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What’s A Good Google Ads CTR/CPC/CPA In 2022? [STUDY]

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What's A Good Google Ads CTR/CPC/CPA In 2022? [STUDY]


“Is this a good click-through rate?”

“Why is our cost per conversion high? Is this in line with our competitors?”

“What’s a good conversion rate?”

How many times do you get asked these questions in a week? A month?

Nothing’s more frustrating than getting these questions from your C-Suite team without having data to back it up. Or, you have outdated data that is not useful in today’s advertising world.

Keeping up-to-date on industry benchmarks is crucial to help answer these questions for your business.

Wordstream by LOCALiQ recently published their Search Advertising benchmarks for 2021.

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Their data consists of data points from thousands of campaigns in both Google and Microsoft Ads for the top 20 industries. Some of the top industries include:

  • Arts & Entertainment.
  • Automotive.
  • Education.
  • Finance & Insurance.
  • Health & Fitness.
  • Shopping & Retail.
  • Travel.

While these benchmarks are a starting point, it’s important to note that many factors go into setting benchmarks that are attainable for your business.

We hope this data is useful for you to help level-set expectations and goals for your business, as well as get a sense of how you stack up to the competition.

In this report, you’ll find benchmarks for both Search and Display campaigns in Google & Microsoft Ads for:

  • Click-through rate (CTR).
  • Average cost-per-click (CPC).
  • Conversion rate (CVR).
  • Cost per acquisition (CPA).

Let’s dig into the data.

Average Click-Through Rate In Google Ads By Industry

Screenshot from LOCALiQ.com, February 2022

The average click-through rate across all industries sat at 3.17% in 2021. In LOCALiQ’s data, the industries they pooled together outperformed that CTR, averaging over 6%.

Compared to when they first started gathering data in 2015, the average CTR for Search ads was minimal at 1.35%.

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The business category that boasted the highest CTR was within Arts & Entertainment with an astounding 10.67% CTR.

At the other end of the spectrum was Attorneys and Legal Services at a 3.84% CTR.

The CTR metric should be analyzed as only one indicator of performance, not the end-all-be-all when trying to determine if your ads are doing well.

There are many factors that can influence CTR, including:

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  • Your competition (Is the SERP saturated?).
  • Your bid.
  • Your position on the page.
  • Your ad copy relevancy.
  • Your audience targeting.

When analyzing your ads, Google gives you indicators of performance within your Quality Score. If your average CTR is below your peer set in your industry, Google will let you know.

When optimizing your Search Ads, make sure you’re taking a look at levers outside of just ad copy.

Average Cost-Per-Click In Google Ads By Industry

Average CPC in 2021 by industry.Screenshot from LOCALiQ.com, February 2022

While the Attorneys and Legal Services showcased the lowest CTR, they also boasted the highest average CPC. In 2021, the average CPC for this industry came in at $8.67.

This average is not surprising, given the higher than average cost it takes to acquire a customer.

On the lower end of the spectrum, Real Estate and Travel industries had the lowest average CPC at $1.40.

Similar to analyzing the CPC metric, this is just one indicator of performance.

For example, your ads may show a low average CPC and a low CTR. This could mean that your bids aren’t high enough to be competitive in the market, and you may want to consider raising bids.

On the other hand, if you have a higher than average CPC, you’ll want to monitor these more closely to ensure you can prove your return on ad spend/investment.

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Average Conversion Rates In Google Ads By Industry

2021 average conversion rates across industries.Screenshot from LOCALiQ.com, February 2022

The average Conversion Rate is calculated from the number of leads/sales you get divided by the number of clicks from your ad.

When looking at the data from 2021, the average Conversion Rate varied highly across industries.

On the high end of performance, Animals & Pets had the highest conversion rate at 19.19%, followed by Physicians and Surgeons at 19.15%.

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The industries that had the lowest Conversion Rate included:

  • Furniture: 3.25%
  • Real Estate: 3.93%
  • Apparel/Fashion & Jewelry: 3.60%

When looking at these industries and the products they sell, these conversion rates make sense.

Furniture is a high-ticket item for many customers. Users do a lot of research online before making a purchase. Not only that, but because of the price tag, many customers end up purchasing in stores instead of online.

While the Conversion Rate may be low on this particular industry, it’s more important than ever to be able to measure offline conversions, such as In-Store visits or purchases.

In the apparel industry, it seems that there are new brands popping up every day.

If you do a simple search for Nike sneakers, the amount of sellers and resellers for these types of products has skyrocketed in recent years.

The simple amount of competition directly attributes to a low (or high) conversion rate.

Average Cost Per Acquisition In Google Ads By Industry

Average cost per lead by industry in 2021.Screenshot from LOCALiQ.com, February 2022

The average Cost Per Acquisition is a core KPI that advertisers should keep a pulse on when analyzing performance.

It’s no surprise that certain industries have a much higher CPA compared to other industries. Some of the factors that can influence CPA include:

  • Average CPC.
  • Average CTR (this influences your CPC).
  • Audience targeting.
  • Conversion Rate.
  • The type of product/service you’re selling.
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The Attorneys and Legal Services had the highest CPA out of all industries at a whopping $73.70. This is not surprising considering the possible barriers to entry for this industry.

