The second most popular keyword, "school supplies," had nearly as many impressions as "textbooks" (17,300,378) but a fraction of the spend ($153,625), reflecting the higher price (and profit margins) of college and high school textbooks compared with general school supplies such as pencils and notebooks.
Below, additional key findings from the study, which examined the performance of 318 back-to-school terms in July and August 2012 on the US Google AdWords and Yahoo Bing networks.
Top Back-to-School Keywords
"School uniforms" was the third most popular back-to-school paid search keyword. "Used textbooks" was fourth, and "soccer cleats" was fifth.
Paid Search Spend
- Spend on back-to-school keyword terms has increased steadily year over year, going back to 2010.
- Advertisers spent $1.9 million in June and August 2012 on back-to-school keywords—a 73% increase over the same period in 2011.
- Most of that spend—$1.3 million—occurred in August as summer vacations wound down and the new school year loomed.
- Spend on school-related keywords isn't confined to the summer. Besides the July and August spike, a significant and recurring jump also happens in January, when school starts up again after winter break.
Ayaz Nanji is an independent digital strategist and a co-founder of ICW Content, a marketing agency specializing in content creation for brands and businesses. He is also a research writer for MarketingProfs. He has worked for Google/YouTube, the Travel Channel, AOL, and the New York Times.
LinkedIn: Ayaz Nanji