Mobile devices will account for one-third of paid-search clicks and search budgets by December 2013 after the segment nearly doubled during 2012, global research by US-based Marin Software has found.
The technology company was able to look across a portfolio of brands and advertisers totalling more than $4 billion in combined annualized search spend. The daya was skewed towards organisations spending more than $80,000 per month on paid search.
Despite the near-doubling of advertising investment in mobile search, this effort still lagged behind the overall click share of mobile devices.
However companies are failing to accurately track the conversion rate of mobile clicks, because many of them are resulting in a store visit or a phone call. A majority of marketers are not using store locator or click-to-call techniques with their mobile adverts to track these conversions, the report found.
As a consequence, raw data is often pointing to desktop PCs as still being a more efficient conversion medium, even though mobile devices and tablets both have higher click-through rates.
The study also found that while the cost-per-click rates on mobiles remain cheaper than PCs, there was a substantial level of inflation as brands competed for the inherently limited space on mobiles, while tablet cost-per-click rose to close to parity with PC cost-per-clicks.