Mobile Devices to Account for 50% of Paid Search Clicks by December 2015 [Study}
If you're investing in search advertising, the time is now to understand your mobile audience. In its latest research, online advertising platform Marin Software forecasts that mobile devices will comprise 50 percent of all paid search clicks by December 2015 at the current rate of growth.
Marin sampled its "Global Advertising Index" composed of advertisers across the globe who invested more than $6 billion in annualized spend to reveal other key findings like:
Cost per click (CPC) on mobile devices increased at a much higher rate than CPC on the desktop during 2013. In some regions, tablet CPCs surpassed desktop CPCs. (Recently, we covered eMarketer's forecast that desktop ad spend will plummet by more than a billion in 2014.)
Conversion rates on tablets and smartphones rose throughout 2013 as "consumers became increasingly comfortable with mobile commerce," said Marin. "In the U.S., conversion rates on tablets edged out those on the desktop, marking an important milestone."
In 2013, the average click-through rate (CTR) on a smartphone was 3.75 percent versus 2.29 percent on desktop and 2.70 percent on tablets.
Marin speculated this could be due to the limited screen size of smartphones, which reduces the number of ad impressions delivered per search.
"Additionally, the increased urgency associated with being mobile and on-the-go can change consumer behavior and lead to greater engagement with the SERP," Marin reported.
But when the data was normalized for the position of the ad in the results, there wasn't much of a difference.
"Across devices, click-through rates are similar for ad positions one through five," Marin said. "Smartphone searches only deliver up to five ads, and not coincidentally, smartphone ad click-through rate disappears altogether after position five."
From 2012 to 2013, Marin said there was a 20.8-percent increase in CPC on smartphones, with tablets showing a boost of 22.6 percent.