UK, Germany and France all saw spikes in search spend and clicks during the quarter

London (January 16, 2014) – The final quarter of 2013 was the biggest in paid search advertising history, fuelled by a record-setting end-of-the-year online holiday shopping season according to the latest global data from premium digital marketing technology leader, Skai (

The Skai Global Search Trends analysis reveals that search marketers spent more on search advertising in Q4 2013 than any other quarter on record with a 19% Year-on-Year (YoY) increase in spend and a 29% lift Quarter-on-Quarter (QoQ).

The data is based on a representative sample of Skai clients, which manage more than $5 billion in annualised global advertising spend on the Skai platform, and indicates that search marketers improved overall efficiency of their advertising campaigns, driving more clicks via their ads with fewer impressions, resulting in a 25% YoY increase in click-through-rate globally.

In the Europe Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region, marketers spent 23% more YoY and QoQ on search advertising. These marketers generated greater volume and efficiency through their campaigns in Q4, with 24% more impressions QoQ and 29% more clicks.

The United Kingdom (U.K.), France and Germany all saw the traditional seasonal increases in quarterly search spend in Q4 with German budgets increasing by an impressive 34% QoQ (see table underneath).  Quarterly clicks also increased in all three countries, although the higher CPC in France and Germany meant relatively higher lifts in spend vs. click volume, while the U.K. experienced a lower CPC and greater overall campaign efficiency.

The detailed findings of the Q4 2013 Skai Global Search Trends analysis can be found on three separate infographics covering the Americas, Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), and Asia-Pacific Japan (APJ) with unique regional trends and country highlights. The infographics can be downloaded from the following page:

More search performance data about Q4 2013 can be found in the Skai 2013 Global Online Retail Seasonal Shopping Report: Final Edition, which analyses retail search advertising performance during the 2013 holiday shopping season. Highlighting global trends, more than 36% of all clicks were accounted for on mobile devices while retailers embraced Product Listing Ads (PLAs) with spend up 138% YoY.

Total global revenues from PLAs increased 269% YoY with return on ad spend (ROAS) reaching €6.48 in 2013, more than a 6 to 1 return on advertisers’ investment. The click-through rate on PLAs rose 26% YoY in 2013 (it was 2.7% in 2012) to an average CTR of 3.4% in 2013. With this increased efficiency, retailers were able to generate 97% more clicks from only 57% more impressions YoY.

The data analysed within the 2013 Global Online Retail Seasonal Shopping Report: Final Edition spans more than 10 billion paid search impressions and clicks globally during November and December. It can be downloaded from the following page:

In the U.K., the 2013 shopping season saw YoY increases in all key retail paid search metrics. Advertisers increased ad spend by 17% YoY but generated 63% YoY more in online sales revenue with a 35% spike in conversions YoY, leading to a 39% YoY increase in return on ad spend.

And UK retailers did not wait long before targeting consumers with post-Christmas sales advertising. Boxing Day (26 December) saw a 65% increase in YoY ad spend, the greatest YoY increase throughout the entire shopping season.

“Our data indicates that search advertising globally and in the EMEA region continues to see increases in spend, clicks and revenue, showing that leading brands and agencies are confident in its ability to deliver results,” said Rob Coyne, Managing Director for EMEA at Skai. “At Skai, we’re committed to giving marketers the tools needed to effectively compete in this growing marketplace and our continued investment in R&D innovation reflects our clients’ continued investment in digital advertising.”

About Skai
Skai is a digital marketing technology company that engineers premium solutions for search marketing, social media and online advertising. Brands, agencies and developers use Skai Search, Skai Social, Skai Local and Skai SmartPath to direct more than £120 billion in annualised online client sales revenue through the platform. Skai is the only Facebook strategic Preferred Marketing Developer with native API solutions for ads across Google, Bing, Yahoo, Baidu, Twitter, Facebook, and Facebook Exchange. The Skai platform delivers Infinite OptimisationTM through closed-loop targeting, universal integration, dynamic attribution, and predictive analytics. Skai powers campaigns in more than 190 countries for nearly half of the Fortune 50 and all 10 top global ad agency networks. Skai clients include Accor, Burberry, GroupM, Havas Media, John Lewis and Tesco. Skai has 18 international locations and is backed by Sequoia Capital, Arts Alliance and Tenaya Capital. Please visit for more information.

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