The UK paid search market is expected to this year continue an almost decade-long trend of steady growth, according to a May 2012 report from Econsultancy. The company estimates the market will attain a value of roughly ?4.2 billion this year, representing close to a 14% rise from nearly ?3.7 billion in 2011. The 14% year-over-year growth forecast is slightly less than growth rates in previous years (15% in 2011, 18% in 2010), but is still strong given challenging economic times. The report attributes paid search’s rise in market value to be due to its continuing position as an effective and measurable channel for generating positive ROI.
Econsultancy’s figures are in line with an April 2012 paid search report [download page] from Covario, which looked at broader regional trends in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, and forecast 15-18% annualized growth this year.
Many Expect an Increase in Paid Search Budgets
Citing a separate, earlier report it also released in May, Econsultancy’s study reveals that among UK companies planning to either increase or decrease their paid search budgets, most will be opting to increase them, some by significant amounts. Indeed, setting aside respondents who said there would be no change in their paid search budget this year, the report finds that 45% of the remaining respondents are expecting to increase their paid search budgets between 1-20%, with a further 35% planning an increase of more than 20%.
Keyword Research Services Most Popular
Further data from Econsultancy’s earlier study, the “UK Search Engine Marketing Benchmark Report 2012,” published in association with NetBooster, finds that among UK companies using an agency, 72% are currently using keyword research services, with a further 14% planning to use these services. The other most common services currently used are ROI tracking and analysis (62%), copywriting (58%), and automated bid management (57%). When factoring in plans to use, other services such as competitor research (82% using or planning to use) and conversion rate optimization (79% using or planning to use) become more significant.