: High-demand keywords often cost more.
  2. Quality Score: A higher score can lower costs and improve ad positioning.
  3. Average CPC: Ranges from £0.11 to £0.50 per click for most businesses.
  4. Impressions: Majority of businesses pay between £0.51 and £1.00 per 1000 impressions.


Google Ads cost varies depending on these factors, among others, offering a range of spend options for businesses of all sizes and industries.

Next up, let’s delve into industry-specific CPC rates to further understand how these costs can fluctuate across different sectors.

Industry-Specific CPC Rates

Industry-specific CPC rates are influenced by a multitude of factors, including the competitive landscape, consumer behaviour, and the average value of a sale within each sector. Each industry presents unique challenges and opportunities in attracting clicks and converting leads, which is reflected in the cost per click businesses can expect to pay.

  • Advocacy: In the UK, the advocacy sector sees CPC rates around £1.43, indicative of its focused yet vital audience. This cost reflects the sector’s targeted approach to reaching stakeholders and influencers.


  • Auto: The auto sector in the UK encounters CPC rates near £2.46. Targeting potential car buyers involves sophisticated advertising strategies due to the significant value of each purchase.


  • B2B: Businesses operating in the B2B space within the UK experience a higher CPC rate, at approximately £3.33. This is attributed to the niche targeting required and the high-value transactions typical in this sector.


  • Consumer Services: Given its competitiveness, the consumer services sector in the UK commands a CPC rate nearing £6.40. The wide range of services offered and their varied audiences contribute to this higher cost.


  • Dating and Personals: With a CPC rate close to £2.78, the dating and personals sector reflects the emotionally driven nature of its purchases, which may influence cost variability.


  • Ecommerce: Ecommerce businesses in the UK face a moderately ranged CPC rate of about £1.16. This sector balances the need to reach a broad audience with the reality of substantial online competition.


  • Education: The education sector, encompassing institutions and services, works with a CPC rate around £2.40 in the UK as entities vie for the attention of students online.


  • Employment Services: Operating at a CPC rate of approximately £2.04, the employment services sector in the UK navigates the fluctuations of the job market, which can affect search behaviours.


  • Finance and Insurance: This sector experiences one of the highest CPC rates in the UK, around £3.44. The significant lifetime value of customers acquired through Google Ads justifies this higher rate.


  • Health and Medical: With an average CPC rate of £2.62, health-related advertisers in the UK face competition for keywords related to urgent needs and services, reflecting the critical nature of this sector.


  • Home Goods: The home goods sector in the UK has an estimated CPC rate of about £2.94, driven by wide-ranging products and strong consumer interest in home improvement.


  • Industrial Services: Businesses within the industrial services sector deal with a CPC rate close to £2.56 in the UK, reflecting the niche markets and the need for precise targeting strategies.


  • Legal Services: In the UK, the legal services sector experiences one of the most competitive Cost Per Click (CPC) rates on Google Ads due to high client acquisition costs. The average CPC is about £9.21, though for specific areas such as divorce law, costs can escalate to as much as £20.31 per click.


  • Real Estate: Real estate advertisers in the UK experience a range around £2.37 CPC, balancing local market competition with the significant value of property transactions. This sector requires a nuanced approach due to the local nature of the market and the high stakes involved in real estate deals.


  • Technology: For tech companies in the UK, the CPC rates average around £3.80. This sector is marked by rapid innovation cycles, prompting companies to compete aggressively to capture market interest swiftly. The relatively high CPC reflects the fast-paced environment and the substantial potential return on investment.


  • Travel and Hospitality: Despite seasonal fluctuations, the travel and hospitality sector in the UK enjoys moderate costs with an average CPC rate of about £1.53. This sector benefits from a wide range of consumer interest, from local staycations to international travel, which can lead to variability in advertising costs.


These ranges demonstrate how market forces within specific industries shape Google Ads costs significantly; deeper insights can help businesses better allocate their advertising budgets for maximum impact.

Other Factors Influencing Google Ads Costs

The cost of running Google Ads is not solely dependent on industry benchmarks; several other vital factors play a crucial role.