From a consumer perspective, they are likely doing a lot of research before making a decision and contacting someone in this industry.

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While the CPA may be high, many businesses in that industry find that well worth the investment, considering their return on each individual customer.

Those industries that have lower-priced products and services likely have a lower CPA goal. The industries that showed the lowest CPA in 2021 was Animals and Pets at $14.88, followed by Automotive Repair, Services and Parts at $17.81.

Mark Irvine, Director of Paid Search at Search Lab, mentioned that Cost Per Lead metrics showed improvement from recent years. He attributes some of this to the following factors:

  • Improvement of Lead Management Systems (CRMs).
  • Improvement in audience targeting.
  • Improvements in keyword targeting.

Summary

If you find yourself on the lower end of the spectrum in comparison to others in your industry, don’t fret! These benchmarks are meant to be a guidepost for you.

If you’re struggling to improve performance, try following these tips below.

  • #1: Set the right (and realistic) goals for your campaigns.
  • #2: Test out other search engines besides Google.
  • #3: Choose the right budget(s) for your campaigns.
  • #4: Invest in a good keyword strategy.
  • #5: Focus on your landing page strategy ad optimization.
  • #6: Don’t forget about mobile!

Make sure to check out Wordstream by LOCALiQ’s full report on benchmarks and tips to improve your campaigns.

More Resources:


Featured Image: Jirsak/Shutterstock

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SEO

SEO Legend, Mentor & Friend

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SEO Legend, Mentor & Friend

The SEO industry will be forever changed with the loss of Bill Slawski, owner of SEO By The Sea, Director of Search at Go Fish Digital, educator, mentor, and friend.

Bill was a great many things to a lot of people. He has been a contributor here at Search Engine Journal since 2019, and a friend and mentor to many of us for decades more.

It’s not often you can say that someone has influenced and shaped an entire industry. But this is one of those times.

On May 19, 2022, the SEO industry learned that Bill Slawski had passed away.

The loss and sadness across our community were palpable.

Remembering Bill Slawski: SEO Legend, Mentor & Friend

Remembering Bill Slawski: SEO Legend, Mentor & Friend

Remembering Bill Slawski: SEO Legend, Mentor & Friend

Remembering Bill Slawski: SEO Legend, Mentor & Friend

Remembering Bill Slawski: SEO Legend, Mentor & Friend

Remembering Bill Slawski: SEO Legend, Mentor & Friend
Remembering Bill Slawski: SEO Legend, Mentor & Friend

Remembering Bill Slawski: SEO Legend, Mentor & FriendRemembering Bill Slawski: SEO Legend, Mentor & Friend

A search patent expert, colleague and mentor to many, and a friend to many more, Bill influenced the lives of everyone in the search industry.

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If you hadn’t read one of the thousands of articles he wrote or contributed to, watched one of his interviews, attended one of his talks, or listened to a podcast he was a guest on – I guarantee that someone you work with, learn from, or work for has.

This was due in no small part to Bill’s vast knowledge and expertise, combined with an unequaled passion for the nuances and technological advances that make search engines tick.

I spoke with Bill a few weeks ago as we were planning a feature article on the patents he felt are most impactful for search marketers.

In that interview, he explained his love for patents.

“One thing I always say about patents is they’re the best place to find assumptions about searchers, about search, and about the web. These are search engineers sharing their opinions in addition to solving problems,” he said.

He loved getting to see what engineers were thinking, and what they had to say when it comes to different problems on the web.

“One of my favorite types of patents to look up is when they repeat a patent and file a continuation,” Bill explained. “I like to look at these continuation patents and see how they’ve changed, because they don’t tell you, ‘This is what we’re doing.’”

That innate curiosity and true passion for unraveling the complexities of the search algorithms we work with each day made talking with Bill and reading his work a real joy.

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I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone to Bill or referenced his work in mine over the years, as have so many others.

He had a real talent for making complex concepts more accessible for readers and marketers of all stripes. As a result, his contributions to our collective understanding of how search works are unrivaled.

Bill Slawski’s work and knowledge are foundational to the practice of SEO as we know it today.

I speak for all of us at SEJ in saying we’re incredibly grateful for what he generously shared with each of us.

He was a close friend and respected colleague to our founder, Loren Baker, as well.

“Bill Slawski was a true friend of mine in more ways than one. First of all, he was a surprising mentor who helped me out quite a bit early on in my career, even before the days of social media or Search Engine Journal. He was my buddy and workmate,” Loren said.

Loren Baker and Bill Slawski

Loren Baker and Bill Slawski

Bill and Loren worked together for a couple of years and spent a lot of time out in the parking lot in Havre de Grace, Maryland, smoking cigarettes and talking about Google patents.

“If anything, I would say that Bill taught me that there was much more to SEO than just ranking alone,” Loren explained, adding that Bill taught him the importance of incorporating a narrative into all of the work that you do.

