A Comprehensive List of Pay-Per-Click Stats (PPC Statistics in 2024)

Written by Matthew Ludden / August 20, 2018 / 10 Minute Read
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Dive into the world of Pay-Per-Click statistics. Understand how PPC data drives digital marketing success. Learn from expert analysis of key metrics, navigate through the sea of data, and formulate effective strategies for unparalleled marketing success. Empower your business by leveraging these insights for a substantial return on your marketing investments.


One of the earliest forms of search engine advertising was Pay Per Click (PPC). With a landscape filled with many different advertising options, many businesses and marketers devalue PPC. Some even wonder whether choosing PPC ads over other possibilities is really in their best interest.

Statistics demonstrate that expert PPC advertising is vital to building repeatable and scalable marketing. The power of placing your brand atop the search engine results page using Google ads is undeniable.

At Valve+Meter, we help businesses and organizations achieve growth when you stop viewing marketing as a cost by embracing data and statistics.

Understanding PPC as an Asset, not an Expense

Even as search engine marketing has evolved, Pay Per Click advertising remains one of the most effective tools for building a sustainable marketing strategy. Statistics continue to bear out the value of using Pay Per Click in search engines, including Google Ads and Bing.

The key benefits of Pay Per Click are reaching exact target audiences at the top of the search engine results page, filling gaps within other paid media and organic SEO strategies, and providing cost-effective insights into new opportunities.

Reaching Your Ideal Buyer

Successful marketing campaigns carefully consider the ideal buyer persona. The finest online advertising model is only impactful when the right eyes see it. No matter the quality of design and copywriting, a billboard in the middle of a forest cannot be effective. 

The high efficiency of PPC marketing to connect your brand with your ideal audience continues to improve. Beyond bidding on specific search terms in Google ads, PPC marketing allows advertisers to hone in on the most relevant audiences.

A general PPC campaign may set parameters around a geographic location and demographics, including age and gender. 

Most organizations believe they know their target audience. Performance marketing uses data to verify and fine-tune ad spending.

When the digital marketing team at Valve+Meter builds a PPC campaign, the first step is auditing a client’s current account. During this discovery process, data emerges about your current audience, content gaps, and visibility within search engines.

The second step in professional PPC marketing campaigns is competitive research, including tracking Google ads and examining highly effective copywriting. That is, it is not simply about bidding to win Google ads. PPC marketing must engage the ideal audience to click the PPC ad.

Finally, great PPC marketing monitors and fine-tunes ad groups to hone in on the optimal audience. This includes writing a great PPC ad, adding negative keywords to ad groups, adding additional layers of filters, and designing a highly impactful landing page.

Since you, as the advertiser, pays only when someone clicks your PPC campaign, search engines have the incentive to place the most vetted ads at the top of the search engine results page (SERP) and across the Google display network that reaches more than 90% of internet users.

The combination of highly researched copywriting, negative keywords and focused bidding helps increase impressions and clicks in Google Ads, Bing Ads and social media PPC. This leads to a tertiary benefit of PPC wherein you can test hypotheses.

Landing page data informs your PPC campaign strategy. Marketers hone in on the ideal keywords and audience demographics within the Google Ads platform and delve deeper into negative keywords.

These steps and optimizing ad auctions realize better ROI. Performance marketing also provides responsive revisions to landing pages and follows the data to help you plan intelligently for expanded marketing.   

Filling Gaps

Many organizations have limited time and resources to create high-quality and highly effective content. Additionally, organic content with best SEO practices requires time to be crawled, indexed, and rank well in search engines.

For these reasons, nearly every PPC marketing campaign uses ads and well-designed landing pages to fill content gaps. Initially, a landing page can tell your brand’s story even if your website has deficiencies.

If your products and services suit a diverse audience, PPC campaigns can connect specific audiences to unique landing pages, providing highly impactful engagement. Designing a landing page requires less time and expense than most organic content.

The strongest marketing campaigns view PPC and organic content as symbiotic rather than separate. When content ranks well in search engine results pages, PPC campaigns can be reduced.

If there are gaps in content or an algorithm update adversely impacts organic performance, PPC campaigns can be quickly increased to prevent loss of revenue. PPC specialists constantly monitor campaigns, ad rank, and organic search performance.

Adjusting strategy to optimize marketing spend is vital to the success of pay-per-click marketing. The goal is not to have the highest ROI because this leaves potential buyers lost to competitors. PPC advertising helps your visibility in Google ads when you are least likely to appear in organic searches. 

