This Year, Holiday Advertisers Got a Deal on Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Kye Mou
November 30, 2011

In the wake of another historical early holiday shopping weekend, we thought it interesting to take a look at how search marketers faired from Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday. Here’s what we found compared to 2010:

  • 30% increase in paid search impressions
  • 118% increase in paid search clicks
  • 44% increase in paid search spend
  • 68% increase in click-through rate (CTR)
  • 34% decrease in cost-per-click (CPC)

So what’s it all mean? The dramatic increase in clicks and click-through rate compared to the more moderate increases in impressions suggest a significant change in consumer behavior. Either advertisers have managed to make their ads more relevant and appealing, or the search engines have come a long way in improving their matching algorithms. Most likely, it’s a little bit of both.

In our Q3 benchmarking report, we detailed a trend of rising click-through rates for large-scale advertisers over the past couple of quarters. This shift has occurred in large part as advertisers expand their use of phrase and exact match keywords – improving relevance and click-through. This shift in match types would also explain why click volumes rose faster than spend, resulting in lower costs-per-click for search marketers. If that trend continues throughout the remainder of the season, it will be a happy holiday indeed for advertisers and shoppers alike!

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