Have you ever wondered how Google makes it’s money?

The bulk of it’s profits are generated through AdWords advertising – 97% to be precise. In the last four quarters alone, Google has accumulated $32.2 billion in ad revenue.

No real revelations there, but looking more specifically, what keyword groups generate the most profit in Google AdWords?

As an answer to this burning question, web marketing company, WordStream, created an infographic that lists the top 20 keyword groups based on estimated monthly search volume, number of keywords per category and average cost per click.

Listed below, in order, are the 20 most expensive keyword categories:

  • Insurance (car, motor, quotes etc.)
  • Loans (student loans, cheap loans etc.)
  • Mortgage (providers, bad credit etc.)
  • Attorney (personal injury etc.)
  • Credit (bad credit home buyer etc.)
  • Lawyer (criminal defence, personal injury etc.)
  • Donate (donate used cars etc.)
  • Degree  (psychology bachelors degree online etc.)
  • Hosting (web hosting, ms exchange etc.)
  • Claim (accident claims, ‘no win no fee’ etc.)
  • Conference Call (best service, toll free etc.)
  • Trading (cheap online trading, stock trades etc.)
  • Software (help desk, crm etc.)
  • Recovery (date recovery, hard drive recovery etc.)
  • Transfer (zero interest, zero apr etc.)
  • Gas/Electricity (suppliers, price comparison etc.)
  • Classes (online classes, business classes etc.)
  • Rehab (drug / alcohol rehab centres etc.)
  • Treatment (drug / alcohol treatment centres etc.)
  • Cord Blood (cordblood bank, blood donation etc.)

No real surprises looking at the top half of the list but you could be forgiven for thinking there is a few seemingly-obvious keyword groups missing, most notably in our opinion, travel.

Travel is undoubtedly one of the most competitive markets online, so you would expect it to be reflected in this list. Why is this not the case?

The research showed that some keywords in the most competitive categories can generate as much as $50 per click. This may sound like madness, but as the research points out – the type of companies bidding on these keywords (lawyers, insurers, banks…) have very high ‘lifetime customer value’, so can essentially afford to shell out a lot more per customer acquisition.

Travel is a very different industry. Fiercely competitive it may be but unlike many of the categories listed above, businesses within the industry typically see much lower conversion rates, have smaller budgets and shorter customer retention periods. For these reasons you won’t find travel companies bidding anywhere near $50 per click – clicks just aren’t worth as much.

For more info on this subject check out the infographic in full at www.wordstream.com.