One hospitality brand described behavioral changes based on more consumers using their mobile phone to search for goods and services. The brand marketer said phone calls continue to rise -- not just from clicks on ads, but a variety of Google and Bing services that give consumers the ability to click on a phone number and call the business. This reflects statistics in a Q1 2015 report released by Merkle RKG.
Phones and tablets produced 42% of paid-search clicks and 32% of ad spend in Q1. Clicks from paid search rose 42% YoY, but tablet click growth slowed to 9% YoY. Those clicks are not just coming from paid search. Mobile devices now account for 45% of total organic traffic, and the majority of that traffic comes from phones, per Merkle RKG.
Organic search produced 33% of sites visits on average in Q1, and organic search visits rose 14% overall, driven by a 54% YoY increase on mobile devices.
Here are some of the highlights in Merkle RKG's Q1 2015 report:
Marketers spent 13% more in Q1 2015 on Google for paid-search advertising, compared with the year-ago quarter. Merkle MKG attributed the uptick to accelerating annual cost-per-click growth, which hit 13%. Marketers also spent 36% more on Bing Ads in Q1 2015 compared with the year-ago quarter, driven by a 38% increase in paid clicks. Yahoo's deal with Firefox to become the default search provider helped spur that jump. Bing Ads CPCs fell 2% YoY.
The cost per click (CPC) for non-brand Google traffic rose 15% YoY in Q1 2015. Clicks fell 1%, with overall conversion rates improving 9%."Weak year-ago mobile comps boosted YoY click growth in Q3 2014, masking a sharp deceleration in desktop ad impression growth that began near that time," per the report. Non-brand ad impressions continue to decline YoY, as changes in Google's algorithm pushes traffic to higher-priced ads in higher ad positions by showing fewer ads for any given search.
Bing Ads non-brand click growth accelerated from 41% Y/Y in Q4 to 58% Y/Y in Q1 as Yahoo’s Firefox deal brought new users to the platform and Product Ads continued to bolster click gains for retailers. With a 6% YoY decline in non-brand CPCs, Bing Ads non-brand spending growth was 49%.
For retailers, combined Google PLA and Bing Product Ad click growth slowed from 51% YoY in Q4 2014 to 25% Y/Y in Q1 2015. Google Product Listing Ad (PLA) click growth slowed to 19%, but PLAs continued to produce an increasing share of retail paid-search clicks. For retailers, 35% of total Google paid-search clicks were produced by PLAs in Q1, and 59% of non-brand clicks.
Bing Product Ad traffic volume rose 467% year-on-year (YoY), but the company started from a much smaller base. Brands generated 9% of total Bing Ads clicks from the format and 17% of non-brand clicks.