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Paid search now accounts for around a quarter (24%) of the average business' total marketing budget, according to a new report from Econsultancy and NetBooster.

The UK Search Engine Marketing Benchmark Report 2013 asked respondents about the division of marketing budgets into the search, social media and display categories. 

Paid search is apportioned the largest average budget by companies (24%), followed by SEO (18%). Social media and display had equal average share of budget (both 11%).

This figure could potentially increase further by 2014, as more than half of respondents (55%) said they expect their PPC budgets to increase over the next 12 months.

In comparison SEO and social spending were both predicted to increase by 51% of respondents, while 42% said they expect to spend more on display advertising.

Do you expect your budgets to increase or decrease in the next 12 months?

The report, covering search engine optimisation (SEO or natural search), paid search (PPC) and social media marketing, is based on an online survey of more than 500 client-side digital marketers and agencies.

Paid search budget

The report also asks respondents how much they spend on paid search each year.

The results are quite varied – a quarter of respondents (25%) spend less than £10,000 a year on paid search, a figure which has decreased from 30% in 2012. The remaining 75% of respondents spend between £10,000 and £5 million on PPC.

How much do you spend on paid search per year?

As one might expect, Google is the main beneficiary of paid search spending, with two-thirds (65%) of companies having increased their PPC budget with Google this year. This is up from 59% in 2012.

The proportion of businesses increasing their spend with Microsoft/Yahoo has also risen, up from 21% in 2012 to 38% this year.

Similarly, for other search platforms generally, the percentage has increased from 13% in 2012 to 29% this year.

Has your paid search budget for the following search engines increased or decreased this year?

David Moth

Published 16 July, 2013 by David Moth @ Econsultancy

David Moth is Editor and Head of Social at Econsultancy. You can follow him on Twitter or connect via Google+ and LinkedIn

1686 more posts from this author

Comments (4)



Good piece of information, that is true that paid advertising will increase in future, every body want to earn so as google, so their strategy will be to build an environment around to encourage people to spend more on paid advertising.

over 3 years ago

Mark Chapman

Mark Chapman, Director of Client Strategy + Services at White Hat Media

INTERESTING piece of research well presented by Econsultancy's Linus Gregoriadis at London offices of Google last night.

For anyone starting to plan for search marketing this year, it seemed PPC and display ads - as well as, of course, decent content - will best bring commercial results in 2013/14... or at least relevant traffic (my advice though would still be to steadily invest in content via SEO).

Matt Bush from Google was very good too; i was especially struck by the move towards Star Trek / Blakes 7 artificial intelligence computing that will see Google conversing with humans in the near future (well maybe). Still excellent.

I expected more from Argos; seemed to be some content missing from that presentation. Well organised event by report sponsor Netbooster though.

over 3 years ago


Health Club Marketing

With the constant change in algorithms it's no wonder PPC marketing is increasing. The search results for our little niche industry looks dramatically different than it did only three short months ago.

over 3 years ago



If you depend on google for business, PPC is the only real avenue... right?

nice read, interesting to think that an algorithm update could cause the cost of PPC to rise, its as if someone at google thought about that one beforehand.

Nice post, but real money is made in naturals. Forget paying per visitor; thats daft.


about 3 years ago

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