Tag Archives: mobile ctr

Conversion rate from mobile ads 7 times lower than desktop ads

In a previous post “CTR from mobile ads are 2.7 times higher than from a desktop“, we described that it would be best to do A/B testing using CPM and CPC models to find out what works best for your Google Adwords/YSM/Bing advertising campaigns.

From the same study that Efficient Frontier did, it was noted that mobile ads’ conversion rate are only 14% of desktop search ads.  Lower conversion rates reflect whether the needs of the person who clicked the ads have not been met that well, together with the finding from Google that “One out of every three search queries on mobile have local intent” means

Keywords chosen on mobile ads must fulfill local, immediate needs

Noting that “effective keywords have up to 5 times the CTR of desktop search” e.g. if a user thinking of having a massage does a mobile search with “reflexology choa chu kang”, the user will definitely be very interested in your services if yours happen to be in the vicinity of choa chu kang.  Point is campaigns should have dedicated keywords indicating location of your shop for mobile searches to get the best ROI.  Google Adwords allow campaigns to be directed at “mobile devices only”

google adwords, campaign type, mobile devices only

google campaign, mobile devices only











Mobile landing pages must be optimized and have local content e.g. shop location

This is even more important than the above.  Refer to the pictures below, feel the difference in impact when the user lands at your shop’s “services” page with lots of text, compared to a Google Map showing the location of your shop with contact number and address.


landing page not optimized

landing page not optimized

optimized landing page

optimized landing page













(Pictures for illustration purposes only, not actual mobile landing pages)


What does this mean for advertisers?
Advertisers who are able to provide local or urgent information searches should start advertising on mobile, and bringing users to mobile optimized landing pages to show them relevant information (more often than not, location info).

Mobile CTR 2.7 times higher than desktop search ads

CTR from mobile ads are 2.7 times higher than from a desktop, and cost per click 60% lower, research by Efficient Frontier showed in its UK Mobile Search Report.

However as mobile ad competition increase, as in the US (ad spending for the US and UK in 2010 was US$743m and US$135m respectively), mobile CTR has dropped to 30% lower while CPC increased 13% higher.

These paint the following scenarios:

1)  Initial stages

Factors that might explain the higher CTR as compared to desktop ads in this stage:

  • Mobile ads are very prominent, 2 ads can occupy almost the entire screen of a handphone
  • No right hand column ads, which have lower CTR
  • Lesser ads to compete with
  • Consumers are still not used to ads, leading to more accidental clicks

2)  Competition increases

The 3rd and 4th factors no longer apply as number of ads increase and consumer simply scroll through the ads.


What does this mean for advertisers?

This suggests that advertisers should take advantage of the initial stages with its higher CTR.

If the goal is brand awareness, this does seem true.

For results based measurements though, it is the cost per conversion that matters.  This is because the quality of the clicks needs to be taken into account as the higher CTR might be due to “consumers are still not used to ads, leading to more accidental clicks”.

More of this in another post.