Search ads more effect on mobile than desktop

2011 a "watershed year" for mobile search

Search ads are significantly more effective on mobile devices than desktop PCs, according to new research from Marin Software. The report claims consumers are 68% more likely to click on search ads they see on tablets and 54% more likely to click through on smartphones, describing 2011 as a “watershed year” for mobile search. Marin also found that the percentage of paid search clicks from mobile grew 180% last year to represent 15.1% of clicks in the UK, driven by soaring device ownership. Although mobile ads are still in their infancy, the average search budget for mobile grew nearly 200% from 3.2% to 9.3% of overall spend in the UK, as marketers attempt to target the growing mobile audience. 

The rapid proliferation of smartphones and tablets is changing how consumers interact with brands, consume media and make purchase decisions,” says the report. “With smart mobile devices becoming increasingly ubiquitous, advertisers will need to adapt their online marketing strategies to more closely reflect how people search, buy and share.”

Marin’s results have met with some scepticism in the advertising industry, however, with mobile ad revenue still lagging far behind mobile device ownership. Marin marketing VP Matt Lawson suggests that as there is only space for around two ads on mobile devices, consumers are less distracted by more cluttered advertising on desktops. However, analysts are suggesting that that because mobile ads cover large portions of the screen, consumers could be clicking on the ads by accident.

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