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To add to your tourism business's bottom line with Google Ads, use the Search Network
18 April 2019 (Edited )
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Boston-based paid search gurus Wordstream this week released their 2019 Google Ads Industry Benchmarks, broken down by 16 industry verticals and Google Search Network vs. Google Display Networks, for these 4 metrics:

  • Cost per Click - average cost advertiser paid for a clickthrough from a Google Ad
  • Cost per Action - average cost advertiser paid for some action (e.g., sale) resulting from a clickthrough from a Google Ad
  • Conversion Rate - average % of clickthroughs from a Google Ad that resulted in some conversion action (e.g., sale)
  • Clickthrough Rate - % of ad impressions that resulted in a clickthrough

Here are Wordstream's numbers for All Industries and the Travel & Tourism Industry:

Some observations:

  • For both Search Network and Display Network, Average Cost per Click is lower for Travel/Tourism vs. All Industries. So Travel/Tourism Google Ads cost less than those for other industries.
  • For both All Industries and Travel/Tourism, Cost per Click is significantly lower for the Display Network, because the smart money in all industries is going to the Search Network. And competition is bidding up Cost per Click, so these Search Network campaigns must be working.
  • For both All Industries and Travel/Tourism, Cost per Action and Conversion Rate are both higher for the Display Network vs. Search Network. So in general, the Search Network is more cost-effective in getting people to take actions advertisers want them to take.
  • The Cost per Action disparity between Search Network and Display Network for Travel/Tourism is larger than that for all Industries. So in direct financial terms, the Display Network performs less well for Travel/Tourism businesses than it does for other industries.
  • Average Conversion Rate and Clickthrough Rate from the Search Network are bad enough for All Industries, but even worse for Travel/Tourism.
  • But average Clickthrough Rate from the Search Network for Travel/Tourism is a wonderful 7.83%.


  • Better financial performance - more conversions, lower cost - from the Search Network is to be expected, because:
  1. Most advertisers using the Display Network are trying to increase brand awareness or image, as opposed to inducing immediate sales, and
  2. When used effectively, the Search Network is a very much a direct-response medium in which ads make offers and ask for action.
  • Google Ads on the Search Network - when done well - are still a bargain for Travel/Tourism.
  • Be skeptical of any agency that wants you top put more money into awareness and image advertising than into direct-response. Metrics that Google produces for direct-response Search Network ads are much more "real" than fuzzy numbers for awareness/image advertising that come out of focus groups or consumer surveys.
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