Paul has been running pay-per-click (PPC) advertising campaigns for a few months now. He’s monitoring his progress and liking what he sees, but he wonders if he’s really succeeding compared to others in his industry. If you’re in the same boat as Paul, you need to start looking at PPC benchmarks for 2021. PPC benchmarks will help you see where the average business falls, so you can determine if you’re behind, right on target, or ahead of the competition.
On this page, we’ll cover three critical Google Ads benchmarks for 2021 that include:
- Clickthrough rate (CTR)
- Cost per click (CPC)
- Conversion rate
Plus, we’ll provide you with tips for improving your PPC ads to help you reach these benchmarks and beyond! Keep reading to learn more! For digital marketing advice on the regular, subscribe to the email that more than 190,000 other marketers trust:
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PPC benchmarks for 2021: 3 key Google Ads benchmarks to know
1. Clickthrough rate (CTR)
The first Google Ads benchmark we’ll look at is clickthrough rate (CTR). CTR measures how many people see your ad compared to how many people see your ad and click on it. CTR is measured with the following formula:
(Clicks/Impressions) x 100 = CTR
This metric is one of the most essential Google Ads benchmarks because it indicates whether your ad is relevant to your audience and appearing in the right searches.
|Industry||Average CTR for Search Ads||Average CTR for Display Ads|
|Dating and Personals||6.05%||0.72%|
|Finance and Insurance||2.91%||0.52%|
|Medical and Health||3.27%||0.59%|
|Travel and Hospitality||4.68%||0.47%|
You can use this benchmark for PPC to help you understand where your ads fall compared to the nationwide and industry average.
With this information in hand, you can actively work to improve your CTR and perform better. Want to check your current CTR? Use our free CTR calculator!
2. Cost per click (CPC)
Next on our list of PPC benchmarks for 2021 is cost per click (CPC). CPC measures how much you pay each time someone clicks on your ad. You can calculate CPC by doing:
Total cost of clicks/total number of clicks = CPC
Your CPC can vary depending on your industry, the keywords you bid on, and your competition.
Some industries, like legal and insurance, have more competition, and therefore higher CPCs. Here’s a breakdown of the average CPC for each industry:
|Industry||Average CPC for Search Ads||Average CPC for Display Ads|
|Dating and Personals||$2.78||$1.49|
|Finance and Insurance||$3.44||$0.86|
|Medical and Health||$2.62||$0.63|
|Travel and Hospitality||$1.53||$0.44|
You can use the industry benchmark to help you see if you’re on par with your industry average or way off base. Want to check your current CPC?
Use our free CPC calculator!
3. Conversion rate
The last of the Google Ads industry benchmarks we’ll look at is conversion rate. Conversion rate measures how many people click on your ad and complete a conversion task. A conversion can be:
- Buying a product
- Booking an appointment
- Filling out a form
- Signing up for an event
To calculate your conversion rate, use the following formula:
(Number of conversions/Number of total ad interactions) x 100 = Conversion rate
Your conversion rate is critical to track because you want to ensure your campaigns effectively get prospects to convert. So, when looking at the benchmarks for PPC, what’s the average conversion rate? Well, for search, it’s 3.17%.
For display network, it’s 0.46%. Let’s break it down by industry:
|Industry||Average Conversion Rate for Search Ads||Average Conversion Rate for Display Ads|
|Dating and Personals||9.64%||3.34%|
|Finance and Insurance||5.10%||1.19%|
|Medical and Health||3.36%||0.82%|
|Travel and Hospitality||3.55%||0.51%|
By looking at these benchmarks for Google Ads, you can see where your ads fall and find ways to improve your ads’ conversion rate to reach the average conversion rate or go beyond it. Need help calculating your conversion rate?
Use our free conversion rate calculator!
How to exceed the PPC benchmarks for 2021: 4 tips to improve PPC ads
Now that you’ve looked at Google Ads benchmarks for 2021 and compared your campaign performance to them, you may feel like your campaigns are underperforming. So, how can you tweak your campaigns to improve your benchmarks? Here are four tips to help you improve your PPC ads:
1. Check your target keywords
If you look at the Google Ads benchmarks and find your campaigns aren’t up to par, check your target keywords. Since your target keywords dictate where your ads appear in search results, you want to make sure you’re targeting the most relevant ones. You can check your current key terms’ performance by following these steps:
- Sign in to your Google Ads account
- Click Keywords in the page menu
- Click the 3-dot icon in the corner
- Click Download
- Select from the options for downloading your keywords
Once you download your data, analyze your keyword performance and see which terms are underperforming. When you identify those keywords, you can swap them out for new ones. You can find new key terms by conducting keyword research through a tool like KeywordsFX.
This keyword research tool will help you identify new and relevant terms for your ads. Generally, you want to stick to long-tail keywords, which contain three or more words. These keywords have a lower cost-per-click and less competition because they’re so specific, so they perform better for your business.
Once you identify the correct terms, you can start optimizing for them in your ads. When you identify the right key terms for your ads, you can improve your CTR by putting your ads in front of more interested leads that will click. Not to mention, by targeting more specific keywords, you can keep your CPC low so that you can get more clicks with your budget.
2. Use ad extensions
If you look at the benchmarks for PPC, you may not be happy with your CTR. If that’s the case, try adding ad extensions to your PPC ads. Ad extensions enable you to add more information that entices prospects to click.
You can add multiple extensions to your PPC ads, including:
- Structured snippet extensions
- Call extensions
- Callout extensions
- Sitelink extensions
- Message extensions
- Location extensions
- App extensions
- Promotion extensions
- Price extensions
When you add more information to your ads, you can entice your audience to click on your ads. Something as simple as adding your phone number to your ad can significantly impact whether users click on your ad.
3. Implement negative keywords
Another way to improve your ads to reach the benchmarks for Google Ads is to implement negative keywords. Negative keywords are keywords you don’t want your ad to appear for in search results. Sometimes keywords can be attached to your ad’s terms, but they aren’t relevant to your ad.
As a result, your ad will appear for irrelevant terms, which can hurt your conversion rate and cause you to pay for clicks that aren’t relevant to your business. For example, if you’re optimizing for the keyword “plush dog toys,” you may find your ad appearing for “Fox plush dog toys.” The problem? You don’t sell fox plush dog toys!
Now, you’re getting clicks and traffic to your site that’s looking for fox plush dog toys, but you don’t offer them! So, how do you fix this problem? In this case, you would add “fox” to your list of negative keywords, so you could continue appearing for “plush dog toys” but not appear for “fox plush dog toys.” Adding negative keywords to your list can improve Google Ads benchmarks like conversion rate by spending your ad budget on more qualified leads for your business.
4. Revamp your ad copy
If you’re looking at the PPC benchmarks for 2021 and finding you don’t stack up, you can improve your performance by revamping your ad copy. Your ad copy impacts all the benchmarks for PPC. To improve your ad copy, try testing your ads.
You can conduct A/B tests to see which version of your ad performs best in search results. Try testing different ad extensions, target keywords, and phrasing in your ad. Something as simple as changing your ad title can have a massive impact on your ad’s performance!
When you conduct your tests, make sure you test one element at a time to ensure you get precise results.
Need help reaching the PPC benchmarks for 2021?
If you find you’re falling short of your PPC benchmarks for 2021, it’s not too late to improve your campaigns to perform better! But if you aren’t sure where to start with improving your PPC ads, WebFX can help.
We have a team of Google Ads certified experts that can help you run your PPC campaigns. We know how to craft ads that drive results. We’ve driven over $3 billion in revenue and over 7.8 million leads for our clients in the past five years alone.