Insights into New Opportunities

Google ads may be the greatest keyword research tool available to your business. There are certainly a number of powerful tools used to build effective keyword research for organic content.

There are limitations to general research tools that constrain most marketing campaigns. Performance marketing at Valve+Meter recognizes the potential knowledge stored within PPC to gain insights into the smartest content marketing and SEO planning.

As powerful as PPC campaigns are at helping organizations collect data and track audience interaction, one of the greatest capabilities is extracting the exact keywords directly from Google ads. When you use the terms, you know buyers use to find your PPC ad, your content and SEO team can craft organic content in the most cost-effective manner possible. 

The ultimate goal of content marketing is reducing wasted ad spend and maximizing return on investment (ROI). This is a primary reason many businesses choose to work with Valve+Meter.

Our team practices math before marketing to test hypotheses and use data to drive marketing strategies. PPC drives interaction with your brand and provides incredibly fast and accurate insights into the specific keywords driving interaction with your brand. 

To identify new audiences, organic SEO specialists use PPC to test hypotheses. The long-term goal of organic content is to create robust, highly influential brand messaging. Instead of speculating, PPC allows organizations to verify the potential new audiences, monitor interaction and measure the results.

More than any other marketing channel, PPC reveals relevant keywords and provides keyword phrases to inform organic content. The subsequent data informs inbound marketing teams where your business will likely grow.

When organic content is crafted for where your business is heading, you spend less on marketing and stay ahead of competitors. This is yet another reason why PPC stays so influential within performance marketing.

Data-Driven Marketing

Deciphering the differences between marketing tools can be difficult for businesses and organizations. Fortunately, performance marketing eliminates the guesswork. By auditing the unique needs of your business, every dollar you spend is deliberate and based on research.

So many advertising options are a testament to the array of platforms and broad landscape audiences now use. A comprehensive digital marketing strategy includes six components beginning with Pay Per Click and including:

Display Advertising

Invaluable for retargeting, display ads connect with potential leads building on brand awareness. Ultimately, display advertising is extremely effective at accelerating conversions. One of the key benefits of display advertising is reaching users across multiple platforms. Beyond Google Ads and Bing Ads, display advertising is an effective tool in social media and targeting audiences across Google display networks.

Google Local Services Ads (LSA)

A high-quality method of reaching local consumers is Google Local Services Ads. This is a pay-per-call advertising campaign. Ads on Search and Google Local Services pages serve potential leads in your chosen area. Instead of directing users to a landing page, LSA immediately serves users to your business. LSA is highly valuable in a paid media strategy because of it.

Paid Social Media

Like PPC, paid social media engages with audiences across platforms via advertising. Organic social media keeps your brand in mind, re-engaging audiences and building brand enthusiasm.

Email Marketing

For retargeting, email marketing guides lead from awareness through the buyer’s journey. Remarketing email cultivates brand awareness and builds brand enthusiasm among existing clients.  

Content Marketing

The fifth element of a marketing strategy includes design, creative and organic teams. Most often viewed as separate from paid digital media, performance marketing at Valve+Meter endeavors to act in clients’ long-term interests. This includes reframing marketing as an asset within your business instead of an expense.

Why You Should Choose PPC Ads in Numbers

The statistics tell the value and influence of Pay Per Click advertising. While the role of PPC varies between traditional marketing and performance marketing, statistics show advertisers are deeply invested. When you want to reach your target audience quickly and make nimble decisions, there are few better methods than PPC. 

  • With more than 99,000 search queries every second, Google processes at least 8.5 billion daily searches (Internet Live Stats, 2022).
  • Google Ads is the most popular platform for PPC advertising, followed by Bing ads and Facebook Ads.
  • Google Ads continues to be one of the simplest ways to keep your brand top of mind with existing customers and potential customers searching terms relevant to your industry. According to Google, businesses that use Google Ads see an average of 220% more traffic than those that don’t.
  • PPC ads do not simply increase traffic. When used properly, they influence the likelihood of making a sale. Studies have shown Google ads have a higher conversion rate than other forms of advertising. Google found businesses that use Google ads saw an average conversion rate of 3.75% for search ads and .77% for display ads.
  • This is likely because PPC ads can be targeted to specific audiences and locations. This allows businesses to reach the right people at the right time and increase the likelihood of making a sale.
  • PPC ads can be tracked and measured. This allows businesses to see which ads perform well and adjust their campaigns accordingly.
  • Google Ads reaches users on all devices. In 2021, mobile devices accounted for the majority of PPC ad clicks, with tablets and smartphones generating more clicks than desktop computers.

