It’s common knowledge among most digital advertisers that PPC metrics and industry benchmarks are key to understanding their success.
However, to perform better than competitors in such a mobile-first world, they must also ask themselves:
- What’s a good click-through rate for my mobile ads?
- What percentage of my ads should be converting on mobile devices?
- How much should all of this cost on mobile?
To answer these questions, here are the latest Google Ads mobile benchmarks across a variety of industries — for both Search and Display — in four key metrics:
- Average mobile click-through rate (CTR)
- Average mobile cost per click (CPC)
- Average mobile conversion rate (CVR)
- Average mobile cost per action (CPA)
Average mobile click-through rate in Google Ads by industry
The average mobile click-through rate across all industries is 4.10% on the Search Network, and 0.60% on Display:
These mobile CTR benchmarks are almost 1% lower and 0.1% higher (respectively) than the benchmarks for both mobile and desktop combined, which are 5.06% (Search) and 0.50% (Display).
The travel & hospitality industry has the highest mobile CTR on the Search Network, at 5.36%. Arts & Entertainment (5.01%) and hair salons (5.00%) aren’t far behind, ranking second- and third-highest for Search CTR.
On the GDN, hair salons and arts & entertainment remain the leaders for high mobile CTR, but now travel & hospitality falls just above average.
Something to note, though, is that these three industries are the only verticals with above-average mobile CTRs on both Search and Display.
Conversely, internet & telecom has the lowest mobile CTR on the Search Network, while automotive service & repair takes the last place on Display (0.36). In both locations, auto service & repair, business services, construction, healthcare, internet & telecom, and consulting all suffer from below-average CTRs.
What does the data tell us?
The three above-average CTRs could be because these are all niches that demand advertisers to leverage highly attractive creative:
- Hair salons — men, women, and kids with different hairstyles
- Travel & hospitality — appealing vacation destinations, luxury hotels, etc.
- Arts & entertainment — music concerts, movie previews, and more
The low CTRs could be because of the opposite — these industries don’t have as much room or ability to leverage visually appealing creative. For example, there are fewer image options for internet & telecom or construction.
In addition, a whole variety of factors impact CTR, including ad copy, CTAs, ad extensions, and more. Yet, one of the greatest influencers is audience targeting. So if your CTR is suffering, it could mean your targeting requires some revising. You may not be using the right keywords, or your campaigns might not be appropriately segmented.
Google Ads Smart Bidding can help with both of these things. The feature tracks all visible and hidden user behavior signals from every search and click, cross-references those signals with performance data, and then adjusts bids to meet your selected target audience. In short, it’s a machine learning process that helps boost CTR.
Average mobile cost per click in Google Ads by industry
The average mobile CPC across industries on Google Ads is $2.67 for Search and $0.60 for Display:
Just like the desktop-inclusive Google Ads benchmarks, the law/legal industry has the highest mobile CPC on the Search Network, at $4.85 — over $1 more than the next highest CPC (automotive service & repair).
This makes sense since the law is one of the most common topics represented in the top 50 most expensive keywords, according to Serpstat’s own study:
Arts & entertainment boasts the lowest CPC of $1.01, which is still higher than the highest industry average on the Display Network ($0.81 for home & garden).
When you compare these mobile benchmarks to the desktop equivalents, there’s not much difference. Mobile-only is just slightly more expensive than desktop and mobile combined in terms of industry-wide CPCs.
What does the data tell us?
CPC helps determine the financial success of your PPC campaigns. Yet, ROI is determined by how much you’re paying for clicks and by the quality you’re getting for that investment. Therefore, you want to identify and target clicks that are both inexpensive and valuable.
To do this, you may have to:
- Improve your Quality Score — Accounts with scores of 6 or higher are granted a 16-50% decrease in CPC, whereas accounts with a score of 4 or lower see a 25-400% increase.
- Expand keywords — Adding new relevant keywords to your campaigns can improve the distribution of your budget substantially. Viewing the search terms report can help with this because these are terms people have already found you by searching.
- Refine keywords — Eliminating irrelevant or overpriced clicks — and continually designating negative keywords — helps control your average cost per click by filtering out traffic from searchers that are unlikely to convert.
