It may come as no surprise that even in the world of digital, London ranks as the most expensive UK city when it comes to reaching its population with paid search marketing.

That’s according to research by Marin Software, which compiled an online shopping basket containing goods and services bought by households, before calculating the average cost per click (CPC) to advertise the items in the basket via a search by analysing 600,000 searches across the UK.

Clocking an average CPC of £4.25 for the items, London came in at 75% more expensive than the lowest placed Bath at £2.43, while PerformanceIN’s hometown of Bristol comes in at just £2.60. 

However, taking 50 UK cities into account, Marin was able to uncover a broad table of data (seen below) which turns out some interesting and potentially valuable results.

Saint Albans is recognised as the most expensive place to advertise home insurance (one of the most expensive search categories in the UK) with a CPC of £18.48 – 38% higher than cheapest city Leeds.

Marin points out there are “huge rewards” for savvy marketers that identify high-demand areas which are cheap to advertise, such as Horsforth in Leeds, which is over-indexed compared to the national average for the amount of money spent on insurance compared to household expenditure.

When it comes to credit cards, there’s a large price differential; advertisers are charged a CPC of £10.25 to reach consumers in Gloucester – 50% higher than bottom-ranked Winchester, while advertising mortgages in the Scottish town of Perth costs £6.84, compared to just £2.59 in Newry Northern Ireland.

Meanwhile, Sunderland commands £1.82 for the holiday keyword compared to just 92p in the least expensive Lisburn, however, areas of Lisburn like Highfields Road spent more than £2,500 on their last holiday, which is 81% higher than the national average.

“There are huge variations in the 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 geotargeting search marketing campaigns,” said Irisini Davis, marketing director EMEA at Marin Software.

“Moreover, brands should consider offsetting high CPCs by implementing a cross-channel digital strategy which overlays search intent and audience targeting on paid social.”