The Search Agency issued its Q2 State of Paid Search report today, finding that overall impressions were up 19.2 percent across all search engines quarter-over-quarter (QoQ), while overall clicks declined 7.8 percent. Cost-per-click (CPC) rose across all devices.
This marks the first quarter The Search Agency has seen tablet CPCs outpace those of desktops on Google. Tablet CPCs rose 26 percent QoQ, coming in 1.7 percent higher than desktops.
Overall tablet clicks dropped 8 percent QoQ. Year-over-year, however, tablet clicks were up 62 percent. Bing continued it growth on tablets, increasing its share of clicks from 8.7 percent in Q1 to 10.9 percent in Q2.
Smartphone were the only device segment to see an increase in clicks QoQ, with a slight uptick of 1.6%. Smartphone ad spend leaped 25 percent for the quarter.
CPCs Rise Across Search Engines
Overall cost-per-click increased 17.3 percent QoQ and 10 percent YoY.
On Google, CPCs showed an increase across every type of device QoQ, with the largest increase coming on tablets at 26 percent. Bing’s average CPC increased 18.9 percent YoY and remained relatively flat QoQ.
The Impact Of Enhanced Campaigns
While reports from RKG and Covario concluded that enhanced campaigns have had little impact so far on CPCs, The Search Agency finds otherwise. The report says, “The rise in marketplace competition caused a spike in CPCs during Q2″.
The report also suggests that enhanced campaigns played a role in the relative decline in clicks QoQ compared to impressions: Declining CTR “may indicate a shift in matching or query mapping changes at the search engine level.” Google impressions rose 21.4 percent while clicks fell off 7.1 percent QoQ.
CTR dropped sharply in Google from last quarter — from 3.46 percent to 2.66 percent. However, it looks more like there was a spike in Q1.
Though less dramatic, Bing also saw click declines. Bing impressions rose 15.6 percent while clicks dropped 4.1 percent QoQ. Bing also saw an increase in CTR in Q1 and dropped back closer to Q4 levels last quarter.
Overall CTRs fell across devices in Q2. Desktop was off 22.6 percent QoQ, though just 3.9 percent YoY. Smartphone CTR fell 18.6 percent QoQ and 16.5 percent YoY. And Tablets saw the biggest QoQ drop, falling 21.1 percent, and 15.1 percent YoY.
Desktop Losing Share of Spend
The Search Agency found desktop share of spend continued to fall, coming under 75 percent for the first time this quarter. Desktop 74.5 percent share of spend marks a 12.5 percent drop YoY and 2.5 percent dip QoQ.
Smartphone share of spend has risen 70.4 percent YoY and 12 percent QoQ. While tablets have increased their share of spend by 74.7 percent YOY and 4.2 percent QoQ.
Mobile Efficiencies Still High On Bing
While Google CPC efficiencies compared to desktop are falling for both smartphones (11.3 percent down from 14.1 percent in Q1) and tablets (now 1.7 percent higher than desktops), there are still sizeable discounts on Bing. Bing smartphone CPCs were 28.3 percent lower than desktop in Q2 (way up from 16 percent in Q1), and Bing tablet CPCs are off 7.7 percent compared to desktops. That’s up from 5.2 percent in Q1.
The Search Agency sees device adoption on Bing continuing to grow and suggests there is a particularly strong opportunity to add tablet campaign on Bing. Overall they suggest adopting a consistent mobile strategy to better understand consumer search behavior and increasing clickshare on tablets and smartphones.
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