Unsurprisingly though, the Kenshoo report shows that desktop still accounts for the vast majority of US search spend (86.1%) and clicks (81.2%), though smartphone and tablet clicks are proportionately higher than the amount of budget currently allocated to them.

Q1 2013 US search advertising clicks and spend by device

Looking at UK data, desktop still dominates in terms of clicks (72.3%) and ad spend (75.5%), though there’s far less variation in the CPCs by device.

In fact, UK desktop and tablet CPCs were identical in Q1 at £0.30 while smartphone CPCs cost £0.20 on average.

US and UK data comparison

Overall the average CPC in the US and UK dipped slightly in Q1 following the holiday season peak in Q4, and UK CPC is actually higher than the US at $0.44 and $0.38 respectively.

In contrast, the CPC for continental Europe has been relatively flat for the last five quarters and stood at $0.36 in Q1.

Quarterly regional average CPC (USD)

Clicks and click-through rate (CTR)

Kenshoo’s report shows that total click volume increased 21% year-on-year, while CTR also improved from 1.04% in Q1 2012 to 1.68% in Q1 2013.

But even though spend, clicks, and CTR have been trending upwards over the last five quarters, total impression volume has been declining steadily during the same period and was 26% lower year-on-year in Q1.

The data in Kenshoo’s report comes from an aggregate data set built from a representative sample of advertisers and agencies that had been active on the Kenshoo platform during the entire previous 24 months.

The rolling data set used in this research reflects billions of dollars in global paid search ad spend.