Average mobile conversion rates in Google Ads by industry
On the Search Network, the average mobile CVR across all industries is 3.48%, and on the GDN — only 0.72%:
The most prominent observation here is that hair salon mobile conversion rates are substantially higher than those in any other industry on the Display Network — over 3x as high as the next highest for Display, and more than the overall Search average.
On Search, law/legal experienced the highest mobile CVR of 6.95% (this industry was an above-average outlier in the desktop-inclusive data as well, second only to the vehicle industry). Hair salons had the second-highest CVR of 5.95%, and construction was third — still well above average — at 4.64%.
The computers & electronics and consulting industries fall into the bottom three average CVRs on both Search and Display.
The reason for this could be because users searching for law/legal services already know what they’re looking for — so once they click an ad, their purchase intent is high for those services. Meanwhile, those looking for computers and electronics, or consulting services, may require a bit more browsing and comparison shopping.
What does the data tell us?
Compared to the desktop-inclusive data, mobile conversion rates are slightly lower — and neither are too impressive.
This could be a sign that most advertisers are ignoring the post-click experience — especially in those industries with below-average CVRs: business services, computers & electronics, education, home & garden, internet & telecom, consulting, manufacturing, nonprofits, retail, and travel & hospitality.
It’s likely that all of these industries need to pay more attention to conversion optimization techniques, like post-click automation. PCA helps advertisers visualize the advertising funnel, deliver 1:1 personalized experiences at scale, and create message matched post-click landing pages to maximize conversions.
Average mobile cost per action in Google Ads by industry
For Search, the average mobile CPA across all industries on Google Ads is $80.89. It’s much higher than that on the Display network, at $148.68:
The range in CPA benchmarks across industries is the most dramatic among the four metrics:
- On Search, there’s a difference of $121.05 between the highest and lowest CPA (internet & telecom versus hair salons)
- On Display, a difference of $258.58 (nonprofits versus arts & entertainment)
- Between the highest and lowest CPA across both Search and Display, a difference of $288.65 (nonprofits on display versus hair salons on search)
If you compare this graph to the conversion rate, you’ll notice that there’s an inverse relationship between CVR and CPA — so industries with low CVRs typically see higher CPAs, and vice versa. For example, the hair salon industry was an extreme outlier with the highest CVR on display, but it was only 5th in CPA.
Notice how nonprofits have below-average conversion rates on Display but have the highest CPA. This isn’t ideal, but there could be some logic behind it. For instance, nonprofits are likely showing ads more frequently and getting clicks, but not converting right away. Whereas for-profit industries such as legal, computers, healthcare, convert their clicks sooner and not having to spend more budget, in the long run, to get people to take action.
CPAs are much higher on mobile devices than on desktop and mobile combined, where they are $56.11 on Search and $90.80 on Display.
What does the data tell us?
When comparing the Google Ads mobile benchmarks to the desktop benchmarks, mobile ads have higher metrics all around.
CPC and CPA are higher on both Search and Display, while CTR and CVR are higher on the Display Network, but lower on Search. This is because mobile browsing behavior and search intent are much different than desktop.
People on mobile devices, for example, could have a higher purchase intent. They may already know exactly what they need, and only click-through when they’re sure they’re ready to take action.
It could also be because of advanced mobile targeting, tracking people’s mobile usage and behaviors, and advertising to them accordingly.
How do your metrics compare?
In a mobile-first world, it’s essential to your paid ad campaign success — and ultimately your business’ success — to know the Google Ads mobile benchmarks. If your metrics don’t compare favorably, it could mean your campaigns aren’t optimized for mobile. If they do, it likely means you’ve optimized your pre-click experience with relevant keywords, offers, and ad creatives.
Either way, be sure to follow up your make your post-click experience match. Create personalized pages with AMP to improve all of your mobile campaign metrics.
The number of Facebook advertisers continues to grow each day, now totaling more than 7 million. With the platform’s wide variety of ad formats and audience targeting options, there is no shortage of possibilities to show your preferred ad to the exact user you aim to convert.
But from the user’s perspective, they can quickly become numb to advertising messages and ignore them completely. Ad fatigue and banner blindness are real things to combat. So, how do you get positive campaign results from campaigns? And, in the process, how do those results compare to Facebook benchmarks from others in your industry?
