Paid Search

POV: 2017 Q2 Paid Search Trends Report

For the second quarter in a row, CPCs reached all-time highs in Q2 2017. Driven by a number of factors, including increased competition on the mobile SERP and key changes to how Google calculates Ad Rank, these higher CPCs are pushing budgets to the limit.

While increased CPC costs present obvious challenges, there are still plenty of ways savvy advertisers can optimize their paid search performance. Advertisers who want to see continued success in the paid search channel need to be ready to level up their game and take advantage of more sophisticated tools and search features.

Representing 1,800 Google AdWords accounts and more than 200,000 active campaigns, this report provides analysis of the trends and opportunities that are driving today’s paid search market.

Selected key insights from the Q2 2017 report include:

  • CPC continues to rise – reaches all-time high. While paid search continues to be an outstanding performance media channel,  continued CPC increases drove costs to the highest levels on record, which in turn contributed to overall click declines.
    • Overall, CPC increased 13% over the previous quarter and 36% YoY.
    • One month after Google’s Ad Rank update, data showed an 8% CPC increase for trademark terms and a 4% decrease for non-brand.
  • CTR declined – overall 13% YoY decrease across all devices. Compared to Q1, CTR declined 9% overall with mobile seeing the most substantial quarter-over-quarter decline of 17%.
  • Mobile CPC continues to close the gap with desktop. Consistently on the rise since Q1 2016, mobile CPC increased 17% from Q1 to Q2 of this year and 52% YoY.
  • Mobile click share increased – up 22% YoY. User search trends drove advertisers to spend ever-larger percentages of their paid search budgets on mobile, resulting in 60% of clicks coming from mobile vs. 32% from desktop and 8% from tablet.
  • Shopping volume increased substantially – highest numbers yet. Shopping impressions were up 78% YoY and clicks were up 49% YoY.
  • Shopping volume grew faster on mobile. Compared to other devices, mobile took the lead on Shopping growth with impressions more than doubling (up 102% YoY) and clicks increasing 79% YoY.
  • Looking ahead, advertisers can expect current trends to continue. iProspect projects that CPC will continue to rise, forcing advertisers to spend more just to maintain current positioning. With this in mind, advertisers’ budgets and forecasting should assume higher expenses for the remainder of this year.

For all the findings and insights, download the full report and get ready to take action.