Stop Using Those Old Click-Through-Rate Benchmarks

Digital advertising is constantly evolving, so it makes sense that the metrics we use as our benchmarks for success for our client accounts should change also. Our clients want to know how their performance stacks up to everyone else (and for good reason). It is our job to provide up-to-date metrics, and we want to share them with you too!

According to a recent blog post from WordStream’s Mark Irvine, the new overall benchmark CTRs vary by industry. However, if you want “general” metrics as a point of reference, here they are: (Please note: this is based on US data only.)

The average CTR in AdWords across all industries is:

  • 3.17% in Search
  • 0.46% in Display

Irvine also reported on the average cost per click (CPC), conversion rate (CVR), and cost per action (CPA) in Adwords across all industries:


  • $2.69 in Search
  • $0.63 in Display


  • 3.75% in Search
  • 0.77% in Display


·      $48.96 in Search

·      $75.51 in Display

The blog provides average CTR, CPC, CVR, and CPA by industry, providing even more granularity and accuracy for understanding how your AdWords campaigns stack up in your industry. These industry-specific benchmarks will also help you set realistic expectations for what you can expect from your PPC campaign.

So how can you use these new benchmarks to your advantage? Start by not settling. If you’re consistently on the lower end of these new numbers, then you have plenty of room for improvement. Likewise, if you’re hitting or exceeding these benchmarks, try to stand out from your peers by crafting more compelling ad copy and designing more effective landing pages.

Similarly, although these new benchmarks are great to have, your strategy for an established account should continue to focus more on historical performance and improving the account based on established metrics specific to its region and industry.

This blog post was updated and re-posted January 2019 to reflect the most up-to-date statistics.

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