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Australia is leading the way globally when it comes to share of ad clicks from tablets and smartphones, according to recent research from Marin Software.

The Mobile Search Advertising Around The Globe report found that Australia has the highest penetration of click share from tablet devices (9.3%) and the third highest penetration of click share from smartphones (11.7%).

Similarly, Australian marketers spend the highest percentage of their budget (8%) per device on tablet advertising than any other market, and have the second highest allocation of budget put towards smartphones (8.8%). 

Click through rates

It seems Australian consumers are more engaged with search ads on smartphones and tablets than they are with desktops, attracting higher CTR than any other Asia-Pacific country included in the report.

Click through rate on Australian smartphones was 4%, compared to 3.1% in China, 2.7% in India, 2% in Japan, 2% in New Zealand and 1.8% in Singapore. 

And when it came to tablets, CTR was highest in Australia at 4.7%.

India followed at 4.5%, China at 3.3%, Singapore at 2.4%, New Zealand at 2.1% and Japan at 1.7%.

Outside APAC, Brazil and Russia had better figures with 6.7% and 5.5% respectively.

Cost-per-click

The data in the report also showed that Australian advertisers are paying top dollar for ads served by Google, averaging 95c (USD) per click on desktop, 78c (USD) on tablets and 68c (USD) on smartphones, making Australia the most expensive country for CPC rates. 

Japan is the second most expensive country with rates of 71c (USD) per click on desktop, 56c (USD) on tablets and 43c (USD) on smartphones.

This is considerably higher than the rate in New Zealand, where advertisers pay 61c (USD) per click on desktop, 63c (USD) on tablets and 31c (USD) on smartphones.

The year ahead 

Consumers are continuing to shun desktops, turning to tablets and smartphones to research goods and make purchases online.

As a result of this, advertisers are investing more in search ads on these devices than ever before. 

Marin is predicting that ad spend on tablets and smartphones in the USA will double this year, rising from 10.7% in December 2012 to 20% in December 2013.

Nick Gill, MD of Marin Australia, believes the conversion rate of search advertisements originating from tablets will eclipse those from desktop before the year ends:

Right now Australia is demonstrating a slightly different trend than what is occurring in the rest of the world with Marin’s data indicating that the average CTR in Australia for campaigns on mobile devices is on par with that of desktop computers.

However, I predict this is going to change with mobile devices continue to show great promise for advertisers in Australia given the strong CTR and lower CPC than desktop computers.

Solid user engagement combined with favorable performance characteristics make search ads on tablets hard to resist for advertisers.

Claire Brinkley

Published 19 February, 2013 by Claire Brinkley

Claire Brinkley is Econsultancy Australia's news and insight reporter. Follow her on Twitter, Google+ or connect with her on LinkedIn

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