How Much Does Google Ads Cost? AdWords Costs Explained

When it comes to marketing your business, budget always plays a role. As a business owner, you need to be aware of how much money you can afford to spend on a campaign and focus your energies and your funds on systems and techniques that are going to bring you results. Google Ads is a hugely popular advertising platform for companies and retailers that sell products and services, but how much does it cost, and could it work for you?

Google Ads is an online platform, which enables you to reach out to customers who are looking for products or services that are similar to those that you are selling. Google is the world’s most popular search engine, and it processes more than 40,000 searches every second. When you perform a search on Google, you’ll often see adverts pop up at the top of the page. These are Google ads, which are designed to capture your attention and encourage you to click on the link and visit a homepage or landing page. Google Ads is a brilliant choice for many businesses because it has a huge reach, it enables you to define target markets and groups, and it gives you the opportunity to advertise locally, nationally, or globally. When you post an advert through Google Ads, you’ll only pay when somebody clicks on your advert. With Google Ads, you can advertise a broad spectrum of products and services. This platform is particularly beneficial for businesses that are targeting web users and hoping to increase trade online.

How much does Google Ads cost?

There is no universal answer to this question because Google charges varying amounts per click, and businesses set different spending caps. Cost per click can vary from between 0.01 cents (pence) per click to over £$100 per click. Research conducted by Wordstream suggests that the average cost-per-click for Google’s Search Network is between £0.66 and £1.32, but there are several factors that affect the cost of a Google Ads campaign. These include:

  • Your industry: the industry within which you operate will have a bearing on the cost per click rate. Consumer services and ecommerce have low rates (less than £2), while industries like online gambling have extremely high rates, with companies paying more than £100 per click.
  • Your Quality Score: your Quality Score is a rating given to you by Google. Quality score is made up from over 100 signals, with the top three being – expected click-through rate (CTR), ad relevance and landing page experience. The score, which will range from 1-10, is based on the relevancy and quality of your landing pages and your keywords. The average score is around 5-6. If you have a high score, you’ll pay less per click as a reward from Google for providing consumers with high-quality ads that contain relevant keywords and search terms. If you’re selling used cars, for example, you want the ad and the landing page to be optimised for users searching for used cars for sale, rather than vans or bikes for sale or brand new motors.  To learn more about check out our article a guide to Google Ads quality score.
  • Your ad ranking: Google will use your Quality Score and your bid to determine your ad ranking. This relates to the position of the ad on the search engine results page.
  • You can use other optimisation techniques for Google Ads to reduce costs.

How costs are calculated using bidding strategies

Choose a bidding strategy in Google Ads based on your goals. Every time someone searches on Google, Google Ads runs an auction to determine which ads will show on the search results page, their rank on the page and whether any ads will show at all. To place your ads in this auction, you first have to choose how you’d like to bid. Try choosing a bidding strategy based on your goals, like whether you want to focus on getting clicks, impressions or conversions. To learn more check out our article The ultimate guide to Google Ads bidding strategies. 

Focus on clicks on your ads.

This bidding strategy is known as a CPC bid (you pay a cost per click). Use CPC to drive traffic to your website. This is a recommended option for new accounts, or even new campaigns within established accounts. Once you have more conversion data, you can consider enhanced CPC or even CPA/ROAS bidding. 

Focus on viewable impressions

This bidding strategy is as a cost-per-thousand viewable impressions (vCPM bidding). vCPM bidding is available for Display Network campaigns only. This bidding strategy is most suited to top of the marketing funnel brand awareness.. 

Focus on conversions - actions on your website

This bidding strategy is a cost-per-acquisition (CPA bid) or return on ad spend (ROAS). This biddig strategy is most suited to direct response bottom of the funnel marketing interested in conversions, like purchases or lead signups.

How to get more for your money

Google offers you the option to set a budget, which can be modified and adjusted. Once you’ve set a budget through Google or through a PPC agency, you want to ensure that you get the best results possible. Google will only charge you when somebody clicks on your ad, but a click doesn’t always lead to a conversion. If you’re spending money on Google Ads, you want to make sure that consumers aren’t just clicking on your ads, but that they’re taking the next step. This may mean buying a product, making a call to find out more or joining the email subscription list, for example. To get more for your money, it pays to focus on improving your conversion rate. Here are some tips to help you achieve this objective:

  • Optimise landing pages: if your ads are attracting attention, but you’re not converting leads, this could mean that your landing pages are falling short. Optimise your landing pages for relevant search terms and keywords, make sure your pages are mobile-friendly, and ensure they look great and that they’re easy to navigate. You don’t want people to lose interest or get frustrated because the page won’t load or they can’t work out how to actually buy the product. Include a clear CTA and simplify the process of completing a purchase or registering with your site. To learn more check out our articles about CRO tips and Google Optimise landing page testing
  • Make use of the negative keywords feature: if you’re using Google Ads, you want to maximise your opportunities to reach out to interested buyers. Using the negative keywords feature, you can eliminate searches linked to terms and words that are irrelevant to your ads, reducing the risk of paying for clicks that won’t lead to conversions. To learn more check out our article the ultimate negative keyword guide
  • Target the right audience: when you’re posting ads, define your audience and target the right buyers. 

Payment options

If you’re looking for a PPC agency to manage your Google Ads campaign, you may come across various payment options, including long-term contracts, flat-rate monthly charges and hourly rates. If you opt for an hourly charge, this makes budgeting really simple, and you’re not tied into any long-term arrangements. You simply pay for the number of hours you need. The time it takes to run a Google Ads campaign will depend on your objectives, and the overall cost will vary according to the Quality Control score, the industry, and the cost per click. If you have a monthly Google Ads budget, One PPC can work with you to draw up an effective strategy that will improve your conversion rate, optimise your website, and enable you to reach a much wider audience. 

Billing & Payments Section

Select tools on the menu bar, then billing & payments. 

Billing Summary

After navigating the menu and selecting billing & payment, this open the summary page. Here you can see how much is owed to Google. Payments are set to be automatic, but can also be done manually. The last few months of transaction is show, along with how payment is done.  


Transactions provide a more detailed breakdown of the payments. This is reported at the individual campaign level.


The payment settings provide the payments account ID, name and how you pay. 

Google own Summary of the Cost of AdWords & How it is calcuated.

Google have also written their own articles that cover the cost of Google AdWords (now Google Ads. Check it out here-   Google Ads Pricing. How are costs calculated in Google Ads? 


It’s impossible to give an exact figure when considering how much Google AdWords cost, as there are several factors that impact the cost per click and the overall cost of a Google Ads campaign. If you need information or help with designing and implementing a cost-effective Google Ads strategy, don’t hesitate to seek expert advice.

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