The 10 Businesses with the Highest Cost Per Click

Pay per click can be expensive!

Yesterday Luke, Bill and I had lunch with Jeremy, Justin and Carl from Cleveland Brothers.

We were talking about pay-per-click advertising and Luke said that the keywords with the highest cost per click (CPC) would make a good blog post.

So here it is!

I looked into this a little while ago and remember that clicks for personal injury lawyers are pretty expensive, at about $20.00 apiece.

I thought that was about the highest CPC out there.

Boy, was I wrong!

It turns out that every one of the top 25 most expensive keywords belongs to one of 10 industries. I averaged their click costs to give you:

The 10 Most Expensive Industries to Advertise Online:

Business/Industry Keywords in Top 25 Average Cost Per Click
1 Structured Settlements 2 $51.97
2 Secured Loans 2 $50.67
3 Buying Endowments 1 $50.35
4 Mesothelioma Lawyers 5 $50.30
5 DUI Lawyers 4 $49.78
6 Conference Call Companies 1 $49.64
7 Car Insurance Quotes 3 $49.61
8 Student Loan Consolidation 3 $49.44
9 Data Recovery 2 $49.43
10 Remortgages 2 $49.42


Fifty bucks! Are you serious? How can anybody justify that expense?

Four words: high lifetime customer value.

Buying a structured settlement nets a lot of money over a long time period for the advertiser. The same goes for refinancing student loans and remortgaging a house.

DUI and Mesothelioma lawyers make a killing in settlement money, so paying $50 per click is really pocket change.

Data recovery and conference calling software fosters long term client-vendor relationships. One new client can mean millions of dollars in recurring revenue over the years of the contract.

You don’t see any one-time purchases on this list, and for good reason.

It’s simply not worth it to pay a fortune in the hopes of selling one product once.

These big spenders are aiming high: millions of dollars in a lawsuit or hundreds of thousands of dollars in a high-interest loan.

With this in mind, how much is a click really worth to your business?

Tags: expensive, expensive keywords, pay per click advertising, ppc

  • mathews

    I wanna discuss more on that topics, CPC always killing me.

  • @mathews

    It can be pretty tricky, but you have to match your CPC to your return.

    If you spend 12 bucks per click but make 14 dollars in sales per click, it’s not a big deal that the CPC is high.

    Most of that comes from post-click optimization.

  • Xander, This is a fascinating list. I teach Strategy & Technology and would like to refer to your list in class and in my research/cases (citing your post, of course). Can you provide any context as to how you uncovered these figures? Is there a way to drill down & find the exact keywords? Thanks!

  • John

    So what would happen if I got a few friends to repeatedly click on a structured settlement company just for the hell of it?

  • @John, unless Google’s click fraud detectors went off, you would have cost that company a boatload of money 🙂

  • John,
    I can’t speak about other companies in the industry, however we monitor every IP address(which shows very specific information about visitor)that comes from Google PPC. Any abuse is immediately reported to Google and logged for future action. This type of action is considered fraud. For those that have a structured settlement and need to receive cash, we provide a low cost model for buying those payments.