How much does it cost to advertise on Google in 2023?

Paola Faben Oliveira

Want to reach new customers and increase online sales? It could be worth looking into Google Ads.

In this guide, we’ll show you how Google Ads works and crucially, how much it’ll cost your business.

And at the end, we’ll even leave you with some tips on how to save time and money as a business operating globally using Wise Business.

What is Google Ads?

Google Ads is the search engine’s online advertising platform. It allows your business to create adverts based on the keywords your potential customers use when searching for products or services like yours. By matching your ad with these keywords, it makes it more likely that it’ll appear in searches - which should mean more clicks and more customers.

How does Google Ads work?

Google Ads works out which ads appear using a superfast ad auction, which happens every time a search is carried out. The ads with the highest ‘Ad Rank’ - the score given to every ad in the auction, including yours - are more likely to appear in the top position.¹

The following factors can affect how Google Ads calculates your Ad Rank:

  • The quality, relevance and usefulness of your ads - and the landing pages they link to.
  • Your bid - you’ll set a maximum amount you’re willing to pay when someone clicks on your ads. This is part of the cost-per-click (CPC) system that Google Ads uses, which we’ll look at next.
  • Ad Rank thresholds - these are criteria set by Google Ads to ensure high quality ads.
  • Search context - things such as the search terms used, geographical location of the user and device used can all affect Ad Rank calculations.
  • The expected impact from your ad extensions - these are things like phone numbers or additional links included in your ad.

There are three different kinds of Google Ads² to choose from:

  • Search Network: campaigns which appear on Google Search results pages.
  • Display Network: ads that appear on websites or apps your customers use.
  • Video Campaigns: that show up just before content on YouTube.

How much does it cost to advertise on Google?

Google Ads gives you full control of your online advertising costs. You can set a budget cap so that you never spend more than your monthly limit. There’s no minimum spend or long-term contract, and you can adjust your budget at any time. You can even pause your ads for a while³.

You can set an average daily budget, which is how much you’re happy spending each day during the month. You can also set a monthly spending limit, which is the maximum amount you’ll spend on the campaign over the month⁴.

One of the most important things to know about pricing with Google Ads is that you only pay when customers take action on your ads. For example, clicking through to your website. This is called Cost Per Click (CPC) or Pay Per Click (PPC).

💡 Here’s an example:
If 500 people see your ad but no one clicks it, you won’t pay anything. If those 500 people do click your ad and each click costs £5, you’ll pay £2,500.

If you’re worried about getting more clicks than you can afford, you can manage this by setting your daily budget. Or if you want to take advantage of times when your ad is popular, you can set a monthly spending limit so that you don’t miss out on clicks on a particular day.

The cost-per-click (CPC) varies considerably depending on the keyword, industry and the competitiveness of search terms. However, the average Google Ads CPC for Search Network is £1,95.⁵

How to lower your Google Ads costs

Worried about spending too much on Google Ads? Here are some tips to bear in mind:

  • Choose your keywords wisely - looking at volume and conversion potential rather than just price.
  • Raise your Ad Rank by improving the quality of your ads and landing pages.
  • Adjust your bids regularly, especially for underperforming ads - keeping your Return on Ad spend in mind.

Paying for Google Ads

You can pay for your Google Ads campaigns through a number of different methods, including⁶:

  • Bank account (Direct Debit)
  • Debit or credit card
  • PayPal.

With all of the above methods, you can set up automatic payments⁶. This means that Google Ads will automatically charge your chosen bank account, debit/credit card or PayPal account when you reach a certain billing threshold, or every 30 days.

A cheaper way to make recurring payments in multiple currencies

When you set up your Google Ads account, you’ll be asked to set your currency. But what if you need to pay in a different currency?

The perfect solution here is Wise Business. With an international Wise debit Mastercard, you can make both instant and recurring payments in multiple currencies. This clever card automatically converts currency for you at the mid-market exchange rate, and you’ll only pay a low, fair fee.

Do this same conversion at your bank, and you could face high fees and a mark-up on the exchange rate. Ultimately, this means losing money along the way.

If your business operates internationally, the Wise multi-currency account is ideal. It offers a secure, convenient and money-saving way to manage cashflows in multiple currencies across borders.


If you’re new to Google Ads, it may take some time to get your head around how it all works - as it’s quite different to other digital advertising methods.

But after reading this guide, you should have a better idea of whether Google Ads is right for your business. If so, you can get started, set a budget and hopefully get great results from your first Google Ads campaigns.

Sources used for this article:

  1. Using Google Ads for online marketing
  2. FAQs & Advertising Resources - Google Ads
  3. Set an Advertising Budget that Works for You - Google Ads
  4. Budgets overview - Google Ads Help
  5. How Much Do Google Ads Cost? - Vertical Leap
  6. About payment methods for Google Ads

Sources checked on 02-01-2023.

This publication is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content in this publication. The information in this publication does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its affiliates. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

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