Below are the latest Facebook advertising benchmarks by industry in four key metrics:
- Average click-through rate
- Average cost per click
- Average conversion rate
- Average cost per action
Average click-through rate on Facebook
The average Facebook click-through rate across all industries surveyed is 0.90%:
Advertisers in the legal industry may struggle with below-average CTRs on Google’s Search Network, but not on Facebook. Here, they have the highest CTRs at 1.61%.
The difference in this industry CTR on the two platforms could be because it’s more difficult to impress a prospective client looking for a lawyer when your ad blends in with the other ads on the SERP. However, a lawyer’s UVP, enticing CTA, a scroll-stopping image is much more likely to stand out on a prospect’s social feed when other ads do not surround it.
Other industries with higher CTRs include:
- Retail (1.59%)
- Apparel (1.24%)
- Beauty (1.16%)
- Technology (1.04%)
- Fitness (1.01%)
It’s probably no coincidence that these industries’ ads perform particularly well on highly visual platforms like Facebook, and they often feature high-quality images of people. Another factor that could contribute to higher CTRs in these industries is that they frequently offer sales, promotions, discounts, and giveaways that are great for convincing people to click through.
Employment & job training services have the lowest average Facebook click-through rate (0.47%), followed by finance & insurance (0.56%), customer services (0.62%), home improvement (0.70%), industrial services (0.71%), education (0.73%), and B2B (0.78%). These industries likely have lower Facebook CTRs because people looking for these services are more apt to search on other platforms like Google, not Facebook. Users browse Facebook for social reasons, not necessarily to improve their career aspirations, hire plumbers, or further their education.
With Google Ads Benchmarks, CTR varied tremendously between the Search Network (5.06%) and the Display Network (0.50%). Similarly, Facebook CTR (0.90%) is very different from the Google Search CTR, but more comparable to the display CTR.
The most probable reason for this is the intent of Facebook users. Someone clicking a Facebook ad varies from the intent of someone clicking a Google ad. Google is keyword-based so people are actively looking for certain results, while Facebook users are typically scrolling their feed, viewing photos, interacting on Messenger, etc.
Average cost per click on Facebook
The average Facebook CPC across all industries is $1.72:
Financial advertisers experience the highest Facebook cost per click at $3.77. Unfortunately, they also have second-lowest CTR. So not only are few people clicking the ads, but advertisers are paying a lot for the clicks — a lose-lose situation for finance advertisers.
The cheapest CPCs are in apparel ($0.45), travel and hospitality ($0.63) and retail ($0.70) industries — each with clicks well below $1. Retail and apparel boast the second- and third-highest CTRs respectively, so in contrast to financial advertisers, this is a win-win for these two industries.
If your business falls under one of these low CPC categories, though, it’s still essential to understand how to manage your Facebook advertising budgets, as these industries often have huge audiences.
Average conversion rates on Facebook
The average Facebook ad conversion rate across all industries is 9.21%, much higher than the Google Ads conversion rate.
Note: Since Facebook campaigns can have several different objectives, only those campaigns with the conversion objective were considered when calculating the average conversion rate.
Facebook helps fitness, education, and employment & job training advertisers achieve remarkably high conversion rates, averaging 14.29%, 13.58%, and 11.73% respectively.
This is interesting because the employment & job training industry, for example, has the lowest CTR — but when people do click through, they convert at the third-highest rate. Similarly, while fitness ads have the fourth-highest CTR, they convert at the highest rate. A reason for this could be the high-intent of people actually clicking through. They know exactly what they want, and don’t click through until they’re ready to take action.
Unfortunately, many industries fall below the average Facebook conversion rate, with retail (3.26%), travel & hospitality (2.82%), and technology (2.31%) having extremely below-average rates.
Another detail to notice here is that technology has a higher CTR (5th on the list at 1.04%), but the lowest conversion rate. A likely cause being people exploring their options for technology solutions, but advertisers failing to optimize the post-click experience (more on this below).
Average cost per action on Facebook
The average cost per action on Facebook across all industries is $18.68. For these results, actions varied based on the advertisers’ specific goals, including sales, providing contact information, submitting a form, placing a call, etc.
