Google continues to dominate mobile paid search and accounted for 95 per cent of clicks on mobiles during the first quarter of the year, according to the latest Digital Marketing Report published by global data-driven performance agency Merkle.
The report takes a closer look at the trends in areas such as SEO, social media and advertising and aims to deliver comprehensive and detailed insights for publishers and brands. It found that spending on Google’s paid search ads soared by 25 per cent year-on-year, while clicks rose by 33 per cent and cost-per-click fell by six per cent during the same period.
Paid search trends
Mobile remains the key driver for Google’s strong performance, with smartphones and tablets now accounting for the majority of its paid search clicks during the first three months of 2016. Among Merkle’s client base, Google was responsible for 95 per cent of paid mobile clicks – a nine per cent rise compared to the same time last year. In contrast, Bing Ads held just three per cent of all clicks in the US.
There was further good news for Google, as its Shopping Ads have grown significantly while the recent removal of ads from the right-hand side of SERPs has had a minimal impact on both organic and paid search. The rise of mobile has resulted in a downward trend for organic search visits and a ten percentage point increase for paid search traffic on smartphones and tablets.
Merkle’s report noted that spending on Facebook ads had surged by more than a third during quarter one, though that was a slightly lower growth rate than the 44 per cent recorded during the prior quarter. Average cost-per-click was also lower compared to the final three months of 2015. Facebook remains the biggest player in social media, as it accounted for 62 per cent of all visits.
A further section on Product Listing Ads (PLAs) highlights a growing willingness from marketers to invest in rich ad content. PLA spend rose by 41 per cent compared to the same time last year and accounted for a staggering 70 per cent of non-brand clicks and 43 per cent of search ad clicks. Larger retailers benefited the most from a greater share of clicks.