More than 70 percent of all paid search impressions and clicks were on mobile devices in Q3, according to a study from Kenshoo. The report found that paid search overall has grown over the last five quarters, with a seven percent year-over-year spend increase in Q3.
The signs have been pointing to a future where mobile is the most popular channel for paid search, and it’s finally reached a threshold. Q2 marked the first quarter where mobile search reached 50 percent paid search spending. In Q3, over half (54 percent) of paid search ad spending was on mobile devices–up four percent from the prior quarter.
The rise demonstrates continued long-term growth for the last five quarters. Paid search remains the most consistent channel in digital marketing as brands have realized that keeping this channel “always-on” is a necessity, not just a best practice. Paid search impressions were up 29 percent YOY and paid search clicks rose 15 percent YOY, both growing faster than total spend. These findings reflect the fact that marketers were able to generate higher impressions and clicks without the need to increase spending.
Meanwhile, paid search quarter-over-quarter (QOQ) gains only saw a two percent increase in spend, three percent in clicks and five percent more impressions than Q2. While click-through-rate (CTR) was down 10 percent YOY, the drop in ad engagement was offset by marketers paying less for their clicks as the average cost-per-click (CPC) in Q3 decreased seven percent from the year before.
Social advertising spend grew 32 percent YOY, driven by Instagram, video and product ads. Impressions grew roughly the same rate as spend while clicks on social were up 26 percent over the previous quarter. Dynamic product ads made up 37 percent of the Q3 total for social advertising.
Social’s average cost-per-thousand impressions (CPM) saw a four percent decline QOQ and three percent decline YOY. This suggests that the channel’s pricing remains stable, allowing marketers to increase spending while maintaining efficiency for their investment.