34 Profitable PPC Stats to Keep Your Eye on in 2021

ByDamjan Jugovic Spajic
January 11,2021

From a user’s point of view, ads are a terrible thing. They annoy you by popping up during your browsing sessions, when you’re listening to music, or when you’re playing games on your phone. But while we still occasionally suffer through this inane spam, ads have changed for the better in recent years. PPC stats indicate that the most effective ads aren’t the ones that rudely interrupt you to offer you something you don’t need; it’s the ones that appear when you’re actually looking for them that make money. When you’re searching for a certain product or browsing through relevant websites, PPC advertising shines.

PPC (pay per click) advertising is a model whereby you pay a certain provider, like Google or Facebook, to promote your ad to target audiences. This model is called “pay per click” because you only pay the provider when an actual user clicks on your ad. Through this system, businesses reach the users they want without wasting any money. The PPC industry is on the rise, and both companies and providers seem to be profiting through it.

We’ve gathered more than 30 interesting stats about this industry so you can see what all the fuss is about.

  • Over 7 million advertisers invested a total of $10.01 billion into PPC ads in 2017.
  • 85% of consumers use the internet to search for local businesses.
  • The average yearly cost of PPC is between $108,000 and $120,000.
  • Brand awareness can be increased by up to 80% through Google paid ads.
  • Paid advertising returns $2 for every $1 spent - a 200% ROI rate.
  • 53% of paid clicks are made on mobile devices.
  • Traffic brought through PPC advertising yields 50% more conversions than organic advertising.

General Stats About PPC Advertising

Over 7 million advertisers invested a total of $10.01 billion for PPC ads in 2017.

(Social Media Today)

Social Media Today reports that during 2017, over 7 million advertisers invested a whopping $10 billion into PPC ads. PPC advertising seems to be profitable and both companies and individuals recognize that.

PPC is one of the top three generators of on-page conversions.

(Formstack)

On-page conversions refer to the percentage of website visitors who leave contact information or make a purchase. Naturally, all businesses want to improve their on-site conversions. Statistics for using PPC provided by Formstack show that PPC is one of the best three generators for this metric (17%), along with email marketing (18%) and on-page website conversion (24%).

Traffic brought through PPC advertising yields 50% more conversions than organic advertising.

(Moz)

When we look at PPC and SEO stats, it seems PPC is much more effective in creating conversions. According to 2017 data from Moz, PPC advertising creates 50% more conversions and traffic than advertising through organic keywords.

79% of marketers say PPC is hugely beneficial for their business.

(Hanapin Marketing)

Hanapin Marketing’s State of PPC report for 2018-19 examines the importance of PPC in the advertising world today. According to data from this report, the majority of marketers believe PPC provides a huge boost to their business.

In 2018, 62% of marketers stated they will increase their PPC budgets for the following year.

(Hanapin Marketing)

Important PPC stats provided by Hanapin also indicate that PPC budgets will continue to increase. More than half of professionals surveyed (62%) said they would increase their PPC budgets in the following 12 months. Also, 68% of brands reported their budgets for PPC were bigger than last year, 18% said they were “much bigger,” while only 9% reported having a smaller PPC budget.

97% of consumers use the internet to search for local businesses.

(BrightLocal)

Statistics from 2017 provided by BrightLocal show that 97% of consumers use the internet in order to find local businesses, while 12% do so every day. This data tells us just how much we rely on the internet for our consumer needs. It also points to how profitable PPC ads can be if you can reach your desired audience and generate good PPC traffic. With almost everybody using the internet to find nearby businesses, a well-placed paid ad could lead them to you.

65% of people click on ads when making purchases.

(WordLead)

Google ads listings that include keywords related to buying - like shop, checkout, and buy - are more likely to draw customers in. Data published by WordLead reveals that 65% of users click on ads containing these keywords when they’re looking to make a purchase.

40% of businesses would like their PPC budgets to be bigger.

(Social Media Today)

Nowadays, more and more businesses are recognizing the importance of PPC advertising. According to PPC facts provided by Social Media Today, 40% of surveyed businesses believe their PPC budgets are smaller than they should be.

