Posted by: Kerry Sheahan

Posted on: February 14, 2013 11:58 am

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We often talk about the phenomenal growth of mobile search and how too many digital marketers aren’t doing enough to adapt their strategies to this trend. However, recent research from Marin Software, the leading paid search management platform, shows that this may be changing.

The data shows that mobile devices achieve higher click through rates (CTRs) than desktop when it comes to UK paid search ads, a somewhat surprising discovery when considering the length of time they have been in regular use.

The study looked at how different devices performed last year, with smartphones leading the way with the highest CTR at 5.87% compared to 3.93% on tablet and just 2.29% on desktop. The gap between smartphones and the other two devices is quite significant, and what has surprised many people in the online marketing arena the most is the difference between smartphones and tablets with most people expecting these to be more similar to each other than desktops.

As well as achieving the highest CTR, smartphone clicks are cheaper than the corresponding desktop and tablet clicks, which may prompt more paid search advertisers to target their ads towards this device.

Generally speaking, keywords and ads that are closely related to each other and your business will give your ads the best chance of achieving a higher click through rate.

The research also delved in to cost per click, this time with tablets coming out highest. Tablet CPCs saw the most significant growth during 2012, averaging a 36% increase in the UK compared to 24% for smartphones and 14% for desk top.

The recent move to Enhanced Campaigns may affect mobile CPCs during the 2013, so it will be interesting to keep track of how this develops. The new method of managing paid search means that advertisers will be able to target people based on the time of day, their location and the device they’re using.

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