Marketing Insights
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Posts Tagged ‘paid search trends’

5 Ways to Drive More Customers in a Mobile-First World

By May 23rd, 2016

According to eMarketer, over 70% of U.S. paid search spend will be mobile by 2017. And yet, optimizing mobile advertising and seeing significant ROI on it remains a crucible for many in the digital advertising world.

We joined our technology partner DialogTech at the end of April for
a webinar about how search marketers can adopt new mobile-first optimization strategies to drive PPC conversions and customers.

One of Marin’s very own search marketing experts, Patrick Hutchison, teamed up with Kelley Schultz, Digital Marketing Lead at DialogTech, to share proven mobile optimization and attribution tactics digital marketers can use to drive more clicks, calls, and customers from Google AdWords, Yahoo, and Bing.

In order to achieve their mobile advertising goals, digital marketers need to understand the customer journey and all of the touch points prior to sale. To that end, here are five strategies for optimizing your mobile game plan that we learned from this webinar.

1. If your business gets mobile traffic, then you need to be      setting a bid adjustment

You want to get into a top (1-2) position for mobile devices to ensure visibility, so set up campaigns with an initial +25-30% bid modifier. You can adjust and optimize based on the types of conversions and traffic you see.

2. Optimize for calls

Incorporate call conversion tracking to ensure you’re optimizing for all conversions. Without measuring call leads, you miss out on a significant piece of the puzzle when it comes to tracking and understanding the source of your leads.

3. Segment search query reports by device

When you perform search query reports, add a device segment. This will allow you to see what keywords are getting the most mobile conversions and traffic. Within your reports, sort by conversions and then adjust your bids for your highest performing keywords to ensure top position.

Next, sort your report by clicks that don’t drive conversions, and adjust bids or add negatives as necessary for these keywords that are driving up both clicks and spend.

4. Remember that mobile-targeted ad copy is key

Create mobile-preferred search ads with mobile ad extensions and CTAs. Remember to take advantage of call extensions, since as Google reports, 70% of mobile searchers use call extensions to call businesses.

5. Incorporate remarketing bidding strategies

Set up remarketing lists into your campaigns, so that you can adjust mobile bids for the top position.

Remember the importance of not only bidding up for mobile traffic, but also increasing bidding for your custom audience lists. If users showed interest once, capture them again on their next query with a different message in the top position.

Seahawks Favored to Win Super Bowl According to Paid Search Data

By January 30th, 2015

With Super Bowl XLIX kicking off this Sunday, football fans are looking forward to three things: the game, the food, and the commercials.

Whether you stand behind Marshawn’s “I’m here so I don’t get fined” media antics, think Deflate-Gate is the dumbest sports controversy ever, or are simply looking forward to seeing a touching commercial featuring Clydesdales and their lost dog, chances are you’re leaning one way or another on who’s favored to take home the Lombardi Trophy.

Here at Marin, we thought we’d take some of the guess work out of determining which team has more fans on their side headed into kickoff and we did it the best way we know how: according to paid search. In looking at retail clients that sell NFL team apparel, one team came out on top by a landslide… the Seahawks.

In terms of sheer numbers, keywords associated with the Seahawks received 163% more clicks in the month of January over the Patriots. This is accompanied by 128% more impressions and a 15.5% higher click through rate (CTR) throughout the month.

But why the significant favoritism for Seattle in terms of consumer engagement?

All we can do here is speculate. Perhaps more consumers truly believe the Seahawks are the better team. Maybe the casual football fans see Seattle as the “shiny new toy” given that New England and Tom Brady have earned six trips to the big game in his thirteen seasons as their starter. Or could it be as simple as the Seahawks having more bandwagon fans vying to get their hands on branded hats and jerseys prior to Sunday’s game so they fit in with the crowd? It’s anyone’s guess so I encourage you to speculate and leave your thoughts below.

May the best team win, regardless of how many t-shirts they can sell.

2012 Closes Strong with Spend on Tablets Eclipsing Smartphones in the US

By January 10th, 2013

Today Marin released its Global Online Advertising Trends Quarterly Report for the fourth quarter of 2012. As with previous quarters, we built this report using the Marin Global Online Advertising Index— for this release, we refreshed our client index data pool to ensure more representative analysis and findings.

The fourth quarter has always proven to be the busiest for marketers—retailers in particular—because of the holiday season. On a quarter-over-quarter basis, advertisers faced increased competition resulting in higher costs per click versus Q3 2012.

Q4 Benchmark Global CPC Trends

As predicted earlier this year, we saw mobile traffic peak at nearly 22% of all paid search clicks on Google in the US; we saw similar mobile traffic levels in the UK and Australia. Most noteworthy in the US was the share of spend on tablets eclipsing that of smartphones at 9% and 8%, respectively.

Q4 Benchmark US Share of Spend by DeviceAs Marin’s customer base continues to expand globally, we have committed to expanding our analysis into new verticals and geographies to help provide more granular insights for marketers. In this quarterly report we included insights on paid search performance in Australia as well as industry-specific metrics for the Finance, Retail and Travel verticals in the UK.

At a geographic level, here are some other key findings from the US, UK, Eurozone and Australia:

  • US advertisers saw paid search click volume rise by 31% accompanied by a 38% increase in impression volume
  • In the UK, the Finance vertical has shown strong growth in both impressions and clicks over the last year with a 48% increase in impressions and a 27% increase in clicks
  • The Eurozone saw paid-search click volume rise by 44% accompanied by a 62% increase in impression volume, indicating the continued growth of search advertising for marketers
  • Australia showed the highest percent of mobile click and spend share at 26% and 20%, respectively

Read the full report with additional data and trends here.

