News Byte: Search Advertising Starts 2014 Strong

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Word to the wise: Growth Hacker
Search advertising spend off to a strong start in 2014

It's not quite a month out of Q1 and paid search advertising is already having a good year, according to a recent analysis from search marketing firm Covario.

Covario reports that mobile search advertising spend in Q1 of 2014 was 135% more than 2013's first quarter and 35% more than last quarter. Mobile platforms now account for 25% of all paid search spend according to the analysis. Sixty percent of mobile ad spend came from tablets. “Tech is big in Q1,” says Alex Funk, director of global paid media strategy at Covario and author of the analysis. “Between product releases, CES, and the acquisition cycle, a lot of our clients invest heavy in the first quarter.”

Among its consumer electronics, enterprise technology, and retail clients, pay-per-click ad spend was up 25% year over year, and 7% over Q4 2013. Ad spend growth in the Americas region rose 30% over 2012 and 5% over last quarter, driven primarily by the United States. Search spending in Africa, Europe, and the Middle East grew 6% over 2012 and 13% over 2013's Q4, an indication that this market is recovering after a slump throughout 2013, according to the analysis. Global cost-per-click inflation rose 12% year over year and 3% over last quarter.

“We don't expect growth to continue at this pace,” Funk says.  “We generally see a softer Q3 and a solid bounce-back in Q4. “

Funk recommends that marketers in the Americas region plan for a 15% increase in search spending in product listing ads and mobile search for the remainder of 2014, and advises them to allocate 80% of their PPC budget to Google. “Marketers should look to emphasize investment in emerging markets such as Brazil, Latin America, and Mexico,” Funk adds.

European marketers should prepare to increase search spending by 10%, according to Funk. “Growth in Africa, Europe, and the Middle East was a little slower, Funk notes. “Marketers should focus investment on tier one European markets such as France, Germany or the UK, while keeping an eye on trends in tier two markets.”

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