New Report Reveals Important Search Marketing Trends
The Q3 Report from Efficient Frontier came out this week, and it reports primarily on paid search trends, as well as on Google’s market share, Search Spend, Facebook trends and some mobile (tablets) trends. This information helps search engine marketers to better understand where the best value is, where to concentrate their efforts, and an accurate percentage of who they are reaching with their efforts in these different areas. So, let’s talk turkey (in this case, delicious numbers).
Overall, this report reveals many positives for those in the search engine optimization and marketing industries. Let’s have a look at the specifics (all data comes from the Efficient Frontier Report) concerning Google, Search Spend, Facebook advertising, and mobuile advertising.
If today’s interactive Google doodle in celebration of Gumby illustrator Art Clokey’s 90th birthday doesn’t provide enough reason for you to head over to the search engine, perhaps the following information will give you the push you need (well, only if you’re a follower, I guess).
In our recent blog post, Why You Shouldn’t Count Bing Out, we discussed the fact that according to an Experian Hitwise Report from August, a small portion of Google’s market share was apportioned to Bing; however, according to this new report by Efficent Frontier, Google has regained that market share for “the first time since the Yahoo/Bing alliance in the US.” Efficient Frontier chocks this up to Google’s larger inventory, “despite Yahoo/Bing’s power to produce higher ROI.” However, in some places outside of the US, Yahoo has been able to capture some of Google’s market share. Either way, this indicates Google’s determination to stay on top, and ability to keep users engaged with multiple useful products.
The report predicts, however, that Yahoo and Bing will try to regain their small amount of ground with regard to market share, and will work to reclaim the percentage taken back by Google this quarter; it is projected that they will do so by increasing their inventory.
Year over year, search spend has increased by 20% in the United States. The report expands on this finding, “Significant increases in ad budgets in the retail and financial verticals drove up overall search spend.” However, apparently ROI trends tended to go in the opposite direction; in the US, then, there is more spending in the search marketing space, but lower ROI. Could this have anything to do with the Panda updates, and the increase in what it takes to rank high in the search engine results? More likely, companies are investing in search marketing in order to keep up with competitors and participate in the market, without receiving the ideal ROI.
Regardless, in a difficult global economy, the fact that businesses are spending more on search marketing proves the viability of the practice and of the industry as a whole. Getting online is incredibly important, and will only continue to be so as time moves on and technology advances. In fact, the report projects that by next quarter, search spend will have increased another 15%.
From Quarter 2 to Quarter 3, Facebook’s Advertisement CPCs increased by 54%: “This indicates that advertiser competition in Facebook marketplaces is rising. Facebook has become an essential marketing channel for many brands. Increased cost per clicks (CPCs) reflect both a higher volume of advertisers and more price competition on the platform,” explained the report.
With Facebook’s recent overhaul and new initiative to help small businesses utilize their Facebook Pages to their maximum potential, Facebook is on track to increase the numbers in this report. By Q4, barring any disasters, expect to see a much larger percentage in this area (the report projects a 30-40% increase, in fact). Ad Spend on Facebook also increased over this quarter by 25%.
Advertising on Facebook has become a necessity for many businesses, who accurately see social media marketing as a secure, useful investment with high returns: “Strategies to maximize fan reach with Sponsored Stories and acquire new fans with Facebook ads are contributing to spend growth. 84% of Facebook engagement can be attributed to Likes, which are credited to Facebook advertising. Today, brands are increasing fan counts 9% per month on average, increasing fan base by 2X YoY.” You can also expect to see these numbers skyrocket by next quarter. Here, the report projects that Facebook will become even more significant in the marketing world because of the company’s new initiatives as well as improved metrics for tracking.
Speaking of Facebook, whose using the new IPAD app? Was it worth the wait? Tell us on Twitter @EverSparkSEO.
Some new and interesting information from this report comes in the form of percentages of mobile ad spend, specifically with regard to tablets. Apparently, tablets netted nearly 80% of retail mobile advertising spend in the month of September this year: “In a span of less than a year, mobile search spend went from .5% to 4.2%. For retail advertisers today, mobile spend is 7% of search spend, with tablets representing 60% of all mobile impressions and clicks.”
The astounding part? By the end of Q4, mobile ad spend is projected to comprise upwards of 10% of all paid search. Will this be attributed to the possible mainstream movement of the mobile wallet? Surely many companies would pay a great deal to advertise not just in the palms of peoples hands, but in their wallets, which they tend to open on a daily basis.
Speaking of Google… Page Speed Tool Gets its Degree
Sorry, I had to make a pun on “graduation” there. But you get the idea.
I don’t really think I need to remind you, but in case you have forgotten, I’m going to say it again: Google is against all things slow and for all things that go really, really fast – especially on the web. The search engine has consistently been working towards a faster internet, with the end goal being that the user has a better experience when searching online. Google has come out with a new tool (the search engine recently graduated it from the Google Labs) to further this goal: Page Speed Online. This new tool will assess a web page’s content and come up with suggestions for increasing page speed. According to Google, “Reducing page load times can reduce bounce rates and increase conversion rates.” Some of these suggestions will be targeted for mobile sites, with the now overwhelming evidence out there that mobile is an ever-growing space.
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