Note: Only campaigns with the conversion objective were considered when calculating the average cost per action.
Education advertisers don’t pay much at all for actions taken on their ads (only an average of $7.85), especially compared to technology advertisers who spend an average of $55.21 per action. So although Facebook may be a great place for higher education programs to attract new students, it can be rather expensive for companies looking to hire a computer programmer.
For the technology industry, in particular, one reason for the high CPA could be is the intent of users. Remember, Facebook is a social media platform, so the vast majority of people engage with the platform to interact with friends and family — not necessarily hire for such technical positions.
Other industries with high CPAs include home improvement ($44.66), auto ($43.84), and finance & insurance ($41.43), while other below-average CPA industries are apparel ($10.98), healthcare ($12.31), and real estate ($16.92).
2 Major takeaways from the Facebook benchmarks
1. Take advantage of Facebook’s targeting options (& retarget)
Since Facebook ads are not keyword-driven — and display to users based on comprehensive audience targeting parameters — you should be taking advantage of the unique targeting options Facebook offers. Demographic information, user interests, life events, and user behavior can all be used to pinpoint exactly who your ads display to, leading to higher click-through rates and conversion rates.
Retargeting can also increase CTRs and conversion rates because it’s likely that people who have already visited your site or engaged with your business have a higher purchase intent. In fact, it’s been proven that Facebook Ads CTR can increase by 600% using content curation and retargeting.
2. Increase conversion rates with Post-Click Automation™
Even though Facebook average conversion rates aren’t as low as Google average conversion rates, there’s always room for improvement. This is especially true for those industries with below-average Facebook Ad conversion rates — retail, travel & hospitality, technology, apparel, legal, auto, industrial services, and more.
All of these industries could improve their rates with Post-Click Automation (PCA). PCA is the category of marketing technology that enables marketers to maximize ad conversions by automating the post-click stage and delivering 1:1 personalized experiences at scale.
How do your Facebook ads measure up?
If you’re already advertising on Facebook, knowing these benchmarks will give you an idea of where your campaigns should stand. Using these as a reference is great because there’s always room to improve your metrics, especially if you don’t at least meet your industry’s average.
Optimizing both your pre-click experience with relevant ads, keywords, creative, and offers — and your post-click experience with personalized pages — will help you improve all of your campaign metrics.
Each month, on average, 1,300 people worldwide ask Google, “What is a good CTR?” Beyond CTR, though, digital marketers want to know:
- “What is a good cost per click?”
- “What is the average conversion rate for my industry?”
- “What is the average cost per action in Google Ads?
Digital marketers crave these answers because knowing key PPC metrics, industry benchmarks, and how to interpret them allows advertisers and agencies to understand their success relative to competitors.
Below are the latest Google Ads industry benchmarks, based on a sample of accounts advertising on Google’s Search and Display networks.
Average click-through rate in Google Ads by industry
The Google Ads average CTR across all industries is 5.06% for search, with a high of 7.83% in the travel & tourism industry, and a low of 3.27% for law & government:
the industries with high search CTR benchmarks include vehicles (7.35%), dining & nightlife (6.63%), and real estate (6.19%). On the low end with law & government — computers & computer electronics (3.49%) and finance (3.58%).
Meanwhile, on the Display Network, the Google Ads average CTR across all industries was only 0.50%, with business & industrial having a high of 0.64%, and health with the lowest at 0.37%.
The difference between the average CTR on Search and GDN was drastic in some industries (the highest Display Network average didn’t even reach the lowest Search Network average). Despite the major differences, both the average CTR for display ads and search ads were higher than previous years.
What does the data tell us?
While your offer ad copy, CTAs, ad extensions, and a whole host of other factors impacts your CTR, one of the greatest influencers is audience targeting.
Consider this: You’re interested in an agency’s PPC services, but they continuously send you information on their SEO resources. You’re probably going to ignore their ads no matter how persuasive the copy, creative, etc. because that’s not the product or service you need.
If you’re CTR is suffering, it could mean your targeting is off, and you’re not choosing the right keywords or other criteria. It could also mean you need to get more specific and utilize segmented marketing campaigns.
