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Google AdWords Benchmarks by Industry

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Which industries have the highest, or lowest, Google AdWords click-through rates, engagement levels, and costs?

To find out, WordStream examined 2,367 US-based client accounts from a wide range of verticals accounting for $34.4 million in 2Q15 AdWords spend.

The researchers looked at data for both Google AdWords' Search and Display networks. Median click-through rate (CTR), cost per click (CPC), conversion rate (CVR), and cost per action (CPA) were calculated for each industry examined.

Below, key findings from the report.


Dating and personal services companies have the highest median paid search CTR (3.40%) of the industries examined; technology companies have the highest median display CTR (0.84%).

Cost per Click

Legal services have the highest median CPC on Google's paid search network ($5.88); employment services have the highest median display CPC ($1.66).

Conversion Rate

The finance industry has the highest median CVR on Google's paid search network (7.19%); the homegoods industry has the highest median display CVR (2.19%).

Cost per Action

Dating and personal sites have the lowest median paid search CPA ($6.91); technology companies have the lowest median display CPA ($19.23).

About the research: The report was based on data from 2,367 US-based WordStream client accounts from a wide range of verticals accounting for $34.4 million in 2Q15 AdWords spend.

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Ayaz Nanji is an independent digital strategist and a co-founder of ICW Content, a marketing agency specializing in content creation for brands and businesses. He is also a research writer for MarketingProfs. He has worked for Google/YouTube, the Travel Channel, AOL, and the New York Times.

LinkedIn: Ayaz Nanji

Twitter: @ayaznanji

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  • by Leo C Mon Mar 14, 2016 via web

    Thank you for sharing this data. Does the search data include 'branded' campaigns? I ask because when comparing my organization's PPC performance to these benchmarks, it makes a HUGE difference if I'm lumping together both my branded and non-branded campaigns into one. Thank you!

  • by Ayaz Mon Mar 14, 2016 via web

    Hi Leo, from what I understand it's a mix of data from branded and unbranded keywords, but I will check to confirm. Here's what Wordstream wrote at the end of the original post:

    "This data did go through some cleansing to remove advertisers whom were exclusively bidding on their branded terms to prevent that upward skew. Additionally, averages noted here were measured as medians to avoid any one large advertiser from being able to skew the averages."

    You can see the full report, with their comments, here:

  • by Anna Fri Aug 5, 2016 via web

    That's an amazing article describing the google adwords benchmarks by the industry but what about branded campaigns. Do they included in this search data ? It depends on how you go through the whole branded and non branded campaigns. After every successful campaign there is a success factor which make it work smoothly and achieve the targeted goals by increasing the conversion rates. I was just reading some success stories where i founded your as well as the other one which gives me a new idea to think more about some important factors related to marketing and advertisement.

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