In 2019, approximately 25.8% of global internet users were using ad blockers.

(Statista)

When we look at PPC stats for 2020, it seems one of the main obstacles in digital advertising is the presence of ad blockers. Around 25.8% of worldwide users had ad blockers installed on their devices in 2019. This figure is expected to rise, but at a slower pace than before.

92% of online paid ads go unnoticed by users.

(KOL)

Ad blindness is also a huge problem in the PPC industry. This term refers to a phenomenon where people, intentionally or not, ignore ads that appear on websites. Statistics provided by Koll suggest that the vast majority of ads fall victim to ad blindness.

During 2017, 7% of internet users had a negative opinion of online ads, compared to 1% in 2018.

(Innermedia)

People’s attitude towards online advertisements seems to be changing for the better. PPC stats from 2017 reveal that 7% of internet users had a negative opinion about online ads. One year later, this number dropped to just 1%.

Google has 92.96% of the global search engine market share in September 2019.

(Statcounter)

There’s no doubt that Google is the king of search engines. Google search stats show that it claimed 92.96% of the market in September 2019. Bing and Yahoo are far behind, with 2.61% and 1.85% respectively. This data confirms what most of us already knew; Google is by far the most popular search engine for PPC advertising.

Google earned $116.32 billion through its Google Ads platform in 2018.

(Statista)

Google ads is an online advertising platform where users pay a certain fee to Google for their ads to be displayed on the search engine and its related services. Google Ads is one of the most popular ways to advertise online. Advertisements on Google Ads cost a pretty penny, which is why Google made over $116 billion in 2018 through this service alone.

(Google)

Google Ads’ Display Network refers to visual, banner-like ads that appear on all websites that are involved in the Google Ads network. According to Google’s data, this service reaches 90% of all internet users through 2 million websites.

41% of clicks in Google searches go to the top three sponsored ads.

(WordStream)

More than two-fifths of clicks made during Google searches go to sponsored ads. WordStream’s Google search statistics show that 41% of all clicks made on Google go to the top three sponsored ads that appear when we search for something.

(WordLead)

Google search ads have an average ROI of 200%. For every $1 advertisers invest, they earn $2 through Google ads.

In 2016, 50% of UK-based internet users could not tell the difference between paid ads and organic results.

(Ofcom)

This surprising statistic comes from Ofcom’s extensive survey of internet use among adults. Data from this study indicates that half of the survey participants could not differentiate between paid ads and organic results. It’s important to keep in mind that results were related to their age and how familiar users were with the internet in general.

Users who click on PPC ads on Google are 50% more likely to make a purchase than those that come to the same website through organic results.

(Moz)

Paid ads seem to be effective not only in drawing in the clicks, but also in leading to actual purchases. Data provided by Moz suggests that users who reach a target website through PPC ads are 50% more likely to make a purchase than those who found the same website through organic results.

The average click-through rate for Google ads is 3.17%.

(WordStream)

CTR (click-through rate) represents the number of users who click on a specific link (in this case an advertisement) compared to the total number of people who have seen it. Measures of CTR are used to determine how effective your ad campaign actually is. Click through rate stats for PPC on Google provided by WordStream reveal that the average CTR for all Google Ads is 0.46% for display ads, but an impressive 3.17% for search ads.

On average, it costs $2.69 per click for search and $0.63 per click for display to advertise on Google Ads.

(WordStream)

Advertisers pay Google $2.69 on average to place their ads through Google’s search platform. The average CPC for display ads is much lower: $0.63.

The average yearly cost of PPC for SMEs is between $108,000 and $120,000.

(WebFX)

Who knew Google advertising cost so much? According to WebpageFX, small and mid-sized companies spend between $9,000 and $10,000 monthly on average. This translates into average yearly costs of between $108,000 and $120,000, which can strain company budgets.

(eMarketer)

The biggest players in the PPC market are, without a doubt, Google and Facebook. Generating the most revenue and holding large portions of the market, they are the most popular platforms among advertisers.

Bing’s average CPC is $1.54, 33% lower than Google Ads.

