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Google Adwords conversion rate averages by industry [#ChartoftheDay]

A reminder of the importance of paid search marketing contrasting the search network with the display network

This chart gives an update to historical data on conversion rates in AdWords from the AdWords management platform Wordstream. It's part of new benchmarking paid search marketing statistics by industry. If you're considering paid search it gives you an idea of the conversion rates you can expect when making the business case. Of course, a test will show you rates specific to your market, type of keywords (Brand, generic, product, long tail, etc) and your proposition, but this gives an indication. The full report also covers clickthrough rate and cost to help you build conversion rate funnel spreadsheet models.

Average conversion rates 2016 adwords

About these AdWords benchmarks

  • Source: Although published by Wordstream this year, this report is based on a sample of 2,367 US-based WordStream client accounts in all verticals (representing $34.4 million in aggregate AdWords spend) who were advertising on Google AdWords’ Search and Display networks in Q2 2015. “Averages” are technically median figures to account for outliers. All currency values are posted in USD.
  • Industry sectors covered: Advocacy, Auto, B2B, Consumer Services, Dating & Personals, E-Commerce, Education, Employment Services, Finance & Insurance, Health & Medical, Home Goods, Industrial Services, Legal, Real Estate, Technology, and Travel & Hospitality.

Comparison to previous AdWords conversion rate data

We have kept this data for reference to show how conversion rates have changed. Note that previous results were true averages, so didn't include outliers. Here's a summary of the previous findings:

  • Average conversion rate for the search network in Q3 2012: 5.63%
  • Average conversion rate from the display network in Q3 2012: 4.68%
  • The Travel industry has the lowest conversion rates
  • Internet / Telecoms has the highest conversion rates across search & display.
  • The display network (ads outside of Google on publisher sites useful for generating awareness) generates 5x the volume of impressions but 1/5 of the clicks compared to the search network (searches within Google and its partners). 
  • Clickthrough rates are not covered by this research, but Wordstream suggest an average 2% to 5% paid search clickthrough rate for competitive industries and a 5%+ click-through rate for non-competitive industries for top positions with brand terms higher.

The thing to remember with the data above is that a conversion is not necessarily a sale it includes lead / data capture as well. While industry benchmarks are great if you are one of the bigger players in the industry be careful not to get too hung up on them, work to your own cost per sale and use such metrics as guides not absolutes. (view original post).

By Chris Soames

Chris Soames is a Smart Insights blogger and consultant, he has worked in digital marketing for over 6 years with the last few years managing international web strategies for a leading travel brand. Now the Commercial Director at First 10, an Integrated marketing agency, he helps clients get clarity on their marketing strategy and create campaigns engineered to engage with their consumers to help drive sell-through. Most of all, Chris enjoys working with talented people who want to create great (& commercial) things not just tick boxes.

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