Revealed: The most expensive Google AdWords in Australia

In this guest post, Anna Lebedeva of SEMrush shares advertising insight into the most expensive key words by industry.

Everybody knows that Google has many sources of revenue, but it’s largest one, its cash cow, is advertising, which accounted for 90 percent of its revenue in 2015. And Google’s growth for last year was about 15 percent, which amounts to billions of dollars.

The overall trend is that digital advertising itself is becoming more popular as more companies are choosing online advertising over more traditional options. According to a recent eMarketer projection, digital advertising spending will even surpass TV in 2017.

If you’ve ever created a Google AdWords campaign, you probably know that it can be extremely expensive. In the past few years, marketers have seen a significant increase in the cost-per-click for popular keywords, and this trend will probably continue.

Basically, cost-per-click is calculated by a sort of “auction” that takes place during searches. The most expensive keywords are simply those that are searched for the most, the ones competitors are willing to bid on. But you can always target so-called long tail keywords, which are less competitive, but they can still bring you a significant amount of traffic.

As we all know, costs-per-click dramatically differ depending on the industry and location, varying anywhere from one to three digits per visitor.

Have you ever wondered what the most expensive keywords are for Google AdWords Australia?

What we found out

We compiled data from SEMrush’s keyword database to determine the top 200 most expensive keywords searched for in Australia. This keyword list is broken down into seven industry categories and, for simplicity, presented with infographics, which you can find below.

All keywords that are on this list are long-tail and very targeted. Despite the fact that they cost a lot, they don’t receive much traffic (on average 10 – 250 monthly),  this can be explained by their high competitiveness.}

The highest CPC was calculated in the following categories:


Insurance (most expensive keyword phrases: “income protection insurance” and “life insurance”)



Legal services (“motorcycle accident sydney” and “the personal injury lawyers”)

A majority of the most expensive keywords represent the insurance industry, offering popular income, life, funeral insurance or a quick quote on them.  Insurance companies traditionally bid high on AdWords campaigns as they usually profit from each client, which means it’s worth paying for extremely expensive clicks.

As one might expect, keywords related to legal services account for 20% of the most expensive keywords with personal injuries, vehicle accidents and income protection at the top of the list.

I want to believe that there aren’t very many traffic accidents in Sydney, but the ROI of this PPC must be incredibly high if companies are ready to bid on a price like that.


Finance and trade (“best mobile trading app” and “foreign exchange trading australia”)

And as you can see in the infographic, 73% of the most expensive keywords are related to three industries: finance, insurance and law. These categories represent businesses with a very high lifetime customer value, which is why they are ready to pay more to get new clients.


Software (“customer data management software” and “best algorithmic trading software

The two most expensive keywords are related to finance and trade: “best mobile trading app” and “foreign exchange trading Australia,” which cost $276 and $256 per click respectively. These two are followed by “customer data management software,” which is priced just over $200 per click.

In the software business, there are many companies with huge budgets, and very often it is better to compete for leads by creating and promoting content giving expertise.


Business and marketing (“social media roi” and “enterprise mobility”)



Gambling (“betting odds horse racing” and “sportsbet logo”)



Household (“carpet flood damage melbourne” and “flood restoration australia”)

These categories represent businesses with a very high lifetime customer value, which is why they are ready to pay more to get new clients.



We also discovered that 9% of keywords are location-sensitive with “Australia,” “Sydney,” “Brisbane” and “Melbourne” the most common. This simply means that PPC are especially high in case of bidding for the big city with highest volume of searches.

If you represent a local business, such as a law firm or an insurance agency located in a particular neighbourhood of a large city, you must use a keyword that locals would search for in order to rank high in your area. Think like a consumer, and in order to avoid paying too much (as you see in our list), you need to narrow your choices and use geo-targeted long tail keywords.



More than 42% of the most expensive keyword phrases consist of more than three words, which makes them detailed and highly targeted. Each additional word tells you more about user intent, so the longer a keyword phrase is, the more targeted clients you will get and the more relevant results you can deliver.

Anna Lebedeva is the PR manager at SEMrush. This article was first published by Mumbrella. Read the original article here


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6 years ago

Tell me again; how much tax did Google pay in Australia last year?

6 years ago
Reply to  Screechmedia

30% on Net Profit for their Australian based services, 10% for GST. For their foreign based services they paid no tax. Because that part of their operation is offshore. Are you expecting them to pay company tax on their offshore operations? I agree GST should be applicable, but that’s it.

Be careful about this tax witch hunt into multinationals, it could come back to bite us and kill off the last gasping remnants of our economy. After all, how many Australian owned and run businesses pay company tax to the foreign government of the countries they export to. They pay ZERO company tax to that foreign government. So how is this any different to Google not paying the ATO company tax for their Ireland owned and run business?

6 years ago
Reply to  Rohan

first line should read “30% on Net Profit for their Australian based OPERATIONS,”

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