Global search ad spend rose 15% in Q1 2013 versus the previous year, according to the Kenshoo Global Search Advertising Trends report released today. That rise in spend was driven largely by a 62% increase in click-through rates and a 21% increase in clicks year-over-year.
U.S. ad spend rose 24%, spurring the overall global increase. However, PPC spend fell 4% in the E.U. and 11% in the U.K. CPCs fell in both the U.S. and U.K and remained relatively flat for continental Europe. CPCs in the U.S. continued to be higher, at $0.44, than the U.K. at $0.38 USD. The report highlights that fairly significant cost efficiencies still exist on smartphones as mobile CPCs have not kept pace with the surge in mobile click volume. In the U.S., computer and tablet click-to-spend ratios were fairly even, yet phone clicks accounted for 8.7% of total paid search clicks and only 5% of total spend. In the U.K., phone CPCs were 33% lower than computer and tablet and accounted for 11.5% of total clicks and just 7.8% of total spend. In all, 2012 paid search ad spend increased 32% versus 2011, and Kenshoo points to Q1′s 15% rise in global ad spend as a positive sign for the remainder of 2013.