Navigating the Maze of Google Ads Pricing in South Africa: Understanding the Factors that Affect Cost

Google Ads has become an integral part of the digital marketing landscape in Pretoria, South Africa. With over 60% of the South African population using the internet, businesses are using Google Ads to reach their target audience and drive more traffic to their website. However, did you know that the most expensive keyword in South Africa is “insurance”? According to a study by SEMrush, the average CPC for the keyword “insurance” is around R61.05.

Another interesting fact is that the legal industry has the highest CPC in South Africa. According to the same study by WordStream, the average CPC for the keyword “lawyer” is around R58.18. This is followed by the finance and education industries, with an average CPC of around R55.27 and R50.66, respectively.

Interestingly, the healthcare industry has a relatively lower CPC, with an average of around R40.47 for the keyword “doctor”. This is probably due to the fact that healthcare is a basic necessity, and people are constantly searching for healthcare providers online.

Cost of a Google ad in South Africa

Factors that Affect Google Ads Pricing in South Africa

The cost of advertising on Google Ads is not fixed and can vary greatly depending on various factors. Here is some additional information on the four main factors that affect Google Ads pricing:

Competition for the keywords

The competition for keywords is one of the primary factors that influence Google Ads pricing. The more businesses that are bidding on a particular keyword, the higher the cost per click (CPC) will be. For instance, keywords such as “insurance” or “lawyer” have a high level of competition and a high CPC because many businesses are bidding on them.

Ad placement

The position of an ad on a search results page can significantly affect its cost. Ads that appear at the top of the search results page typically have a higher CPC than those that appear at the bottom of the page. However, ad placement can also impact the ad’s performance, as ads that appear at the top of the page often receive more clicks and therefore more conversions.

Fun fact: The first Google Ad was run by a startup called Green Tea that sold loose tea leaves in 2000. The ad read, “Loose tea leaves from Green Tea. Order online today!”

Ad quality

Google Ads rewards advertisers who create high-quality, relevant ads that provide a positive user experience. Ads with a high Quality Score have a lower CPC than ads with a low Quality Score. Advertisers can improve their ad quality by using relevant keywords, writing compelling ad copy, and using ad extensions to provide more information to users. In addition, Google also considers the landing page experience when determining the Quality Score.

According to Google, using ad extensions can increase click-through rates by up to 30%.


Different industries have different average CPCs based on the level of competition and demand for keywords. Some industries have higher CPCs than others due to the nature of the products or services they offer. For instance, industries that offer high-priced products or services, such as the legal or finance industries, typically have higher CPCs than industries that offer lower-priced products or services.

Fun fact: In 2020, the top industries spending on Google Ads were retail, finance and insurance, and travel and hospitality, with the top spender being Amazon, according to eMarketer.


Google Ads has become a vital tool for businesses in Pretoria to reach their target audience and drive more traffic to their website. By optimizing their campaigns and bidding strategies, businesses can achieve their advertising goals while staying within their budget.

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