On July 14th, Google announced their Q2 earnings for 2011. Revenue was up 32% from last year bringing total Q2 earnings to just over $9 billion dollars.  So how is Google making all this money? Well in large part, from us. Paid clicks on ads increased 18% from Q2 last year while the average cost-per-click has gone up 12% since then. In just the last 4 quarters, Google brought in $32.2 billion in total advertising revenue!

This inspired our good friends over at Wordstream to take a look at which keywords generate the most revenue for Google and on Monday they released the results of their survey to uncover the most expensive AdWords keywords. Check out the handy infographic they’ve created showing the 20 top CPC keyword categories (click to enlarge):

Most Expensive Keywords in Google AdWordsWhat these categories have in common is that they include businesses with a high customer value. Essentially, these businesses can afford to pay a lot of money to acquire new customers because of the high return. So what do you do if you are competing in one of these high CPC categories? Wordstream offers 4 tips for bidding in these expensive categories.

  1. Be Specific: Target specific, 3-5 word keywords. Use a keyword tool to generate specific keyword ideas, and use keyword match types to ensure you’re only paying for keywords that are very specific to your business.
  2. Use Negative Keywords: Use a negative keyword tool to help figure out what kinds of words you’re likely to be matched against and weed out keywords that aren’t relevant to your business.
  3. Be Relevant: High Quality Scores can help lower your average CPC. Tools like the Keyword Niche Finder and Keyword Grouper to break up larger keyword lists into smaller, more targeted lists which will enable you to write more targeted ad text and landing pages which should help improve relevancy and Quality Score.
  4. Landing Page Optimization: The average conversion rate for just about anything on AdWords is around 2%. But we often see landing pages converting at the 20% or even 30% range. The key to landing page optimization is to keep trying out different types of offers and testing how people respond to them.

Go to Wordstream’s blog to learn more about the survey and results and visit the “Where’s Google Making Its Money?” infographic to embed it on your site.

What are some of the most expensive keywords you’re bidding on? We work with clients in some of the industries above and know what it’s like to balance budgets while trying to rank well for these expensive keywords. We’d love to hear about your experiences and tips.