Paid Search Spend Rose by Double Digits at the End of 2016

Wed Mar 8, 2017

Rachel Cagle

Search spending is working its way up in the realm of advertising. In the last quarter of 2016, searchsearch advertising spend rose by double digit percentages in the category of overall spending. In its article, “Paid Search Trends in Q4 2016,” MarketingCharts.com reveals the results of the Search Advertising Trends survey showcasing industry trends as experienced by several large companies that assist clients with search marketing. These companies include IgnitionOne, iProspect, Merkle and Kenshoo.

Here are the overall spending increases among the clients of the following reporting companies:

  • IngitionOne: 15% in the U.S. (specifically Google search)
  • Merkle: 14% in the U.S.
  • Kenshoo: 17% globally

That’s not all. The categories of clicks, cost-per-click and impressions almost all saw some form of growth throughout each of the four companies, with the only exception being iPropect who reported a 3% decrease in clicks last quarter.

The most subtle increases took place within the cost-per-click category. Merkle and Kenshoo both reported 0% growth, but IgnitionOne saw an increase of 5% and iProspect reported a 7% increase.

When it came to clicks, IgnitionOne reported a 10% increase, Merkle experienced a 14% increase and Kenshoo’s results were a 17% increase. Merkle went on to add that 51% of Google search ad clicks were made from smartphones at the end of 2016. Smartphones accounted for 47% of the paid search clicks on major search engines, which is an increase from 2015’s fourth quarter when smartphones drove 1/3 of clicks.

The impressions category saw the most dramatic growth percentage with results recorded by clients of major search marketing services companies as follows:

  • IgnitionOne: 28% increase
  • iProspect: 13% increase
  • Kenshoo: 12% increase

The only category that consistently reported percentage decreases was click-through rates, with all but one of the reporting companies showing double digit decreases. However, Kenshoo reported a minor increase in click-through rates with 4%.

There you have it. Marketers are spending more money than ever before on search. At the same time, smartphones account for an ever-growing portion of search clicks. If you’re selling search marketing services, share the results of this survey with your clients and work with them to improve the effectiveness of their spending in this marketing format.

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About Rachel Cagle

Rachel is a Brand Research Specialist at SalesFuel. She holds a Bachelors in English from The Ohio State University. She specializes in major accounts research for AdMall.

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