Website builder and hosting companies have significantly increased the amount spent on advertising this year, including search, according to Kantar analysis of the amount spend on advertising by eight top companies in the space.
The analysis covers BigCommerce, GoDaddy, HostGator, Shopify, Squarespace, Weebly, Wix, and WordPress, not necessarily in that order. All provide online tools that enable businesses and consumers to quickly create and run a website.
Collectively these companies increased the amount spent on advertising by 69% to $161 million in the first half of 2019, with only two advertisers -- GoDaddy and WordPress -- decreasing the amount spent during the period. In the second half of 2018, these companies spent $95 million to promote their respective website builder and/or web hosting solutions.
“Kantar estimates that in the first half of 2019, Squarespace spent $108 million in advertising,” up 117% compared with the amount it spent during the second half of 2018, said Jim Leichenko, director of marketing at Kantar. “But that also includes television, online display, paid social, magazine newspapers and outdoor and radio.
Weebly ranked second in the amount spent — $23 million — during the same time period. This was double the amount spent with Shopify, which ranked No. 3.
Wix increased its spending the most — 1,425% — attributable to its $4.5 million, 30-second Super Bowl LIII ad in February.
While these figures include ad spend for TV, online display, paid social, radio, magazines, newspapers and outdoor, 76% of spend across the four quarters was centered on online display advertising.
Wix.com, which had the best overall performance with 20.6% on mobile, but ranked No. 3 with 8.8% on desktop.
The top 10 companies listed certainly differ in terms of desktop and mobile click share. Squarespace.com with 16.1%, thebest10websitebuilders.com with 9.3%, wix.com with 8.8%, godaddy.com with 8.7%, and top5-websitebuilders.com ranked in the top five in terms of desktop paid-search clicks.
Godaddy.com with 11.2% ranked No. 2 on mobile, followed by thebest10websitebuilders.com with 8.4%, web.com with 7.6%, and google.com with 5.3% took the top five in mobile click share.
Some of the top keywords these companies bought include “website builder,” “how to start a blog,” “free website builder,” “create a website,” “how to make a website,” “free website,” “website design,” “best website builder,” and “website.”
Examples of website hosting keywords include “hosting,” “web hosting,” “free website hosting,” and “website hosting.”