50 PPC Marketing Stats You Need to Know in the Age of COVID

The coronavirus has changed the way businesses operate and market themselves. We'll take you through the current state of PPC (Pay-Per-Click) advertising and insights on improving your performance.

  1. Search engine use in the age of COVID-19
  2. Social media use in the age of COVID-19
  3. PPC advertising stats in the age of COVID-19
  4. PPC benchmarks in the age of COVID-19
Table of contents
Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
  1. Search engine use in the age of COVID-19
  2. Social media use in the age of COVID-19
  3. PPC advertising stats in the age of COVID-19
  4. PPC benchmarks in the age of COVID-19
6-minute read

According to Hubspot, the top two optimization tactics to improve ad performance are via ad placements and audience targeting. One way to best implement and monitor these tactics is through pay-per-click advertising!

Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising is an advertising method where you pay the advertiser for every click your ad receives. While several sites offer PPC ad spaces, the most common PPC ads are found on the major search engines such as Google and Bing and via social media sites such as Facebook. Having PPC advertising on popular platforms is a huge advantage since your ads can easily reach your target market!

As we've done for content marketing this year, we'll take you through the big picture of PPC marketing, so you can determine how to best approach PPC marketing for your business! Here, we'll especially emphasize the stats that communicate how PPC fares during the age of coronavirus.

Search engine use in the age of COVID-19

First, we'll go through the recent landscape of search engines. This will help you better understand how PPC advertising on search engines can offer lucrative opportunities for your business!

Pie Chart of Paid, Organic, & Zero-Click Searches in Google (June 2019)
Half of all Google searches result in no-clicks. Image from Sparktoro.

From September 2019 to August 2020, Google remained as the main search engine for both desktop/laptop users and mobile users. (Netmarketshare, Sparktoro)

  • 70% of searches on desktop/laptop are done via Google, while 13% are done via Bing and 12% via Baidu. The remaining 5% is via other search engines such as Yahoo and Duckduckgo. 
  • 93% of internet searches done on mobile devices are done via Google. 

Half of Google searches result in no click-throughs. (Sparktoro) This means that advertisers need to find ways to get value from zero-click searches or to seek out keywords whose results have higher CTR opportunity!

The percentage of Google searches that result in organic click-throughs decreased over time while paid click-throughs increased. This is true for both desktop searches and mobile searches. (Sparktoro)

  • In June 2019, only 26.7% of Google mobile searches result in organic click-throughs, down from 29.11% in June 2018, while paid click-throughs increased to 11.38% in June 2019, up from 9.04% in Jun 2018. 
  • In June 2019, only 59.45% of Google desktop searches result in organic click-throughs, down from 60.85% in June 2018, while paid click-throughs increased to 6.85% in June 2019, up from 6.14% in Jun 2018. 

81% of internet users search online for a product or service. (Datareportal)

36% of searches on Google are associated with the location. (Powertraffick, Wordlead)

70-80% of users ignore sponsored search results. (Smallbizgenius)

Social media use in the age of COVID-19

Similarly, we'll explore what social media usage looks like in 2020. Again, this will help you better understand how to leverage PPC advertising on social media sites to improve exposure for your business!

Stats showing how an increase in online and digital activities has occurred during COVID-19
The most common online activities done by internet users in 2020. Image from Datareportal.

All of the key social platforms saw their active user base grow over the first three months of 2020. (Datareportal)

  • Facebook, Youtube, and WhatsApp are the top three social media sites with the greatest number of users.

People now spend more time using social media sites. (Datareportal)

  • Almost half of internet users (47 percent) in surveyed countries say they’ve been spending longer using social media, while roughly half of these users (23 percent) say they’ve been spending “significantly” more time using social media compared to their pre-lockdown behaviors. 
  • All age groups from 16 to 64-year-olds saw an increase in social media use.
  • All age groups spend at least an hour on social media sites per day; people aged 16 to 24 spend almost three hours per day on average!