(WordStream)

While Bing PPC has a significantly smaller reach than Google, advertising on this platform has its advantages. Bing’s average CPC is 33% lower than that of Google Ads: $1.54 across all industries. It’s also worth remembering that Bing ads reach 63 million unique users that other platforms miss.

Mobile Advertising PPC Statistics

53% of paid clicks are made on mobile devices.

(PowerTraffick)

To say that mobile PPC ads are on the rise would be an understatement. Power Traffick’s surprising PPC stats indicate that over half of all paid clicks are made via mobile devices. Therefore, anyone looking to improve their ad campaigns should probably look to optimize their ads for mobile access.

69% of people who have smartphones use them for shopping.

(Uberall)

The 2018 Near Me Shopping Report by Uberall revealed how many people rely on their smartphones for shopping. Among surveyed smartphone users, 69% used their devices for shopping. Furthermore, 82% of this group used the “near me” option to find local businesses.

60% of mobile users are very likely to click on the first two or three search results.

(Uberall)

Drawing from the same Uberall report on PPC statistics, we can see how effective mobile PPC advertising can be. Of all surveyed mobile users, 60% were “very likely” to click on the first two or three Google results, while a further 30% were “likely” to do so.

Of all mobile customers, 70% call their target business directly through Google Ads.

(PowerTraffick)

Integrating your business’s phone number into your Google ad seems to pay off. According to data on PPC trends provided by PowerTraffick, 70% of mobile users call businesses directly through an ad on Google. This eliminates one step in the process and leads to more sales at the end of the day.

52% of online shoppers who click on or view PPC ads call that advertiser right after browsing.

(CleverClicks)

This data provided by CleverClicks further emphasizes how effective PPC ads can be and how effective it is to integrate your business's phone number into the ad itself. More than half of surveyed online shoppers called the advertiser immediately after browsing and interacting with the advertiser’s PPC ad.

In 2018, there were more than 300,000 mobile apps involved in the Google Mobile Ads network.

(CleverClicks)

Google Mobile Ads relies heavily on mobile applications to reach more users. Statistics provided by CleverClicks tell us that there were 300,000 different mobile apps involved in the pay-per-click Google ads network in 2018.

There were 615 million mobile devices with ad blockers installed in 2016.

(Page Fair)

Adblock usage is rising on mobile devices as well as PCs. Page Fair’s report shows that the total number of mobile devices with ad blockers rose by 142 million between 2015 and 2016. In 2016, the total number reached 615 million.

53% of users abandon sites that take longer than three seconds to load.

(Google)

Gone are the times where fancy, flashy websites were king. If you’re trying to make sales, you need a site that loads quickly. Google’s Need for Mobile Speed report points out that, in 2016, most users abandoned websites that took more than three seconds to load. When this report came out, the average load time on 3G networks was 19 seconds. This has improved over time, but it’s useful to keep loading speed in mind when creating your sales website.

Facebook PPC Stats

In 2018, Facebook generated $55 billion through ad revenue alone.

(Statista)

Facebook is the second-largest player in the PPC game. In 2018 alone, Facebook generated $55 billion from PPC ad revenues. There were doubts about how Facebook would perform because of its various data scandals during 2018. However, it seems that not only was Facebook unhindered by these scandals, but the company actually earned more than expected during that year.

The average CPC for Facebook ads is $1.72.

(WordStream)

While Facebook has a smaller share of the PPC market than Google, its CPC is cheaper. WordStream’s Facebook advertising statistics show that, across all industries, Facebook’s average CPC is $1.72.

People aged 18-24 have 75% of the attention span of the 65+ demographic when it comes to watching Facebook ad videos.

(Facebook)

Younger people have significantly shorter attention spans than older generations. According to data provided by Facebook, people aged 18 to 24 have 75% of the oldest age group’s attention span for Facebook videos. This has caused Facebook to limit its in-feed ads to 15 seconds in order to reach younger crowds.

Does it Pay Off?

Based on the stats we’ve presented, we’re comfortable saying PPC is not only a profitable industry, but one that’s growing rapidly. PPC ads are less annoying and reach a wide but targeted audience. They also work in such a way that businesses spend money only on actual site visitors. Of course, PPC advertising is not a guarantee of success - your product and the ads themselves have the biggest influence the outcome of your ad campaigns.

