UK in top three for mobile search


The UK is one of the global frontrunners in mobile search according to a new study, ranking just below Japan and Australia.

Britain ranked with 15.1% of paid search clicks in December coming from mobile devices, leaving it second only to Japan in first place, and Australia in second, according to research carried out by Marin Software, provider of an online advertising management platform for advertisers and agencies.

However, the Eurozone showed strong growth in 2011, with share of mobile paid search clicks growing 177% over 12 months, from 2.1% in January 2011, to 5.8% in December 2011.

The report reveals UK mobile search went from strength to strength in 2011, with search’s share of paid clicks from mobile increasing by 180% from January to December 2011.

It also shows advertisers have started to acknowledge the vast growth in smartphone and tablet adoption, after the share of search budget for mobile grew by 191% (from 3.2% to 9.3%) throughout 2011. However, the percentage share of mobile clicks is still higher than spend at 15.1%, so there is room for budgets to increase further.

Further encouragement was found for advertisers in mobile search as cost-per-clicks (CPCs) on mobiles and tablets were found to be significantly lower than those on desktops. The average cost-per-click on a smartphone is roughly half that of a corresponding desktop click, while a tablet cost-per-click is just more than two-thirds the cost of a desktop click.

Analysis of click-through rates show consumers are more likely to engage with paid search adverts on smartphones and tablets as opposed to desktop computers. Paid search click-through rates on smartphones are 54% higher than they are on desktops, while click-through rates on tablets are 68% higher.

The report also highlighted that conversion rates on tablets are comparable to desktop computers at 4% against 4.7%, with cost per conversion 14% lower on tablets than desktops, once again presenting favourable conditions for advertisers.

Mobile cuts across all online marketing channels, whether search, display, or social, commented Ed Stevenson, managing director, global agencies and international at Marin Software. Much like the desktop market, however, search represents the largest destination for mobile ad budgets. The combination of explosive user adoption of mobile devices, coupled with favourable performance characteristics for ads, makes mobile search an increasingly critical growth opportunity for both advertisers and Google. As consumers shift their media consumption to mobile devices, advertisers need to seriously consider how to adapt their marketing strategies to capitalise.


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