The AdWords Performance Grader, Now with Industry Benchmark Data! Find Out How You Compare to Industry Peers

Today I’m happy to share the news that we’ve just pushed out a big enhancement to the AdWords Performance Grader, our free PPC audit tool. With the new release, every free report now includes industry benchmark data. Now when you run your AdWords account through the Grader, you’ll be able to see how your account performance compares to similar advertisers not only in your spend level, but in your own industry vertical. Our user base has been asking for this data, and we’re really excited to be able to deliver it! This is invaluable competitive information!

AdWords Industry Benchmarks

In this post, I’ll talk about why this new industry data is so powerful, as well as review the other great insights you can get from this tool. If you haven’t already gotten your free AdWords Performance Report, now is a great time to get it. And if you’ve graded your account in the past, now is a great time to try it again to see how you compare to competitors in your industry!

What Is the AdWords Performance Grader?

AdWords is a complex system and it can be cumbersome and confusing. Marketers and small business owners we talk to generally want to know how they're doing compared to other AdWords advertisers, what's wrong with their accounts, what they can do to improve, and what kind of results they could expect to get if they were successful. In other words, they want an audit of their PPC accounts, plus help with improving their performance. But PPC audits are expensive and time-consuming.

So we built the AdWords Performance Grader as a free tool that advertisers can use to get insight into their account performance. It’s:

  • Easy to use and understand
  • The same kind of account analysis you'd expect from a consultant or agency
  • Full of actionable insights and competitive intelligence

Your AdWords performance report is instant and available for free. Really! All you need is an active AdWords account. With a one-time, secure login to your account, you get a complete report that shows you how you’re doing overall and in 9 additional areas:

  • Industry benchmarks (NEW!)
  • Quality Score
  • Usage of negative keywords
  • Impression share
  • Click-through rate (CTR)
  • Long-tail keyword optimization
  • Account activity
  • Ad text optimization
  • Landing page optimization

We also run a quick check to make sure you’re following PPC best practices such as enabling conversion tracking, using language and geo targeting, taking advantage of the modified broad match type and negative keywords, using ad extensions and more.

This tool is great for agencies too – you can use it for prospecting (to quickly show prospects why they need your help) and for reporting (to quickly show clients how their accounts have improved).

Here’s what it looks like (click the report to enlarge):

New Industry Benchmarks: Why This Is Awesome

At its core, this update brings a new dimension of specificity and relevance to your report, providing you with more valuable competitive insight. Your account analysis not only compares you against similar spenders (businesses that have about the same monthly budget as you), but also shows you how you stack up against others within your selected industry. You have 25 industries and 273 subcategories to choose from (you can view the full list below). When you run the Grader, you’ll be able to choose your industry before getting your report.

The new Industry Benchmark data compares your account performance in five key areas to the industry average. You get a comparison of your metrics vs. the competition on Google search for the past 90 days. These metrics include:

  • Click-Through Rate
  • Conversion Rate
  • Impression-Weighted Quality Score
  • Acquired Impression Share
  • Actions in the last 90 days

You’ll quickly be able to see if you’re doing better or worse than the industry average in each of these areas. (If you’re beating the average, your results appear in green. If you’re doing worse than the benchmark, your results appear in red.)

It also includes industry average diagnostics , so you’ll know what’s typical of AdWords advertisers in your industry when it comes to:

  • Average Spend Level
  • Average Number of Active Campaigns
  • Average Number of Ad Groups
  • Average Number of Active Keywords

It's cool because as an AdWords advertiser, we know you want to understand how your  results compare to others in your industry so you can benchmark your performance in a meaningful way  and understand whether you’re doing well or not.

What Industry Categories Are Included?

We've created industry specific benchmark data, including metrics like average AdWords click-through rate and conversion rate by industry, for a total of 25 industries and 273 industry subcategories. Below is a full list of all the categories and subcategories we cover:

Arts & Entertainment: Celebrities & Entertainment News, Entertainment Industry, Events & Listings, Fun & Trivia, Movies, Music & Audio, Offbeat, Online Media, Performing Arts, TV & Video, Visual Art & Design

Autos & Vehicles: Bicycles & Accessories, Boats & Watercraft, Campers & RVs, Classic Vehicles, Commercial Vehicles, Custom & Performance Vehicles, Hybrid & Alternative Vehicles, Motorcycles, Off-Road Vehicles, Personal Aircraft, Scooters & Mopeds, Vehicle Brands, Vehicle Codes & Driving Laws, Vehicle Maintenance, Vehicle Parts & Accessories, Vehicle Shopping

Beauty & Fitness: Body Art, Cosmetic Procedures, Cosmetology & Beauty Professionals, Face & Body Care, Fashion & Style, Fitness, Hair Care, Spas & Beauty Services, Weight Los

