It costs search marketers more to reach someone living in London than anywhere else in the UK, according to new research from Marin Software.

Marin compiled an online ‘shopping basket’ containing goods and services bought by households.1 It then calculated the average cost per click (CPC) to advertise the items in the basket via a search engine by analysing 600,000 searches across the UK.

With an average CPC of £4.25 for the basket items, London is 75% more expensive than lowest placed Bath at £2.43.

Marin also explored how the cost of advertising the same product varied across 50 different UK cities. Key findings include:

  • Saint Albans is the most expensive place to advertise home insurance, with a CPC of £18.48. This is 38% higher than the cheapest place, Leeds. Home insurance is one of the most expensive search categories in the UK. However, there are huge rewards for savvy marketers that identify areas which are cheap to advertise in, but where demand is high. For instance, the area of Horsforth in Leeds is over-indexed compared to the national average for the amount of money spent on insurance compared to household expenditure.2
  • There is a huge price differential when it comes to credit cards. Advertisers are charged a CPC of £10.25 to reach consumers in Gloucester, 50% higher than bottom ranked Winchester.
  • Advertising mortgages in the Scottish town of Perth costs £6.84, compared to just £2.59 in Newry Northern Ireland.
  • Sunderland commands £1.82 for the holiday keyword, compared to just 92p in least expensive Lisburn. Marketers that don’t use precise targeting will miss out. Areas of Lisburn like Highfields Road spent more than £2,500 on their last holiday, which is 81% higher than the national average.2
  • The CPC for takeaway is highest in Canterbury at £2.28, five times higher than lowest placed Lisburn.
  • To advertise sofa is almost twice as expensive in York as it is in Carlisle, the least expensive, with a CPC of £2.88 compared to Carlisle’s £1.46.

Irisini Davis, Marketing Director EMEA at Marin Software, said, “There are huge variations in the cost per click (CPC) advertisers are charged to market particular products across the country. This imbalance creates huge opportunities for savvy digital marketers to optimise their spend by geo-targeting search marketing campaigns. Moreover, brands should consider offsetting high CPCs by implementing a cross-channel digital strategy which overlays search intent and audience targeting on paid social.”


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To see the list of the most and least expensive keywords for different products and services across the UK, follow this link.