As we move into the middle of 2017 we are able to look at the behaviours of the online paid search industry and the people using them. If you were finding that on average your CPC was relatively higher in Q1, then you were not alone. We will delve into why this was the case, why this should not be as disheartening as you might think, and why we here at HubPeople believe you can use the ever changing paid search environment to your advantage to help you make as much money as possible.

News From the World of Search Engines

As of April 2007 we have seen Google continue their staggering increase yet again in terms of market growth. They currently stand at 77.43%, which is a huge 10% increase on last year. It has also been observed that the combined drop with Yahoo Gemini and Bing Ads totals 14% year on year (YOY), the 5th quarter in a row where this has been the case. Clearly from the happenings revealed in Q1 we can see the growing importance for you to have a strong presence with Google Adwords. This opinion is clearly shared as Google Adwords spending has raised 21% YOY globally.

Although with Google holding around three quarters of the market share, it is still important to not forget that last quarter. As Microsoft owns Bing, Windows devices are coming with Bing already installed, so as a marketer it is important to remember that potential users may look for your type of site with the search engine they have to hand. Using all the tools you can when driving traffic to your site is vital. Although with Google playing such a dominant role in the paid search industry, we need to pay strong attention to them. With Google Adwords being at the forefront of our thoughts it is vital we look at the interesting results of Cost Per Click (CPC) from Q1 YOY.

Should I Be Concerned About the CPC Increase?

During the first part of the year we saw that, in general, CPC had risen 27% per average keyword across all devices when comparing Q1 2016 to Q1 2017. We can assume that there is good reason for the increase in CPC and one has to remember that just because the cost per click has gone up, it does not necessarily mean that profits need to take a dip . Hear us out!

For years now people have been changing their search behaviour, be it in the browser they utilise, the device they are using and, of course, even down to the search terms themselves. These change constantly and we as internet marketers have to learn to anticipate what changes are occurring and how to best use them to have a positive effect on our business.

There has been notable changes with device usage from Q1 2016 to Q1 2017 as shown below:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As shown, you can see that the click rate in mobile has risen by 12%, while those on desktop and tablet have fallen. For a while now Google have not only been allowing device specific marketing, but encouraging it. The narrowing of our targeting to the best of our ability should encourage much better growth of your ROI. With heavier targeting you should find better qualified clicks with people who are more likely to convert, reiterating the fact that just because CPC has risen it does not necessarily have to mean your profits cannot too.

To summarise, an increase in CPC, when marketing to an audience, targeting specific devices, Geos and/or demographics, will lead to a more expensive click, however these clicks are potentially more profitable.

It also seems that between Q4 2015 and Q1 2017 there has been a steady decline in the Click Through Rate (CTR) across all devices, the biggest decline appearing to be on the mobile. As competition increases with a surge of aggressive bidding strategies, so does the number of search results a user has to select from. As a marketer you will find you are paying more for ads yet finding it harder to get good visibility in search results due to the increase in competition, however when we do secure the clicks we are more likely to convert the user.

Be Smart, Be Successful, Be Specific

We now have access more than ever to a more qualified and better targeted market because of the changes Google is making and through the changing ways people are searching online. Which is great!. Making the experience tailored to the different devices will only encourage and increase the free to pay conversion rates.

After the user has been sent through to the site through a mobile specific ad, they can then be shown a landing page that has be primed for that mobile device. A great and easy example of this is so the landing page has been formatted correctly so that everything necessary is shown to the user in above the fold. When the advertisement has been specified to the user just as the landing page has we are ensuring the journey of the user is as easy as it can be to ensure that payment at the end of the journey.

After being specific with your ads you are in a much better position to lower your ad spend on adverts that are wasting you money. You are then able to push the ads that are making you money.

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