Whether you’re in lead gen or ecommerce, managing your business’s online advertising accounts means keeping tracking of a bunch of different metrics. You use search impression share to judge how well you’re performing in the Google Ads auction. You use engagement rate to see whether your messaging is resonating with your Facebook audiences. Across both platforms, you turn to click-through rate to determine how compelling your ad copy really is.
These metrics exist for a reason: They’re important. Driving high engagement rates from your cold Facebook audiences, for example, is integral to building out your remarketing pool.
But here’s the thing: Impressions and clicks don’t keep the lights on. If that were the case, everyone would be running a successful small business.
If you want to drive substantial returns on your online advertising spend—which, of course, we assume you do—achieving high conversion rates and low costs per conversion has to stay at the top of your mind. Otherwise, your competitors will swallow you whole.
A key step towards driving high conversion rates and low costs per conversion, of course, is defining what those things look like. What’s a high Google Ads conversion rate? What’s a good Facebook Ads cost per conversion? And how does conversion rate optimization change depending on what industry you’re in?
These are the questions we’re here to answer. With this guide, our goal is to provide the essential conversion rate benchmarks you need to get your conversion rate optimization (CRO) efforts started on the right foot. Here’s what you’ll walk away with:
- Average Google Ads conversion rates by industry
- Average Google Ads cost per conversion by industry
- Average Facebook Ads conversion rate by industry
- Average Facebook Ads cost per conversion by industry
- Google Ads mobile conversion rate benchmarks by industry
- Google Ads mobile cost per conversion benchmarks by industry
- Google Shopping (ecommerce) conversion rates by industry
- Google Shopping (ecommerce) costs per conversion by industry
- Bing Ads conversion rate benchmarks by industry
- Bing Ads cost per conversion benchmarks by industry
Let’s get started!
Conversion rate benchmarks for Google Ads
The average conversion rate across Google Ads is 4.40% on the search network and 0.57% on the display network.
It’s no surprise that we see a much higher average conversion rate on the search network (4.40%) than we do on the display network (0.57%). It’s simple: Whereas someone using Google search is actively looking for an answer or a solution, someone browsing the web is … well, browsing the web. Your prospects generally aren’t in the buying mood when they’re reading articles or playing games on their phones.
What is interesting is the change in these conversion rate benchmarks over the years. The last time we calculated average Google Ads conversion rates, we found a benchmark of 3.75% on the search network and a benchmark of 0.77% on the display network. While the average search conversion rate has improved by 17%, the average display conversion rate has diminished by 26%.
Now—does that mean display advertising is a waste of money? Absolutely not! As much as we all like to drive conversions and prove the direct impact of our ad spend, it’s vital that we recognize the power of brand awareness. To put it frankly, nobody searches for a business they don’t know (or remember) exists. In order to keep your brand at the top of your prospects’ minds—while differentiating yourself from your competitors in the process—and inspire them to (re)visit your website, display advertising is simply a must.
Average cost per conversion for Google Ads
The average cost per conversion across Google Ads is $56.11 on the search network and $90.80 on the display network.
Once again, we can attribute the discrepancy between search ($56.11) and display ($90.80) to the fundamental difference in the ways your prospects behave on the two networks: The more motivated someone is to find a solution, the less you have to pay to convert them.
Taking a look at the industries with the highest average costs per conversion—Computers & Electronics ($101.40), Law & Government ($85.29), Business & Industrial ($77.48)—we see a common theme: A longer sales cycle tends to yield a higher average cost per conversion. In other words, if you’re marketing a product or service that people typically take a long time to mull over (e.g., a laptop, legal advice, etc.), you can expect to spend more money for each conversion you drive.
At the other end of the spectrum, inspiring prospects to take valuable actions isn’t quite as expensive in industries like Arts & Entertainment ($36.65), Dining & Nightlife ($35.35), and Hobbies & Leisure ($40.38). In the case of the Vehicles industry ($26.17), which you’d typically expect to be one with long sales cycles, the below-average cost per conversion is likely due (in part) to the sense of urgency people feel when it comes to issues with their cars.
Conversion rate benchmarks for Facebook Ads
The average conversion rate across Facebook Ads is 9.21%.
If you’re responsible for marketing a gym, a personal training service, or some other fitness-related business, failing to take advantage of Facebook Ads is a huge mistake. As you can see, the average advertiser in this industry converts clicks into meaningful actions at a rate of over 14%!
For their part, advertisers in the Education (13.58%), Employment & Job Training (11.73%), and Healthcare (11%) industries aren’t doing too poorly, either. It’s not a coincidence that businesses in each of these industries can benefit from the use of Facebook lead ads—an ad format that enables you to qualify prospects’ without sending them to an external landing page.
