January 5, 2010, 12:00 AM

Paid search clicks and costs go up, search marketing firm says

Total clicks were up 11% during the holiday season versus a year earlier, and cost per click increased 4.58%, says NetElixir. Click-through rates also increased to 9.8%, but consumers clicked more often before making a purchase.

Online shoppers clicked more often on paid search ads during the holiday season than a year earlier, and retailers paid more for those clicks, says search marketing firm NetElixir, based on a study of 32 retailer clients.

Total clicks were up 11.0% from Nov. 1-Dec. 26 versus a year earlier, and cost per click increased 4.58%, says NetElixir. The study also found there were 10-12% more advertisers per keyword this year. The click-through rate also increased, to 9.8%, but consumers clicked more often before making a purchase, 6-8% more often on average, the search marketing firm says.

The increase in total clicks was the big surprise, as NetElixir had projected only a 3-4% year-over-year increase in clicks for the holiday season, following a slow first half of 2009. “The jump in clicks bodes well for our industry,” says NetElixir CEO Udayan Bose.

Here are NetElixir’s results by retail category, with actual year-over-year changes in total clicks, cost per click and click-through rate:

  • Flowers & gifts, 7%, 6%, 10%
  • Apparel, 12%, 10%, 12%
  • Consumer electronics, 15.8%, 7%, 15%
  • Food & drugs, 2.9%, 4%, 6%
  • Home furnishings, 8%, 3%, 9%
  • Pet supplies, 4%, -1%, 2%
  • Home improvement, 12.5%, 2%, 7%

 

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