SEMrush Study: Most Expensive States to Advertise In (+ Breakdown by 10 Industries)

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SEMrush Study: Most Expensive States to Advertise In (+ Breakdown by 10 Industries)

Julia Olennikova
SEMrush Study: Most Expensive States to Advertise In (+ Breakdown by 10 Industries)

Local PPC is here to stay, but many advertisers still believe it is not important for them. It is widely thought that only location-bound businesses, like brick-and-mortar stores or food deliveries, should focus on local PPC. However, even for businesses operating completely online, tailoring their campaigns to a specific location can help optimize their advertising spends, as is proven by our new study.

To find out if and how advertising costs differ in the United States, SEMrush analyzed over 55,000 keywords from 10 industries, including both offline and online businesses - from automobile dealerships to cryptocurrencies.

Discover which states are the most and least expensive for advertisers in general and for specific verticals in particular.

SEMrush Study: most expensive states to advertise in

West Virginia, Texas, and Florida lead the game. Across 10 industries explored, West Virginia is the most expensive state for advertisers from Online Education and Marketing & Advertising verticals. On the other hand, Texas is the state where the most investment is required when it comes to Automobile Dealerships, Real Estate, Cryptocurrency and Fashion Retail. Insurance, one of the most expensive verticals historically, is even more costly to promote in Florida.

Keywords related to Online Banking have the highest average CPC in Nevada, while it is surprisingly most expensive in Alaska to advertise in the Fitness & Health niche. Finally, if you operate in the Pharmaceuticals niche, you had better set some money aside if you are going to want to target customers from Delaware.

Discover local keyword metrics

with SEMrush PPC Keyword Tool

Please specify a valid domain, e.g., www.example.com

Breakdown by Industry

The situation differs quite significantly when it comes to specific verticals. States like West Virginia, Texas, California, and Florida are present in the top 10 in almost all industries. However, this is not a case of “one size fits all”.

Not all niches are equally location-sensitive. The CPC range in the Cryptocurrency category is, unsurprisingly, the smallest one (from $1.24 in Texas to $0.42 in Alaska), and is similar to the Pharmaceuticals category (from $1.43 in Delaware to $0.25 in Alaska and Montana). Meanwhile, in Marketing & Advertising the cost per click strongly depends on location: on average you spend $9.18 for a click in West Virginia and just $0.89 in Hawaii.

Most and least expensive states to advertise in - Cryptocurrency

Most and least expensive states to advertise in - Marketing & Advertising

Most & least expensive states to advertise in - Pharmacy

Insurance again proved to be one of the most expensive verticals for PPC. Only in two states is the average CPC lower than $10 ($8.81 in District of Columbia and $4.96 in Alaska), and still the “cheapest” click in this niche costs more than the most expensive average click in all Real Estate verticals (Texas, $2.06).

Most Expensive States to Advertise In - Insurance

Most & least expensive states to advertise in - Real estate

Finally, this is how the average CPC differs in Fitness & Health, Online Education, Online Banking, Fashion Retail and Automobile Dealership industries:

Most & least expensive states to advertise in - Fitness & Health

Most & least expensive states to advertise in - Online Education

Most & least expensive states to advertise in - Online Banking

Most & least expensive states to advertise in - Fashion Retail

Most & least expensive states to advertise in - Automobile dealership

How You Can Apply this Data to Your Campaign

Leveraging local strategies is a great way for marketers to succeed with their PPC campaigns, as it helps to increase the performance of every single ad and optimize spends throughout an entire campaign. However, there is no universal recipe: you should explore how advertising spends differ in your industry and plan your activities based on this data.

The new and more precise local keyword metrics in SEMrush’s PPC Keyword tool will help you reveal new opportunities for your PPC activities and shift your focus to potentially lucrative regions in order to increase the return on ad spend.

