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Google regularly redesigns their search engine results page (SERP), bringing increased prominence to paid search ads while reducing the visibility of organic results. Not surprisingly, based on Google’s evolutions, paid search has remained a staple for multi-channel marketing campaigns. Effective from the very top all the way down to the bottom of the sales funnel, paid search is known for its ability to both hone in researching consumers and convert those ready to take action. In Q2 2019, digital marketers across verticals continued to use paid search to power their marketing campaigns.
Q2 2019 Paid Search Trends
Paid search volume grew across all publishers and verticals between Q2 2018 and Q2 2019, according to the Marin Q2 2019 Digital Advertising Benchmarking Report. The most significant paid search volume growth occurred within the retail and technology industries. Meanwhile, the healthcare and travel/leisure verticals experienced the most dramatic declines in paid search volume.
Q2 2019 Retail Industry Paid Search Trends
The paid search volume growth within the retail sector was likely due in large part to the swell in brands leveraging direct-to-consumer (DTC) and subscription models. Unfortunately, as retail search volume climbed, click-through rates (CTRs) for retail paid search campaigns fell more than 50%. This performance signals a maturing market that will need to seek alternate marketing strategies, such as cost-per-acquisition (CPA) based marketing, in order to scale.
Q2 2019 Education Industry Paid Search Trends
At $3.59 in Q2 2019, the education industry had the highest cost per click (CPC) of all industries detailed in the Marin report. In fact, the high cost of higher education advertising, including paid search CPCs, was called out last week as one of the challenges in the online program management (OPM) industry. As the number of online education choices scale, competition for college students is intensifying, and the growing paid search CPC is a reflection of that competitive pressure.
Q2 2019 Healthcare Industry Paid Search Trends
One of the biggest increases in Google CPCs, from Q2 2018 to Q2 2019, occurred for the healthcare industry. Climbing 4.6% from $3.29 to $3.44, the higher costs for paid search clicks paid off for healthcare marketers, as the CTR for this vertical increased 10.2% year over year.
Up more than 10% in just a year, digital search advertising spend is expected to top $40 billion this year in the U.S. alone. Why? Because Americans make buying decisions based on search results. From nonprofit donations to doctor selections and from point-of-purchase decisions to razor subscriptions, U.S. consumers turn to search to discover their options, submit inquiries and make purchases.
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