Five SEM Milestones from March 2016

It looks like 2016 is going to be a big year for search engine marketing (SEM). If the first quarter of the year is any indicator, SEM in 2016 is going to look at lot different than SEM in 2015. Here are five milestones in SEM from March 2016:

Google Kills Right-Hand Side Ads – Service Improves

Photo: Mobile device, Google search engine marketing

Changes to Google’s ad service and increased mobile usage are changing the face of search engine marketing (SEM).

A week after Google carried out its controversial decision to remove ads from the right-hand side of search results pages, the results are looking good for the search engine marketing world. There was a a 1% decrease in cost-per-click along with a slight improvement in ad positioning.

The big results for search engine marketers were in clickthrough rates (CTR) for ads at the top of search results. A study of Google ad clickthrough rates 7 days before and 7 days after the change in ad placements by Accuracast showed significant improvement. The top two ad positions saw an 8.4% and 7.7% increase in CTR; the fourth position saw a staggering 18.2% increase.

Nearly 3/4 Online Buyers Shop on Mobile

Bizrate Insights surveyed online shoppers in the US and Canada, finding 73% of online buyers are shopping online using a mobile device. A recent Think With Google post by Lisa Gevelber said that 88% of all “near me” searches (think, “automotive repair near me,” or “tacos near me”) are done on mobile. Those types of searches, she adds, are growing at 146% year over year. By next year, websites that aren’t mobile-optimized will get hurt in search engine rankings.

By 2017, Digital Advertising Will Surpass TV Ad Buys

In 2017, total digital ad spending in the US will pass $77 billion (38.4% of total ad spending), while TV ad spending will total approximately $72 billion (35.8% of total ad spending). eMarketing predicts TV’s share of ad spending will be less than one third of total ad spending. This means the search engine marketing space will continue to be invaluable to brands and marketers.

Brands Have Reached ‘Peak Content’

TrackMaven looked at the content marketing activity of nearly 23,000 brands, including nearly 50 million pieces of published content. The sheer volume of content itself is fascinating: the average brand publishes more than 2,000 pieces of content a year, an increase of 35% from 2014 to 2015. But despite all that content and the nearly 76 billion interactions it’s generated, average engagement decreased by 17%. But this doesn’t mean content has lost its kingdom, it means you need quality content to attract and engage your audience.

Snapchat Catches Facebook in Video Views

At the beginning of 2016, digital marketers were shocked to learn Snapchat was serving 7 billion video views per day. But now, only a few weeks later, that number has jumped to 8 billion. In less than a year, Snapchat went from serving “only” 2 billion daily video views to 8 billion, matching Facebook for daily video views served. Social marketing on Snapchat is a relatively new prospect, but by the end of 2016 expect to see more brands using the video platform.

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SOURCE: https://searchenginewatch.com/2016/03/28/29-most-interesting-sem-stats-from-march-2016/