LOS ANGELES, CA--(Marketwired - Apr 16, 2014) - The Search Agency, a global online marketing firm and the largest independent U.S. search marketing agency, today released its quarterly State of Paid Search Report for Q1 2014, which found that Bing grew at a far faster rate than Google, giving Bing an opportunity to gain more ground on overall spend share. While advertisers spent more on both Google and Bing from the previous year, Bing grew 60%, which is more than double the rate of Google's 29% growth over the same period. The report also found that mobile (which includes tablet and smartphone) accounted for 28% of all impressions, leading the firm to believe that mobile will make up 40 percent of all impressions by the end of the year. The quarterly report analyzed aggregated client data from various industries to identify paid search marketing trends across search engines and devices on a year-over-year (YoY -- Q1 2013 to Q1 2014) and quarter-over-quarter (QoQ -- Q3 2013 to Q1 2014) basis.
"Bing gains ground in overall search traffic and has proven to be an appealing alternative to Google," said Delia Perez, SVP Marketing Strategy at The Search Agency. "A number of factors are driving this growth as advertisers are drawn to Bing's more flexible campaign management tools in the aftermath of Google's crossover to enhanced campaigns. Advertisers are still adjusting to Google's bundling of device management, and Bing may be the more attractive option because it can be a customizable alternative."
Additional findings from The Search Agency's State of Paid Search Report include:
Bing inches closer to Google
Total spend across Google and Bing increased from the previous year by 35%. The overall spend growth was driven by all three device types -- desktop, smartphone, and tablet. Most notably, Bing started 2014 with a solid quarter. Advertisers increased spend on Google and Bing, but Bing's spend was notable and grew 60% versus Google, who only saw 29% growth over the same quarter. This increase in spend indicates that Bing is gradually becoming a more appealing network for advertisers to devote spend, in part because of its recent increases in click-through rate (CTR) combined with decreases in cost-per-clicks (CPCs).
Mobile continues its upswing
Mobile -- including tablet and smartphone -- accounted for 28% of all impressions. The Search Agency projects that mobile (smartphone and tablet) will account for 40 percent of all impressions by the end of 2014. Smartphone impressions experienced the lion's share of growth YoY, increasing 60% compared to tablet, which also had substantial growth at 42%, while desktop only grew 9%. Spend on smartphones, however, grew only 26% YoY, a slower growth when compared to the more substantial increase in smartphone impressions.
These trends indicate that, despite increased searches by consumers, many advertisers are still reluctant to allocate spend to smartphones because the search engines still cannot adequately prove the value of smartphone ads. Expect to see a renewed focus by Google this year on cross-device tracking and attribution, which will allow advertisers to capitalize on the increased searches on smartphones.
Search growth solid in the first quarter
Total spend, CTR, impressions, and CPCs all increased YOY. Spend increased 35%, while impressions grew 19%, CTR grew 9.5%, and CPCs grew 4.6%. CTR experienced a large seasonal bump this quarter, peaking at 2.77%. Impressions and CPCs both declined from Q4 but still exceeded figures from Q1 of the previous year.
To uncover key trends for the Q1 2014 State of Paid Search Report, The Search Agency extracted client data from search engine advertising tools. All results are based on U.S. campaigns only.
To download the report, go to http://www.thesearchagency.com/classroom/research/.
About The Search Agency
The Search Agency is a global online marketing firm that combines high-tech and high-touch strategies to help clients engage their customers online and measure ROI beyond a reasonable doubt. With a deep-rooted history in paid search and SEO, The Search Agency understands how activity on the web intersects at search, and executes smart digital marketing strategies that drive measurable results across multiple platforms. Services include Paid Search, SEO, Landing Page Optimization, Display Media, Social Media and Comparison Shopping Management, which are strategically leveraged to maximize the efficacy of clients' integrated marketing campaigns. The company is one of the nation's largest and fastest growing search marketing firms -- named the largest independent U.S. search marketing agency by Advertising Age and among Deloitte's 2011 Technology Fast 500™. Founded in 2002, The Search Agency has grown to more than 180 employees worldwide with headquarters in Los Angeles, CA, and additional offices in San Francisco, East Greenwich, Baltimore, London, Toronto and Bangalore. For more information, go to http://www.thesearchagency.com.