The Most Expensive Keywords in the UK

In the coming weeks, in celebration of our revamped Free Keyword Tool (currently in beta), we’ll be releasing new infographics that reveal the most expensive keywords in five different currencies. Yesterday we saw the most expensive keywords for the U.S. dollar, and today we’re looking at the top 25 highest-CPC keywords in terms of the British pound.

We were fascinated to see how different the results were in the different currencies! I know our friends across the pond are dying to see what our study turned up, so without further ado, here they are, the 25 costliest keywords in the United Kingdom:

highest cost keywords in british pound

There is certainly some overlap in this dataset and the U.S. version – as is probably the case all around the world, finance-related keywords are among the priciest. You gotta spend money to make money, as they say!

Note: Spending money in casinos is not statistically the best way to make money. It is, however, very popular in Britain.

most expensive keywords in england

Bit of harmless fun

According to my buddy Dan Shewan, who grew up in England:

Culturally, Brits are much more relaxed about gambling than Americans. You guys may have Las Vegas and Atlantic City, but generally speaking, gambling is a cultural taboo in many parts of America. Not so in the U.K., where we’ll “have a flutter” on almost anything – the UEFA Champions League Final, disastrous snap elections, “dead pools” of celebrity death predictions, you name it.

My countrymen’s appetite for wagers of questionable taste notwithstanding, it doesn’t surprise me that the most expensive keywords in this list are focused on gambling and online casinos. Online gambling is an obscenely profitable industry in Great Britain. Between April 2015 and March 2016, online gambling contributed $5.7 billion (£4.5 billion) to the British economy alone, so it makes sense that the competition for and costs of these keywords is so high. It’s also very interesting to see that three of the four keywords in the Casino category are branded terms.

Here are a few more pockets of keywords that are especially pricy in the U.K. but didn’t turn up on the U.S. or other lists:

Real Estate

Says Dan:

The U.K. has been experiencing a severe housing crisis for several years. Home ownership is completely out of reach for many people (especially those poor Millennials), and public concern about the nation’s housing crisis is the highest it’s been in my lifetime.

What’s most interesting to me about this keyword data is the specific terms that we see above. The keyword “equity release” is included in the Finance category, but equity release refers to a British financial instrument that allows homeowners over the age of 55 to access the equity they have tied up in their property either as a lump-sum payment or via a series of installments in the form of a secured loan. After years of failed government austerity policies, it’s a little sad – but not at all surprising – to see more people searching for ways to access this equity as inflation has outpaced wage growth.

The “we buy any house” and “selling my house quickly” keywords are also very revealing. After years of rising house prices and skyrocketing rents, Britain’s housing market is finally beginning to stagnate, which could account for the popularity of these search terms. There’s a strong urgency to both these keywords; for property buyers hoping to turn a quick profit and capitalize on sellers’ desperation, and for beleaguered homeowners eager to minimize depreciation and cut their losses through a quick sale.

He also tells me “real estate” is a “very American phrase” that Brits don’t use! Sorry about that…

Examples of expensive keywords related to property include “we buy any house” (this is the name of a property company in the UK) and “estate agents Edinburgh.”

Elderly Care

Variations on “live-in care” almost broke the top 10. We didn’t see this specific set of keywords in the data set for any of the other currencies we looked at.

Vehicle Tracking

This is a GPS technology that allows you to track the location of a car – as one Amazon bestseller in the category puts it, “Whether it’s your child coming home from school, a suspicious spouse, a teenage driver, or valuable company assets,” vehicle tracking “keeps you up to date in real time.” Good news for you paranoid types!

Coffee!

Feeling strongly about coffee or the Oxford comma is no substitute for a personality trait (I can’t believe how often these are mentioned in Twitter bios or online dating profiles) but let it be known: I like coffee, and so do citizens of the United Kingdom.

the united kingdom's most expensive keywords

Keywords like “coffee machine rental” and “commercial coffee machines” made the list of highest CPC keywords, so we can be sure that U.K. businesses are doing their part to keep workers productive.

What keywords on the list stood out to you?

About the data

Here’s how we got the list: We pulled all the data collected from anonymous AdWords Performance Grader reports across all industries between June 1, 2016 and June 12, 2017, then looked at the top 1000 most expensive keywords seen during that time period and categorized them by core intent.

For example, we lumped the keywords “bail bonds” and “bail bonds los angeles” into a single category since the core intent is the same. Likewise, keywords involving different types of lawyers (such as “malpractice lawyer” and “injury lawyer”) or insurance were grouped together. We used a similar methodology last time so as to avoid featuring too many specific long-tail or local keywords that wouldn’t have broad applicability to a large number of businesses. We separated distinct services (pest control vs. termites) as much as possible.

We also filtered out keywords with less than 100 clicks from our data set. We only looked at advertisers bidding in USD, GBP, AUD, CAD, and ZAR, and analyzed different currencies separately. We also eliminated non-English ads and duplicates (where both the keyword and the CPC were exactly the same) from that set. The results you’re reading about in this article are in GBP.

Shout out to everyone who helped compile, analyze, and illustrate the data: our data analyst Josh Brackett, our web team leader Meg Lister, and our designer Kate Lindsay.

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