Tablet Share of US Paid Search Spend and Click Volume Rising

July 12, 2012

us-paid-search-click-spend-share-by-device-in-june-jul2012.pngTablets accounted for 7% share of US paid search spending in June 2012, up from 5% in March, according to [download page] a July report from Marin Software. This increase in budgets came alongside a 33% quarter-over-quarter rise in tablet’s share of clicks, from 6 to 8%. Overall, smartphones and tablets accounted for 18% share of clicks and 14% share of spend (14%) in June.

A separate report covering US paid search in Q2, released in June by IgnitionOne, found tablets accounting for 8.4% of US paid search budgets.

Computers See Lowest CTRs, Highest CPCs

Data from Marin Software’s “Online Advertising Report” indicates that click-through rates (CTR) in June were highest on smartphones (5.21%), followed by tablets (3.22%), with computers bringing up the rear (2.07%). Cost-per-click (CPC) was highest for computers ($0.78) and lowest for smartphones ($0.49), with tablets ($0.64) sitting roughly in the middle.

Previous research from Marin has shown that while smartphones have the highest CTRs and lowest CPCs, tablets have the best return on ad spend, measured on a cost per conversion basis.

Impressions, Clicks Up Y-O-Y

Overall, US paid search click volume rose by 19% year-over-year in Q2, though volume dipped slightly from Q1. Similarly, while impression volumes were up 18% year-over-year, they demonstrated a slight decrease from a quarter earlier. CPC ($0.92) and CTR (1.69%) both tumbled on quarterly basis, but remained steady on a year-over-year basis.

Other Findings:

  • Google kept its leading market share of US search ad spend (81%), clicks (80%), and impressions (72%) in Q2 2012.
  • US search marketers have grown their use of exact match over the past year, with exact match click-share up 3% and share of ad spend for exact match rising 1%.
  • Looking at the behavior of 7 different industries, the report finds travel to have had the highest average CTR (3.06%) in Q2, and education (0.97%) the lowest. Average CTR for the retail sector was 2.58%. Education had by far the highest average CPC ($5.33), while retail ($0.35) and travel ($0.62) saw the lowest.
  • US impression volume grew by 33% year-over-year for the retail industry, and click volume by 39%.
  • Click volume increased on a year-over-year basis across the UK and the Eurozone.

About the Data: To uncover key trends for the second quarter of 2012, Marin Software sampled its Marin Global Online Advertising Index, which includes over 1,800 advertisers and agencies that invest over $4 billion annually in biddable media through the Marin platform. The Marin Global Online Advertising Index consists of enterprise-class marketers–larger advertisers and agencies who spend in excess of $1 million annually on paid-search, social, and display. As such, the data sample and findings skew towards the behavior of larger organizations and more sophisticated advertisers.

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