Mobile Search Advertising Grows in Q1: 8% in U.S., 135% Globally

Globally, mobile advertising cost per click (CPC) is up nearly 60 percent year-over-year (YoY). Here in the U.S., smartphone CPC is down YoY on both Yahoo and Google by 56 percent and 31 percent, respectively.

Two reports highlight the state of paid search for the end of Q1 2014; one by Covario, which looks at global trends, and one by IgnitiionOne, which focuses on U.S. data. We'll look at highlights of those now.

IgnitionOne looked at YoY search trends by vertical. Particularly interesting was the decrease in impressions for the automotive industry by 46 percent, but the increase in click-through rate (CTR) by 106 percent. 

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Here in the U.S., Google accounted for about 77 percent of paid search spend. Yahoo/Bing made up approximately 23 percent. 

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Globally, search engine market share in terms of paid search spend was awarded to Google at 84 percent. But not to be ignored is Baidu, which dominates the China market and accounts for approximately 8 percent of spend globally.

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When it comes to mobile advertising, paid search spend increased 8 percent compared to both Q1 and Q4 2013, IgnitionOne reported. Smartphones in the U.S. saw YoY growth in impressions (131 percent), clicks (217 percent), and CTR (37 percent), but a decline in CPC (35 percent). Tablet numbers were up in all categories.

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Across the globe, mobile advertising grew 35 percent from Q3 2013 to Q1 2014, and 135 percent YoY. CPC was up globally quarter-over-quarter, and the Covario report notes some interesting findings: 

"CPCs on smartphones increased 9% over a quarter ago, while CPCs on tablets remained stable. On the flip side is the discounted price on mobile, where at times the gap seems to be widening with smartphone CPCs 44% lower (-3% change) and interestingly tablet CPCs coming in a full 20% lower (-8% change). Before enhanced campaigns, tablet CPCs sometimes were higher than the same keywords on the desktop campaigns. With this migration, our previous assumption was that the two would be at parity within a few months, something that has not happened."

For the full Covario report, go here

For the full IgnitionOne report, go here

About the author

Jessica Lee is a marketer specializing in web content strategy and B2B/B2C writing. Since 2005, Jessica has been in the business of content and communications, with the past several years focused on the web marketing space.

Prior to launching her consulting business, bizbuzzcontent, Jessica was responsible for content strategy, development and marketing for Bruce Clay Inc. – a global SEO firm, where she served small businesses and Fortune 500 clients. Jessica's background also includes positions in traditional marketing, communications, broadcasting and publishing.

Jessica has a bachelor's in communications and public relations from San Diego State University. She also contributed to the book “Search Engine Optimization All-in-One For Dummies” 2nd edition.