Mobile Paid Search Impressions Reach 21% in May, a New Record High

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According to the latest figures from Performics, mobile impression share of all paid search impressions reached a new record high in May, breaking the mark set in April. Growth in smartphone impressions drove the rise in May.

In May, 20.9 percent of all paid search impressions were from mobile phones and tablets, which broke the 19.3 percent record high set in April. While smartphone impressions grew from April to May, tablet impression share shrunk to 33.3 percent of all mobile impressions, according to Performics.

Meanwhile, mobile click share grew to 28.2 percent of all search clicks in May, nearly double the 14.2 percent click share in May 2011. Tablets accounted for 35.2 percent of mobile clicks and exhibited the highest click-through rate (CTR) of any device.

“Mobile paid search click volume is up three times year-over-year,” according to Performics. “This foreshadows a huge holiday for mobile clicks. Mobile click volume peaked in December 2011; thus — with mobile click volume currently up three times year-over-year — we expect holiday 2012 to shatter click records from holiday 2011.”

In May, 18.4 percent of advertisers’ paid search spend was on mobile, up from 16.6 percent in April and up significantly from 7.2 percent in May 2011.

Performics found that tablet cost-per-click (CPC) was 80 percent of desktop CPC in May, while CPC for smartphones was 45 percent of desktop CPC. CPCs for smartphones and tablets are trending lower than CPCs for desktop for two main reasons, according to Performics:

  1. better targeting opportunities on mobile, especially for local searches

  2. less competition

This makes mobile a “very efficient buying opportunity.” However, Performics warns that it expects mobile CPCs to rise as competition increases with major shopping periods approaching, starting with back-to-school and heading into the holiday season.

According to Performics, the aggregate mobile CTR was 8 percent, while tablet CTR hit 8.5 percent in May.

The company pointed to two main reasons for the widening gap in CTRs between desktop and mobile/tablet:

  1. advertisers’ ability to serve more relevant ads to mobile, location-based searchers

  2. mobile ad extensions on smartphones, which enable advertisers to occupy mobile search engine results pages with sitelinks, click-to-call, click-to-download, location extensions, maps and coupons

Separate data from comScore shows that 50.8 percent of U.S. tablet users during the three-month average ending in April were female, while 49.2 percent were male.

Nearly a quarter, or 24.4 percent, of tablet users were 25-34 years old, while 21.4 percent were 35-44 and 17.8 percent were 45-54.

According to comScore, 37.7 percent of tablet owners during this period were living in households earning $100,000+.



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