The Most Expensive Keywords on Google

The global search advertising spend has increased with over 500% in the last 10 years. In 2019 the total search advertising spend is estimated to have reached a whopping 127.8 billion US dollars. In 2020 the spend is estimated to reach 139.8 billion US dollars. Google is not alone in this space, but they still hold a strong 73.1% of all the revenue from search ads in the US. Another interesting fact is that 97% of Google's total revenue, all comes from advertising.

We took a deep dive into some of Wincher's data to look at what keywords have been the most expensive ones in 2019 and 2020, and there’s actually a lot of surprises. At least for us. We have looked at CPC (Cost per Click) data from Google Ads, formerly known as Google AdWords.

A click from Google Ads can, at least in theory, be as cheap as 1 cent. But for any keyword with any commercial value or any competition, you will need to pay a lot more than that. As with a lot of Google's products the pricing of Google Ads is decided by algorithms. The main factors that decide how much you need to pay per click are the competition, maximum bid, quality score and Ad Rank.

But enough of that, let's have a look at the top 20 most expensive keywords in the US and UK for the years 2019 and 2020. The amount some people are willing to pay for some keywords is quite impressive.

Top 20 most expensive keywords in the US 2019 and 2020

Keyword Cost Per Click
gartner contact center as a service$867
aegon structured settlements$820
nearest 24 hour emergency clinic$732
software developer startup$689
identity access management best practices$686
workers comp structured settlement$620
oklahoma truck accident lawyer$595
structured settlement lawyers$588
miami auto accident lawyer$576
drupal development services$555
attorney car$552
what does structured settlement mean$549
novation structured settlements$543
malpractice lawyers philadelphia pa$535
auto accident attorney nashville$530
do i have a structured settlement$505
accident lawyer nearby$496
big truck accident attorney$468
tacoma accident attorney$465
drupal web development services$447

As you can see the keyword holding the first position as the most expensive keyword in the US for 2019 and 2020 is a very specific one: gartner contact center as a service. Gartner is a public listed company with over 15000 employees. They provide research and advisory service within various niches such as finance, IT, HR, support, customer services and much more. This specific keyword is obviously related to customer and contact center services, or CCaaS (Contact Center as a Service).

Looking at the rest of the top list we find that keywords related to legal, IT and health are quite dominating. We are a bit surprised not to see more finance-related keywords, such as mortgage and loans.

Top 20 most expensive keywords in the UK 2019 and 2020

Keyword Cost Per Click
online spread betting$488
call centre software for small business$479
international ecommerce websites$370
real live roulette$286
the best personal injury solicitors$283
fca spread betting regulation$256
uk spread betting forex$242
adwords company$236
making tax digital software providers$236
what is adwords$231
applicant tracking software for small business$228
open spread betting account$225
simple construction estimating software$225
adventure palace slot$217
forex broker paypal deposit$204
top live casino sites$203
marilyn monroe slot$198
cfd trading platform uk$196
car accident claim lawyers$194
help desk programs$189

As you can see the cost per click is not as high as in the US. In second place we find a customer and call center related keyword. Something we don’t have on the US top list is gambling, which is quite dominating on the UK one. With the gambling regulations going on in the US, this might be something we will see more of in the near future.

Something we don’t see on the UK top list, on the other hand, is health since the UK and US have very different health care systems. Except for these two niches, gambling and health, the most expensive keywords are quite similar in the US and the UK. In both countries, we do find a lot of keywords related to IT and legal.

How to use CPC data in your day to day business

So how can you make use of this in your day to day SEO activities? Keyword search volume and CPC estimates is obviously something most people working in PPC advertising looks at. Probably on a daily basis. But this is a great tool for people working in SEO as well.

Many SEO professionals already know this. It might be for that reason the go-to tool for this purpose, the Keyword Planner from Google, nowadays is hard to access unless you are actively working with Google Ads. Why is that? Because from Google’s perspective the Keyword Planner is not an SEO tool, it’s a tool created for their advertisers.

Thankfully there’s a lot of great alternatives to Google's Keyword Planner, Wincher Keyword Research is one of them. You can see the search volume and average CPC, but also if you are or have been ranking for that keyword. Bear with us and we will have a closer look in a bit.

So, there’s several reasons this kind of data is relevant for SEOs all over the globe. The obvious one is the search volume for each keyword. But by looking at the cost per click at Google Ads, and other ad networks for that matter, you can make an initial valuation of the worth of a click, or basically a visitor, coming from that specific search query. If you then multiply the search volume with the CPC you get a good estimate of what all that traffic from that keyword, or that search query, is worth.