Books & Literature: Book Retailers, Children’s Literature, E-Books, Fan Fiction, Magazines, Writers Resources

Business & Industrial: Advertising & Marketing, Aerospace & Defense, Agriculture & Forestry, Automotive Industry, Business Education, Business Finance, Business Operations, Business Services, Chemicals Industry, Construction & Maintenance, Energy & Utilities, Hospitality Industry, Industrial Materials & Equipment, Manufacturing, Metals & Mining, Printing & Publishing, Professional & Trade Associations, Retail Trade, Small Business, Textiles & Nonwovens, Transportation & Logistics

Computers & Electronics: CAD & CAM, Computer Hardware, Computer Security, Consumer Electronics, Electronics & Electrical, Enterprise Technology, Networking, Programming, Software

Finance: Accounting & Auditing, Banking, Credit & Lending, Financial Planning & Management, Grants, Scholarships & Financial Aid, Insurance, Investing

Food & Drink: Beverages, Cooking & Recipes, Food, Food & Grocery Delivery, Food & Grocery Retailers, Restaurants

Games: Board Games, Card Games, Computer & Video Games, Educational Games, Gambling, Online Games, Party Games, Puzzles & Brainteasers, Roleplaying Games, Word Games

Health: Aging & Geriatrics, Alternative & Natural Medicine, Health Conditions, Health Education & Medical Training, Health Foundations & Medical Research, Medical Devices & Equipment, Medical Facilities & Services, Medical Literature & Resources, Men’s Health, Mental Health, Nutrition, Oral & Dental Care, Pediatrics, Pharmacy, Reproductive Health, Substance Abuse, Vision Care, Women’s Health

Hobbies & Leisure: Clubs & Organizations, Contests, Awards & Prizes, Crafts, Outdoors, Radio Control & Modeling, Recreational Aviation, Special Occasions, Water Activities

Home & Garden: Bed & Bath, Domestic Services, Gardening & Landscaping, Home Appliances, Home Furnishings, Home Improvement, Home Storage & Shelving, Homemaking & Interior Décor, HVAC & Climate Control, Kitchen & Dining, Nursery & Playroom, Pest Control, Swimming Pools & Spas, Yard & Patio

Internet & Telecom: Communications Equipment, Email & Messaging, Mobile & Wireless, Search Engines, Service Providers, Teleconferencing, Web Apps & Online Tools, Web Portals, Web Services

Jobs & Education: Education, Internships, Jobs

Law & Government: Government, Legal, Public Safety, Social Services

News: Business news, Health News, Journalism & News Industry, Local News, Newspapers, Politics, Sports News, Technology News, World News

Online Communities: Blogging Resources & Services, Dating & Personals, File Sharing & Hosting, Forum & Chat Providers, Online Goodies, Online Journals & Personal Sites, Photo & Video Sharing, Social Networks, Virtual Worlds

People & Society: Disabled & Special needs, Ethnic & Identity Groups, Family & Relationships, Men’s Interests, Religion & Belief, Seniors & Retirement, Social Issues & Advocacy, Social Sciences, Subcultures & Niche Interests, Women’s Interests

Pets & Animals: Animal Products & Services, Pets, Wildlife

Real Estate: Apartments & Residential Rentals, Bank-Owned & Foreclosed Properties, Commercial & Investment Real Estate, Property Development, Property Inspections & Appraisals, Property Management, Real Estate Agencies, Real Estate Listings, Timeshares & Vacation Properties

Reference: Directories & Listings, General Reference, Geographic Reference, Language Resources, Technical Reference

Science: Astronomy, Biological Sciences, Chemistry, Computer Science, Earth Sciences, Ecology & Environment, Engineering & Technology, Scientific Equipment

Shopping: Antiques & Collectibles, Apparel, Auctions, Classifieds, Consumer Resources, Discount & Outlet Stores, Entertainment Media, Gifts & Special Event Items, Green & Eco-Friendly Shopping, Luxury Goods, Mass Merchants & Department Stores, Photo & Video Services, Shopping Portals & Search Engines, Swap Meets & Outdoor Markets, Tobacco Products, Toys, Wholesalers & Liquidators

Sports: College Sports, Combat Sports, Extreme Sports, Fantasy Sports, Individual Sports, Sport Scores & Statistics, Sporting Goods, Sports Coaching & Training, Team Sports, Water Sports, Winter Sports, World Sports Competitions

Travel: Air Travel, Bus & Rail, Car Rental & Taxi Services, Carpooling & Vehicle Sharing, Cruises & Charters, Hotels & Accommodations, Luggage & Travel Accessories, Specialty Travel, Tourist Destinations, Travel Agencies & Services, Travel Guides & Travelogues

Get Your Free AdWords Report!

Aren’t you curious to see how your PPC account measures up to others in your industry?! Run a report now and find out!