June 26, 2012, 10:26 AM

Per-click costs fall 6% in May, while sales from search increase 34%

Mother’s Day shopping helped push sales from search up, PM Digital says.

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Each click on a paid search ad in May cost 6% less than it did a year ago, yet marketers spent 17% more on paid search clicks during the month because consumers clicked on lots more ads, according to the new Rewind Index from search engine marketing provider PM Digital. Total clicks on paid search ads grew 23% year over year.

The 6% decline in per-click costs follows several months of year-over-year declines, which PM Digital say can be partly credited to marketers running more mobile search campaigns. Mobile paid search ads cost a fraction of regular search ads, the company says.

The average order value of sales driven by paid search increased 2% year over year and total revenue driven by search increased 34%. The index measures paid search performance monthly and is based on data from more than 50 large retailers that are clients of PM Digital. The index does not include dollar amounts.

Moms may have been the beneficiaries of many of  those added clicks. PM Digital says the top day in May for online sales driven by paid search was May 7, the Monday before the Mother’s Day holiday, presumably when sons, daughters and husbands raced to place orders for gifts for mom. The second-highest day for online sales driven by paid search was Memorial Day (May 28), a day in which retailers typically run lots of sales promotions.

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