SAN DIEGO, CA--(Marketwired - Apr 9, 2014) - Covario, a leading independent search marketing firm, today issued its Global Paid Search Spend Analysis for the first quarter of 2014, reporting that spending on pay-per-click advertising (PPC) by its enterprise technology, consumer electronics, and retail clients rose by 25 percent over the same period a year ago and by 7 percent from the fourth quarter of 2013.
Paid search advertising on mobile devices like smartphones and tablets propelled the growth on a global scale with mobile search spend increasing 135 percent year-on-year and 35 percent versus last quarter. Covario reports that mobile platforms now represent 25 percent of all paid search spending. Among mobile devices, the ad spend breakdown narrowed in the first quarter to 60 percent for tablets and 40 percent for smartphones.
At the same time, global cost-per-click (CPC) inflation overall rose 12 percent in the first quarter from the same period last year and 3 percent from the prior quarter. Study author Alex Funk, director of global paid media strategy at Covario, attributed this to "maturation of the mobile landscape," as well as search engine moves toward larger ad formats and new advertising extensions stemming from last year's roll-out of Google's Enhanced Campaign initiative.
On a regional basis, the Americas driven by the U.S. saw strong quarterly growth of 30 percent year-on-year and 5 percent quarter-on-quarter.
For the remainder of 2014, Funk recommends advertisers allocate at least 80 percent of their regional PPC budgets to Google and plan for a 15 percent increase in search spending, particularly for product listing ads (PLAs), mobile search and higher ad engagements. He also suggests that marketers up their investments in the top-growing Latin American countries of Mexico, Brazil, Chile and Argentina.
Paid search spending in EMEA, encompassing Europe, the Middle East and Africa, recovered well after a sluggish 2013 with modest increases of 6 percent over the same period last year and 13 percent compared to last quarter. Developed European markets, such as the U.K., Germany, France, the Netherlands and the Nordics, experienced the largest gains.
Funk suggests that marketers increase search spending by 10 percent in the region, focusing on Tier 1 European markets, as well as emerging markets in the Middle East and Africa. In Europe, Funk recommends allocating 95 percent of paid search spend to Google. In Russia and Eastern Europe, specifically, he says Yandex should dominate PPC budgets.
The Asia/Pacific region continued to experience double-digit growth as quarterly search spend increased 26 percent over the first quarter of 2013 and by 5 percent over the fourth quarter of last year. Funk said the growth was driven by a 21 percent increase in click volume and a 12 percent increases in ad effectiveness. Additionally, both desktop and mobile CPCs in the region have been creeping up in recent months.
For 2014, Funk says marketers should anticipate 15 percent search spending growth in the region with most of that growth spread among China, Korea, Japan, South Asian countries, Australia, and New Zealand. In China, the Baidu search engine should garner about 80 percent of the paid search spend. South Korea's Naver platform should be budgeted for about 65 percent of the investment there, while the remainder of the region should have a budget allocation of 80 percent Google and 20 percent Yahoo.
The full report is available as a free download from the Covario website at www.covario.com.
About Covario and the Global Paid Search Spend Analysis
Covario is a leading independent search marketing agency and software provider. This is the eight year the firm has produced the Global Paid Search Spend Analysis, which now encompasses 29 quarters of data on the search spending patterns of its global technology, consumer electronics, and retail search marketing clients. These companies invest in paid search advertising with all of the major search engines in more than 45 countries.
Covario was selected by OMMA magazine as the Search Agency of the Year a record three years in a row from 2011 to 2013. The firm was ranked in 2013 by Advertising Age magazine among the nation's Top 10 search agencies. Covario also offers a suite of SaaS-based software tools for local SEO, mobile search, social media marketing, and enterprise search. Headquartered in San Diego, the firm has more than 200 team members in global locations, including Beijing, Chicago, London, New York, Phoenix, San Francisco, Sao Paulo, Seattle, Singapore, Tokyo, and Toronto. The firm's growing customer base includes global leaders in technology, consumer electronics, financial services, retail, ecommerce, media, entertainment, publishing, and consumer packaged goods. More information is available at http://www.covario.com.