I’ve been testing the performance differences between the various search networks (Google Search, Mobile, Search Partners, etc…) for some time now, and have been able to pull out all sorts of interesting stats. There are stats that I simply can’t ignore, like the conversion rates between desktop searches and mobile searches. What I’ve found is that people searching on mobile devices are on average four+ times more likely to convert into a customer than those searching on desktops.
In my research, I compared several different paid search accounts in various verticals. I used their volume of clicks and conversions as the metrics for this particular test, and I noticed across all 4 accounts had very similar conversion rates for mobile vs desktop.
Paid search from desktop users accounted for 94.4% of the click volume, where as paid search from mobile users accounted for only 5.6% of the click volume. In these particular examples, the amount of paid search clicks that came through via desktop was 261,644 vs. mobile at 15,649.
When we go beyond the click and look at actual conversions, the desktop campaigns drove 7,157 transactions, good for a 2.74% conversion rate. Not too shabby considering the competitiveness of these particular categories. When we took a look at mobile campaigns, we saw that of the 15,649 clicks we drove, 1,899 of them converted into a customer, good for a 12.13% conversion rate. The mobile conversion rate is more than 4 times better than the desktop conversion rate.
Furthermore, none of the clients used in this research have mobile versions of their sites. I wanted to keep these tests are similar as possible using desktop and mobile, so I’m not including things like click-to-call volume, which would likely skew the conversion rates even more towards mobile.
In my opinion, had there been optimized mobile experiences, we would likely have seen an even higher conversion rate than the 12.13% from the non-mobile sites.
When you get some time, check out the conversion metrics for your desktop campaigns vs mobile campaigns. If you see what I see, you might want to reconsider your search network budget split.