iProspect: More Than Half Of All Paid Search Traffic Comes From Mobile

The agency's report highlights the opportunities for local brick-and-mortar merchants at a time of increased pressure from online channels.

Mobile paid search continued to grow in 2016, with full-year mobile clicks officially exceeding desktop for the first time across the Dentsu Aegis agency iProspect’s client roster, the company said in a report looking at the space’s trends.

About 52 percent of all clicks in 2016 were mobile, and mobile clicks and impressions saw YoY increases of 57 percent and 79 percent, respectively. Comparatively, desktop clicks and impressions fell 12 percent year-over-year and tablet clicks decreased 7 percent YoY.

While CPC is often associated with e-commerce across desktop, tablet, and mobile, there is a clear aspect of mobile influencing in-store purchases.

iProspect’s data on Q4 paid search showed some bright spots for retail, which has continues to struggle when it comes to evolving online-to-offline marketing to meet the expectations of shoppers.

Search is a key component of an omnichannel strategy and iProspect found that annual growth trends for retail saw spend increasing a decent 8 percent.

This increase in spend may be attributable to shifts toward digital for Black Friday and to retailers beginning holiday promotions earlier in the season, iProspect said.

Still challenges remain: “Despite the increase in spend, clicks were down YoY (4 percent) as a result of a rise in CPC (13 percent). With the removal of the right-hand rail and the addition of a fourth ad position, competition was fierce this holiday season.

So far, Google and Facebook are trying to step up their services aimed at local businesses.

Over the past year, Google has rolled out a number of  shopping ad formats such as a “Shop the Look” experience, which displays shoppable images mapped to product listings ads for apparel and home décor queries.

As voice search becomes a more mainstream function across smartphones and Internet of Things devices like Amazon Echo, with its Alexa virtual assistant, the role of CPC will diminish in favor of actual actions.

“Leveraging proliferation of microphones throughout the house to reduce friction for making purchases… [it is] 3x faster to shop using microphone than to navigate menus in mobile apps,” noted investor and internet analyst Mary Meeker in her annual report last year that saw voice-activation as a major trend.

About The Author
David Kaplan David Kaplan @davidakaplan

A New York City-based journalist for over 20 years, David Kaplan is managing editor of A former editor and reporter at AdExchanger, paidContent, Adweek and MediaPost.