Each quarter, performance marketing agency Merkle releases a Digital Marketing Report that leverages client data to paint an industry portrait. As always, the report for Q1 2018 revealed some interesting paid search trends, including stronger-than-usual spending on shopping ads. For a Toronto digital marketing agency like GrowthEngine Media, the results are confirmation of the efficacy of our preferred tactic.

Overall, paid search spend grew 21 per cent year over year (YOY) among Merkle’s American clients. Google paid search alone grew 20 per cent, making Q1 the fifth consecutive quarter of YOY growth of 20 per cent or more.

Much of this growth was fueled by increased spending on Google Shopping ads. Merkle’s clients spent 40 per cent more on Shopping ads in Q1 2018 than Q1 2017, the strongest growth in almost two years. As a result, Google Shopping ad impressions surged 47 per cent, and product listing ads generated a whopping 60 per cent of retailers’ Google search ad clicks.

While Shopping ad spend surged, spending on text ads cooled. After three straight quarters of 15 per cent YOY growth, text ad spend grew just 4 per cent in Q1 2018.

The major takeaway from Merkle’s latest report is that paid search marketing continues to grow and generate results, to the delight of any digital marketing agency. Merkle’s clients spent more on Google Shopping ads last quarter and, naturally, earned more clicks from that platform.

As a Premier Google Partner digital marketing agency with access to valuable insights on Google’s preferred practices, GrowthEngine Media is a staunch believer in the power of paid search marketing. Our team can help you decide which search product – product listing ads; text ads; Google Shopping, etc…  – is best suited to your company’s goals. From there, our team will help you plan, budget, and launch your digital marketing campaign.