Google AdWords Benchmarks For Your Industry

W

he cornerstone of any successful PPC campaign is keyword research – choosing the best keywords to bid on that are most likely to result in clicks and conversions. Keyword research is part science and part art. It’s about using the myriad tools at your disposal, but also understanding your customers and predicting which terms they’re actually typing into the search box. That’s the best way to ensure that your ads show up at the right time and in the right place: when they’re searching for the kinds of products or services you offer.

In this guide, you’ll learn a set of methodologies to help you acquire, refine, and organize your PPC keywords, all in the service of better targeted and more effective pay-per-click campaigns.

The average click-through rate (CTR) in AdWords across all industries is 1.91% on the search network and 0.35% on the display network.

Average Click-Through Rate in AdWords by Industry

Dating and personal services really click with PPC – boasting an average search CTR of 3.40%! No doubt, it’s easy to write powerful emotional ad copy when your prospects are searching for love. Other industries with high search CTRs include Finance (2.65%), B2B (2.55%), Consumer Services (2.40%), and Technology (2.38%).

Legal services struggle to attract attention on the SERP (with a relatively low average 1.35% CTR)– in large part due to advertising restrictions enforced by both Google and government organizations. Legal advertisers have to be extra smart and crafty to do well in PPC. Other industries that often have poor CTRs are eCommerce (1.66%) and industrial services (1.40%).

Tech companies should find a lot of reach with strong CTRs (0.84%) on the display network, as many apps host display ads with high CTRs for these products and services. On the flip side, employment service advertisers have struggled on the display network to create ads to entice potential job searchers and typically have poor performance, averaging a 0.14% display CTR. Maybe they fare better on LinkedIn!

The average click-through rate in AdWords across all industries is 1.91% for search and 0.35% for display.

Average Click Through Rate (CTR)

The average CTR in AdWords across all industries is 1.91% on the search network and 0.35% on the Google Display Network.

Average Cost Per Click in AdWords by Industry

It’s no surprise that legal services have some of the highest CPCs on the search network. Both “Lawyer” and “Attorney” make the top 10 most expensive keywords on Google and on Bing. Average CPCs in the legal industry are $5.88 – 40% more costly than the next most expensive industry, employment services ($4.20 CPC).

Advocacy and nonprofit groups have a cost per click just under $2, likely as a result of the $2 max CPC bid Google Grant advertisers have to set on all of their keywords.  

Whereas most industries have pretty inexpensive CPCs on the Google Display Network, the Employment Services industry is a notable exception – paying $1.66 per click on GDN. No doubt, some of their troubles stem from their abysmal CTRs on Display (0.14% CTR) which hurts their display network quality score, making them pay considerably more per click.

The average cost per click in AdWords across all industries is $2.32 for search and $0.58 for display.

Average Conversion Rates in AdWords by Industry

The Finance and Insurance industries convert amazingly well on both the search (7.19% CVR) and Display (1.75% CVR) networks. In many of these cases, the best converting advertisers aren’t afraid to change their offer or their conversion flow to boost their conversion rates.

Home Goods and Real Estate are conversion rate standouts on the Display network (2.19% and 1.49% respectively), no doubt because both are visual industries where a sexy picture can inspire people to click and investigate.

Ecommerce clients may not have many options to change their offer and consequently suffer one of the poorer average search conversion rates (1.91% CVR). To boot, they often have gigantic inventories, which prevents doing fine-tuning on ad copy across all ecommerce keywords. While removing barriers to purchase will always be an important CRO tool to help ecommerce clients, AdWords advertisers should focus on improving the performance of their keywords with high commercial intent to yield the most out of their search campaigns.

The average conversion rate in AdWords across all industries is 2.70% for search and 0.89% for display.

Average Cost Per Action in AdWords by Industry  

(Almost) free love on the SERP! Dating and personal sites have, by far, the lowest average cost per action from search ($6.91 CPA). While Google may be a great place to find a boyfriend, it is an expensive place to find an employee, doctor, or lawyer – average search CPAs for employment services, medical services, and legal services are $105.79, $126.29, and $135.17, respectively. Of course, the lifetime value of a new client in these industries is very high, making it all worthwhile in the end.

On the display network, technology companies take an easy win with CPAs below $20 ($19.23). While it should be obvious that Google and Technology pair well together, this is also in no small part due to the success of tech advertisers promoting their app installs across the search and display networks.

The average CPA in AdWords across all industries is $59.18 for search and $60.76 for display.

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