In today’s day and age, when we want to buy something, our knee-jerk reaction is to head to Google (or whatever search engine we use). Whether we know exactly what we want, are looking for nearby businesses, or want to do more in-depth research, 71% of buyer journeys begin with a search engine.
In other words, consumers have the highest purchase intent when on search engines. This is why paid search ads are so highly effective—and yet so competitive.
In order to compete, you need to have a clear picture of your performance in relation to others in your industry. To help you with this, WordStream and LOCALiQ have partnered up to provide you with the benchmark data you need!
Below you will find the following metrics across the top 20 industries for Google and Bing search ads:
Compare your averages to those in your industry and get a solid read on where you need to improve to stay competitive and keep your Google Ads costs low.
Update: Check out our 2022 Search Advertising Benchmarks! >>
|Business Category||Average Cost Per Click|
|Arts & Entertainment||$1.60|
|Animals & Pets||$2.89|
|Apparel / Fashion & Jewelry||$2.61|
|Attorneys & Legal Services||$8.67|
|Automotive — For Sale||$2.32|
|Automotive — Repair, Service & Parts||$3.19|
|Beauty & Personal Care||$3.74|
|Career & Employment||$3.90|
|Dentists & Dental Services||$6.49|
|Education & Instruction||$4.18|
|Finance & Insurance||$5.16|
|Health & Fitness||$3.97|
|Home & Home Improvement||$5.75|
|Industrial & Commercial||$4.14|
|Physicians & Surgeons||$3.63|
|Restaurants & Food||$1.77|
|Shopping, Collectibles & Gifts||$2.23|
|Sports & Recreation||$1.73|
Cost per click varies according to the level of competition for a keyword, audience, location, and more, and your bidding strategy can impact this metric.
These findings are consistent with our past benchmarks reports, with the legal industry having the highest cost per click and sports and fitness being among the industries with the lowest.
For more tips, check out 15 Ways to Lower your Cost Per Click in Google & Facebook Ads
|Business Category||Average Click-Through Rate|
|Arts & Entertainment||10.67%|
|Animals & Pets||6.45%|
|Apparel / Fashion & Jewelry||6.19%|
|Attorneys & Legal Services||3.84%|
|Automotive — For Sale||7.93%|
|Automotive — Repair, Service & Parts||5.39%|
|Beauty & Personal Care||5.44%|
|Career & Employment||5.33%|
|Dentists & Dental Services||4.69%|
|Education & Instruction||5.46%|
|Finance & Insurance||5.07%|
|Health & Fitness||5.94%|
|Home & Home Improvement||4.21%|
|Industrial & Commercial||5.34%|
|Physicians & Surgeons||6.11%|
|Restaurants & Food||7.19%|
|Shopping, Collectibles & Gifts||6.33%|
|Sports & Recreation||7.73%|
Click-through rate factors into your Quality Score and guides you in identifying the right targeting, ad copy, and offers for your ads. The metric can be misleading by itself, so be sure to analyze it with respect to other metrics (like conversion rate).
In our previous benchmarks reports, we have consistently found the highest click-through rates in the travel and arts industries, and the lowest with legal, health, and home industries.
On the other hand, sports and fitness have historically had lower click-through rates than what we’re seeing here, and the personals vertical has shown significantly higher click-through rates than these numbers.
|Business Category||Average Cost Per Lead|
|Arts & Entertainment||$36.23|
|Animals & Pets||$14.88|
|Apparel / Fashion & Jewelry||$46.06|
|Attorneys & Legal Services||$73.70|
|Automotive — For Sale||$42.95|
|Automotive — Repair, Service & Parts||$17.81|
|Beauty & Personal Care||$51.42|
|Career & Employment||$53.52|
|Dentists & Dental Services||$42.95|
|Education & Instruction||$50.91|
|Finance & Insurance||$62.80|
|Health & Fitness||$41.68|
|Home & Home Improvement||$47.94|
|Industrial & Commercial||$43.82|
|Physicians & Surgeons||$26.05|
|Restaurants & Food||$20.49|
|Shopping, Collectibles & Gifts||$20.91|
|Sports & Recreation||$27.11|
Cost per lead, also known as cost per action, cost per conversion, or cost per acquisition, tells you how much you spent in order to get someone to complete a desired action—whether to fill out a form, call you, or make a purchase.
This overall average is lower than what we’ve seen in the past, which is good news for advertisers. The automotive vertical has consistently been in the lowest bracket in our past findings.
Follow the tips in the following resources to improve your CPL:
|Business Category||Average Conversion Rate|
|Arts & Entertainment||5.90%|
|Animals & Pets||19.19%|
|Apparel / Fashion & Jewelry||3.60%|
|Attorneys & Legal Services||11.54%|
|Automotive — For Sale||6.57%|
|Automotive — Repair, Service & Parts||15.23%|
|Beauty & Personal Care||7.72%|
|Career & Employment||5.31%|
|Dentists & Dental Services||13.81%|
|Education & Instruction||6.16%|
|Finance & Insurance||5.51%|
|Health & Fitness||10.39%|
|Home & Home Improvement||13.23%|
|Industrial & Commercial||9.37%|
|Physicians & Surgeons||19.15%|
|Restaurants & Food||6.89%|
|Shopping, Collectibles & Gifts||6.70%|
|Sports & Recreation||6.19%|
While cost per lead measures how much you spent to get someone who clicked on your ad to contact you in some way, conversion rate tells you just how many people who clicked on your ad actually converted.
Our past data also finds the highest conversion rates in the legal and automotive verticals and the lowest in real estate and apparel. On the other hand, the personals conversion rate has historically been higher than what we’re seeing here.
Ready to catapult your conversion rates?
You can get the full report on these search advertising benchmarks, plus expert insights and tips to improve your results, in LOCALiQ’s full search ad benchmarks report. You may also be interested in these vertical-specific advertising benchmarks:
This report is based on a sample of 18,316 North American-based LOCALiQ client campaigns in the outlined business categories that were running search advertising across all search engines between May 1, 2020, and June 25, 2021. Each business category includes a minimum of 69 unique active client campaigns. “Averages” are technically median figures to account for outliers. All currency values are posted in USD.
Kristen is the Senior Managing Editor at WordStream, where she helps businesses to make sense of their online marketing and advertising. She specializes in SEO and copywriting and finds life to be exponentially more delightful on a bicycle.
See other posts by Kristen McCormick
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