Google Ads Smart Bidding can help with this by tracking all visible and hidden user behavior signals from every search and click, cross-referencing those signals with performance data, and then increasing or decreasing bids to meet your selected target. Ultimately, this machine learning process helps immensely to boost CTR.
Average cost per click in Google Ads by industry
The average Google Ads cost per click across all industries is $2.41 for search and $0.59 for display:
While the average cost per click for search was $2.41, many industries paid less for their clicks, including apparel ($1.38), arts & entertainment ($1.47), hobbies & leisure ($1.68), jobs & education ($2.24), real estate ($2.27), retailers & general stores ($2.16), sports & fitness ($1.46), travel & tourism ($1.42), and vehicles ($2.03).
The outlier of them all on the Search Network is law & government because their ad clicks cost the most at $6.35 per click.
Law & government are tied for the most expensive on the GDN as well, right next to finance, both costing $0.81 per click. However, most industries have relatively inexpensive CPCs on the Display Network. Apparel, arts & entertainment, and jobs & education, for example, all fall below $0.50 per click.
What does the data tell us?
CPC is important because it determines the financial success of your PPC campaigns.
However, your ROI is determined by how much you’re paying for clicks and by the quality you’re getting for that investment. So you want to identify and target clicks that are both inexpensive and valuable.
There are two primary ways to do this:
- Increase your Quality Score — Accounts with scores of 6 or higher are granted a 16-50% decrease in CPC, whereas accounts with a score of 4 or lower see a 25-400% increase.
- Expand and refine keywords — Adding new relevant and valuable keywords to your campaigns — while simultaneously eliminating irrelevant or overpriced clicks — can improve the distribution of your budget substantially. Continually designating negative keywords helps control your average cost per click by filtering out traffic from searchers that are highly unlikely to convert.
Average conversion rates in Google Ads by industry
The conversion rate by industry showed a lot of diversity in range. While the average rate across all industries was 4.40% for search and 0.57% for display, the outliers were extreme:
For example, while a majority of the industries fall between 4.0% and 5.0% on the Search Network, both law & government (7.45%) and vehicles (7.98%) enjoy the highest conversion rates.
Now let’s compare this to the Display Network, which has significantly lower conversion rates.
The highest GDN conversion rate (1.12% for hobbies & leisure) doesn’t reach the lowest Search Network conversion rate (2.77% for apparel).
What does the data tell us?
Compared to the 2015 data, search conversion rates have risen slightly, but display conversion rates have fallen — and neither are too impressive.
This could be a sign that most advertisers are ignoring the post-click experience and need to pay more attention to conversion optimization techniques, like post-click automation.
Average cost per action in Google Ads by industry
The average CPA in Google Ads across all industries is $56.11 for search and $90.80 for display network — the first time the Search Network had a lower average than the GDN:
When looking at the average cost per acquisition on the Display Network, over $115 separated the highest and lowest industry averages, with business & industrial at a high of $152.03 and hobbies & leisure at a low of $35.43.
On the Search Network, the computers & computer electronics industry had the highest average CPA at $101.40, while the vehicles industry had the lowest at $26.17.
Several industries face average CPAs over $100:
- On search — computers & computer electronics
- On display — business & industrial, computers & computer electronics, health, home & garden, jobs & education, law & government, real estate, travel & tourism, and vehicles
What does the data tell us?
Although the average CPA on the search network is actually lower now than it was several years ago, costs in advertising have been and are expected to continue rising over time.
Did you notice how the CPA graph is the only one that includes display averages higher than search averages? Why is it that most of the GDN data is much lower than search?
The main reason is people have higher intent on the Search Network. They actively conduct searches based on specific keywords because they already know exactly what they’re looking for.
On the Display Network, users are passive searchers. Since they may not be looking for anything specific, they have lower intent, which typically leads to lower click-through rates, conversion rates, cost per click, etc.
How do you measure up?
Knowing the Google Ads industry benchmarks is essential because if your metrics don’t compare favorably — or at least keep pace with the average — that means there’s room for improvement.
Be sure to optimize your pre-click experience with relevant keywords, creative, offers, ads, etc. — and your post-click experience with personalized pages — to improve all of your campaign metrics.