Q3 Shows Steady Trends as Companies Ramp Up for the Holiday Rush

By October 10th, 2012

Marin Software just released our latest global online advertising trends report for Q3 2012. As with previous quarters, we built this report using the Marin Global Online Advertising Index, which includes over 1,800 advertisers and agencies that invest over $4.0 billion annually in biddable media through the Marin platform.

As noted in our mobile report earlier this year, we are seeing staggering growth around the adoption of smartphones and tablets for search advertising. We are well on our way to hitting our prediction that mobile devices will account for 25% of all paid search clicks on Google by December of this year.

Q3 2012 US Click Share by Device











There have also been a number of headlines around Facebook enhancing its advertising offerings, including: new ad formats, view-through metrics, mobile-specific targeting and a number of other features. We continue to see a focus on Facebook as marketers begin to explore this social channel further.

Q3 2012 Facebook CPCs











In the US, Google continued its search dominance by garnering 81% of US spend share and 79% of US click share while controlling 66.4% of overall US search volumes (according to Comscore). Despite falling behind in overall click share, Yahoo! and Bing are continuing to show solid growth in aggregate click volume.

Q3 2012 US Yahoo Bing Cost Metrics











At a geographic level, here are some other key findings from the US, UK and Eurozone:

  • In the US, paid search click volume rose by 20% accompanied by a 21% increase in impression volumes, while CPCs decreased from $0.95 in Q3 2012 to $0.82 in Q3 2012
  • UK advertisers saw paid search click volume and impressions remain relatively flat with both CPC and CTR seeing increases versus Q2 2012
  • Both paid search click and impression volume rose by ~20% in the Eurozone; the average CPC rose from €0.27 in Q3 2011 to €0.34 in Q3 2012 while the CTR remained relatively flat

Read the full report with additional data and trends here.

Q2 Findings Indicate a Growth in Global Paid Search Activity

By July 13th, 2012

Marin is excited to announce the release of our 2012 Q2 online advertising report. This report, which identifies significant year-over-year paid search trends, was compiled using data from over 1,800 advertisers and agencies who invest over $4 billion annually in online advertising through Marin.

At a glance, our study revealed an overall increase in cost-per-click (CPC), with click-through-rate (CTR) remaining relatively consistent year over year. However, in the US, we found a significant increase in clicks and impressions on Google, with CTR increasing by 3%. Some of the key findings in our study include:

  • 13% increase in clicks and 0% increase in CPC on Google
  • 14% increase in clicks and 22% increase in CPC on Yahoo!|Bing
  • 5% increase in CTR on Yahoo!|Bing

US YahooBing Metric Changes - Q2 Benchmark










So what does all this mean? The 14% increase in year-over-year clicks certainly benefits Yahoo!|Bing from a growth perspective. However, it’s effective monetization that allows Google to capture 81% of total ad spend and 80% of the click share; despite only having 66.7% of the overall US search volume. The 22% year-over-year increase in CPC on Yahoo!|Bing, compared to Google’s 0%, provides some evidence of more effective monetization, and the likely increase in competition amongst a growing number of advertisers.

US Click Share - Q2 Benchmark












Device targeting, specifically smart phones and tablets, continues to soar in popularity. This increase in popularity is not only evident year over year, but also quarter over quarter. Click share on tablets increased from 6% to 8%, while desktops dropped from 84% to 82%, based on our Q1 analysis. Increases in click share give evidence of the growth in consumer adoption. With smart phones and tablets showing higher CTRs and lower CPCs compared to desktops, mobile search should continue to be top of mind for advertisers.

Want to see other Q2 industry trends from 2012? Download the full report here.

Digital Marketing Depot Evaluates Paid Search Management Solutions

By June 18th, 2012

Last week, Digital Marketing Depot released the second edition of their Market Intelligence Report. This report examines 10 of the industry leading paid search management platforms and highlights what each is doing to integrate Facebook and other social media advertising into their solutions. To prime the discussion, the report provides an overview of several compelling industry trends, including:

  • Search revenues increased 27% from $11.7 billion in 2010 to $14.8 billion in 2011
  • Search revenues represented 46.5% of the online advertising market in 2011, up from 44.8% in 2010.
  • In 2011, online advertising surpassed cable television spending for the first time and was the second most popular advertising medium (to broadcast television)
  • 84% of advertisers use Facebook for marketing, up from 73% in 2010
  • Between 2010 and 2011, advertising spend on Facebook increased by 68%, from $1.89 billion to $3.15 billion

Use of In-House PPC Management Tools, 2009-2011













Less than 49% of companies now manage their paid search program in-house using Excel and free publisher tools, this is down from 57% in 2009. Digital Marketing Depot’s annual report seeks to help online marketers make an informed decision when abandoning in-house tools in favor of third-party paid search management platforms. Some interesting trends and highlights of the profiled vendors include:

  • Profiled vendors range from the largest, Marin Software, with more than $4.0 billion in annual ad spend under management, to one of the smallest, SearchForce, with $500 million in annual ad spend under management
  • DoubleClick Search is the only profiled vendor that does not support Facebook campaign management and optimization, or automated campaign management based on an inventory feed
  • Every profiled vendor features algorithmic bid optimization, keyword-level attribution and multi-channel attribution capabilities
  • Clickable is the only profiled vendor that does not have display buying capabilities

To round out the discussion, the report highlights 15 questions online marketers should ask potential vendors, stressing that the functionality of each toolset within a solution should be considered closely beyond simple campaign and bid management.