PPC Search Ad Stats (ROI)

Delivering high-quality leads will always be the primary responsibility of marketing campaigns. Whether using traditional search and shopping ads or expanding into social media PPC, performance marketing measures success against lead generation, return on investment, and optimizing the capacity of your business.

The goal of performance marketing is never to have the lowest ROI but to create repeatable and scalable campaigns. Across all PPC platforms, optimizing ad groups, identifying negative keywords, and effective ad placements define successful PPC campaigns. These statistics indicate that PPC can provide a high ROI under the right circumstances.

  • For every $1 spent on Google Adwords, businesses earn an average revenue of $2 (Google).
  • In 2021, the average cost-per-click (CPC) for Google Ads ranged from $1 to $2 for search ads and $0.10 to $0.50 for display ads.
  • 40 percent of brands want to increase their PPC budget, indicating that this is an effective and lucrative tool for marketers (SocialMediaToday).
  • According to Formstack, PPC ads are one of the top three generators of on-page conversions.
  • 65 percent of all clicks made by users who intend to purchase go to paid ads (Wordstream).

Statistics Support Why You Should Choose PPC Social Media Ads

The relevance of PPC extends beyond search queries. Social media continues to grow, and businesses should incorporate social media PPC marketing into a comprehensive strategy.

Highly targeted ad placement, video ads, and powerful ad copy influence the success of pay-per-click ads. Considering the advertiser pays only when ads are clicked, marketing companies develop many ad groups to deliver the ideal images, videos, and copy for businesses.

  • In 2021, Facebook was the most popular platform for social media PPC advertising, followed by Instagram and Twitter.
  • The average cost-per-click (CPC) for Facebook Ads ranged from $0.50 to $2.00, depending on the industry and target audience.
  • The average conversion rate (the percentage of clicks that result in a desired action such as a sale or lead) for Facebook Ads was 9.21%.
  • In 2021, mobile devices accounted for most social media PPC ad clicks, with tablets and smartphones generating more clicks than desktop computers.
  • The retail, e-commerce, and healthcare industries had some of the highest CPCs on Facebook due to high competition for keywords in those industries.
  • According to SocialMediaToday, more than 7 million advertisers invested $10.1 billion in PPC ads in 2017.
  • HootSuite reports ads on social media had worldwide revenue of $153 billion in 2021, which is expected to grow to over $252 billion in 2026.
  • EMarketer reports that Facebook’s ad revenues eclipsed the print industry in 2019. As a result, marketers who invest in these advertisements are on the right track to reap benefits.
  • Ad spending is increasing. According to SocialMediaToday, 72 percent of marketers spent more on social ads in 2018, and 60 percent on text and mobile ads in 2018.
  • The power of social media ads persistently grows worldwide. The exact figures spent on social media advertising is hard to pinpoint because it depends on the country and specific platform. Statista expected revenue to reach $103.5 billion in 2021, with projections of $139.3 billion by 2023—meanwhile, HootSuite reports worldwide revenue of $153 billion on social media ads in 2021.
  • The revenue generator for social media platforms continues to be advertising. Between January and July 2021, TikTok (ByteMod Pte. Ltd.) invested 34.4 million U.S. dollars in advertising on Instagram in the United States (Statista).

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Versus Pay Per Click (PPC) Statistics

Search engine optimization and PPC can operate in harmony. In performance marketing models, these two strategies combine to bring in more traffic. Both strategies offer advantages and disadvantages. Google ads used alongside organic content help search engine visibility improve for businesses.

Organic SEO continues to be one of the most cost-effective marketing methods. Highly skilled SEO specialists create content targeting leads at different marketing funnel levels. Once organic content ranks well, search engine performance is more stable.

When search engine algorithms change, and websites are neglected, SEO performance declines. Great companies with great marketing campaigns always test and measure the results of their efforts. Thus, great marketing considers organic and paid advertising harmonious efforts in search engines.

These statistics highlight some of the advantages of PPC advertisements over SEO.

