Paid Search Trends in Q1 2016

May 11, 2016

This article is included in these additional categories:

Digital | Global & Regional | Mobile Phone | Paid Search | Spending & Spenders | Tablet

Merkle-Mobile-Share-of-Paid-Search-Clicks-Q12013-Q12016-May2016Mobile devices grew to account for a majority (53%) of Q1 paid search clicks in North America, details Merkle in its recent Digital Marketing Report [download page]. The increase – from 48% share in Q4 2015 – is entirely the result of mobile phones, which have seen sizable jumps in click share in recent quarters.

Indeed, mobile phones alone accounted for 39% share of paid search clicks in Q1 for Merkles North American clients, up from 24% share during the year-earlier period. By contrast, tablets’ share of paid search clicks actually declined during that period, dropping from 18% in Q1 2015 to 14% a year later.

Mobile phones also surpassed tablets in search spend share during Q1, per the report.

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In other paid search news:

  • US paid search spend actually dropped on a year-over-year basis in Q1 (by 5%), marking the first time that has occurred in 6 years, according to IgnitionOne’s Q1 2016 Digital Marketing Report [download page]. US Google paid search spending also declined by 5%, the first decrease since 2009. Mobile provided a “bright spot” in search, though, as mobile paid search impressions grew by the largest amount (19%) in 3 years.
  • Globally it was a different story for paid search spending, with Kenshoo reporting year-over-year growth of 13% among its clients, led by smartphones (+77%) and product ads (+98%). Among the other trends detailed in the report were a year-over-year increase in search ad impressions (+31%), clicks (+36%) and CTR (+4%), along with a 17% decline in costs-per-click. Kenshoo’s figures relating to mobile are similar as those contained in the Merkle report, with smartphones claiming 40% of paid search clicks and tablets another 12% share, for a total of 52%.
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