Discover local keyword metrics

with SEMrush PPC Keyword Tool

Please specify a valid domain, e.g., www.example.com

Methodology

To conduct this study, we picked 55,000 random keywords from 10 industries (both high-volume and low-volume keywords were included, as well as short-head and long-tail keywords). Search queries mentioning cities were removed (for instance, “PR consultant” was included and “PR consultant Boston” was excluded). The data in this article, for the 10 groups representing industries, was found by calculating the mean CPC in each of the states.

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Product Marketing Manager for PPC toolkit at SEMrush. Migrated from journalism to digital marketing and je ne regrette rien.
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Comments

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I work for an Insurance Agency in Florida, this is great supporting evidence that I can use for superiors who don't understand my struggles. Much appreciated!
Prem Nath Vishwakarma
Good Analysis & Stats. Very close with real statistics.
Interesting and use full keep it up.
Hey Julia, thanks for the breakdown!

Could you go a little more into how the mean CPC was calculated?

I have always wondered how SEMrush got CPC numbers without access to actual Google data on CPCs.
Julia Olennikova
Jon Davis
Hi Jon, thanks for reading! We get CPC data from third-party providers.
Julia Olennikova
Thanks for info! Can you give an example of one of the third party providers or a link to a Help article that goes into more detail?
Julia Olennikova
Jon Davis
Sure, we have an article explaining how the data is collected: https://www.semrush.com/kb/52-collect-data, but the providers are not mentioned there as we can't disclose this information.
Julia Olennikova
Thanks for info Julia! Link you shared worked a couple days ago for me but just went back to check it out and goes to error page now, is there a new URL to reference?
so this data will help marketer to traget product or service in Local area which have low CPC .
Jan van der Meer
Very interesting. Is there any change you can do this for Europe? See the differents between the countries?
Julia Olennikova
Jan van der Meer
Thank you Jan! Some of our regional teams are now working on similar studies, will keep you posted.
Chris Weatherall
That's interesting to break it down locally. I haven't used SEMrush for its PPC data so I'm wondering if this is all Google focused or can we use it for Bing and others potentially in the future?
Julia Olennikova
Chris Weatherall
Thank you Chris! We have a Bing database for the US, but our Google databases are more extended. We're also planning to add more networks to our display advertising analytics.
I readout this article and found it is highly informative, useful and interesting, keep it up.
Awesome breakdown here. Very interesting article. SEO for any website is getting tougher day by day..
Julia Olennikova
Apoorv S
Thank you Apoorv! The numbers say it's time to launch an SEO agency in Hawaii :)
Very interesting, thank you so much
I readout this article and found it is highly informative, useful and interesting.
Julia Olennikova
Abdullah Jan
Thank you Abdullah, my pleasure!
Pankaj Gupta
Hmmm.... this means there is huge competition for SEO too and it will be harder to get rank for these industries keywords or websites in that particular regions...

Great post... after long time, I have read such a good blog with some great data.. thanks for sharing.. :)
Julia Olennikova
Pankaj Gupta
Glad to hear that, thanks Pankaj! Marketing & advertising niche being so "location dependent" was the biggest surprise for us as well.
Zachary Ankeny
Pankaj Gupta
I was also thinking of the organic SEO implications of this. I tend to always take into account the geographic location surrounding my keywords anymore. Seeing the costs per state was very helpful.
This is a great article that really show the investment difference a regional and wide client would need to make in each city throughout the US.
Julia Olennikova
Thomas Clark
Thank you, Thomas! Even for bitcoins and online services the cost per click is so different across various states, and this is incredible.
Very interesting, thank you so much! Do you have similar data for beauty industry (skincare) ?
Bryan Bloom
Dar Bal
I think you could do this yourself with not too much work.. I am actually considering this in my industry.
Bryan Bloom
Bryan, you are right. I'm just new to semrush and did not look to complete functionality.
Julia Olennikova
Dar Bal
Thank you, Dar! As Bryan already said, you can run a similar analysis on a smaller scope of keywords with our tool. Just one thing though - the local data is available to paid accounts only. Let me know if you have questions and need a walkthrough!
Bryan Bloom
Fantastic article, very timely.
great tool

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