Quality Score (1-10)

A numerical estimate of the quality of ads, keywords, and landing pages, the Quality Score significantly impacts costs. Advertisers with higher scores often pay less per click due to more relevant ad experiences for users.

  1. Relevance: Ads that closely match the intent behind a user’s search query can lead to higher Quality Scores.
  2. Click-Through Rate (CTR): A reflection of how often people who see the ad end up clicking on it, indicating the ad’s effectiveness.

Ad Experience

Engaging and relevant ads can improve user experience, leading to a higher CTR and potentially lowering costs.t

  • User Interaction: Ads that facilitate positive interactions tend to perform better in auctions.

Landing Page CTR

The user’s experience after they click on an ad is equally important. Landing pages with high CTRs indicate relevance and quality content, contributing to a better Quality Score and lower costs.

Keyword Choice

Selecting the right keywords is paramount as it determines the audience reach and relevance.

  • Competitiveness: Keywords in high demand may drive up costs due to increased competition among advertisers.


Keyword Competitiveness

High competition keywords generally come with a higher price tag, as more advertisers bid for top placement.

Strategies for dealing with keyword competitiveness:

  • Strategic Bidding: By focusing on long-tail keywords or those with lower competition, advertisers can often find a balance between reach and cost.


Assessing these factors requires continuous monitoring and optimization to maintain an efficient campaign. Advertisers must refine their strategies constantly to align with changing user behaviours and market dynamics.

OptimiSing Budget and Bidding for Cost Efficiency

Effective budget management is crucial in Google Ads campaigns to make sure you’re getting the most out of your money. As an advertiser, you have several options for managing your bids, depending on your goals and how much control you want to have:

Manual Bidding

With manual bidding, you have full control over how much you’re willing to bid for each click on your ads. This can be done at the ad group or keyword level, giving you the flexibility to Prioritise certain areas of your campaign. Manual bidding is a good choice if you have the time and knowledge to closely monitor and adjust your bids based on performance.

Automated Bidding

If you’re looking for a more hands-off approach or simply don’t have the time to constantly optimise your bids, automated bidding strategies can be a great solution. These strategies use machine learning algorithms to automatically set bids based on the likelihood of conversion or achieving your target cost-per-acquisition (CPA). Some common automated bidding strategies include:

  1. Target CPA: This strategy sets bids with the goal of getting as many conversions as possible at or below your specified CPA.
  2. Maximise Conversions: With this strategy, Google Ads will try to get you the highest number of conversions within your budget.
  3. Target ROAS: If your main focus is on maximising revenue, this strategy sets bids based on achieving a specific return on ad spend (ROAS).


By using automated bidding, you can save time and potentially improve performance by allowing Google’s algorithms to optimise your bids in real-time.

Setting Limits to Control Spending

In addition to managing your bids, it’s also important to set limits on how much you’re willing to spend on a daily and monthly basis. This helps prevent overspending and gives you more control over your budget:

Daily Limits

By setting a daily budget, you can specify the maximum amount you’re comfortable spending in a single day. Google Ads will try to evenly distribute your budget throughout the day, but there may be some fluctuations depending on traffic and performance. It’s worth noting that on days with high traffic, your spending may exceed the daily limit, but it should even out over time.

Monthly Limits

If you prefer to have a more predictable spending pattern, you can also set a monthly limit for your campaign. This is calculated by multiplying your daily budget by the average number of days in a month (30.4). With a monthly limit in place, you can better plan and manage your finances without worrying about unexpected spikes in spending.

Finding the Right Balance

When it comes to budget management and bidding strategies, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. It’s important to understand your goals, resources, and level of expertise to make informed decisions. Whether you choose manual bidding for full control or automated bidding for efficiency, finding the right balance is key to maximising your ad performance while minimizing financial risks.

Understanding Cost Calculations and Ad Positioning

Ad Rank and Quality Score are crucial factors in determining the cost per click (CPC) for Google Ads. It is important for advertisers to understand how these elements work together in order to create a successful bidding strategy.

