Paid Search

Paid Search Trends 2017 Q1

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Unexpectedly high desktop CPCs, soaring voice search numbers, and Amazon’s influence in the Google Shopping space mark important trends this quarter.

Although there were minimal SERP updates in Q1 2017, it's been a costly quarter for advertisers. CPCs increased across all devices, which is in line with consumer behavior in some ways, and not in others. While mobile’s year-over-year (YoY) gain of 40% was impressive, the unexpected rise in desktop CPCs was even more noteworthy: up 26% YoY, hitting numbers that exceeded Q4 2016.

Despite a decrease in overall, cross-device demand – driven by lower volume on desktop and tablet, which offset mobile’s gains – CPCs increased across all devices, reaching the highest levels recorded to date in this report. In iProspect’s Paid Search Trends Report, we identify and thoroughly analyze key developments in search to prepare brands for what’s next.  Insights from the Q1 2017 report include:

  • CPCs reached highest levels recorded to date: Mobile CPCs rose 40% year over year (YoY) and – despite a decrease in demand – desktop CPCs were up 26% YoY.
  • Mobile growth is still strong: iProspect's Q1 (YoY) Google AdWords data showed mobile impressions and clicks were both up.
  • Mobile click share continued to grow: Mobile now represents 59% of all paid search traffic, a trend driven by advertisers that have taken heed of consumers’ device-specific search preferences and followed suit.
  • Google Shopping (PLA) investment continued to grow: Advertisers invested 44% more in Shopping YoY.
  • Amazon shakes things up in Google Shopping: Initial analysis of Amazon’s recent entry into the Google Shopping space showed that Amazon has a strong presence in most Google Shopping categories, but also identified some key ways that other brands can compete against the online retailer.
  • Voice search is becoming the search method of choice for consumers: 500 million people already use a digital assistant powered by search, and it’s expected that half of all search queries will be made via voice by 2020. We know how brands need to adapt their search strategy to take advantage of this fast-moving shift in consumer behavior.

While it’s clear that many elements of search are following predicted growth arcs for the first quarter of 2017, it’s also clear that there are still wild cards that can make a difference. To learn more about what to expect and how to prepare, download our full report.

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