Google Ad Benchmarks for Your Industry

Running Google Ads is a risky business and costly too! Marketers need to know early on whether the ad strategy is paying off. So how does one know if they are in the right direction?

There’s a universal way of evaluating the effectiveness of a campaign, and that is by looking at industry benchmarks to see if the ad is doing well or not.

Those who are confused and in want of proper guidance on what metrics to gauge the ads with, the collated data on Google Ads Industry Benchmarks can make things easier.

Right now, there are three main ad types Google offers:

  • Search ads. They are in text form and show up on Google’s results pages when a user searches for a relevant keyword.
  • Display ads. They are typically in image form and may appear on websites and apps that target audience views.
  • YouTube ads. They are in video form, around 6 to 15 seconds long, which are shown while viewing YouTube content.

In 2022, Google offers other advanced campaign types, like product listing promotions, app promotions, smart ads, local ads, and discovery ads.

What’s the Average CTR for Google Ads?

CTR or clickthrough rate refers to how many times an ad was clicked on versus how often it’s shown. A good CTR means the keyword was effective for the ad.

Regardless of the type of industry, a good CTR for Google search ads is benchmarked at 3.17% and 0.46% for display ads.

It is common for search ads to perform better than display ads in terms of CTR measurements because people are already looking for information and are more likely to click on an ad with high relevance. Meanwhile, display ads are often hit-or-miss and might not always match what the user is looking for at different moments.

How Much Is the Average Cost-per-Click for Google Ads?

To put it simply, CPC, or cost per click, refers to how much an advertiser has to pay for every click on the ad. As of 2022, advertisers can expect to pay $2.69 per click on a search ad and $0.63 per click on a display ad.

Knowing the average CPC for the industry will help advertisers adjust and modify their ad strategy to get the most out of it while keeping the budget to the minimum.

What Is the Average Conversion Rate for Google Ads?

In marketing, conversion rate (CVR) generally refers to the percentage of users who completed a desired goal or action, such as signing up or checking out items from their shop cart.

Across industries, the average CVR is 4.2% for search ads and 0.55% for display ads.

If the current CVR is below these benchmarks, an advertiser might want to take a step back and reformulate a new message or ad design. Experiment using A/B testing to see which ads are more effective across different metrics.

What Is the Average Cost per Action on Google Ads?

Many advertisers also define CPA as of the average cost it takes to make a conversion.

Advertisers who have already built a high-quality PPC-driven pipeline will fare well choosing a cost-per-acquisition or cost-per-action (CPA) route instead of a CPC one. The ad might get fewer clicks and maybe even pay more for each click, but the brand will also optimize the chances of conversion and sales.

Currently, the average CPA across all industries is $48.96 for search ads and $75.51 for display ads.

How Much Is the Average CTR, CPC, and CPV (Cost per View) of a YouTube ad?

The average CTR for YouTube ads is 0.65%, which is slightly similar to display ads, given they both rely heavily on visual appeal. Currently, advertisers will most likely pay at least $0.49 for each click on a YouTube video ad. And on average, advertisers need to pay $0.026 for every view on a YouTube ad.

Google Search Ads Industry Benchmarks

Search ads are paid Google Ad campaigns where a website or webpage is featured at the top of a Google search results page (SERP). Search ads typically take the first three to four places on the first page of the SERP and are recognizable by the “Ad” tag.

Here’s a table of the four benchmarks for Search ads alone.

IndustryAve CTRAve CPCAve CVRAve CPA
Consumer Services2.41%$6.406.64%$90.70
Dating & Personals6.05%$2.789.64%$76.76
Employment Services2.42%$2.045.13%$48.04
Finance & Insurance2.91%$3.445.10%$81.93
Health & Medical3.27%$2.623.36%$78.09
Home Goods2.44%$2.942.70%$87.13
Industrial Services2.61%$2.563.37%$79.28
Real Estate3.71%$2.372.47%$116.61
Travel & Hospitality4.68%$1.533.55%$44.73

The industries with the highest CTRs are dating and personal, travel and hospitality, and advocacy, most likely due to the highly emotional nature of these ads.

Advocacy and travel and hospitality also rank as the industries with the cheapest CPCs along with e-commerce, thanks to the highly competitive nature of these businesses.

It’s not unusual for legal and technology services to have expensive CPCs as these industries also have the most competitive and costly keywords to rank for in Google.

Conversion rates vary widely across industries as each niche has differing definitions of a conversion. Industries with the highest conversion rates include dating and personal, legal, as well as consumer services. Meanwhile, the industries that pay the cheapest per conversion are the auto industry, travel and hospitality, and e-commerce industries.

Google Display Ads Benchmarks

Google display ads are image-based ads that appear on Google’s collective network of websites and third-party applications that allow Google to show ads on their platforms. They are effective ways to showcase products and services, especially if a brand is in the e-commerce industry, looking for the most cost-effective way to showcase the products.

Here’s a quick breakdown of each metric for display ads.

IndustryAve CTRAve CPCAve CVRAve CPA
Consumer Services0.51%$0.810.98%$60.48
Dating & Personals0.72%$1.493.34%$60.23
Employment Services0.59%$0.781.57%$59.47
Finance & Insurance0.52%$0.861.19%$56.76
Health & Medical0.59%$0.630.82%$72.58
Home Goods0.49%$0.600.43%$116.17
Industrial Services0.50%$0.540.94%$51.58
Real Estate1.08%$0.750.80%$74.79
Travel & Hospitality0.47%$0.440.51%$99.13

As already explained in the beginning of this article, it’s normal for display ads to have a much lower CTR than search ads. However, the average for each industry does not deviate much from the overall average, except for real estate, clocking in at 1.08%, which is double the average. Because display ads are image-heavy, it’s easy to entice users to click on a real estate ad, even when they have little to no initial intention actually to convert. Meanwhile, the industries with the cheapest CPCs are travel and hospitality, e-commerce, and education. The industries with the highest conversion rates for Google display ads are dating and personal, legal, and employment services. Finally, the most expensive CPAs belong to the education, B2B, and home goods industries.

YouTube Ads Benchmarks

YouTube ads are essentially ads in video format that viewers typically have to skip while viewing a YouTube video, and YouTube is owned by Google.

IndustryCPVView RateCTR
Baby & Child Care (CPG)$0.03531.20%0.07%
Healthcare & insurance$0.07131.20%0.45%
Household appliances$0.04730.70%0.05%
Government & advocacy$0.04029.60%0.07%
Health & beauty$0.03429.60%0.44%
Business & Finance$0.04835.40%0.38%
Science & technology$0.03835.40%0.31%
Adult beverage$0.0635.40%0.28%
Food (CPG)$0.04335.40%0.31%
Home & Garden (CPG)$0.08835.40%0.31%

Cost per view remains more or less the same across industries, although home and garden websites are found to spend more. Retail takes the lowest view rate, while toys have the highest CTR.

Final Word

Industry benchmarks are helpful companions when assessing ad effectiveness and directing ad strategy, but advertisers need to remember that there are a lot of moving parts that should be considered when making informed ad-related decisions.

At the end of the day, testing is king. If it feels like unfamiliar territory, the best course of action is to hire industry experts to optimize the Google ads and save time and money. Or advertisers can just take it slow and let experience be the guide.