How to Maximize the Average Click Through Rate For Your Industry

Average Click Through Rate and Other Google AdWords Benchmarks

What’s the Average Click Through Rate for Your Industry?

Google AdWords costs are almost as confusing as learning how to manage a Google Adwords CPC/PPC campaign. Your business needs to know the overall cost of a Google AdWords campaign, their AdWords cost per impression, and their average click through rate on each Ad and each keyword.

First thing you’ll want to do is ask your SEO company to source information on what industries have the highest click through rate (CTR), the lowest CTR, and where your business fits in that matrix.

Next thing is to ensure your SEO agency knows what industries have the highest (and lowest) engagement rates with PPC ads and which industries have the highest (or lowest) overall cost per acquisition (CPA).

If you’re armed with that sort of useful and open data, you’re close to being all set up to maximize your AdWords PPC strategy and more importantly, your digital marketing advertising budget.

What’s a Good CTR For AdWords?

The thing with these useful metrics is that it’s not a once size fits all type of number. You can’t base your AdWords PPC strategy on just one or two stats. What works for one industry may not work quite as well for another.

How do you know if you’re crafting the best search and/or display ads for maximum CTR and minimum CPA? How do you know if your AdWords ads are converting as much as they should? Do you know what areas of the Ad you should tweak in order to increase conversion rates?

The key is to know exactly what metrics matter the most to your business and then build your strategy from there. You need to know about Google AdWords benchmarks for your industry in order to be prepared to execute your PPC strategy.

4 Google AdWords Benchmarks for YOUR Industry

Here’s what you need to know about Google AdWords benchmarks for your industry. Online marketing software company, Wordstream, surveyed 2,367 companies in the US from a wide wage of industry sectors that altogether spend over $34 million in a quarter (2Q15) on AdWords.

We dug into their data to check out the Google AdWords industry benchmarks their client’s are seeing. You’ll see benchmarks relating to Average Click-Through Rate (CTR), Average Cost per Click (CPC), Average Conversion Rate (CVR), and Average Cost per Action (CPA) in AdWords by industry, for both Search and Display networks.

Let’s get to it. Will your industry be included? The study included averages across 20 industries including: Advocacy, Auto, B2B, Consumer Services, Dating & Personals, E-Commerce, Education, Employment Services, Finance & Insurance, Health & Medical, Home Goods, Industrial Services, Legal, Real Estate, Technology, and Travel & Hospitality.

Average AdWords Click Thorough Rate (CTR) By Industry

Average Click Through Rate in AdWords by Industry. VPDM Digital Marketing & SEO Toronto Niagara.
Image Source:

Looks like the big winners for CTR are dating sites and personal services. They have an average search CTR of 3.40%. Does this speak to society? I guess so. Everyone needs a little love.

Honorable mention goes to these industries who also are benchmarking high CTRs: Finance (2.65%), B2B (2.55%), Consumer Services (2.40%), and Technology (2.38%).

Interesting note and something I’ve personally come across when dealing with client’s in the Legal Services industry (relatively low average 1.35% CTR). It’s difficult to craft engaging, click-worthy PPC Ads due to advertising restrictions enforced by both the respective national governments and Google themselves.

Our agency has had a similar experience with some professional services like Orthodontists, Dentists, and Physicians. These advertisers need a clever and crafty SEO/SEM specialist in order to maximize their PPC budgets and website conversions.

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

Average AdWords Cost Per Click (CPC) By Industry

Average Cost Per Click in AdWords by Industry. VPDM Digital Marketing Toronto SEO.
Image Source:

Interestingly enough, many in the legal services game must be doing well with their PPC efforts because it’s a very competitive sector. This sector has a lower CTR but a much higher cost per click (CPC) than other industries.

“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).” Source.

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

Average AdWords Conversion Rate (CVR) By Industry

Average Conversion Rates in AdWords by Industry. Digital Marketing Company Toronto. SEO/SEM
Image Source: Wordsteam

If your business in the Finance and Insurance industries, you should probably consider moving your advertising budget (Yellow Pages still?) into an optimized Google AdWords strategy, handled by an experienced agency of course.

Why? By the looks of the data in the graphic above, both the Finance and Insurance industries have incredibly high conversion rates on both the search (7.19% CVR) and Display (1.75% CVR) networks

When it comes to higher CTRs on the Google Display Network vs the Google Search Network, it should come as no surprise that highly visual businesses like Home Goods (2.19%) and Real Estate (1.49%) have high CTRs on the Display Network.

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

Average AdWords Cost Per Action (CPA) By Industry

Average Cost Per Action in AdWords by Industry. SEO Company Toronto, Niagara.
Image Source: Wordstream

Here we go again. All you need is love! The lowest average cost per action from search ads goes to dating and personal sites ($6.91 CPA). Who said online dating was a fad and would burn out and fade away quickly?

Compare that CPA to that of doctors ($126.29), lawyers ($135.17), and even recruiting employers ($105.79). The average search CPA for these services is incredibly high. Wordstream wisely notes that “the lifetime value of a new client in these industries is very high, making it all worthwhile in the end.”

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

The Wrap

So now that you have useful industry benchmarks in which to judge you company’s Google AdWords strategy. You should use this data to improve your current strategy if you find your AdWords performance to be below the averages listed above.

I recommend starting with better understanding your target and further developing (and studying) your user marketing personas. Organic SEO and organic search is all about User Intent.

Paid search Ads will appeal to users if the Ads serve the user’s intent. It’s all about understanding your audience and delivering what they need when they need it/search it.

If you’re lucky enough to have your AdWords performance averages equal to, or better than, the rates listed above, congratulations! I challenge you to do better, and if you do, please let me know how you did it!!

If you’d like help optimizing your Google AdWords PPC strategy and maximizing your average click through rate, contact me and let’s get started.

Get your digital strategy now. VPDM Digital Marketing Niagara