Bing Ads Shares Halloween Data For Advertisers: Search, CTR CPC Trends

Source: Microsoft internal data, all devices
Halloween is less than eight weeks away, and that means people are already starting to search for costumes and other ideas for October 31. Bing Ads has released new data on search performance around the holiday showing that searches — and ad impressions — increase steadily through September and October.
Looking at desktop ad click-through rates for searches on things like candy, decorations and parties, Bing Ads found that CTRs increased beginning the first week of October. The exception was for decorations, which saw CTRs peak that first week of October and then begin to decline thereafter.
On costume-related ads, CTRs typically topped out in the second week of October and continued to decline going into Halloween. Below are the stats for PCs and tablets, but the mobile numbers reflected a similar trend.

CPCs were fairly steady throughout the two-month lead-up to Halloween, the exceptions being in Decorations, which saw CPCs increase rather sharply in the two weeks ahead

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Google Controls 65 Percent Of Search, Bing 33 Percent — [comScore]

In the simplest terms, the world of organic search is roughly two-thirds Google, one third Bing. Those are the July 2015 “powered by” numbers provided by comScore for the US search market.
In terms of non-network share, Bing saw a tiny 0.1 percent gain in July and so did Ask. Google was flat with 64 percent, unchanged for the past three months. Yet Google’s market share is down from 67.6 percent a year ago.

Together Bing and Yahoo combined in July for 33.1 percent market share. AOL will soon be a Bing-powered search property. If that were the case today, the share of Bing and Bing-powered searches would represent 34.3 percent of all query volume.
The post Google Controls 65 Percent Of Search, Bing 33 Percent — [comScore] appeared first on Search Engine Land.

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SMB Mobile Websites Saw 11 Percent Page View Gain After Mobile Friendly Update

There has been discussion and debate about whether and how much websites were impacted by Google’s Mobile-Friendly algorithm update. I wrote last week about a study that argued non-mobile-friendly sites were disappearing from the top positions in mobile search results.
Now comes a study of small business websites that shows meaningful traffic gains for mobile-friendly sites in the post-Mobilegeddon period.
Small business mobile site developer Duda looked at roughly 4,700 small business websites hosted on its platform that were already mobile-friendly (mobile-only and responsive). The company tracked these sites for six weeks before and after the Mobile Friendly Update to establish traffic levels.
What Duda found was that on average these SMB sites saw a 10.8 percent increase in page views post-Mobilegeddon. Interestingly, sites with the smallest traffic levels before the update saw the biggest gains. Duda CEO Itai Sadan told me this was both the most interesting and unexpected aspect of the findings.

As the chart indicates, SMB sites that

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US Paid Search Growing But At Slower Rate, Google Brand CPCs Surge [Report]

Source: Merkle RKG
Search ad spend growth slowed in the US, rising 14 percent year-over-year in Q2 for Merkle RKG’s predominantly large retail clients. The firm’s latest Digital Marketing Report says that higher CPCs hindered click growth for the quarter as advertisers aimed to maintain efficiencies in their search programs.
Clicks rose just 3 percent in Q2, down 14 percent from the prior year. CPCs climbed again, rising 11 percent year-over-year in Q2.
Tablet click growth slowed to an increase of just 1 percent, while phone click volume rose 35 percent year-over-year. Overall, tablets and phones generated 41 percent of search ad clicks and accounted for 31 percent of spend.
Phone revenue-per-click is slowly improving. In Q2, RPC for phones was 58 percent lower than on desktop, compared to 66 percent a year ago.
Google: Growth Slowing; Steep Rise In Brand CPCs
Google’s share of the paid search market among Merkle RKG clients fell from the previous year but remained steady from Q1. The year-over-year decline is in

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Google Reports A 41% Growth In Mobile Searches For Movie Showtimes

Google has put together a few figures sure to pique the interest of film promoters. According to Google’s data, the number of mobile searches on its site for movie showtimes has increased 41 percent so far this year.
With the help of market research firm Ipsos, Google used its search and movie trailer data from YouTube to see how consumers use Google to decide which movie to see see next.
The study found 74 percent of moviegoers search online to find showtimes, with 56 percent of searches related to movie tickets taking place on a mobile device.
You can read more about the study, along with a list of YouTube’s top five most watched summer movie trailers this year, on our partner site at Marketing Land: Top 5 Summer Movie Trailers: Google Says 81% Of People Who Watched A Trailer Online Saw It On YouTube.
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The Growth Of Mobile: Do We Need Some Perspective?

