PPC: The Cost of a Conversion

What’s a good click-through rate in Google AdWords? What conversion rate should we expect?

Conversion rates are the most frequently asked questions that we get when talking to clients about PPC campaigns.We understand why this may be the first time that a company has considered a campaign like this and may want to evaluate whether they are doing a good job.

The short answer to conversion rate question, according to Word Stream, is 2.07% on the Search Network and 0.89% on the Display Network. The slightly fuller answer is that you need to account for a huge number of variants. Having a solid PPC strategy with informed targeting, persuasive copy and a streamlined user journey are also influential on conversion rates. One thing that is often overlooked, and it shouldn’t be, and that is the industry that a business works in.



By benchmarking different industries, we can get a clearer picture of what to expect and get a sense of where a company may stand.

Towards the end of 2018, WordStream crunched the data on thousands of businesses operating in a range of industries to come up with a starting point for benchmarking. It must be stressed that this is just a starting point and different companies may experience different results. It is, however, a useful way to set expectations and to get a sense of were your business stands.

Averages have been across these AdWord metrics for 20 different industries: Advocacy, Automotive, B2B, Consumer Services, Dating and Personals, E-Commerce, Education, Employment Services, Finance and Insurance, Health and Medical, Home Gods, Industrial Services, Legal, Real Estate, Technology and Travel and Hospitality.


Average Click-Through Rate in AdWords by Industry

The data that WordStream has put together based on enquiries, the only exception is E-Commerce, where a conversion is defined as a purchase.

To be clear, the results for Google Search Network refer to the adverts that are displayed directly in the search results.

Understanding the Differences

Simply saying that these statistics vary is an understatement. The finance and insurance industries clearly lead the way on both the Search and the Display Network. This could be explained by the fact that these businesses frequently experiment and change their strategy, which results in every improving conversion.

On the Display Network, you can see that Home Goofs and Real Estate fair well, which us unsurprising given that the ads show carefully chosen images.

Ecommerce struggles to compete when compared to other industries. This can be explained by the fact that it is a purchase, not an enquiry, that counts as a conversion.


Never Ignore the Buyers Journey

Sales funnels and the buyer journey are often overlooked in the PPC world. They have a massive impact on conversion rates and should positively influence campaign strategy.

A sales funnel and the buyer journey are defined by four steps: awareness, interest, decision and action.

Awareness- This is the initial stage where a prospect becomes aware of a solution. This is the point where they may visit your website for the first time.

Interest- This is the consumer seeking out information. They may potentially visit numerous websites to gain the knowledge needed to know if the product or service is right for their problem. Once they have this knowledge, they will be ready to make their decision.

Decision- During this stage, the prospect has chosen a supplier and is now weighing up the options, packages or different products.

Action- Finally, converting the prospect to a client. This may be making the sale, signing the contract or transferring a deposit.

Ultimately, the conversion rate of your campaign relies on more factors than just your industry. Coupling a comprehensive PPC strategy with an effective sales funnel that understands the user journey will be more influential on those conversions than benchmarking against industry averages.


If you want to explore how PPC can work for your business, then contact Tailor-Made Media. We can provide the ideal solution your company needs.