Sunday, March 9, 2014

Does Mobile Search Really Matter?

Image representing Google AdWords as depicted ...
Search Engine Watch recently covered AdGooroo's Top 20 list of advertisers in paid mobile search, which found that some of the best marketers in desktop search weren't ranking nearly as well in mobile. Walmart and JCPenney, for instance, ranked 2nd and 5th in desktop search respectively, but only came in at 20th and 29th in mobile.
The question is, does this really matter?

Should Paid Search Advertisers Care About Mobile?

Judging by the numbers alone, the answer might be no.
We took a closer look at the mobile advertising market and discovered a number of revealing facts.

Mobile search is still pretty small. According to AdGooroo research, as of 2013, mobile makes up just 7.6 percent of total U.S. AdWords spend and just 8.2 percent of U.S. Bing spend.
Although mobile search has been growing, it's unlikely to ever overtake desktop search for a few key reasons. For instance, advertisers in most categories aren't willing to pay as high a price for mobile traffic as they are for desktop and tablets. Automotive and Travel are two key exceptions, but even for those categories CPC prices aren't drastically higher:
Google Desktop vs Mobile Cost Per Click
Moreover, as a percentage of total search traffic by vertical, mobile search generates less than 10 percent of paid advertising clicks for most categories.
Ultimately, however, the real reason that mobile search won't overtake desktop is due to real estate. Desktop and tablet devices show up to 12 ads on a search results page while mobile devices show a maximum of three. Fewer ads mean fewer impressions and clicks. Further, it makes competition for those three spots extremely heated.

Do Mobile Search Ads Makes Sense For Your Business?

So to return to our question, should marketers care about mobile search? Although Google's enhanced campaigns forces everyone to participate in mobile search, the answer really depends on your specific business.

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