Paid Search Spend up 12% in Q4 2008

Paid search spending was up 12% in the fourth quarter of 2008 compared to the same quarter in 2007, according to SearchIgnite.

We’ve been hearing that advertising dollars were being shifted online, with the strategy accelerated by the rough economy. But is that trend slowing?

SearchIgnite says October’s spend was up by 15% and November was up by 43% year-over-year. But December’s spend dropped 14% from the previous year.

It could be a reaction to consumer behavior. Conversion rates increased by 11% in October, but dropped 2% in November. They went back up in December but just by a 4% increase.

Still, Roger Barnette, President of SearchIgnite, suggests that in all the confusion there is opportunity for the technologically innovative.

“Retailers were more aggressive with their paid search spend in the first half of the quarter compared with the year earlier in an effort to capture more consumer dollars ahead of the holidays.” said Barnette. “This is evidence that the challenging and changing economic environment is requiring retail marketers to adjust their online marketing strategies accordingly. As such, tools for testing and understanding how both search and other online media are performing together will become increasingly important for retailers as they look to make more nimble, data-driven decisions about where to allocate their media spend.”

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