More than 40% of digital consumers use social networks to research new brands or products, surpassing search engine use. Half of the internet users from 16-to-24 years old prefer social networks to research the brands before they make any purchase. (Hootsuite, Smallbizgenius)

Most users have accounts on more than one social media site. (Hootsuite)

80% of users follow at least one business on Instagram, while more than 200 million people visit at least one business profile every day. (Smallbizgenius)

PPC advertising stats in the age of COVID-19

Chart that shows people have spent more time shopping online during COVID-19
More people now spend more time shopping online. Image from Datareportal.

Most users can easily spot paid search results, and a portion of them actively block ads in their browsers. (Clutch, Datareportal)

  • More than three-fourths of people (77%) are confident they can recognize paid search advertisements. 
  • 47% of internet users use ad blockers. 

While most people can recognize paid search ads, they nonetheless click on them. (Clutch, Smallbizgenius, Wordlead)

  • Three-fourths of people (75%) say paid search ads make it easier to find the information they are searching for on a website or search engine.
  • One-third of people (33%) click on a paid search ad because it directly answers their search query.
  • About four times as many people are more likely to click on a paid search ad on Google (63%) than on any other search engine – Amazon (15%), YouTube (9%), and Bing (6%). 
  • People are most likely to click on text paid search ads (49%) instead of shopping/product listing ads (31%) and video ads (16%). 
  • More than one-quarter of people (26%) click on a paid search ad because it mentions a brand they are familiar with. 
  • 65% of customers click on ads when purchasing.

The top 3 paid advertising spots get 46% of the clicks on the page. (Powertraffick)

Businesses benefit from the boost brought by using PPC advertising. (Powertraffick, Wordlead)

  • Businesses make on average $3 in revenue for every $1.60 they spend on AdWords. 
  • PPC Traffic converts 50% higher than organic traffic. 
  • Even though half of Google search results in no-clicks, PPC ads can boost brand awareness by 80%. 

Facebook ads are becoming more profitable to the brands. (Hootsuite)

  • The average price for an ad decreased by 4%, while the number of ad impressions increased by 33%.
  • An average Facebook user clicks on 11 ads per month; women click on more ads (14 per month) than men (10). Notably, more men now click on ads than ever before. 
  • Facebook accounts for 80.4% of U.S. social referral shares to eCommerce sites.

More searches are now done via mobile devices. Optimizing the ads for mobile is now an important part of advertising! (Hootsuite, Smallbizgenius)
  • 88% of consumers who search for a local business on their mobile call or visit that business within a day.
  • In 2019, more than two-thirds of the total U.S. digital advertising budget was dedicated to mobile devices.
  • 94% of Facebook’s advertising revenue comes from mobile devices.

PPC benchmarks in the age of COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic made a huge impact on several different industries. (Wordstream)

  • The average CTRs increased: some industries such as Food & Groceries and Charities & Nonprofits had CTRs that exceeded their typical performance. 
  • The average CPCs have dropped, but some industries such as B2B and Health & Medical saw increased competition, pushing their CPCs higher.
  • The average conversion rates also decreased during COVID-19. 
  • The average daily budgets for PPC advertising were reduced, but advertisers are optimizing their campaigns with smaller budgets.

The average cost-per-click for keywords can vary among industries. (HubSpot via Ahrefs and WordStream

  • Legal industry: $6.46 
  • Medical industry: $2.62 
  • Marketing industry: $3.33 
  • Software industry: $3.80
  • Real estate industry: $2.37 
  • Home improvement industry: $6.40 

The CPCs of the most expensive keywords can breach the 1000-dollar mark. (HubSpot via Ahrefs and WordStream

  • legal industry: $1090. 
  • medical industry: $90
  • medical industry: $165
  • software industry: $95
  • real estate industry: $95
  • home improvement industry: $320

Articles you can read for more insights!

Here is a list of sources and articles you can consult to learn more about PPC advertising.

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  1. Search engine use in the age of COVID-19
  2. Social media use in the age of COVID-19
  3. PPC advertising stats in the age of COVID-19
  4. PPC benchmarks in the age of COVID-19