Google AdWords recently released a study focusing on the effect mobile PPC ads have on overall click rate for a company. The study, which looked at 327 AdWords accounts across 12 vertical markets, found that 88% of consumers who clicked on a mobile search ad for a company would not have clicked on the company’s organic search listing if the search ad wasn’t there. Put another way, if Company X has 100 organic clicks per month and 100 PPC clicks per month for a total of 200 clicks per month, and they decide to turn off their mobile search ads, they should expect a total of 112 clicks per month, which would all come from organic traffic.
This indicates that there are two types of mobile search consumers: ones who focus solely on organic search results and ones who focus primarily on paid search ads. Companies need to take notice of this and treat their customers as two different groups.
One major thing to note from the study is that the quality of clicks was not reported. So while having search ads definitely increases traffic, those site visits could have a bounce rate of anywhere between 0% and 100%.
Google conducted a similar study in 2011 and discovered that 89% of search ads are incremental to organic clicks across all devices, so this data isn’t completely new and revolutionary. Some may even think that it’s common sense that if you have less links on search results pages, you will get less traffic, which is perfectly understandable logic. The part of the study that is surprising though is just how many clicks a site will miss out on just from removing their search ads.
Another eye-opening factor about the study that validates it is that Google only used pages that organically listed on the first search results page. This makes the study more relevant because it is only focusing on the pages that already rank high.
Aaron Harris of Tutorspree demonstrated in a blog post earlier this month that only 13% of a web browser actually shows organic listings. That number can potentially be as low as 0% on smartphones depending on what is being searched, which could be part of the reason PPC traffic doesn’t transfer to organic clicks when turned off.
With the automatic update of Enhanced Campaigns on the horizon, the results of this study may sway marketers to load up on their mobile advertising budget.
Andy Miller, Google’s Head of Global Mobile Search Solutions, comments, “This study continues to show the importance of advertising on mobile whether you are a restaurant owner, a sporting goods retailer or automobile brand. People are searching all the time, across devices. Therefore, it’s more important than ever before to make sure that your message is where people are looking.”
And these days people are looking at their phones. So as mobile marketing continues to grow, many companies will be left behind if they don’t make it a top priority.