Mobile search is an increasingly important area for ecommerce businesses as Google has stated that mobile queries are likely to overtake desktop queries by next year.

And new data from Covario shows that the level of investment in mobile paid search is slowly catching up with consumer behaviour.

On a global basis mobile search advertising accounted for 16% of total spend in Q2, of which 10% was spent on tablet and 6% on smartphone.

This represents an increase of 39% compared to Q1 2013 and a massive 132% increase year-on-year.

CPC prices varied significantly depending on the mobile platform. CPCs on smartphones remained at a 40% discount to desktop CPCs, but have increased nearly every quarter for the last five quarters – with the exception of Q4 2012.

Tablet CPCs fell below desktop pricing for the first time in several quarters and sit at a 12% discount to desktop CPCs.

A separate report from the IAB shows that global figures for mobile ad revenue increased by 82.8% in 2012 to $8.9 billion up from $5.3 billion in 2011.

Search dominated mobile ad spend, accounting for a massive 52.8% of the overall total.

Data included in our new Mobile Commerce Compendium highlights the frequency with which smartphone owners use mobile search.

A survey of 1,000 consumers found that search is one of the most common tasks carried out by smartphone users, with 67% of respondents having used mobile search in the previous week.

The Compendium includes a section of tips and advice on mobile search, including details on the difference between mobile and desktop search, and a look at whether brands are making the most of the opportunity.

State of paid search

Covario’s report also includes data on the overall state of the paid search market. Among the major search engines globally, Google continues to command more than 86% of the paid search market share.  

Advertiser spending on Google increased by 13% in Q2 2013 compared to the same period last year.

The Yahoo-Bing Network, which holds 6% of the global paid search spend market share, saw year-on-year quarterly spending up 23% along with a 7% gain from the first quarter. 

Covario’s report is based on its clients’ paid search activity in more than 45 countries.

David Moth

Published 10 July, 2013 by David Moth

David Moth is Editor and Head of Social at Econsultancy. You can follow him on Twitter or connect via LinkedIn

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Comments (1)


Jack Jarvis, Owner at The Website Review Company

With the Google mobile algorithm update looming mobile ad spend will see a sharp rise.

If Google splits mobile and desktop traffic, you stand to loose 25-50% of your traffic if you do not have a mobile friendly site.

Now this won't happen straight away, but a lot of companies shy away from mobile ad spend as the conversion is so much lower than desktop if they don't have a mobile site.

How can Google push them to spend more on mobile? By splitting search traffic, you have a choice, get a mobile friendly site or loose your mobile traffic.

If you haven't started mobile development, get going. Worst case scenario and Google doesn't go as far as dropping you, then you still end up with a mobile site that converts more. Win Win!

If questions or advice, get in contact.

about 5 years ago

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