  • New Media Campaigns reports that paid search results gain 1.5 times as many conversions from click-throughs as organic search results.
  • PPC ads can put you on the first page for a given search term within a day (New Media Campaigns).
  • The idea that many consumers cannot differentiate between paid ads and other content has radically transformed. As late as 2018, ScienceDaily showed fewer than 20% of users accurately identified native advertisements. In 2021, nearly 60% of users can’t distinguish between a paid and an organic result (Marketing Tech News via Truelist).
  • PPC visitors are 50 percent more likely to purchase organic visitors (Unbounce).
  • PPC statistics are easier to measure than SEO statistics, making it easier for marketers to track ROI and manage budgets (Unbounce).
  • PPC is more effective when used with SEO (New Media Campaigns).
  • Ignoring PPC marketing omits a quarter of search queries, as 27% of website traffic comes from paid search (Higher Visibility).

PPC and Local Search Ads

Google Local Search Ads continue to evolve. These ads show on Search and Google Local when users seek services like yours in their local area. Additional features including Google Screened and Google Guaranteed demonstrate the power of this tool for reaching discerning local audiences.

  • 82 percent of smartphone users are actively searching for businesses near them (Google).
  • Nearly 30 percent of searches for something in a specific location will result in a purchase (Google).
  • Three out of four people who find helpful information based on their location consider visiting brick-and-mortar stores (Google).
  • Almost one-third of all searches made on mobile phones are location-based (Google).
  • More than 40 percent of consumers use their smartphones to conduct research while inside a brick-and-mortar store (Google).
  • 76 percent of people who search for something nearby on a smartphone will visit a business within one day (Google).
  • Consumers spend 10 percent more money in a store if they have clicked on the retailer’s Google search ad before visiting (Google).
  • 40 percent of in-store purchases begin online (Blue Corona).
  • Almost 70 percent of searches on mobile will call a business using a link from the search (PowerTraffick).

PPC Statistics for Industry Benchmarks

Broad statistics can often be deceptive like average click-through rate across all industries and most searched terms annually. While recognizing the limitations of this data, there are valuable insights to consider. 

  • The average click-through rate across all industries on Google AdWords in 2018 is 3.17 on the search network. Through 2021 that trend has held with a good rate falling between 3-5%.
  • The highest average click-through rate in Google AdWords is found in the dating and personals industry, while the lowest click-through rate is found in the legal industry.
  • The average cost-per-click across all industries in Google AdWords on the search network is $2.69. The highest cost-per-click is found in the legal industry, while the lowest cost-per-click is found in the dating and personals industry.
  • The average conversion rate across all industries in Google AdWords on the search network is 3.75 percent. Conversion rates are highest in the dating and personal industry at over 9 percent. Conversion rates are the lowest in the advocacy industry at 1.96 percent. (WordStream)
  • The average cost-per-action across all industries in Google AdWords on the search network is $48.96. Cost-per-action is highest in the technology industry at over $133. Cost-per-action is the lowest in the auto industry at $33.52.

What Makes People Click and Convert

Nimbly responding to the interactions of people with advertising is vital to developing strong campaigns. Monitoring the types of advertisements most likely to earn clicks and conversions is important. Understanding these trends helps marketers position themselves for the best conversion rates.

  • More than 40 percent of clicks go to the top three paid ads in search results (Wordstream).
  • 90 percent of consumers say they trust online reviews (Google).
  • More than 95 percent of clicks go to the top four search results (Blue Corona).
  • Retailers can raise conversions by 16 percent when they include cross-device data (Google).

Surprising PPC Statistics

Some statistics defy categorization but support the value of building a marketing campaign that balances PPC with organic SEO. 

  • While the average click-through rate for PPC ads is only 2 percent, the average click-through rate for the top paid result on the screen is almost 8 percent (Accuracast).
  • More than half of all searches are longer than four words (Wordstream).
  • Click-through rate declines considerably as position on the first page of search results drops. However, the last position on the first page of search results and first position on the second page of search results have a slightly higher click-through rate than some higher positions on the first page (Accuracast).
  • More than 96 percent of Google’s total revenue comes from paid advertisements (PowerTraffick).
  • Microsoft advertising continues to grow with ambitions to double in size (Searchengineland.com)
  • Watching the growth of TikTok is vital for marketers keen on following the trends of users. As the most downloaded app in Q3 2022, marketers without video ads are falling behind.
  • Money is on the top of searchers’ minds with the most expensive keywords including insurance, loan, attorney, credit and lawyer. (Wordstream).

Ready to Give PPC a Try for Your Business?

Valve+Meter Performance Marketing specializes in PPC strategies that lead to clicks and conversions. Our team is eager to build a complete strategy that audits your business to find the potential and empower transformational growth. Request a free marketing analysis from our team today.

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