How to Lower Your Google Ads CPC in 2024

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Last Updated on: 28th April 2024, 12:01 pm

The less you pay per click, the more room there is in your advertising budget. But lowering your Google Ads CPC without sacrificing high-quality leads isn’t always straightforward.

So today, I’m going to show you 8 ways to lower your Google Ads CPC in 2024:

  • Increase your Quality Score
  • Experiment with keyword variations
  • Use negative keywords
  • Emphasise keywords in your Google ads
  • Focus on long-tail keywords
  • Adjust your area, device, and schedule targeting
  • Use cost-effective Google Ads bidding strategies
  • Improve your landing pages
  • A/B test your assets
  • Beat competitors at their games

Wait… What’s the Average Google Ads CPC?

Is your CPC too high or just right?

According to recent data, the average CPC on Google Ads has risen to $4.22 across industries in late 2023.

Average Google Ads CPC by Industry

Business CategoryAvg. Cost Per Click
Arts & Entertainment$3.13
Animals & Pets$2.72
Apparel/Fashion & Jewelry$1.55
Attorneys & Legal Services$9.21
Automotive – For Sale$2.08
Automotive – Service & Parts$3.06
Beauty & Personal Care$2.89
Business Services$5.47
Career & Employment$3.78
Dentists & Dental Services$6.69
Education & Instruction$4.10
Finance & Insurance$4.01
Health & Fitness$4.18
Home & Home Improvement$6.55
Industrial & Commercial$4.35
Personal Services$3.90
Physicians & Surgeons$3.97
Real Estate$1.55
Restaurants & Food$1.95
Shopping, Collectibles & Gifts$2.44
Sports & Recreation$1.77
Source: MegaDigital

But even if your ads have industry-average CPC, there’s always room for optimisation.

What Affects Your Google Ads Cost Per Click?

So, what is a Google CPC in Google AdWords – really?

A combination of factors, most of which you can influence.

how to lower your google ads CPC in 2024

How to Lower Your Google Ads CPC in 2024

Lower Your Google Ads CPC by Raising Your Quality Score

Nothing affects your CPC as much as your Quality Score. It’s a tool that compares your ad quality with your competitors and determines your CPC and ad position.

Essentially, the higher the Quality Score, the lower the CPC.

See the image below

Impact of Quality Score on Cost Per Click image
How quality score affects your Cost per Click in Google Ads

It has three components:

  • Expected CTR (click-through rate) – How likely are searchers to click on your ad?
  • Ad relevance– Does your ad match the search intent?
  • Landing page experience– Is your landing page useful to people who click through?

If you want to increase your Quality Score, make sure your ads are relevant.

Your keyword targeting, ad copy, and landing page experience should match the searcher’s intent. Make sure you’re using every tool in your kit to write amazing Google Ads copy!

Try Keyword Variations

Your CPC also depends on your competition. If your competitors bid on the same keywords, that drives up the cost. But if you research and reassess your keywords periodically, you’ll find new variations your competitors aren’t using.

If your campaigns are constantly targeting similar keywords, cast a wider net.

Take a look at other keywords (especially long-tail keywords) and analyse their CPC and search volume.

Remember: search volume for long-tail keywords is lower, but it produces higher quality leads.

Don’t Add Irrelevant Broad Match Keywords

Be wise with your keyword variations. While broad match keywords have their place, don’t just add them for the sake of adding them.

If they’re irrelevant, add them to your negative keyword list to avoid wasting your budget.

Be careful of campaign types like Performance Max, as these can be a huge budget drain.

Use Negative Keywords

Advertising budgets are often wasted because of unprofitable keywords.

Let’s say you offer business courses.

Because of Google’s phrase match system, your ad appears for “free management classes” – even if that’s not what you do.

So not only are you getting low-quality leads, but they’re not even clicking on your ads. If they visit your landing page, they leave immediately.

All of this affects your Quality Score and increases your CPC.

Negative keywords ensure your ads don’t accidentally target ineffective or wrong keywords.

Make sure you add all the negative keywords at the start of your campaign. Then, periodically review the keywords you appear for to expand it and remove all the budget-wasting keywords.

Create Relevant Ads to Lower Your Google AdWords CPC

Ad relevance takes all the Quality Score components into account:

Emphasise Keywords

Place the top keywords prominently in the headline and the description, and ensure the ads match the searcher’s intent.

For example, if you’re targeting an informational keyword: “how to dry clean clothes at home,” you don’t want an ad that mentions dry cleaning services and directs them to a service page.

Instead, you want to mention the keyword and direct them to an educational resource.

If your ad matches the query, the keywords will be bold.

Specific Ad Groups

Create separate ad groups for different products or services.

Let’s say you offer two courses: one for business, and another for marketing. Create two ads targeting different keywords, and direct leads to dedicated landing pages.

Use Long-Tail Keywords

Searchers ready to buy use detailed queries to find the perfect solution.

Someone who really wants to buy a sofa won’t search for the generic “sofa.” Instead, their search will contain details: “pet-friendly leather sofa London.”

Yes, long-tail keywords may have lower search volume, resulting in high-quality leads. They also increase ad relevance and Quality Score, ultimately reducing your CPC.

Don’t Neglect Ad Extensions

Ad extensions like sitelinks, location information, lead forms, and others expand your ad – allowing you to take up more space in the SERP. They offer more information, making your ad more likely to resonate with the searchers.

Use a Bidding Strategy to Assist Campaign Goals

Make sure your Google Ads bidding strategy matches your campaign goals, whether you’ve chosen manual or automated bidding.