Clearly, however, Facebook lead ads are no silver bullet: Although advertisers in the Legal (4.64%), Technology (2.31%), and Travel & Hospitality (2.82%) verticals can certainly take advantage of this frictionless format, they struggle to drive conversions nonetheless. For these businesses in particular, remarketing would be a fantastic use of the Facebook platform.
Average cost per conversion for Facebook Ads
The average cost per conversion across Facebook Ads is $18.68.
If you’ll remember, the average Education advertiser can expect to cough up just over $70 for each conversion on the Google search network. For each Facebook conversion, however, the average cost is under $8! Of course, the conversions you drive with your search ads tend to be more valuable than the conversions you drive with your Facebook ads. Nonetheless, if you’re in Education ($7.85), Apparel ($10.98), Healthcare ($12.31), Fitness ($13.29), or Real Estate ($16.92), make sure you’re taking advantage of your ability to drive cheap high-funnel conversions on Facebook!
It’s not totally surprising that advertisers in the Technology ($55.21), Home Improvement ($44.66), and Auto ($43.84) industries are investing good amounts of money in each Facebook conversion. Typically, when someone’s in need of a solution in one of these sectors, they’re turning to Google search. To be clear, however, that doesn’t mean you should overlook the value of using Facebook to spread and maintain brand awareness.
Conversion rate benchmarks for mobile ads on Google
The average mobile conversion rate across Google Ads is 3.48% on the search network and 0.72% on the display network.
Earlier, we shared Google Ads conversion rate benchmarks across industries on both desktop and mobile. Now, we’re shifting our attention exclusively to performance on mobile devices.
Unsurprisingly, across search and display, mobile users tend to convert less often than they do when they’re using desktop computers. Although mobile users are becoming more and more commercially minded every year—it’s not far-fetched to think that mobile conversion rates will one day exceed desktop conversion rates—it still holds true that people prefer to volunteer their personal information and make purchases when using their computers.
Nevertheless, some of you are killing it on mobile! Thanks in large part to the power of call-only campaigns, advertisers in the Legal industry are averaging a search network conversion rate of nearly 7%. Elsewhere, Hair Salon advertisers are seeing a ton of lower-funnel success with both search and display (5.95%; 4.45%). On search, hair salons can enable their prospects to book appointments without leaving the SERP (provided that they’re using Google My Business). On display, the power of visual imagery certainly helps to move the needle.
At the other end of the spectrum, the woes of Computers & Electronics advertisers (1.92%) and Travel & Hospitality advertisers (2.40%) can be chalked up to consumers’ reluctance to make big purchases on mobile devices. Plus, long sales cycles yield a lot of non-converting clicks.
Average cost per conversion for mobile ads on Google
The average mobile conversion rate across Google Ads is $80.89 on the search network and $148.68 on the display network.
Yup—nearly $150 to drive a single mobile conversion on display. When you layer consumers’ reluctance to take action while using their smartphones on top of the passivity associated with the GDN, you get a recipe for super high costs per conversion. If you’re advertising to display prospects on mobile devices—as you should—it’s best to stick to high-funnel goals.
Even on search, where your prospects are generally more disposed to taking action, you’re still looking at a mobile cost per conversion benchmark that’s more than 60% higher than what we see when looking at desktop and mobile together. It may be worthwhile to somewhat restrict your mobile search campaigns such that you’re primarily focused on high-intent keywords.
The success of Arts & Entertainment advertisers on search ($22.96) could be due, in part, to the ability of their prospects to buy products (e.g., tickets) directly on the SERP. The same goes for Hair Salon advertisers ($19.35) and appointment bookings. Elsewhere, advertisers in the Automotive Service & Repair sector ($50.54) likely benefit from the urgency people exhibit when they need quick solutions to car-related problems.
If you work in Education ($284.78), Consulting ($258.46), or Non-Profit ($308), make sure your expectations for mobile display campaigns are realistic. It’s probably best to focus your efforts on staying top-of-mind and inspiring your prospects to search for you on Google.
Google Shopping conversion rate benchmarks by industry
The average conversion rate across Google Shopping is 1.91%.
Ecommerce advertisers selling low-cost products in high-competition industries—Clothing & Apparel (2.70%), Health & Beauty (2.78%)—tend to turn clicks into purchases at a higher rate than advertisers in high-end industries like Chemical & Industrial (0.83%) and Home & Garden (1.31%). Of course, this isn’t a universal law; window A/C units aren’t necessarily cheap, but HVAC & Climate Control advertisers (3.30%) drive higher average ecommerce conversion rates than anybody else. One explanation could be the lack of patience consumers have when it comes to dealing with extreme temperatures.