Nowadays far from every search actually results in a click. A lot of the clicks end up on the ads. Some queries are answered by Google’s rich snippets, so the user actually doesn’t need to click. So, although this might not be an exact science. There’s still a strong correlation between a rough estimate like the one above and the actual value of the organic search traffic.

How to find valuable SEO traffic with the help of Wincher's Keyword Research Tool

When we created Wincher's Keyword Research tool, we obviously wanted to help SEOs and webmasters find valuable keyword data. But we also wanted to give you recommendations based on your website. Let’s have a quick look at how to use it.

From your dashboard you just click the Keyword research tab and the Wincher Keyword research tool will show.

As most keyword research tools you will see the monthly search volume and the average CPC for the keyword. What most keyword research tools don't show you is a rough estimate on how much traffic you already might be receiving from this keyword. Because if you are ranking, or have been ranking, for this keyword we might be able to tell you. We might be able to do so thanks to our huge amount of both fresh and historical ranking data.

To find new profitable keywords to focus on it would make sense to go for some low hanging fruit. In this case that would be a keyword that we are currently ranking for. Or at least have been ranking for at some point. It would also make sense to choose one with a decent search volume and preferably a CPC higher than zero.

As you can see Wincher.com has been found in the top 10 positions for the search query google ranking dropped, but the search volume is low, and the CPC is zero. However, we are or have been ranking in the top 20 on seo position tracker. This query has a fairly small, but still ok, search volume and a CPC of almost 30 US dollars.

This is definitely a keyword we would like to rank for, that we didn’t know about beforehand. But with a search volume this small, we obviously want to reach at least top 3.

So, whilst we start preparing some new SEO activities for our newfound keyword, it also makes sense to start tracking the keyword by clicking add.

As you can see in our example, we have found a lot of keyword suggestions. Over 2000, which could be quite a bit of work to go through. Fortunately, there’s plenty of filter options to narrow down the number of suggestions. Here we have chosen to only show keywords with a search volume with over 110 searchers per month, where we have been seen ranking in the top 100. Doing that we have narrowed it down to 11 interesting keywords.

If you are happy with your new findings, it’s super easy to add all of them in bulk and let Wincher start tracking the new keywords for you.

This was just a very short introduction to Wincher’s Keyword Research tool, but to be honest it’s not much more complicated than this. And you will soon realize how easy and efficient this way to find new keywords is. Also keep in mind that the bigger and stronger your website gets, the more keyword suggestions we will find. For that reason, it’s definitely worth coming back to have a look every now and then.

More ways to make use of CPC and PPC data

Except for using this kind of data to improve your own website and SEO, there’s a lot of other valuable use cases for this. Below you can find a few tips and tricks when you find expensive keywords on Google.

1. Find Bargain Clicks

As mentioned before, looking at CPC data is obviously a great way to get an idea of how much you need to pay to get exposure through Google Ads. But you can also assume the cost to advertise on other PPC advertising networks will be similar. And if it’s a huge difference in price, you can either make a bargain or make sure you are not overpaying.

2. Initial Market Research

Maybe you have a brand-new idea for a business. Only by looking at the search volume and the CPC you can get a good idea of the market. If the search volume is high and the CPC low or zero, you might have found a huge cap to fill in the market. If the CPC is very high, it might be a very competitive market to enter. If the search volume is very low, the interest might not be there, or the customers don't know they need your business. Yet. Well, this should only be seen as indicators in your market research. But they are easy enough to find so it would be stupid not to have a look.

3. Identifying High-Value Business

This is kind of a reversed market research. Looking at the top list of the most expensive keywords on Google we posted above, you can easily identify lucrative businesses. The keywords related to the businesses found above must have high-value customers and clients. Since they need to make the money back from each click they are paying for the margins are probably very high. Probably the competition as well though. Obviously, you don’t have to look at the very most expensive ones to be able to identify a highly lucrative business.

So, what knowledge can we take with us from this into 2020? Basically, there’s a lot of valuable data to be found. Even for people outside the PPC industry. Even for people outside SEO.



Disclaimer. The dataset we have used to put together this list of expensive keywords is not based on Wincher user data. Keywords tracked by users that might occur in our list are purely coincidental. The CPC represents the average cost per click (USD) historically paid for the keyword.