Presidential candidates, advocacy groups and other advertisers are turning to paid-search advertising to educate or influence potential voters online. Spending on paid-search keywords is reaching hundreds of thousands of dollars in aggregate.
In fact, AdGooroo's spend estimates about $876,000 for U.S. desktop text advertising on the 36 presidential election keywords from Jan. 1 through Feb. 7.
AdGooroo's analysis of 36 keywords related to presidential candidates and the election used in search advertising from Jan. 1 through Feb. 7, 2016 found that BenCarson.com's $52,000 investment and HillaryClinton.com's $30,000 investment lead other candidates in paid-search spend.
Interestingly, advocacy groups that look to educate or influence voters made up eight of the top 10 U.S. presidential advertisers by paid-search spend.
Votesmart.org led spending $156,000 on 21 keywords, earning a 4.90% average click-through rate (CTR) paying an average cost per click (CPC) of $0.51. Ballotpedia.org spent $71,000 on 31 keywords, with an average CTR of 4.60%, at an average CPC of $0.83.
BenCarson.com's team spent $52,000 on six keywords generating an average CTR of 8.53% and CPC of $0.57. Carson generated a 28.09% click share, with HillaryClinton.com's taking 13.52% share. Clinton's camp spent $30,000 on three keywords for paid-search campaigns that generated an average CTR of 14.78% at a CPC of $0.28.
The top five in click share include voteberniesanders2016.com with 10.08% click share, votesmart.org with 9.47%, and tedcruz.org with 9.01%.
Two other official candidate sites -- carlyforamerica.com 3.55%, and marcorubio.com with 1.26% -- had enough clicks to register on the scale of click share, while the rest of the candidate sites had click shares lower than 1% and were lumped into the "Other" category with additional advocacy sites.
Voteberniesanders2016.com spent $32,000 on two keywords for paid-search campaigns. Those generated an average CTR of 6.50% at a CPC of $1.24.
DonaldJTrump.com did not sponsor any of the 39 keywords studied during the time frame. Paid-search advertising is still not part of the candidate’s campaign, according to AdGooroo.
Donald Trump, however, has a presence in paid-search advertising. The top Presidential Election keyword by U.S. Google Desktop Text Ad spend during the time frame was "donald trump," with $242,000 spent on it by 11 advertisers.
The keyword "trump" ranked No. 5 with $63,000 in spend by seven advertisers, bringing the combined Trump keyword total to $305,000 in the first five weeks of the year.
AdGooroo estimates that 17 advertisers sponsored the keyword term "bernie sanders," spending a total of $127,000 during the period. The keyword term "ben carson" generated $115,000, followed by the keywords "hillary Clinton" at $78,000.