RKG Paid Search Spend Up 17%

Rimm-Kaufman Group released its first quarter Digital Marketing Report showing U.S. paid search spend among its clients rose 17% year-over-year, slightly down from 19% sequential growth. Paid clicks rose 10%, while the cost per click rose 6%.

RKG found marketers slowed investments in Bing ad campaigns during Q1 2014, compared with 2013. Spending growth on Bing Ads was stronger for non-branded traffic, where click volume rose 14% YoY, cost per clicks (CPCs) rose 7%, and ad spend increased 22%.

The growth for Google spending ads for non-branded traffic, including product listing ads, was 18% in Q1, compared with the year-ago quarter. Clicks rose 8%; and CPCs, 10%. Lower spending growth on brand traffic depressed growth, as brand CPCs fell 9%. RKG attributes that, in part, to ad rank changes in October.

Among RKG’s clients, Bing Product Ads and Google Product Listing Ads continue to drive most of the growth in paid search. Marketers spent 69% more in the quarter, compared with a year ago. PLA clicks rose 51%, where as text ads rose 4%.

Bing Products Ads drove 12% of non-brand revenue for RKG clients, up from 8% of non-brand revenue at a lower return on investment, the agency said. Google non-brand ads like PLAs and Product ads generated 33% higher revenue per click (RPC) for advertisers compared with Bing Ads. Advertisers' ROI on Google was 12% higher, in part, to PLAs and the immaturity of that auction process.

Smartphone and tablet campaigns each accounted for 18% of paid search clicks. Smartphones gained 6%, where as tablets gained 5%. Smartphone CPCs fell to 35%, compared with desktop of desktop percentages. Lower CPCs drove 7% of smartphone ad spend among RKG’s clients. Tablets accounted for 20% of ad spend.

Google paid search clicks took 38%, where Bing Ads took 25%, among RKG clients. Google gained sequential share, with its mobile market share rising 4% vs. Bing Ads at 1%.

"Money Up" photo from Shutterstock.

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