ADI (adobe digital index’s) has recently drawn up and disseminated the results of the “Report on digital advertising in the 4th quarter of 2015”.
The most relevant finding of the research is that the growth of paid search year after year has dropped by 75%.
In the fourth quarter of 2014, the sem business had a growth of 12%, a year later (4th quarter 2015) the growth rate fell to 3%. The biggest decline occurred in Europe: in the 4th quarter of 2014 the SEM growth rate hit 17% while in the 4th quarter of 2015 the growth rate slipped to 5%.
ADI staff analyst Becky Tasker says: “The growth rate of paid search is slowing compared to past years.” And she finds one cause in the growing investment by advertisers on mobile devices: spending on the mobile channel is nearly outstripping spending on desktop.
The advent of smartphones and being “always connected” have contributed exponentially to the growth of mobile. More and more users are using mobile devices for their searches and, according to ADI data, it appears that users arriving at a site from smartphones and the like represent on average 41% of total visitors. This, and the fact that the cost of clicks for mobile phones is lower than for PCs, push advertisers to invest more and more in new devices. For Adi currently spending for paid search on the mobile channel represents 37% of the entire expenditure incurred for the SEM (23% on an annual basis).
The report also compares the results of the Facebook and adwords display campaigns and it results that Google is closing the existing gap with the social network.
The CTR of FB’s display ads has always been higher than that of adwords and continues to grow 36% in Q4 2015 compared to last year. But the search engine does not stand still and is trying to optimize its display campaigns, even though its CTR has increased “only” by 27%.
Finally, ADI also examined the earnings generated by paid search and display during the holiday periods, it appears that at least 1 dollar out of 3 of the total earnings came from one of the two channels. For example, during the Thanksgiving weekend (November 26-30), search ads brought 10% gains compared to those generated by direct traffic. During holidays, the CPC usually increases: for mobile devices the peak was reached during black friday (the day in which many online purchases were made), while for desktops and fixed workstations the peak was recorded during cyber monday.
Tasker predicts that in the years to come, campaigns will be more and more personalized and advertisers will adopt SEM strategies more and more aimed at establishing a one-to-one relationship with consumers.
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