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IgnitionOne-US-Mobile-Search-Ad-Growth-in-Q4-Jan2014Not surprisingly, search advertisers looked to take advantage of mobile’s growing role in the retail space by increasing their spending on mobile devices by a significant degree in Q4, according to [download page] a new report from IgnitionOne. Search ad spending on smartphones soared by 253% year-over-year, while spending on tablets grew by a relatively smaller 82%, as advertisers’ targeting options were limited by Enhanced Campaigns. Click-through-rates (CTRs) increased on each device.

Tablets saw a 27% bump in impressions and a 49% increase in clicks, and CTRs grew by 17% year-over-year. Smartphones had a similar rise in CTR (15%) amidst large increases in impressions (251%) and clicks (306%).

While spending increases were far larger for smartphones than tablets, a majority 63% of mobile search spending went to tablets in Q4. (A recent report from IBM indicated that tablets were responsible for more than twice as much online sales share as smartphones during Q4.)

As Kenshoo noted during the holiday season, spending on product listing ads (PLAs) is on the increase, as advertisers recognize significant return on investment from the ads. According to IgnitionOne, US advertisers who used PLAs increased their spending by a massive 618% compared to Q4 2012 (with that high growth likely due to a small base to begin with). For those advertisers, impressions grew by 380% year-over-year, while clicks grew by 312%. In total, PLAs accounted for 10% of impressions, 13% of clicks, and 16% of total spend for the advertisers. CTRs for product listing ads outperformed comparable rates for PPC ads for the duration of the quarter.

Other Findings:

  • Overall, US search ad spend increased by 12% year-over-year during Q4, with the relative increase highest during December (27%).
  • Google captured 77.3% of search ad spending for the quarter, relatively flat from Q3.

About the Data: The report is one in a series of reports from IgnitionOne, which have tracked more than 99 billion impressions and more than 2.7 billion clicks on Google and Yahoo!/Bing search networks, Google AdEx, and other display networks from January 1, 2006 through Dec 31, 2013.

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