Reasonable Max CPC


I'm trying to get some clicks from Google Adwords. I'm quite new to it, what's the reasonable CPC?

I noticed that my ads are not showing and I think it's about my CPC budget. To me over $2 CPC is crazy but seems like that's the price for the keywords I'm aiming to.

What do you think? Our software price tag is about $1000 so in theory I need to get at 1 sale out of 500 clicks which is not that realistic.

Marketing Adwords Google Budget

asked Jan 21 '10 at 03:21
The Dictator
2,305 points
Top digital marketing agency for SEO, content marketing, and PR: Demand Roll

1 Answer


This varies wildly depending on your market. From pence (cents?) to tens (hundreds?) of dollars per click.

$2/click is in the right ballpark for a many of software products I have looked at.

You are on the right lines in that you have to compare your cost of customer acquisition to the lifetime value of that customer in order to work out an appropriate CPC.

So long as this is a positive figure, and you have enough money to 'float' your Adwords campaigns, Adwords will always give an ROI.

A few points to consider though -

I think I'm right in saying that people would be looking for a conversion rate much higher than 1 in 500. 1-2% conversion rate is a common target on < $1000 software products, though others will come in and answer with their own experience.

Adwords is a definite skill. Writing good copy that attracts a high number of tailored clickthroughs is like black magic to me. It can be done though and you will improve with practise, seeing what works, and good use of analytics. One tip is to check the affiliate marketing communities at sites such as, for some fabulous insight into writing Adwords that convert.

The other one is, Adwords isn't necessarily the best route to market to your customers. Lots of succesful products try it, never make it work, and bin it. I've been running a test campaign recently to try to learn something pre-startup. It has performed dismally, but I'm finding lots of enthusiasm when approaching people via other routes, so I'm not deterred as yet.

answered Jan 21 '10 at 03:44
Benjamin Wootton
1,667 points
  • Very good answer Benjamin thanks. 2% is a good number I don't think we can reach it by observing our current website visitors and current conversion rate of us maybe %0.05 :) Does that mean we suck at presentation? or Our product sucks? Maybe it does, which is something adwords can't help really :) I'm curious about other routes, have you tried anything else? Any success? Would you recommend any other website or shall we tried to give ads to blogs by directly approaching? – The Dictator 14 years ago
  • If you have a conversion rate of 0.05%, and that is based on a decent amount of traffic, your time is probably better invested in your own website, marketing messages, presentation etc, rather than optimising your adwords to within an inch of their life to show a positive ROI. My 'success' at this early stage has been based on cold calling, though I am pre-startup, so maybe take all of my advice with a pinch of salt :) – Benjamin Wootton 14 years ago
  • Benjamin I thought %0.05 is normal for a startup with a product with $1000. After all there are many questions. But anyway do you know any resource about this data, I'm really curious why do you think it's bad, I mean based on what kind of stats. Because if you are right we should definitely change something. I hope we can find some hard evidence in somewhere about these rates. – The Dictator 14 years ago

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