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POV: 2018 Q2 Paid Search Trends Report

While search had a successful start to the year, we can’t say it’s picked up from there. Search query volume and search investments have remained relatively flat for Q2 2018, both year-over-year (YoY) and quarter-over-quarter (QoQ). Given how things have trended in previous years, we do not find this surprising and expect it will pick up in the next two quarters ahead of the holiday season. Additionally, we’re seeing advertisers’ impression and click volume has increased since last quarter, while click-through-rates (CTR) have slightly dropped, proving brands’ ability to scale while maintaining strong engagement.

To help you make the most of your paid search campaigns, iProspect today released their latest edition of the Paid Search Trends Infographic. This quarter’s infographic looks at retail, travel, CPG, pharma, auto and more and analyzes data from more than 2,500 Google AdWords and Bing Ads accounts, all of which are managed by iProspect U.S. (though spend is not confined to U.S. markets).

Select key insights from the Q2 2018 infographic include:

  • Mobile continues to dominate the landscape, taking up 49% of overall investment share and 57% of overall traffic share. CPCs are rising consistently each quarter with mobile is up 8% YoY.

  • For the first time ever, mobile spend surpassed desktop in the retail vertical. Mobile now makes up 51% of overall retail spend, up 13% since last quarter.

  • Though the travel vertical has been slower to adopt mobile given consumers’ preference of making purchases on a desktop, mobile clicks increased 35% over last year, while desktop declined 7%. This brings mobile almost even with desktop thanks to improvements in mobile landing pages and travel apps.

  • The pharma vertical has significantly increased investment in paid search over the past year, growing by 48% YoY. This is likely due to improvements in targeting over the past several quarters, including in-market and detailed demographic audiences.

  • CPCs continue to grow significantly in the auto vertical, up 18% YoY. This growth is far above the cross-vertical average of 5% and is likely due to the higher price point of the product and the competitive nature of U.S. auto manufacturers. 

Download our infographic for more details about how paid search is evolving and how your brand can take advantage of the benefits that come from investment.