Marin Software Sees Rise in Paid Search Spend and Online Ad Click-through Rates

Report on top paid-search advertiser trends reveals improved campaign efficiency

Paid Search Spend, Q2 2011 (Graphic: Business Wire)

SAN FRANCISCO--()--Marin Software, provider of the leading online advertising management platform for advertisers and agencies, today released the findings of its Paid Search Quarterly Benchmarking Report, which indicates a 20 percent year over year increase in paid search advertising spend. According to the report, which sampled data from more than 800 advertisers and agencies, click-through rates rose 12 percent compared to the same quarter a year ago, while overall costs-per-click remained the same. A closer look reveals this increase in efficiency is a result, in part, of an increase in clicks on Phrase and Exact match keywords.

Marin Software’s Paid Search Quarterly Benchmarking Report consists of key trends and statistics uncovered through an examination of the Marin Global Search Index. The Marin Global Search Index is comprised of data from more than 800 large-scale advertisers and agencies that collectively spend in excess of $2 billion annually on paid-search through the Marin platform.

Paid Search Key Findings:

  • North American advertisers increased spend on paid search in the second quarter by 20 percent on a year over year basis, increasing click-through rates by 12 percent while holding overall cost-per-click in check.
  • On Google, advertisers saw a dramatic decline in impression volumes in the second quarter, with the average marketer experiencing a 15 percent drop compared to last year. At the same time, however, advertisers increased click volumes on an annual basis, growing clicks by 8 percent for the time period. This data suggests that either search marketers took steps to improve efficiency or Google modified its algorithm for matching ads to queries.
  • The share of paid clicks directed towards Exact and Phrase match keywords increased by 10 percentage points during the last year at the expense of Broad match clicks. Exact and Phrase keywords have higher click-through rates and lower costs than broad match terms, in part explaining the gains advertisers have realized in terms of efficiency.
  • Spend on Yahoo and Bing increased by a median 52 percent on a year over year basis as advertisers built out their campaigns on the combined platform in earnest. Advertisers also experiencing a boost in effectiveness on the combined platform, indicated by a 6 percent increase in click through rates on Yahoo-Bing.

The full report, including trends within vertical markets can be downloaded at:

Those interested in attending a webinar discussion of the results can register at:


  • “Large advertisers have done an extraordinary job in the past year of increasing spend, while maintaining or increasing campaign efficiency,” said Matt Lawson, vice-president of marketing at Marin Software. “By focusing on campaign management -- improving keyword relevance and click-through rates -- it’s clear that sophisticated marketers have the ability to continue scaling even the largest paid search programs without sacrificing profits. Our clients depend on Marin to help deliver these results, and, as our tools evolve we expect to see continued gains in campaign effectiveness for advertisers in the years to come.”


Paid Search Quarterly Benchmarking Report

Paid Search Quarterly Benchmarking webinar

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About Marin Software:

Marin Software is a leading provider of online advertising management solutions, offering an integrated platform for managing search, display, and social marketing. The company provides solutions for advertisers and agencies of all sizes, enabling them to improve financial performance, save time, and make better decisions. Marin Enterprise, the company’s flagship product, addresses the needs of online marketers spending at least $100,000 per month on biddable media. Marin Professional delivers the same power and ease of use as Marin Enterprise, through an application designed for marketers spending less than $100,000 per month on paid search. Headquartered in San Francisco, with offices worldwide, Marin’s technology powers marketing campaigns for over 800 customers managing more than $2 billion of annualized ad spend in more than 160 countries. For more information, please visit:

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Linked Communications
Kari Moe Straley, 415-215-6423

Release Summary

Report on top paid-search advertiser trends reveals improved campaign efficiency


Linked Communications
Kari Moe Straley, 415-215-6423