The recent news that mobile searches have surpassed desktop searches on Google was considered monumental.
There is no arguing that mobile is not tremendously important. Even for those who did not previously think much about mobile, there was no way to miss Google’s announced “Mobilegeddon” — it was the SEO’s Y2K. Any business in today’s market that ignores its mobile presence does so at their own peril.
This emphasis on mobile might be a story of its own making, however. To be sure, mobile has come a long way since just a few years ago. Yet this new focus on “everything mobile” and “mobile first” might be misplaced if it is to the exclusion of your multi-device users.
What if “mobile first” is not everything it’s hyped to be? What if you are sacrificing real users and real money on the altar of “mobileness”?
Proximity Is Everything
Just as in the golden days of brick-and-mortar stores, location is everything. Your proximity to the customer makes a huge

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Study: Forget About Average Organic CTRs, They Mean Nothing

Many marketers try to benchmark their organic search performance against industry average click-through rates (CTRs). This turns out to be a mistake.
According to a massive keyword performance study by Keylime Toolbox, which looked at nearly 5 million queries across a range of industries, there is so much variation by vertical category and site that averages “didn’t provide much actionable data for a specific site.”
Instead, Keylime Toolbox founder Vanessa Fox says companies should determine baseline organic CTRs and then evaluate market opportunity or measure subsequent performance against those earlier self-benchmarks. Branded and non-branded keywords should also be segmented out because branded queries typically produce higher CTRs, sometimes significantly higher.
The charts below, based on the extensive Keylime Toolbox analysis, reflect CTR variation by position and category. They are averages but they show the variability that can exist and why individual site performance may be significantly different.

Another insight from the study is that top position doesn’t automatically generate the highest CTRs. While CTR is correlated with position,

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Google Says “Near Me” Searches Have Doubled This Year

Search queries that contain a location qualifier such as “nearby” or “near me” have doubled in the past year, according to Google Trends data from March. Eighty percent of those searches come from mobile devices.
Now that you know this, you’ll start to be cognizant of how often “nearby” and “near me” variations of search queries pop up in Google auto-suggest on your phone.
Google first released this data last week with the launch of a new mobile ad product specifically designed around these types of queries. The new Nearby Business listings strip out the typical copy shown in text ads and feature buttons to get directions or click to call the business. Google’s Chief business officer Omid Kordestani repeated the stat during an interview at Re/Code’s Code Conference.
Kordestani also confirmed reports that a buy button will start appearing soon on select search ads. To see what else Kordestani discussed with ReCode’s Kara Swisher, see our live blog coverage on Marketing Land.
The post Google

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Survey: Consumers Prefer Mobile Browser To Apps For Local Information

In the larger context of Google and now Bing’s Mobile Friendly algorithm updates comes a new consumer survey from SEO firm BrightLocal. The data show overall that consumer expectations of mobile sites, even for local business owners, have grown significantly since 2013.
While local businesses have alternative ways to be found in local search apps and vertical or specialized directory apps, the survey data here argue that consumers want to access local business websites on mobile.
While all survey data should be taken as merely directional information the following findings from BrightLocal are pretty clear: local businesses with mobile-optimized sites (that include the right information) will have a significant advantage over those that are not optimized.

Perhaps the most interesting finding in the survey of 900 US consumers is the idea that more people are using a mobile browser than apps or maps to find local business information. Accordingly these respondents expressed a greater inclination to contact local businesses with optimized sites — as

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