Bing Up 10% in Search Engine Spending

Posted by at 10:42 am on April 15, 2010

Bing saw its share of search spending increase by 10 percent in Q1 over the previous quarter -“ while Google’s share increased by 3 percent over the same period, according to the latest quarterly report from WebVisible, released today. Yahoo!’s share of spending dropped by 9 percent.

The average small business advertiser spent $2,201 on search advertising in Q1 2010 -“ representing a 2.4 percent increase over the previous quarter and a 91 percent increase over the same period last year. This continues the strong year-over-year (YoY) gains seen in the second half of 2009 -“ YoY spending was up 111 percent in Q4 2009 and 91 percent in Q3 2009.

These are among the top findings of the third installment of The WebVisible Report: State of Small Business Online Advertising Q1 2010, which examines trends among WebVisible’s U.S. advertisers from Q1 2009 through Q1 2010. The data represents nearly $23 million in U.S. small business advertiser spending from more than 12,000 individual advertisers in Q1 2010. This report also includes an analysis of Q4 2009 and Q1 2010 data from more than 10,000 advertisers in the U.K.

“The search engines will continue to duke it out and fight for their share, but small businesses will spend their money wherever they can get the most bang for their buck -“ the most clicks and conversions for the least money,” said WebVisible CEO Kirsten Mangers. “Bing maintains the highest click-through rate at costs that are lower than Google’s overall. Small businesses are the engine of our economy, and it’s telling to see how they’re spending their ad dollars and how they shift their strategy to maximize their results.”

Small businesses saw positive results from their search spending in Q1. From Q4 2009 to Q1 2010, there was a 35 percent increase in the percentage of search clicks that resulted in a phone call for advertisers using call tracking numbers.

Website conversion activities of all types increased in Q1 2010 over the previous quarter -“ the fastest-growing conversion actions were form fills and video views. In Q1 2010, 21 percent of advertisers showed conversions on form fills (up from 15 percent the previous quarter), while 23 percent showed video conversions (up from 19 percent the previous quarter).

Keyword counts increased in Q1 2010, up 8 percent to an average 72 root keywords per advertiser.

Click-through rates (CTR) continued steady year-over-year (YoY) improvement in Q1 2010, with Google’s CTR up 29 percent, Yahoo!’s CTR up 138 percent and Bing’s CTR up 53 percent.

While each of the three major engines saw cost-per-clicks (CPC) decline in Q1 compared with the same period last year, overall CPCs have remained relatively stable since Q2 2009.

Similar to previous quarters, the most popular advertiser categories in Q1 2010 were attorneys, general contractors and dentists. The categories that showed higher-than-average spending levels were attorneys, roofers and plumbers, while general contractors and landscapers showed lower-than-average spending in Q1 2010.

U.K. Search Trends

Google performed the strongest of the three major engines, with its share of U.K. spending increasing by 13.6 percent from Q4 2009 to Q1 2010, its CPC declining slightly, and its CTR increasing by 5.3 percent. Yahoo! and Bing declined on all measures in the U.K. from Q4 2009 to Q1 2010.

The top 10 U.K. advertiser categories accounted for less than 12 percent of total advertisers in Q1 2010, compared to 42 percent in the U.S.

Average U.K. advertiser spending increased by 17 percent from Q4 2009 to Q1 2010. The categories that showed the highest gains in that period were printers (+77 percent), solicitors (+39 percent) and builders (+24 percent).

Anyone can request a full copy of The WebVisible Report by going here: http://www.webvisible.com/wvreport

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