Ad Rank Calculation

The position of your ad on a search engine results page (SERP) is determined by your Ad Rank. This calculation takes into account two main factors:

  • Bid Amount: The maximum amount you are willing to pay for a click on your ad.
  • Ad Quality: How relevant and useful your ad is to users, as determined by factors such as keyword relevance, ad text, and landing page experience.


A higher Ad Rank not only places your ad in a more visible position but can also lead to lower costs and better performance.

Quality Score

Quality Score is a rating from 1 to 10 that measures how relevant your keywords, ads, and landing pages are to a user’s search query. A higher Quality Score indicates that your ad is more likely to be clicked on, and can result in lower CPCs. Google rewards advertisers who provide a positive user experience with higher Quality Scores.

Bidding Strategy

Your bidding strategy determines how much you are willing to pay for each click or thousand impressions (CPM). There are two main types of bidding strategies:

  1. Manual Bidding: You set a maximum CPC or CPM bid based on your budget and goals.
  2. Automated Bidding: Google’s algorithms automatically adjust your bids based on factors such as conversion data, device targeting, and audience characteristics.

It is important to align your bidding strategy with your Quality Score and desired Ad Rank to achieve cost-effective ad placement.

The formula for calculating CPC is:

CPC = (Ad Rank of the ad below yours / Your Quality Score) + £0.01

This equation ensures that you only pay enough to outrank the competitor immediately below you, highlighting the importance of balancing your bid amount with ad quality.

By understanding and OptimiSing these factors, advertisers can improve their ad’s position on the SERP while managing costs effectively. This allows them to reach potential customers without overspending.

Cost Breakdown by Network

When navigating the complexities of Google Ads, advertisers must comprehend the distinct cost structures of the Google Search Network and the Google Display Network. Each network operates with its unique cost implications and audience targeting capabilities.

  1. Google Search Network
  2. Cost Per Click (CPC)


On the Google Search Network, advertisers often experience a higher CPC due to the intent-driven nature of search queries. Users on this network are actively seeking information or solutions, making clicks from these ads potentially more valuable.

Statistics indicate that CPC ranges on this network can be as follows:

  • < £0.10: 9.18%
  • £0.11-£0.50: 36.73%
  • Higher brackets up to >£10.00: witnessed less frequently.


Cost Per 1000 Impressions

The cost per 1000 impressions (CPM) can also vary, reflecting the value of visibility amongst an audience with high commercial intent.

Notable CPM ranges on this network include:

  • < £0.50: 19.15%
  • £0.51-£1.00: 25.53%

Google Display Network


Cost Per Click (CPC)

Advertisers may find lower CPCs on the Google Display Network, attributed to its broader reach across various websites and platforms that may not have the same user intent as those actively searching.

Recent data shows CPC distribution as:

  • < £0.10: 5.56%
  • £0.11-£0.50: 23.61%


Cost Per 1000 Impressions

With its visual ad formats and extensive reach, CPM rates here reflect the diverse exposure potential.

Key CPM insights for this network are:

  • <£0.50: a significant quarter at 25%
  • £0.51-£1.00: leading at 31.25%


Recognising these differences enables advertisers to tailor their strategy to either network depending on their campaign goals, whether prioritising direct response from users with high purchase intent or aiming for broad brand awareness across varied online contexts.

The decision between networks should align with strategic objectives and target audiences, thus influencing subsequent considerations in campaign management and optimisation efforts, as will be explored further in upcoming sections.


Monthly Google Ads Costs

Understanding the intricacies of budgeting for Google Ads is crucial for businesses aiming to optimise their online marketing strategy. The expenditure on Google Ads varies significantly across different industries, influenced by factors such as keyword selection, competition levels, and industry standards.

Based on the analysis, a substantial portion of businesses (44%) allocate a monthly budget ranging from £100 to £10,000 for Google Ads. This variance highlights the diverse advertising strategies and budget capabilities of companies across sectors.

Small businesses, which form a considerable segment of the market, also tend to spend within this broad range (£100 – £10,000/month), with about 62% of them falling into this category. It’s essential to note, however, that these are average figures, and actual spending can deviate due to factors like market trends, keyword competitiveness, and Google’s Quality Score metrics.

