AdWords Maximum Cost Per Click Price Escalation

If you are a regular Google AdWords advertiser, you’ve seen it – Google AdWords maximum cost per click escalation. If you are not a regular advertiser, prices have gone up for each click on Google AdWords significantly this past year.

Transparency is not one of Google’s strong suites especially when it comes to prices on Google AdWords. In fact, there is really no way to know if Google is manipulating cost per click pricing other than to trust them when they say they are not. Google states that advertisers will pay no more than one cent more for a click than the advertiser in the position underneath them as part of their smart pricing program, but can you trust them? Google AdWords has been a huge profit generator for Google. In fact, profits have been in the billions each quarter.

What we have found as an indication of escalating prices is scary at best. We have managed 20 to 30 dentist pay per click account each month for a client over the past two years. Most with monthly budgets of $500 to $1200 each. It used to be that a good starting maximum cost per click for dentists was $6.50. This setting assured the dentist of excellent placement and the average cost per click was actually under $4.50 when billed. Now, for cosmetic dentistry if the maximum cost per click is not set to $9 or higher, you are just not in the game. Even at $9 or so per click some dentists in major metro markets will still see their ads at position 7 to 15 on the page. The actual cost per click that the dentist will pay have zoomed up too.

Not only is Google making more money with zero transparency for the end-user about the real cost per click and what other competitors are paying per click, but market pressure from new competitors has increased.

Everyone wants to be on Google, and some advertisers have a winner take all mentality; whatever it costs, I want to be in the top spot. Well, in Boston if you are a cosmetic dentist get ready to pay over $22 for each click to own the top spot. And even with that due to quality score, the highest you may go is position 2. What is disconcerting is that this is just for a click and not every click will become a new patient. In fact, the conversion rate may be under 1% for clicks for dentists so you’ve got to have deep pockets to play.

However, the power of Google is attractive for many businesses including dentists, and there are many measures of success when a client is queried and conversions are not always the most important for some. Name exposure, website traffic, newsletter sign ups, office phone calls, requests for brochures and information are just some of the other measures for success.

The bottom-line is, if you want to play on Google AdWords, be prepared to pay!