Click-through rates from search results displayed on a mobile phone in the UK are 2.7 times higher than from computers, according to new research.
The study from performance marketing company, Efficient Frontier, shows a stark contrast to the US, where click-through rates from mobiles are 30 percent lower.
This may be because there are fewer competitors advertising on mobile in the UK; one should bear in mind that the CTR was approximately 5 percent in the early days of display, the report suggested.
The most effective keywords on mobile search relate to urgent, local or ‘cheap deal’ searches, demonstrating that – for now at least – mobile searches are mostly being used to satisfy an immediate need (searching for information on the road, or for unplanned events), rather than for background research. This is compounded by Google’s findings that one in three mobile searches show local intent.
Effective keywords supporting local intent can have up to five times the click-through rate of desktop search. This is also likely to be in part attributed to the relatively low numbers of advertisers using mobile pay-per-click (PPC) search advertising, and therefore facing relatively low competition on the channel.
Growth of mobile search spend is predicted to be high: in June 2010, mobile search advertising accounted for 0.34 percent of search spend; in March 2011 this had risen to 1.70 percent (a 400 percent increase). Efficient Frontier predicts that this could rise to more than 4.2 percent by the end of the year.
Cost-per-click (CPC) on mobile is, on average, 60 percent of that of desktop search. This is likely to change, as mobile advertising increases in the UK. It tells a very different story from US research: Efficient Frontier’s research in the US shows CPC rates as, on average, 13 percent higher than desktop search (and click-through rates as 30 percent lower).
However, conversion rates over mobile are significantly lower than that of desktop search (14 percent of that of desktop search).
This reflects the type of searches carried out on mobile, which are still more likely to be local or urgent information searches, rather than sales, subscriptions or registrations.
It doesn’t measure offline conversion rates (footfall to local businesses) which are likely to be higher than average. Conversion rates from mobile advertising are expected to increase over the coming year, as mobile internet use shifts and mobile payment methods become simpler to use.
Recommendations for advertisers
Efficient Frontier recommends that advertisers who can satisfy local intent searches, cheap deals or urgent information (for example: retailers; travel and leisure companies such as airlines, transport operators, hotels and restaurant chains; or local attractions) start investing in mobile advertising if they haven’t already. Lower CPC rates and high click-through rates offered by mobile advertising mean that it could be a highly effective medium to drive offline footfall. (For more information on how advertisers can use mobile search, see Efficient Frontier’s insight guide to mobile search, available from http://www.efrontier.com/research/whitepapers.)
Efficient Frontier’s European client services director, Jonathan Beeston, says: “Common sense dictates that mobile advertising is an extremely effective way of local businesses reaching customers who are in the area and looking for products or services. Our research bears this out, with local intent, urgent information and cheap deals heading the list of keywords. Mobile offers great value at the moment to specific sectors such as retail and travel.”
To download a copy of the UK mobile search report, visit http://efrontier.com/sites/default/files/UK_Mobile_Search_Snapshot.pdf