For example, if your goal is to acquire a lot of customers with a fixed budget to increase your profit, choose the ‘Maximise conversion value’ bidding. To get more leads into your funnel, you could target specific Cost Per Action.

Similarly, if you want to control your acquisition costs, you can target them with the Target CPA bidding strategy. For example, suppose you own an eCommerce site, and you’re aiming for a $20 CPA. Once you enter it into Google Ads, the system will adjust bids based on historical data to get as many conversions at this cost.

As a Google Ads coach, I’ve liked my experiences with Enhanced Cost Per Click bidding, as well. It has allowed me to combine automated bidding with manual adjustments, so I can boost bids for the clicks that are more likely to result in conversions.

It’s wise to consult a professional about your bidding strategy.

You want to maximise your returns for every pound you spend on Google Ads. This means constant monitoring and optimisation.

I’d be happy to help! You can schedule a call with me here or connect with our AdWords consultants, Pay per click consultant, Google Ads specialist and Freelance marketing consultant.

Should You Lower Your Bids to Lower Your CPC?

It seems like the most intuitive solution: if you want to pay less, you quite literally pay less. The issue with this strategy is that it can place your ads at the very bottom of the SERPs, reducing your impression share. Don’t pull the plug entirely.

Instead, choose how you want to bid for each keyword based on the revenue it generates for you.

Here’s what I mean:

  • Keyword A traditionally brought in less qualified traffic for you. Why pay for it $5? Reduce the bid to $2.
  • Keyword B brings in great traffic that ends up converting to high-quality leads. Keep it at $5 or consider reallocating Keyword A’s budget to it to increase it to $8.

A/B Test Your Google Ads and Ad Copy

Don’t settle for “good enough.” Not when you can A/B test your Google Ads to reduce your CPC and increase conversions.

A/B testing lets you create different ad variations. For example, you can test the ad copy, landing pages, and more. Your audience is split into two groups; the first group sees the A variation, while the second sees the B variation.

Source: CrazyEgg

Ultimately, you see which variation got better results. If your experimental variation lowered your CPC or increased your conversions, you can start using it frequently.

I recommend starting with Quality Score components that are lower than others and only testing one thing at a time. Later on, you can try multivariate testing, but keep it simple in the beginning.

Improve Your Landing Page to Lower Your CPC

Google pays attention to how searchers behave once they click on your ad:

  • How much time do they spend on your landing page?
  • Do they return to the search engine results page?

If they stay on your landing page, Google increases your Quality Score and lowers your CPC.

Improve Your Page Speed

Your landing page needs to be fast. If the page takes three seconds to load, visitors are 32% more likely to leave.

The percentage increases as your page slows down.

Analyse your landing page with Google PageSpeed Insights, and optimise it accordingly.

Create Dedicated Landing Pages

If you’ve been directing leads to a category page (or your homepage), stop.

A dedicated landing page increases your ad relevance and, consequently, your Quality Score.

The landing page should match the intent in your ad. Use similar messaging, keywords, and reinforce the offer you mentioned in your ad.

If this is your ad…

Then this should be your landing page:

Monday uses the same keyword (“project management for your team”) in their ad and landing page. This reinforces the intent and tells searchers: “Yes, you came to the right place!”

Display Social Proof

Your testimonials, privacy policy, and clean design show your leads that you’re trustworthy.

For example, MailChimp displays the logos of brands they’ve worked with:

Try Adjusting Your Area, Device Targeting or Ad Schedule

Take a look at your campaign settings:

  • Are there areas your ads appear in, but you’re not getting good CTR?
  • Are some devices bouncing from your landing page faster than others?
  • Is your ad schedule in line with your audience’s activity?

Your ads could be targeting areas that you’re not servicing, resulting in higher costs.

Similarly, check the results from different devices. Your landing pages may be poorly optimised for mobile devices, resulting in higher bounce rates.

Finally, run your ads when your audience is active. The ad schedule is in your time zone so if your audience is in a different time zone, adapt to them.

Don’t Use Google’s Default Campaign Settings

I know that setting up a Google Ads campaign can be overwhelming, but don’t just use Google’s default campaign settings. Similarly, don’t blindly auto-apply Google Ads recommendations. They’re based on generic best practices, not your unique campaign setup and goals.

It’s worth looking into every detail so that your campaign sets you up for success. If you want to lower your CPC, leave no stone unturned!

Get more up to date strategies in my brand new Google Ads book!

Beat Your Competitors at Their Own Google Ads Games

If you often see a lot of overlap with your competitors in terms of impression shares, it’s time to think about what you can do to stand out. Analyse your competitors from Auction Insights and create a differentiation strategy.

First, identify your weakest and strongest competitors. You should capitalise on your weakest competitors’ gaps (for example, keywords or poor offers) and learn from your strongest competitors. When I first ran Google Ads for my businesses, I incorporated everything my competitors offered into my offering — and then some!

Then, strengthen your unique value proposition:

  • Your core offer
  • Your awards, recognitions, or testimonials
  • Consider offering a special deal or guarantee

Other, more cosmetic things you can do include:

  • Appealing to the emotional aspect of making the decision
  • Addressing pain points in your ad copy
  • Tailoring your landing pages to each audience segment

At the end of the day, the best offer will always win. Just make sure it’s clear you’re the best from the way you set up your Google Ads!

Do you want better Google Ads results at a lower CPC?

As a Google Ads Coach and Google Ads Consultant, I’ve been helping business owners run profitable Google ads for over 15 years. Book a call today!

Ready to take the reins? Achieve rapid Google Ads success in 7 easy steps with your copy of my best-selling Google Ads book!

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