AdWords Big Spenders: The Most Lucrative Industries To Build Your PPC Career In

11 February 2017 By Alastair Cleland

1542 Original

​How strong is your competitive streak? If your work includes AdWords PPC, you’ll know what winning feels like. It’s what drives you to deliver better campaigns, improve results and outsmart your competitors.

And if you’re really competitive, you’ll strive to achieve ever-better results, improving and refining your strategy.

Achieving domination in AdWords, though, isn’t just about honing your skills. In fact, with the wrong setup, you’ll quickly find yourself hitting brick walls – an unbreakable barrier to progress: cash.

To win the AdWords competitive game, you’ll need some serious $$$ cash behind you. Cash provided by an employer whose product value makes the investment worthwhile, who can reclaim the expense with profit.

So as a talented AdWords campaign manager, controlling larger budgets becomes a key career milestone. If you’re ambitious, where should you look for the budgets that’ll put you in the best position to test your skills and have a shot at true success?

AdWords ambitions: your business / yourself?

Brands love AdWords. Investment in PPC continues to grow, across the industries. Google’s staggering revenue rise provides testament to the channel’s global success.

Why? AdWords and search marketing provides: measurable and often highly profitable results; focussed audience targeting; budgetary flexibility; faster results than SEO. What’s not to love?

…but that’s why your company loves AdWords. What about you – the on-the-ground expert – what are your personal career ambitions? Of course, you’d always like your company to succeed (we hope!), but as an ambitious professional, you’re probably also keen to:

Write the highest-converting ad – Proof that your creative, strategic genius is as valuable as you’ve always suspected. As this blog by Unbounce explores, there’s both a science and an art to AdWords copywriting.

​Discover and exploit the greatest opportunities – With direct access to consumer search data, you’re in a unique position to understand the market and spot gaps. It’s a 21st century gold rush.

Beat the big boys by stealing searches – Take down a bigger competitor using better tactics and superior creative. What could be more rewarding than becoming the David to their Goliath?

As an AdWords professional, there’s certainly lots of challenge to get your teeth into.

Better yet, there aren’t too many barriers to entry. Yes, you need to understand the technology, but you can learn for free. And if you run any kind of website or blog, even a small investment can get you started with AdWords.

If you’re serious about forging a career in AdWords, though, there’s one thing you’ll need above all: budget. To prove your expertise, you need to be out there on the battlefield, backed by an employer who can afford to keep you at the front line. Here, you’ll not only earn the space to implement your full plans, but also reap rewards for yourself.

Ultimately, you want to be with the big spenders…

Who spends the most on AdWords PPC?

In 2016, Search Engine Watch scoured SEMrush’s database of 12m keywords to find the most expensive keywords in the UK.

The #01 keyword: “play live blackjack” at a whopping £148.51!

Online gambling, or iGaming, in fact, dominates UK rankings with numerous keywords averaging well over the £100 mark (including, at #02 the mis-spelling “roulete”.) 77 of Search Engine Watch’s 100 most expensive keywords were iGaming, and 22 of the top 25.

​iGaming isn’t the only industry spending big on AdWords, though. Here are the remaining next top industries by big-ticket keyword costs:


​Perhaps unsurprisingly, lucrative financial fields such as forex trading offer attractive pickings for AdWords advertisers. Even a search to open a ‘practice account’ sits above £100 – representative of future, long-term value.


​One of business’ biggest tech trends, the rising importance of big data analytics, tops the tech chart. Even on a consumer level, though, “best 2015 smartphone” came in at a staggering £82.64.


​High-value B2B search terms provide access to clients who could be worth £Millions over the relationship lifetime. The top keyword here looks to introduce a long-term financial service to a highly-targeted audience.


​First connections with new clients are essential in the legal trade, hence the high value of these and 100’s of other specific search terms. In many cases, the more specific, the more valuable.

But surely these prices aren’t sustainable?

Companies spending £100+ on a single click might strike you as madness. As the expert at the helm, it might strike you as worryingly risky to be responsible for such enormous expenditure – particularly when you consider that some of the above terms earn 1000’s of impressions a day.

Nathan Amery, a PPC specialist, suggests otherwise. “The very nature of Adwords means it's illogical for people to spend more than is profitable… CPC is only too high if their conversions aren't high enough.”

AdWords is priced by competitive bidding. You could be the most skilled PPC strategist, but without the competitive budget (enabled by high lead value) you’ll fight a losing battle. And if you can’t beat them…

AdWords careers: put yourself in the prime position

Expenditure on search marketing is growing, but competition is increasingly fierce. 10-15 years ago, an early adopter could have cleaned up a niche. Now, they might find themselves up against 20+ direct competitors in the same space.

With increased competition and ever-greater technical granularity, the sector is also consolidating and professionalising. You can’t just walk into a job – employers look for talented experts who can be trusted to oversee increasingly significant spend.

Whilst there’s a clear talent shortage, the industry needs - in the words of Nathan Amery again - more “experts who can turn an unprofitable account profitable, not managers who are trying to pull the wool over a client's eyes. If something is becoming harder, and you're really good at it, that makes you more valuable!”

To be at the forefront of AdWords’ evolution, aligning yourself with one of the big-spender industries gives you the best platform for success.

Gambling, finance, tech, B2B and legal. These, clearly, are the sectors AdWords professionals should aspire to: the ultimate test of your PPC abilities, the industry’s ‘front line’.