Commentary

Half Of Paid Searches Voice Activated By 2020

Representing 1,300 Google AdWords accounts and more than 176,000 active campaigns, the iProspect report provides an analysis and overview of the trends and opportunities relevant for brands that are taking a strategic, performance focused approach to paid search marketing.

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iProspect’s Q1 year-over-year Google AdWords data showed strong mobile growth in terms of both impressions and clicks. Volume on desktops and tablets, however, was down, indicating an overall decrease in demand for those devices. Other key findings include:

  • Cost per click increased across all devices, reaching the highest CPC recorded since this report’s inception in 2014
  • Mobile CPC saw a particularly significant increase, up 40% YoY, further closing the gap on desktop
  • Mobile click share also continued to grow, as advertisers adapted their strategy based on the device-specific search preferences of consumers, and now represents 59% of all paid search traffic
  • Google Shopping investment continued to grow, with advertiser investment up 44% YoY.
  • Top of mind for advertisers this year is Amazon’s recent entry into the Google Shopping space, says the report, with a strong presence in most Google Shopping categories, such as apparel, home and garden, and furniture

Consumer search behavior is evolving in more ways than just device preference. Voice search, for instance, is quickly becoming the search method of choice for many consumers, says the report. Today, 500M people use a voice search-powered digital assistant of some kind, and half of all searches will be voice searches by 2020 (Tractica, 2016).

This behavioral shift is ushering in a rise in longer, more conversational queries, causing savvy advertisers to refocus their keyword strategy to ensure it includes question-based keywords such as who, what, when, where, why and how, as well as qualifying phrases such as near me.

Overall, iProspect paid search impressions recorded positive YoY growth, increasing by 10% in Q1 2017, a gain which is in line with overall paid search investment growth. This growth was driven by mobile, while desktop impressions actually decreased 16% YoY. Desktop clicks also decreased, down 27% YoY, and mobile clicks increased 13%, resulting in an overall 8% decrease in clicks.

CPC increased across all devices, with the largest increase coming from mobile (up 42% YoY). Desktop and tablet CPC increased 26% and 18% YoY respectively. While Mobile CPC is still 29% lower than desktop CPC, the report expects mobile CPC will continue to trend upward and close the gap with desktop over the year. Mobile and tablet CPC first hit parity in Q4 of 2016 and remained approximately equal in Q1.

Mobile click share continued to increase with 59% of clicks coming from mobile in Q1, 2017 vs. 32% from desktop and 10% from tablet. This figure represents a 24% YoY increase in overall mobile click share, an increase that is attributable to advertisers shifting budgets to align with consumer device usage.

Click Share by Device 

Year/Q

Desktop

Mobile

Tablets

Q1 2016

41%

47%

12%

Q1 2017

32

59

10

Source: iProspect, May 2017 

Consumer Packaged Goods continues to be one of the fastest-growing search programs, says the report. In Q1 2017, iProspect CPG clients recorded an outstanding 61% increase in traffic and an equally impressive 59% increase in CTR. As Search is one of the most successful channels for direct response, CPG advertisers are increasing their focus on the channel.

Concluding, the report says that mobile CPC and click share have continued to increase. Looking ahead, says the report, will be further increases in mobile search share, resulting in increased mobile spending that is expected to will drive mobile CPC to parity with desktop by early 2018. Search platform product releases in 2017 will likely continue to focus on mobile, and advertisers should continue to adopt them as they are released in order to remain competitive on the SERP. A positive mobile site experience, effective attribution, and measurement plan (including both cross-device and in-store performance) will be critical components of a successful mobile-first approach for the remainder of 2017.

For the complete report from iProspect, please visit here.

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