Keyword Pricing: How Much Does a Keyword Cost?

Keyword pricing can be a real mystery, even to professional marketers. This article will tell you everything you need to know to determine how must a keyword costs. 

Keyword Pricing: Everything You Need to Know

In this section, we’ll tell you everything you ever wanted to know about the price of keywords on Google Ads, from what a keyword is, to the average cost of a keyword, and what the most expensive keywords tend to be. 

Keyword pricing

Definition of Keywords

Keywords are the words or phrases at the root of a pay-per-click advertising campaign on a search engine like Google. The keywords describe your service or product that you, the advertiser, choose to help determine when and where your ad will appear. When someone uses that word or phrase in the search engine, your ad will pop up. 

That’s why it’s important to choose relevant, high-quality keywords for your ads. A great keyword will help you improve the performance of your ads, while a bad, irrelevant keyword will do you no good at all and ultimately end up costing you more money. (See below for more about how to help pick the right keywords for your ads.) 

Keyword Price

The price of the keyword is how much an advertiser pays a search engine each time a potential customer clicks on one of their advertisements. This is called pay-per-click or PPC advertising, because you pay each time your ad gets a click.

What is Pay-Per-Click Advertising?

Pay-per-click advertising is an advertising method in which advertisers pay for their ad only when their ad is clicked on. It is commonly used on search engines like Google and Bing, which is the context in which we’ll be discussing pay-per-click advertising in this article. Creating a great pay-per-click ad campaign can be complicated, but we’re here to help.


Before we get into keyword pricing, let’s discuss cost per click, otherwise called CPC. Cost-per-click is an online advertising revenue model that websites use to bill the advertiser based on the number of clicks the ad receives. The average CPC on the search network across all industries is $2.32. This gives you an idea of a CPC bid might cost you.

How Much Does a Keyword Cost?

So, how much does a keyword cost? The answer is, it depends. The cost of a keyword depends on several variables. It depends on how competitive the market is for the particular keyword you want to use is, and the cost of keywords is constantly changing. Any given keyword can change in cost at any time. Competitive industries and industries with a high customer lifetime value tend to have the most expensive keywords. 

We can tell you that the average cost-per-click in Google Ads is between $1 and $2. The most expensive keywords cost at least $50 per click. So as you can see, the cost of a keyword varies. 

The easiest and most accurate way to find out the cost of a keyword for your business is to hire a pay-per-click advertising agency like SEO Design Chicago. 

Most Expensive Keywords

Some examples of the most expensive keywords on Google are: insurance, loans, mortgage, attorney, credit, lawyer, donate, degree, hosting, claim, conference call, trading, software, recovery, transfer, gas, electricity, classes, rehab, treatment, and cord blood. 

Long-Tail Keywords

If you want to use pay-per-click advertising but you can’t afford to spend tens of dollars per click on a pricy keyword like “attorney,” you have other options. A long-tail keyword is a keyword that is more specific and longer than a typical one-word keyword. 

For example, instead of “attorney,” you can use “get help with my legal case.” It’s a more specific keyword, so it will most likely cost less because it might attract less traffic than “attorney.” The benefit of a long-tail keyword, however, is that it usually attracts a much more specific, targeted audience that is more likely to make a purchase. 

Keyword price factors

Factors That Affect the Price of a Keyword

There are several factors that can affect the price of a keyword, including popularity, search volume, competition level, which network you choose to advertise on, quality score, and seasonality. We’ll break them all down for you here: 


The popularity of a keyword is the most important factor in how much it costs. The more popular a keyword is, the more expensive it will be to use. 

Search Volume

Search volume tells you how many people are searching for a particular keyword in a certain amount of time. Higher search volumes bring higher brand visibility, and thus are more expensive. 

Competition Level

The competition level tells you how many advertisers are bidding on a keyword on the Google network. As the competition increases, so does the price of the keyword. 

Network Choice: Search Network vs. Display Network

Google Network has two options – the Search Network and the Display Network. The Search Network includes SERPs (or search engine results pages), search sites that partner with Google, and Google partner’s websites. The Display Network, on the other hand, includes Gmail, Blogger, YouTube, and other partnering sites. The Search Network is targeting users with buyer intent, whereas the Display Network is targeting those with similar interests. 

