Now that we’re at the beginning of the end of the eCommerce holiday buying season, some trends are evident among Clix Marketing’s retailing client PPC campaigns:
1. The number of impressions and clicks is down from previous years. It’s likely that online buyers, armed with a broader range of gift choices and savvier searching skills, are starting their gift-giving research with keywords that are more specific than those used in previous years.
2. Click-through-rates (CTRs) and conversion rates are up considerably from last year – our clients are averaging 7-15% CTR and the high end of 5-10% conversion rates. This reflects increased refinement of ad groups, and implementation of new technology like our dynamic landing page software.
3. Average cost-per-click is around 30% higher across the board – reflecting increased competition over previous years.
4. Yahoo clicks and conversions have increased sharply over previous years – reflecting an improvement in click quality and inventory. Microsoft still has the best conversion rates – one of our clients is getting an average of 25% – but click inventory is still very low.
One clear trend: the competition for Google AdWords keywords and clicks has ballooned. Advertisers will need to get savvier to attain the high CTRs and conversion rates that have, in the past, been easy to reach. This coming year we’ll be focusing on Content Network advertising, where click inventory is high and growing quickly, building on techniques described in previous Clix blog posts and my Search Engine Watch column.