When it comes to managing Pay-Per-Click (PPC) campaigns, the costs for professional services vary. For agencies providing PPC management, the monthly charges are typically between £501 and £3,000, accounting for 36% of businesses that outsource this function.

For businesses that prefer using paid PPC management tools over agency services, the costs are more varied, ranging from £15 to £800 per month. These tools offer a range of functionalities to manage campaigns more efficiently without the need for a full-service agency.

Integrating the suggested update regarding fees for advertising agencies in the UK, the standard monthly cost for such services is between £750 and £3,000, excluding technology costs. This adjustment reflects the standard pricing structure within the UK market for agency-based advertising services.

To summarise the updated overview:

  • Average Monthly Google Ads Cost: £100 – £10,000 (44% of Businesses)
  • Small Businesses Average Spend: £100 – £10,000/month (62% of Small Businesses)
  • PPC Management Agency Cost: £750-£3,000/month (Reflecting UK market standards, excluding technology costs)
  • Paid PPC Management Tool Cost: £15 – £800/month

These numbers serve as a good starting point for understanding average monthly investments in Google Ads campaigns. However, these figures are not absolute and should be considered alongside other factors such as business size, industry-specific CPC rates and changing online advertising trends.

The Impact of Campaign Strategy on Costs

Campaign strategy plays a crucial role in determining the cost of Google Ads. By strategically choosing the campaign type, keywords, and ad scheduling, you can have a significant effect on your costs.

1. Selecting the Right Keywords

One important aspect of campaign strategy is selecting the right keywords for your ads. Here’s how it works:

  1. Competitive Keywords: Some keywords are highly competitive, meaning that many advertisers are bidding for them. These keywords usually have a higher cost per click (CPC) because of the increased demand. If you want to minimize costs, you should be careful when using these keywords.
  2. Relevant Keywords: On the other hand, using highly relevant keywords that have low competition can be beneficial. These keywords may not have as much search volume, but they can help you maintain visibility without spending too much money.


The key here is to find a balance between keyword competitiveness and search relevance. By incorporating high-impact, low-competition keywords into your campaigns, you can improve your chances of getting clicks at a lower cost.

2. OptimiSing Ad Scheduling

Another way to control your Google Ads costs is by OptimiSing your ad scheduling. This means choosing specific times of the day or week to display your ads based on when your target audience is most likely to be online.

Here are some examples:

  1. A restaurant might want to show ads during meal times when people are thinking about where to eat.
  2. An online store could optimise for peak shopping hours like evenings and weekends.

By showing your ads at the right times, you can increase the chances of reaching potential customers while minimising wasted impressions.

However, it’s important to note that peak hour visibility can be more expensive due to increased competition for ad space. So you’ll need to monitor your results closely and make adjustments if necessary.

  1. Choosing the Right Campaign Type

The campaign type you choose can also impact your costs. For example:

  1. Search Network: This type of campaign focuses on displaying text ads in search engine results. It’s generally more targeted and can be a good option if you’re looking for direct conversions.


  2. Display Network: On the other hand, display campaigns show image or video ads on websites that are part of Google’s network. This option can be useful for building brand awareness but may have a lower conversion rate.


Understanding the strengths and weaknesses of each campaign type can help you make better decisions about where to allocate your budget.


As you can see, your campaign strategy has a direct influence on your Google Ads costs. By carefully planning and OptimiSing your campaigns, you can find the right balance between visibility and budget constraints.

In the next section, we’ll dive deeper into how the cost structures of the Search and Display networks can affect your expenses.”

Understanding the costs of Google Ads is crucial for businesses looking to use this effective marketing tool in 2024. By strategically managing bids, knowing the average cost per click (CPC) in their industry, and considering how Quality Score affects costs, advertisers can handle the complexities of Google Ads. The important thing is to keep learning and adjusting to the changing world of online advertising, making sure that campaigns are both affordable and successful. As the internet continues to change, so should our methods for controlling Google Ads spending.

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Jo has worked in advertising for the majority of her career with brands such as Emap & Natmags  before taking a career break to bring up her family. Since joining the business the Jo continues to deliver first class online advertising and Client Management across all PPC channels and Social Media.

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