Paid Search

POV: Q3 Paid Search Trends and Challenges for Advertisers

Each quarter we look at activity across all our paid search campaigns to identify the trends and potential opportunities we see in the space. After going through 1,300 Google AdWords accounts totaling 135,000 campaigns we found the following:

  • Mobile search activity continues to catch up to computer and tablet, resulting in 40% search spend increase and 37% click growth over Q3 2014
  • Paid search spending cooled after a strong H1 2015, partly due to higher prices for paid search clicks and advertisers opting to save budgets for the Q4 holiday demand
  • Cost per click prices rose 9% year over year in Q3, showing a slowdown of the 25%-30% YoY increases in H1 2015
  • Despite impressive growth in mobile, overall paid search click volume was down 6% year on year

The dynamic search landscape continues to challenge advertisers, as the pace of the switch from computer and tablet devices fails to translate to the same amount of traffic on mobile, but that’s changing. As mobile search matures, it’s becoming a versatile tool for providing engagement throughout the consumer journey—from awareness to research and consideration, and finally to direct action, conversion, and revenue.

We also see a shift from keywords to audiences. One example of this is Google’s release of the Customer Match feature, which allows digital marketers to include or exclude particular audience lists and develop rich segmentation in paid search.  

As we move into 2016, paid search will continue to be less about tactical delivery and more about high-level strategy and brand experience. Are you ready?

For a deeper dive into our Q3 findings and insights, click to download iProspect’s Q3 2015 Paid Search Trends Report.