While PPC campaigns are usually profitable for advertisers, they’re a huge money-maker for providers. We only need to take a look at Google ad revenue statistics to see how lucrative this industry is. As is the case with a lot of industries, mobile PPC advertising is taking over as mobile devices becoming faster, better, and more widely used. Prospective advertisers should optimize their ads and websites for mobile users if they want to get ahead.

Besides Google and Facebook, Bing, Instagram, and LinkedIn have risen as new challengers in the PPC industry. These platforms are worth keeping an eye on if you’re interested in cheaper ads that target otherwise-forgotten audiences.

We hope the PPC stats we’ve shown you help paint a picture of how the advertising world looks in 2021 and put you on the right track with your own advertising endeavours.

Frequently Asked Questions
What is PPC in marketing?

PPC (pay per click) refers to a marketing model in which advertisers pay a certain amount of money to providers each time their ad is clicked. The most popular providers are Google, Facebook, Yahoo, and Bing. PPC rates vary between these providers.

What is cost per click?

CPC (cost per click) represents the actual price advertisers pay for a single click on their ad.

Why is PPC important?

PPC marketing allows businesses to optimize their sales campaigns by reaching target audiences. For example, when you advertise through Google Ads, your advertisement will appear when someone makes a search connected to your product or visits a related website.

What is a good conversion rate for PPC?

Average conversion rates range between 2% and 5%. When looking at what your target PPC conversion rates should be, you should keep an eye out for the average in your industry. For example, finance has 5% average conversion rates, while eCommerce’s average is much lower: 1.84%.

What is a good average CPC?

A good average cost per click rate should be determined by the price of the product you’re selling. The more expensive the product, the more you should be willing to pay for each click. In 2016, the average CPC was $2.69.

What is a good CTR?

Statistics from 2019 show that the average CTR in Google ads is 3.17%. This figure would appear to be skewed by some particularly successful campaigns; in general, anything over 2% is considered decent.

How much do Google Ads cost?

On average, the cost of Google Ads is between $108,000 and $120,000 on Google Ads per business, per year. As we’ve already mentioned, the cost is determined by the number of actual clicks users make on your ad. When your budget runs out, Google stops showing your advertisement until you add more money.

Sources

About the author

Damjan won’t tell you how to run your business, but he will try to advise you on how to save your money and avoid financial ruin. As a staff writer at SmallBizGenius, he focuses on finding the most consumer-friendly services available and provides advice to both established and fledgling businesses out there.

