Kenshoo Trends Report – The state of search advertising in 2019 Search Engine Watch


Search advertising has seen consistent growth over the last year in all the key metrics among advertisers. Here’s everything you need to know.

It’s been a good year for paid search and anyone working in the industry. Benchmarking can help us understand where we are and what we should consider as success in our work. Kenshoo has released its Q1 2019 Quarterly Trends Report to look at the latest trends in social and search advertising. The results are very encouraging for search and we’re looking at the key stats here.

An increase in spending and impressions

Kenshoo's search volume report for Q1 2019

It’s interesting to see that there has been a drop from the last quarter both in the spending and the impressions in paid search. More specifically, there was a 16% decrease in spending and an 18% decrease in impressions. It’s not surprising though as Q4 is usually the busiest quarter of the year with the biggest spending at the end of year campaigns.

When it comes to the comparison from Q1 2018 to Q1 2019 from Kenshoo, there has been an 11% YoY increase in paid search spending and a 36% increase in the impressions.

This means that search marketers increased their budget from 2018 to 2019 while also seeing the appropriate success in the increase of impressions.

What does a drop in CTR and CPC mean?

Kenshoo's search trend report on quarterly and yearly CTR and CPC

According to Kenshoo’s report, there has been a 25% YoY decrease in click-through rate (CTR) and also an 11% YoY decrease in CPC.

The significant drop in CTR could possibly reflect the growing competition and increased spending and impressions. It would even possibly affect an advertiser’s quality score in ads. It should not be alarming though if we also consider the drop in cost per click.

The drop in the cost per click means that search marketers are seeing an improved return on investment in their campaigns.

A combined analysis of CPC and CTR in every campaign can help us understand the different ways we can measure success in search advertising and how each metric can help us improve our efficiency.

Mobile search ads are on the rise

Kenshoo's report on the quarterly mobile search trend

There is an increasing number of people relying on their smartphones when performing searches. Thus, it’s not a surprise that there has been an increased number of mobile searches from Q1 2018 to Q1 2019.

Mobile search ads are also increasing and they currently take 50% of search spending in Q1.

It is actually the third consecutive quarter that we see this balance between mobile and desktop search spending.

As for CPC, mobile CPCs are still lower than desktop being at $0.42 in Q1 2019. There has been a decrease of 12% from Q1 2018, which highlights the efficiency of mobile search ads.

Search marketers understand that we are heading towards a mobile-first world so there will be an even more increased focus on mobile search and finding solutions to create the most efficient ads.

Apple Search Ads saw a big growth

Kenshoo's report on the spending done on Apple Search Ads in Q3 and Q4 of 2018, and Q1 of 2019

Apple Search Ads can be very successful if you want to promote your app. A large number of people rely on search when looking for the right app. This means that search ads in the Apple Store can have a big impact on your app’s popularity.

Kenshoo introduced Apple Search Ads to their platform in Q3 2018 and since then they’ve seen a 90% increase in their spend from advertisers.

A combination of excitement but also the understanding that Apple search ads can make your app promotion easier and more effective led to this growth and it seems to be only the beginning.

Overview

What we can learn from Kenshoo’s Trends Report is that search advertising is evolving but it’s still at a very encouraging stage.

It’s important to keep track of the latest trends and what could potentially affect our success. For example, search marketers cannot ignore the rise of mobile consumption and how it affects the spending and the results on the search ads.

Also, the drop in CTR and CPC indicates a hidden opportunity that more advertisers could explore.

The growing interest in the search industry is going beyond Google. One of the latest growing trends has to do with Apple Search Ads and we are expecting to see more of them over the next quarters.

A good way to maintain your success in the search ad industry is to monitor and benchmark the rates that will bring you closer to understanding what’s perceived as success and what can be improved.

Look at the stats and the trends that are more relevant to your work and start exploring how you can improve your own ad success through them.

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