Looking at current trends, Marin Software predicts more paid search clicks will come from mobile devices than desktops by the end of next year.
By December of 2013, mobile accounted for more than a third of all paid search clicks on Google. By the end of 2015, mobile devices will drive 50 percent of Google’s paid search clicks, according to the 2014 mobile search advertising report published by Marin Software today.
Smartphone paid search ad clicks nearly doubled throughout 2013 and accounted for just over 20 percent of total click share.
The Marin study looks at Google performance data from the generally large-scale advertisers using the paid search platform. Among this advertiser set, mobile spend share rose 45 percent from January to December 2013 to hit 27.9 percent.
Share of spend on smartphones began to edge out tablets in July, when enhanced campaigns rolled out fully. Marin expects mobile spend share to continue to rise above 30 percent of paid search budgets by 2014.
“We’re at the cusp of mobile becoming the dominant channel in search marketing,” said Matt Ackley, chief marketing officer at Marin Software in a statement. “Consumers are becoming much more comfortable using their smartphones and tablets to complete transactions online, and as we see that comfort level rise advertisers will follow suit with continued investment and optimization in mobile.”
Another milestone hit last year was tablet conversion rates just beating out desktop for the first time. At 4.4 percent Smartphone conversion rates still lag behind the other devices — 5.3 percent for computers and 5.5 percent for tablets — but not substantially. Conversion rates on smartphones improved significantly in 2013. Smartphone conversion rates rose 57.1 percent, while tablets saw conversion rates jump 66.7 percent year-over-year. Desktop conversion rates rose 35.9 percent in 2013.
The average cost-per-click (CPC) increased across devices among this group of advertisers, though mobile CPCs remained below desktop. The smartphone average CPC was 30 percent lower than desktop, while tablet CPCs were marginally lower at an 8 percent discount.
The Marin study looked at mobile paid search trends across a total of 13 countries. The full report is available for download here.