Report Shows Mobile To Drive Third Of Paid Search Clicks By End Of 2013

Mobile Search Gaining Momentum

A new report forecasts one-third of paid search clicks in the U.S. will come from mobile devices by the end of 2013.

The research comes from Marin Software, which analyzed paid search campaigns across 2-thousand brands from around the globe, and focussed on mobile.

“Marketing funnels in textbooks look very different. In the real world, search, social and location are intertwined from the point of awareness to purchase,” Marin said in their research. “Mobile devices, often at the heart of the modern shopper’s buying process, provide instant access to product reviews, coupons and competitors.”

Marin forecasts mobile devices, including tablets and smartphones, will drive a third of paid clicks in the U.S. by December 2013. They also noted between January and December 2012, advertisers increased their share of search budget on mobile devices by 85-percent, from 10-percent to 18.4-percent. However, they noted that despite this increased spend, ad budgets lagged in click volume from mobile devices.

Share of Clicks from Mobile Devices 2012

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Share of Spend from Mobile Devices 2012

Source: Marin Software

Marin also indicated that while cost-per-click (CPC) and click-through-rate (CTR) figures were generally higher across smartphones and tablets, these mobile devices seemed to deliver lower overall conversions. The company indicated that more research should be conducted to see whether those conversions are happening in a brick-and-mortar store setting, and that advertisers should consider their specific situations when building a campaign.

The report goes on to note the search performance of mobile devices in Europe and the United Kingdom, and mentions CTR and CPC across devices in 2012. Not surprisingly, CTR on smartphones is significantly higher than computers in the UK and the Eurozone, while CTR on tablets is not too far behind.

CPC on smartphones is also lower than computers across the UK and the Eurozone, according to the data. What is surprising, however, is the fact that tablet clicks seem to be closing in on computer clicks within the two areas.

CTR Across Devices 2012

CPC Across Devices 2012

The report showed a 36-percent average increase in CPC within the UK, and a 24-percent average increase in the Eurozone, but doesn’t take fluctuations in currency into consideration.

What does all this mean for businesses? Marketing managers should be aware of the opportunities that paid search ads have in conjunction with an organic search campaign.

“PPC is a great way to test keyword phrases before deciding to deploy them in an SEO strategy,” says Darin Berntson, Senior Community Manager with SEO.com. “You can get almost real-time data on what keywords work and focus your energy there. You also get data that can help you with determining long-tail phrases you can build content around. PPC is a very complimentary component to any internet marketing strategy.”

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