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(Gartner) Reaching potential buyers isn’t always easy. Consumers are generally suspicious when it comes to calls from sales reps and tend to avoid them by hanging up or not answering the phone at all. Likewise, only 23.9% of sales emails are opened, and others usually end up in a bin. The sales numbers indicate that more investment is needed into technologies that help locate potential buyers and improve the quality and quantity of communication. 60% of all contacted buyers reject the offer four times before saying yes.  (Invesp) Follow-up calls can make all the difference. But almost half of the salespeople (48%) never make a single follow-up attempt. Statistics that expose this passive trend among sales reps also indicate that consumers tend to change their minds if called at least four times. An astounding 60 percent of contacted prospects agree to buy a product or service during the fifth call, according to sales follow-up statistics compiled by the US consulting company, Invesp.  57% of people prefer buying from sales representatives that do not hassle them. (Invesp) Even though follow-ups are essential for convincing customers to purchase your product, more than half of the respondents said they prefer buying from sales representatives who aren’t too pushy. Salespeople have a reputation for hassling potential consumers, and these figures show that they would improve their chances of making a sale if they change their approach.  70% of businesses agree that retaining customers is cheaper than acquiring new ones.  (Invesp) Prospecting statistics reveal that even though most newly established businesses have to focus on acquiring new customers, the long-run focus should be on retaining them. Namely, it costs five times as much to gain a new buyer than to keep an existing one. Unfortunately, despite the convincing figures in favor of focusing on retention, only 40% of companies and 30% of agencies cultivate the same approach to acquisition and retention.  The American auto industry was showing signs of recovery in the summer of 2021, with nearly 1.2 million cars sold in July. (Goodcarbadcar) Following a sharp decline that saw sales plummet from 17 million in 2019 to just a little over 14.5 million in 2020, the car industry started showing signs of recovery by mid 2021. But according to United States car sales statistics, the positive trend failed to extend into the spring, with only 589,743 automobiles sold in October. Those are the lowest monthly sales figures in years.  California accounts for the highest number of car sales in the US. (Statista) Research from 2019 shows that the state of California registered more than 14.8 million automobiles that year alone. The state is also the biggest market for electric vehicles, plug-in hybrids, and for used car sales. Statistics by state reveal that Texas had the second-highest number of automobile registrations, with just over 8.3 million cars registered. Texas is followed by Florida (7.8 million) and New York (4.4 million). Handgun sales in the US in 2020 rose by 65% compared to 2019. (Statista) The US gun industry is having a good pandemic, with Americans buying handguns in record numbers. Research shows that in October 2020, around one million handguns were sold, marking a 65% increase compared to the same period in 2019. Gun sales statistics also reveal a spike in handgun sales in June 2020, when 1.511.710 items were sold. The American trade book market recorded a 9.7% increase in revenue in July 2021. (Association of American Publishers) During the pandemic-induced global lockdowns, many people turned to books. Perhaps unsurprisingly, book sales generated $750.7 million in revenue in July 2021. Reading once again became a favorite pastime in many American households, who contributed to the 9.7% growth in this sector, compared to July of 2020.  According to book sales statistics, eBook revenues in July 2021 went down 16% compared to the same period last year. Meanwhile, Paperbacks went up by 30%, generating $274.3 million in revenue. Video game sales amounted to $4.93 billion in July 2021, marking a 5% year-over-year increase. (Statista) Video games had a huge 2020 with more people than ever buying and playing games during the pandemic. Sales soared to $177.8 billion - an increase of 23.1% from 2019. The future looks equally promising, with some forecasts suggesting that the global gaming market will be worth $268.8 billion by 2025. Video game sales statistics for the US market in 2021 show that the industry is maintaining its upward trajectory. 2020 has seen a significant decline in draft beer sales, while canned beer sales went up. (NBWA) The forced closures of bars and restaurants during the pandemic had a significant impact on alcohol sales. Draft beer’s share of total volume declined from 10% in 2019 to around 6% in 2020. Beer sales statistics also show that demand for canned beer rose from 60% in 2019 to 67% in 2020. At the same time, sales of beer in glass bottles remained relatively unchanged, accounting for 29% of the market share in 2019 and 28% in 2020. Toilet paper sales in the US spiked by 845% in 2020. (Business Insider) Toilet paper hoarding in 2020 resulted in a spike in sales of 845% in March 2020, compared to 2019, with a total of $1.45 billion sold in a single month. In March 2020, 73% of all grocery stores ran out of toilet paper. By May, that figure dropped to 48%. Toilet paper sales statistics in 2020 exposed a somewhat disturbing and equally commercial side of consumer behavior in times of crisis.  Girl Scout cookies sales amount to around $800 million during each cookie season. (Girl Scouts) Selling Girl Scout cookies has been a tradition in the US since 1912 and has become a lucrative business for many. Girl scouts sell about 200 million boxes of cookies each season and earn nearly $800 million in revenue. According to mouth-watering girl scout cookie sales statistics, the most popular variety is Thin Mints, followed by Samoas, Caramel deLites, and Tagalongs/Peanut Butter Patties.  Sales: the Bottom Line In the choppy waters and hazy horizons of the pandemic-hit world, steering your business in the right direction isn’t easy. There are many challenges facing sales teams and managers, especially when it comes to locking down customers and promoting products and services. On the other hand, some industries are doing better than ever. Business sales statistics show that demand for canned beer, video games, and guns has never been higher. But that doesn’t change the fact that the future is uncertain for everyone, and the new business world is yet to shape out.
By Danica Djokic · November 10,2021

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