Planning for PPC or Google Ads in 2023

Planning for PPC or Google Ads in 2023?

Wondering what it might cost to run Google Ads for your business? There are two parts to costs – what you pay your Google Ads Agency and what you pay Google for media buy.

Below are some factors that influence what the media buy portion of your cost will be.

Factors Affecting Cost


Keywords in some industries are just more expensive. Two examples would be finance and education! WordStream and Hubspot each have some very sexy graphics outlining the most expensive keywords in Google Ads!


Although certain industries tend to be very expensive, select keywords in other industries can also be expensive even if the industry is not. One way to potentially decrease the cost of a keyword is to use longer tail keywords (have more words make up the phrase you are bidding on). For example, instead of bidding on “Google Ads”, one might bid on “Google Ads consultant” or “Google Ads consultant Ottawa”. 

By adding more keywords you may be reducing the cost per click but you are also decreasing the number of impressions that keyword will receive – the number of people that enter a longer phrase into Google are fewer than who enter a shorter phrase. However, by adding “consultant” to my phrase, we are better targeting the intent of the searcher and it is worth paying a bit more money.

As always, what you are willing to spend on a particular keyword is going to depend on the dollar value of what you are selling and how well Google Ads converts for you.

Keyword Match Type

There are 3 match types for any keyword you decide to bid on: 

  • Exact
  • Phrase
  • Broad
We cannot say that broad matched keywords are always more or less expensive – each of these match types come with advantages and disadvantages. You could use all 3 and see what converts the best.

We typically use broad match only when we are trying to discover new keywords that we may not already have in the account


This is a great way to control your spend! The larger the city, the more eyeballs are possible on your ads, the more clicks and the more cost. Unfortunately this may not lead to more conversions as there are also more competitors in that city. Last year when our team ran ads for our own business, we excluded Toronto as we found it consumed a large portion of the budget without great returns and yet we found success in Calgary!


How do your competitor’s actions impact YOUR Google Ads account? The more they are willing to bid on specific keywords, the more you would need to bid on those keywords (theoretically). You have several choices:

  • Make the keyword longer tail
  • Use a different match type
  • Bid less, knowing you won’t be on the first page and it is unlikely many people will see your ad but if your competitor’s budget runs out before the end of the month, your ads could be seen on the first page of Google.

Google is offering $600 to put towards your ad spend (once you spend your own $600).

We can help you make the most of this free money!

Factors Affecting ROAS (Return On Advertising Spend)

Other Marketing

96% people leave a website without taking action. Offer them something valuable in return for their email address and also retarget them. PPC is a good tool – for the right website but should be paired with 2 or more other marketing tactics/channels such as SEO, Email Marketing, Social Media, etc. 

By combining PPC with SEO for example, you can avoid paying for information related kw (for example I prefer not to bid on questions) that are not likely to convert and instead focus on those kw from an SEO perspective.

DriveTraffic ran a Google Ads Campaign for various search marketing services and drove high quality traffic (based on keywords people entered into Google and the amount of time they spent on the site) but did not receive a ton of leads… had we offered a valuable download or somehow captured their email addresses, we might have had more leads for the same money spent on Google Ads!

Campaign Type (Search vs Shopping etc)

It is best to have a mix of campaign types – Performance Max, Shopping, Search, Display, etc. Each will have a unique purpose and will perform differently for every customer. We try multiple and see which ones perform the best!

Here are a couple of case studies that demonstrate DriveTraffic’s ability to generate results!

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Google Ads Setup Checklist

These are the minimum steps we go through when setting up a client’s Google Ads account. You are welcome to use this list to setup / manage your own account!