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Mobile Devices Sustained Healthy Growth in Paid Search

September 28, 2016 Digital Media Solutions

During the first half of 2016, we witnessed the continuation of many trends, according to the recently released January-June 2016 Paid Search Benchmarking for Higher Education. Mobile devices sustained healthy growth, generating the majority of the impressions, clicks, spend, leads and enrollments.

The mobile share was significantly higher than what was achieved in 2015, and this increased competition resulted in higher CPLs for the first half of 2016 compared to 2015. However, mobile CPLs were still lower than the CPLs for computers and tablets. These low costs paired with higher enrollment rates have allowed mobile devices to significantly outperform other devices for our clients.

While mobile campaigns dominated for campus-based programs, computers kept the lead for online programs.

So Many Changes, So Little Time

Google has recently made changes to enhance the mobile user experience and boost the mobile targeting capabilities. It’s hard to predict the long-term impact each of these changes will have on paid search campaigns, but mobile growth is a given.

Unfortunately, with growth in impressions comes increased advertiser competition. To ensure you achieve top performance in the upcoming months, you need to monitor your paid search campaigns closely and quickly leverage Google enhancements. Here’s a checklist of new things you should already be doing to maximize your campaign performance:

  • Implement expanded text ads across all active ad groups and campaigns
  • Ensure proper tracking and settings are in place for phone call extensions
  • Analyze device bids and adjust bids to maximize performance
  • Evaluate the new local opportunities to determine whether or not they help achieve your objectives

Many marketers feel overwhelmed by the velocity and volume of changes coming from Google these days. If you’re in this boat, reach out to us. We’re happy to do a free audit of your paid search campaign to see if there are opportunities you can leverage to boost performance immediately. Just contact us via this form to schedule a conversation.

For more paid search benchmarking metrics, download the recently released January-June 2016 Paid Search Benchmarking for Higher Education.

About the Author

Digital Media Solutions

Digital Media Solutions® (DMS), the largest single entry point for martech-enabled digital media distribution, deploys a robust database of consumer intelligence and leverages massive proprietary media distribution to provide customer acquisition campaigns that grow businesses, offer visibility into the customer experience and provide accountability for every media dollar spent. DMS continues to experience explosive year-over-year growth, with continuous recognition on the Inc. 5000 list, securing its sixth consecutive ranking in 2019, and the Entrepreneur magazine 360 list. Named one of America’s “Best Places to Work” by Inc. magazine and awarded the 2018 Excellence in Lead Generation Award by the LeadsCouncil, DMS brings together some of the industry’s most knowledgeable people, efficient processes and sophisticated technology across the digital marketing spectrum. For more information about DMS, visit Keep up with DMS news at and connect with us on LinkedIn at

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