Therefore, the Search Network is more expensive because you are getting your ads in front of the most likely customers to make a purchase. 

Quality Score

Quality Score is an influential metric that affects the price of a keyword. It is Google’s ranking of the quality and relevance of your keywords and your ads. Google Ads gives preference to ads with a higher quality score, so they will cost less. 


Just like the seasons, the markets are always changing, and so is the price of any given keyword. For example, the price of keywords that focus on the holidays like Christmas and Hanukkah are understandably going to rise in December. 

Google keyword planner

Google Keyword Prices

The typical question we get is regarding Google keyword pricing. The Google AdWords keyword costs vary, just like any other keyword. However, Google Keyword cost will typically be higher than that of a lesser-known advertising platform, due to its popularity. After all, there are 100 billion monthly searches on Google. If your ad budget can afford Google AdWords, a Google Ads campaign is likely your best bet.

Here’s a short summary of how Google Ads work: Google hosts an ads auction to determine your ad placement. The ad placement is where your ads appear on the Google Display Network. Your ad rank is recalculated each time your ad is eligible to appear and competes in the auction.

We typically recommend that clients utilize their ad spend on Google Ads, Bing Ads, Facebook Ads, Instagram Ads, LinkedIn ads, or a few other various platforms, depending on your industry and goals.

How to Use the Google Keyword Planner

So, now that you know all about what keywords are and how much they cost, how will you go about choosing with keywords to use in your ads? There’s a tool for that. The Google Keyword Planner is a tool created by Google to help advertisers pick which keywords to use to get their ads in front of the right customers. 

First, you do keyword research. You can discover new keywords related to your products or services. The tool will help you find the keywords that are most relevant for your business. Then, the tool will tell you how often certain keywords are searched and how those searches change over time. That will help determine which keywords will be most effective for you and help you narrow down which keywords you want to use in your ads. 

Next, the keyword planner will give you suggested bid estimates for each keyword, so you can determine how much you want to spend on your ads. Then, you add your keywords to your advertising plan. Whenever you’re ready, you can launch your campaign. 

An added benefit of the Google Keyword Planner tool is it helps you stay on top of which keywords are relevant in your industry at any given time. 

Keyword cost estimate

Keyword Cost Estimator Tool

There are several ways to find out how much a keyword costs. If you want to estimate the cost of a keyword without having to commit to buying it right away, you can use Google’s Bid Simulator tool. Here are the steps to find Google’s Bid Simulator tool: 

First, sign in to your Google Ads account. If you don’t have one already, you will need to make one. Then click, Campaigns, Ad Groups, or Keywords. Then, click the simulator icon. If you’re in Campaigns, the icon is in the Daily Budgets column. If you’re in Ad Groups or Keywords, the icon is in the “Default Max. CPC” column. You can change your bid by selecting a new option in the Bid Simulator. 

While this is a useful tool, the only real way to find out the cost of a keyword at any given time is by using the Google Keyword Planner. Your other option to find the best keywords for your pay-per-click advertising campaign and how much they will cost is by utilizing an advertising agency like SEO Design Chicago. 

Should I Use a Web Agency To Help Me With Keywords? 

If you’re considering bidding on keywords and running a pay-per-click advertising campaign for your business, you should consider hiring a full-service digital advertising agency like SEO Design Chicago to help you. 

A digital advertising agency will be able to help you choose the most cost effective keywords and design the perfect ads. We can help you determine how much to spend on particular keywords, and how much your digital advertising budget should be. We can also run the campaign for you and adjust accordingly. 

Another benefit to hiring a digital advertising agency is that we will take all the work off of your hands that we described above. We can run for your advertising for you while you run your business. It will result in a lot less time and frustration for you if you let us help you! 

Eliminate the Mystery of Keyword Pricing with SEO Design Chicago

From choosing keywords to setting the budget for your pay-per-click advertising campaign, using digital ads can be complicated. For more help with keywords and pay-per-click advertising, contact SEO Design Chicago today. SEO Design Chicago has years of experience strategizing and helping companies build their own advertising campaigns using keywords.


  • What is a keyword?
  • What are some of the most expensive keywords?
  • How do I find out how much a keyword costs?
  • What are the factors that affect the keyword price?
  • What is CPC?

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