It’s interesting to note that the average ecommerce conversion rate (1.91%) is roughly half the general Google Ads search benchmark (3.75%). This could be due, in part, to Google’s expansion of the pool of search queries that trigger Shopping ads on the SERPs. If these ads are being shown for more and more high-funnel queries, that could explain the relatively low average ecommerce conversion rate. Nonetheless, it’s worth noting that 35% of Google product searches convert into purchases within five days; on Amazon, that figure is only 20%.
Google Shopping cost per conversion benchmarks by industry
The average cost per conversion across Google Shopping is $38.87.
Vindication! Although Shopping ads may not convert quite as often as standard Google text ads, ecommerce advertisers can expect the conversions they do drive to be, on average, about $10 cheaper. When folks are in the buying mindset, it doesn’t take much to close the deal.
Of course, the amount of money an ecommerce advertiser is willing to pay to secure a conversion is largely informed by the price (or profit margin) of the final product they’re selling. In the case of an Arts & Music advertiser—who may be promoting low-cost products like paint brushes or drum sticks—it doesn’t make sense to spend a whole lot of money trying to convert a single user. The opposite is true for Computers & Technology and Chemical & Industrial advertisers, all of whom stand to drive a good amount of revenue with each sale they make.
A great way to drive down your Google Shopping costs per conversion is to allocate your highest bids to branded campaigns—that is, Shopping campaigns that exclusively target branded search queries. That way, you’ll spend the most money on clicks that are highly likely to convert while spending less money on clicks coming from higher in your marketing funnel.
Bing Ads conversion rate benchmarks by industry
The average conversion rate across Bing Ads is 2.94%.
Although the average conversion rate on the Bing search network is slightly lower than the average conversion rate on the Google search network, that shouldn’t discourage you from advertising on the world’s second-largest search engine. Beyond getting your offers and brand name in front of the millions of people who search on Bing every month, running Bing Ads campaigns enables you to connect with an audience that’s predominantly on desktop—thanks to Microsoft making Bing the default search engine on their computers.
That’s an especially big advantage for those of you working in verticals characterized by long sales cycles. As you can see, the industries enjoying the highest average conversion rates on Bing are Careers & Employment (6.81%), Finance & Insurance (5.57%), and Real Estate (5.13%). Additionally, if your search campaigns involve a lot of keywords that match to queries people tend to search on their computers—such as those related to Education (3.55%) or Legal Services (3.58%)—advertising on Bing is a no-brainer.
Bing Ads cost per conversion benchmarks by industry
The average cost per conversion across Bing Ads is $41.44.
As we’d expect, the average cost per conversion across all Bing advertisers is cheaper than what we find on Google search. This is due in large part to the lesser degree of competition.
A crucial piece of information to keep in mind is that the average Bing user is older and more affluent than the average Google user. That’s a key factor behind the relatively low costs per conversion enjoyed by advertisers in Home Services ($21.68), Home & Garden ($33.57), and Restaurants & Food ($26.14).
The older demographic that Bing typically appeals to isn’t always the easiest to sell, of course. The folks in this group tend to be less tech-savvy, which makes it pretty difficult for Technology advertisers ($102.94) to break through.
Use industry conversion rate benchmarks to your advantage!
Our goal with these conversion rate and cost per conversion benchmarks is to give you the competitive insights you need to get a leg up on the other businesses in your space across the major online advertising channels. The data is pretty simple, but it can be powerful all the same.
Let’s say you’ve learned that your Facebook ads don’t convert as well as those of other advertisers in your industry. With that in mind, you can take a look at the audiences you’re targeting and judge whether the offers you’re making are as compelling as they need to be. Alternatively, if your Google Shopping costs per conversion are higher than your industry average, consider giving that branded campaign strategy I mentioned a try.
With each category of conversion rate averages comes a range of insights you can use to drive better returns on your online advertising spend. Get to it!
This conversion rate benchmark report is based on performance data pulled from tens of thousands of US-based WordStream customer accounts. For more details regarding each specific data set, see our Google Ads benchmark report, our Facebook Ads benchmark report, our Google Ads mobile benchmark report, our Google Shopping benchmark report, and our Bing Ads benchmark report. Each industry includes a minimum of 30 active customer accounts. “Averages” are technically median figures to account for outliers. All currency values are posted in USD.
Source: Search Marketing