We are excited to announce the release of the Q3 2018 Digital Marketing Report for download. The report is filled with updated views of key metrics in channels across the digital marketing spectrum, including paid search, SEO, display advertising, paid social, and more.
In addition to high level benchmarks for key digital marketing platforms including Facebook, Google, and Amazon, this edition of the report provides insight on the impact of the Apple Intelligent Tracking Prevention (ITP) 2.0 initiative on Google tracking capabilities, and also includes data on a recent uptick in ad traffic coming from Google Maps. For in-depth analyses on how these and other trends should impact your digital marketing plans through the rest of the year and beyond, download the Q3 2018 Digital Marketing Report today.
Below we highlight a few Q3 findings drawn from the executive summary of the report.
While Google search ads achieved steady year-over-year spending growth of 18% in Q3 2018, a closer look at key metrics highlights the growing contrast between trends for traditional Google text ads and those for Google Shopping Ads. Advertiser investment in Shopping grew 33% in the quarter, compared to just 3% growth for text ads.
Facebook spend across established programs increased 25% Y/Y, with pricing driving most of that increase. After announcing its second quarter results, Facebook surprised many by saying it expected growth rates to slow by high single-digits in the second half of 2018. While Merkle saw Facebook investment growth slow in Q3, Instagram spend continued to grow significantly faster than that of Facebook proper, increasing 61% Y/Y with a 58% increase in impressions.
Organic search posted a nearly 6% Y/Y increase in visits in Q3 2018, its second-best rate of growth in the past three years. Phone organic search visits grew 18% Y/Y, their strongest result since Q3 2015; meanwhile, desktop visit declines have become less severe in recent quarters. The past year has seen paid search CPCs increase and click growth decelerate, which has benefited organic traffic volume.