Mobile Brand CPCs Are On the Rise

Are you seeing your clients’ mobile brand CPC rise this Summer? You’re not alone.

Performance marketing agency Merkle published a report on Friday highlighting a recent trend of increasing mobile CPCs for branded terms, beginning the last week in June. In fact, the firm saw average cost per clicks reach as much as 25-30% above those seen in May for the same terms.

Image via Merkle

Ever the skeptic, I did my own research on keywords running for this site. Sure enough, a similar trend emerged: mobile brand CPC has increased (albeit, more gradually than Merkle’s example) since May, while desktop is on a downward trajectory.

Here is a look at our account’s mobile branded CPC data:

And a look at the same timeframe on desktop:

Determining the Cause

What is causing this increase of mobile brand CPC on Google isn’t exactly clear. Interestingly, this isn’t the first time this has occurred—brand CPCs rose considerably in Q2 of 2015, though they did normalize somewhat as the year progressed.

Though unlikely, there could be some inflation of CPCs due to the beta release of expanded text ads, which many advertisers are now participating in, or bid increases following the removal of right-rail ads earlier this year. Increased competition does impact CPCs; however, in my case specifically, I have very little competition for branded terms, so that doesn’t do much to explain this.

The best course of action to take is to reach out to your Google AdWords representative, if you have one, if you are seeing the same inflation on your own branded keyword CPCs. Gradually reducing mobile bids for brand keywords should help reduce CPCs; but, take caution, as this could very well impact performance.