RKG, a leading full-service digital marketing agency, released its Digital Marketing Report (full report .pdf) covering the second quarter of 2013 today.
Across its client base, which includes over 40 of the top 500 online retailers, RKG found that Google search spending grew nearly 18% year over year as average cost per click rose 10%.
Although smartphone traffic continues to be a net drag on total CPC growth, with average click costs 40% lower than desktop, it is still providing a large lift to total paid search click and spending growth.
While desktop clicks were down 7% year over year in Q2, smartphone clicks rose 179% and tablet clicks rose 115%.
As a group, smartphones generated an average revenue per click (RPC) that was 78% lower than desktops.
Clicks by shoppers using the iPad were over twice as valuable as clicks from shoppers using the Kindle Fire.
Among their published second quarter results, RKG found:
- Google paid search spending growth decelerated slightly to 18% Y/Y. After nearly unprecedented CPC declines and click growth in 2012, advertisers are seeing a reversal with CPCs up 10% in Q2 2013 and clicks up 7%.
- Bing Ads search costs rose 58% Y/Y in Q2, the third quarter in a row where its growth rate more than doubled that of Google. Bing’s growth has been driven by a surge in non-brand clicks, which rose 49%, while ROI has remained stable.
- Tablets and smartphones drove 28% of paid clicks and combined for 22% of spend. With desktop and laptop clicks down 7% year over year, 178% growth for smartphones and 115% growth for tablets drove total clicks up 12%.
- Smartphone CPCs accelerated from 55% of desktop levels to 60% as more advertisers transitioned to Google Enhanced Campaigns. The impact to total CPC growth was negligible though.
- Tablets generated an average revenue per click that was 8% lower than that for desktops and laptops, while smartphone RPC was 78% lower.
- Google Product Listing Ads generated 33% of paid search clicks in Q2 at CPCs that were an average 10% lower than non-brand text ads. PLAs continue to be a large growth driver in the retail space with some sites seeing 50-60% of their Google spend going to the format.
- Analytics packages misattributed an estimated 14% of Google organic searches on average in Q2 due an issue with iOS 6 searches not passing referring URLs.
- Across all engines, 26% of organic search visits took place on tablets and smartphones. On both Google and Yahoo, nearly 28% of visits were mobile, while Bing’s mobile share trailed at 13%.
- iOS devices accounted for an estimated 18% of organic search visits. Android devices generated 7%, while all other mobile devices accounted for a little less than 1%.
- Facebook’s share of social referrals to sites was 58% in Q2, far ahead of other players in the space.
- Despite concerns about its new $4 minimum bid policy, Shopzilla CPCs were down slightly. Across other engines, CPCs were also flat to down from quarter to quarter.
RKG is a search and digital marketing agency that combines superior marketing talent with leading edge technology to create the industry’s most effective data-driven online marketing solutions. Founded in 2003, RKG specializes in working with clients in retail, travel, financial and B2B organizations ranging in size from small startups to Fortune 500 companies.