Advertisers are being pushed to dedicate more of their finances to search advertising as a result of rising click volumes across key search engines.

A report from digital marketing agency RKG highlights a 27% rise in US paid search spend on Google during Q3, compared to Q2, and a 24% uptick on budgets for Bing during the same period. With little movement in the cost per click (CPC), RKG has pinned this down to year-on-year rise of 18% in the total amount of clicks on search ads.    

Apple to the mobile rescue?

Other readings from the company’s Digital Marketing Report pointed to a general rise in spend on smartphone ads, but typically better rewards by going with desktop.

RKG states that smartphone ad spend has grown 117% over the last year as advertisers continue to attract mobile users on social media and search. Smartphones and tablets now account for 38% of all traffic driven by paid and organic search. 

Despite this, the average amount of revenue driven per click by a retailer is 66% higher on desktop search ads compared with the smartphone equivalent. Such findings run in tandem with the belief that customers generally research on their mobiles before paying over desktop due to concerns over safety.

One way this might change in the near future is through the adoption of new technology, as Apple’s latest iPhones are experiencing much higher conversion rates than their predecessors. In the weeks following a debut in September the iPhone 6 was found to be outpacing conversions on the iPhone 5s and earlier by 32%. 

Also based on the rate of conversions after paid search clicks, the iPhone 6 Plus outpaced previous models by 67% – a possible sign that screen size matters in the area of mobile commerce.

Organic growth

Findings from the report also reaffirmed Google’s dominance in the organic search traffic stakes with a 83% share of the overall market. 

This total has risen over Q3, time in which Bing saw a decrease in its own share from 9% down to 8% . Microsoft’s engine reached a peak of 10% in Q1 of this year but has since only seen a decline.    

Yahoo Search is the third biggest driver of organic search visits with a 7% share of the spoils.