Financial Keywords Dominate U.K. Search Ads In First Half Of Year

U.K. advertisers spent GBP783 ($991) million on desktop and tablet paid-search advertising during the first six months in 2014, not counting mobile search or product listing ads, according to data released Wednesday. The majority of the U.K. paid-search advertising spend -- GBP742 ($939) million -- went to Google AdWords, with an additional GBP41 (nearly $52) million going to Yahoo Bing Network.

Collectively, the top 20 advertisers spent £124 (nearly $157) million on the two search engines between January and June 2014, representing 16% of the total U.K. paid-search advertising spend of £783 ($990) million in the first half of the year.

During the same time frame, U.S. advertisers spent a total of $8.6 billion on desktop and tablet paid search, not counting mobile search or PLAs. Of this amount, $7.8 billion was spent on U.S. Google AdWords and $831 million on the U.S. Yahoo Bing Network.

In the U.K., Financial Services terms dominate the list, accounting for 11 of the top 20 keywords. The top keyword by U.K. spend was "car insurance," for which advertisers spent £7 ($8.85) million in the first half of the year. The keyword term had 51,297,685 impressions, with 1.4 million clicks at an average cost of £4.83 ($6.11). Overall, the Insurance category had an average of 83 advertisers bidding on each term.

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Interestingly, more than half of advertisers on AdGooroo's Top 20 U.K. list belong to financial services, comparison or online gambling categories. Gambling-related keywords are the most expensive, averaging £36.90 ($46.66) cost per click (CPC) -- the highest average CPC of any industry category.

Financial Services company Moneysupermarket.com spent the most, according to AdGooroo's Top 20 advertisers ranking by U.K. paid-search spend. Amazon.co.uk ranked No. 2, and williamhill.com, gocompare.com, and booking.com rounded out the top five in terms of the amount spent on paid-search ads.

Overall, Financial Services spent £158 (nearly $200) million in paid-search, followed by Shopping & Classifieds, mainly consisting of retailers £100 ($126.44) million, Travel £96 ($121.38)  million and then the Adult category, 96% of which £74 ($93.57) million is spend by Online Gambling sites. 

In the U.S., the top four industry categories in U.S. paid search spend on Google desktop and tablet were $1.3 billion Shopping & Classifieds, $1.2 billion Financial Services, $735 million Computers & Electronics, and $625 million Health.

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