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“He taught me the ethics and workmanship behind creating a piece of digital art that people will want to read, will want to share, and will ultimately search for and click on–touching their lives,” he said. “I will miss Bill deeply. It’s very difficult losing friends.”

Having started in 1996 and launching SEO By The Sea in 2005, Bill was the go-to source when you wanted to understand how search engines work or how they change the way we search or live our lives.

But it was so much more than that.

Bill was generous with his time and eager to share his knowledge of search, information retrieval, NLP, and other information technology with any and all.

He had a gift for taking complex patents, algorithms, concepts, real-world behavior, and search engines and explaining how the world of search and information retrieval worked in a way that everyone could understand.

Bill seemed to have an instinct for understanding what you knew and didn’t know or where you were confused. He could fill in the gaps without making you feel silly for having asked. Even if it was the millionth time he’d answered that question.

You didn’t have to be an SEO rockstar or an experienced professional, either.

If you didn’t understand something or had questions, he would happily spend hours explaining the concepts and offering (or creating) resources to help. And as many in the industry who encountered Braggadocio can attest to, you always felt like a long-lost friend, even if you had just “met” him in text.

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“It’s like when you go to a conference and you’re one of the first people there. And all the seats are still empty and there’s not a lot of discussion going on. That’s what the SEO world was like back then…I remember happening upon an SEO forum and just being a lurker. Just looking at what everybody was talking about and thinking, ‘this is a strange career. I’m not sure I can do this.’ In the end, I did it.

I started out working and promoting a website for a couple friends who started a business. And so helping them succeed in business was a pretty good motivation.” Bill Slawski, cognitiveSEO Talks interview, April 5, 2018

Bill’s wealth of knowledge extended far beyond search, too.

With a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Delaware and a Juris Doctor Degree from Widener University School of Law, Bill spent 14 years as a court manager, administrator, technologist, and management analyst with the Superior Court of Deleware.

He loved nature and plants, and the ocean. He loved traveling and search conferences, but he ultimately found peace in nature and took advantage of it often. And he shared it with us all.

Bill pushed everyone to look beyond the headlines and keywords.

He was quick to add words of support and congratulations when someone shared an achievement. He encouraged everyone to explore the possible, to not be intimidated by new things, and to better understand the search ecosystem, not just the technology, so we could better serve our families, communities, colleagues, and clients.

His kindness, generosity, loyalty, and love of the industry knew no bounds.

The King of Podcasts on Twitter

The King of Podcasts on Twitter

Marshall Simmonds on Twitter

Marshall Simmonds on Twitter

Here at Search Engine Journal, Bill was a familiar face on social media and a VIP contributor, but he was much more than that.

Matt Southern, News Writer

One of the things I’ll miss most about Bill Slawski is the outdoor photography he shared on Twitter.

As deeply entrenched as he was in SEO and online marketing, he always took time to step back from the keyboard and admire life’s beauty.

I think that’s something we could all benefit from doing more of.

Roger Montti, News Writer

I knew Bill Slawski for almost 20 years, from the forums and search marketing conferences. He created a stir with all the things he discovered in the patents, which went a long way toward demystifying what search engines did.

What impressed me the most was his generosity with his time and how encouraging he was to me and to everyone. I feel privileged and honored to have been able to call him a friend.

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He will be profoundly missed.

Brent Csutoras, Advisor and Owner

So much of our marketing journey has been in understanding not only how something works with Google but what they are trying to accomplish over the coming years so we can be prepared and ready to pivot when needed.

Bill’s work with patents provided valuable insight very few individuals were capable of distilling and yet everyone benefited from.

He was instrumental in getting us to where we are as SEOs and digital marketers today.

Bill Slawski Was A Man Of Quiet Impact

“My first interaction with Bill Slawski was on Kim Krause Berg’s Cre8asite forum. I was trying to learn what SEO was all about, so I just lurked, soaking up knowledge from bragadocchio, Black Knight, Grumpus, Barry Welford, and others. I know that Bill started more 10,000 threads there during his time as one of the admins and one of the first things that struck me was his willingness to patiently share his knowledge. At the time, I had no idea who he was, but it quickly became obvious that he was someone who was worth listening to. ”

~ Doc Sheldon, Facebook

That he was.

Atul Gawande once wrote that life is meaningful because it has a story–one driven by a deep need to identify purposes outside of ourselves and a transcendent desire to see and help others achieve their potential.

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This was the very essence of Bill’s life.

Not just in the wealth of unparalleled knowledge and resources he has gifted to us, but in the inspiration, guidance, and encouragement he has instilled in us all. That is his legacy and one that will live on.

It’s been difficult to hit Publish on this piece as I don’t feel anything we share could do that legacy justice.

Search Engine Journal will leave Bill’s library of content here untouched in perpetuity, and we’ve left comments open below for all to share your contributions to this memorial for Bill.

Thank you, Bill, for sharing your intelligence, passion, and knowledge with the SEO community.

You will be sorely missed.

Written in collaboration with Angie Nikoleychuk.

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