Mobile Cost Per Click Down for PPC in Retail, Business Services

The Search Agency released today its quarterly State of Paid Search Report for Q4 2013. The report looked at overall trends for paid search spend, click-through rate, cost per click and more.

The report also drilled down into performance across industry sectors, which is what we’ll look at in this report. Two sectors: business services and ecommerce show varying results in paid search at the close of 2013. Let’s have a look.

The fourth quarter in 2013 contains the retail events of the year, including Hanukkah, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Christmas, and New Year’s. It’s probably no surprise then, that click-through rate (CTR) increased around 17 percent in Q4 for companies in the retail sector. However, CTR decreased by about 15 percent year over year (YoY) in this category.


In terms of cost per click, the close of Q4 saw CPC increase by about 8 percent to $1.65 for retail. This was around a 29 percent lift YoY, and above the average CPC when compared to all other industries examined in this study.


When it came to cost differences on desktop versus mobile devices for ecommerce PPC, smartphone and tablet CPC decreased YoY when compared to desktop CPC. 


Smartphone CPC in the ecommerce sector decreased to approximately 25 percent in Q4 from about 42 percent in Q3; tablet CPC also decreased from about 12 percent in Q3 to just under 10 percent in Q4 when compared to desktop CPC.

At the other side of the spectrum are business services, which also tend to offer holiday specials around Q4. But this sector painted a slightly different picture of performance when it came to CTR. 

While ecommerce gained a lift by about 17 percent in Q4, business services saw a decline in CTR by about the same percentage rate. This was approximately a 46 percent decline in CTR YoY for the business sector.


CPC was down for this sector, too – to $0.68. That’s well under the average when compared to other industries showing $1.35 CPC on average.


So how did the CPC for smartphones and tablets fare against desktop in this sector? According to the report, smartphone CPCs fell to about a 58 percent discount from desktop in Q4. Tablet CPCs were also discounted to approximately 27 percent below desktop for business services PPC.


Mobile proved to be a promising area for the business services sector, with click share growth outpacing healthcare, retail, travel, real estate, and consumer services in Q4, with an increase of about 178 percent on smartphones and 31 percent on tablets quarter over quarter. 


For more information, including the study's methodology, access the full report here

About the author

Jessica Lee is the founder of bizbuzzcontent, a boutique content services company that offers quality content creation services and content strategy consulting.

Since 2005, Jessica has been in the business of content and communications, with the past seven years focused on the Web marketing space.

Prior to launching 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 has a bachelor's in communications and public relations from San Diego State University.

She contributed to the book Search Engine Optimization All-in-One for Dummies second edition, and her writing is featured in an active college textbook, Reading and Writing About Contemporary Issues.