Study shows one third of Google ad conversions happen on mobile


When discussing mobile and commerce, we usually think of the phone as a tool showroomers use to find the best price on whatever it is they’re shopping for. But a new study from Marin Software shows that consumers are slowly but surely turning to their mobile devices to complete the deal as well.


Desktop is still the clear choice across the board but those other two bars are closing in fast. Here are a few more facts from Q3 2014:

  • Mobile devices comprised 31% of paid search impressions and 38% of search ad clicks on Google.
  • Mobile accounted for 30% of ad conversions with mobile conversions increasing 2.4% quarter-over-quarter and nearly 11% year-over-year.


  • 1 out of every 3 ad conversions on Facebook took place on a mobile device with mobile ad conversions increasing 16% quarter-over-quarter.
  • Mobile ads on Facebook accounted for 52% of ad impressions and 63% of clicks.

What we also see here is that Search is converting better than Display and way better than Social across all devices.

Now take a look at this chart which shows the click through rate for each type of ad and device. Smartphones may not be tops for conversion, but they’re knocking it out the park on clicks.

Smartphones have the highest click through rates on all of the three types of ads. Marin says the huge difference between Search CTR and Social and Display CTR goes to intent. When a person is actively “searching” for something, they’re more likely to click through to the result be it a product, store location or website. Social and Display ads pop up when people are already doing something else such as reading an article, watching a video or trolling for photo updates on Facebook so they’re less likely to engage with the ad.

But seeing how smartphones have the edge I have to wonder if it’s the small screen, lack of other options or limited number of ads that are affecting the outcome. When we’re on our desktops, we see a large number of ads popping up all over the place and it can be hard to focus on any one. But a smartphone screen is small and there are fewer ads per page so you’re eyes are more likely to land on the target.

Whatever the reason, there’s no doubt that consumers are doing more searching, clicking and shopping with their mobile devices. I have a feeling that by the end of Q4, these mobile numbers are going to be higher than ever.

Marketing Pilgrim – Internet News and Opinion