Google: 88% of Mobile Search Ad Clicks are Incremental to Organic Clicks

Wondering about running mobile ads in AdWords? Fret no more.

Today Google AdWords released a mobile research study that concluded 88 percent of ad clicks from mobile search are incremental to organic clicks. In other words, the paid clicks aren't replaced by organic clicks when search ads are paused.

The study was conducted from March 2012 to April 2013, on more than 300 U.S. AdWords accounts from 12 verticals. This research is similar to a 2011 study which found that incremental ad clicks, across all devices, make up 89 percent of traffic generated by search ads and isn't replaced by organic clicks when ads aren't running

The results in verticals range from 82 percent incremental clicks in the general service industry to 97 percent in the classified ad vertical. This infographic provides details on the 12 different verticals:

Breaking Down the Impact of Mobile Search Ads

Google's conclusion isn't surprising and perhaps reassuring to those advertisers still on the fence about the impending enhanced campaigns upgrade deadline: AdWords enhanced campaigns makes it easy for advertisers to capture this incremental traffic.

Andy Miller, Google's Head of Global Mobile Search Solutions, writes in the announcement: "By upgrading to enhanced campaigns, advertisers can effectively reach consumers using mobile devices based on contextual signals like their location and time of day."

While this is good news for advertisers looking for ways to drive more traffic and understand the mobile market, one piece of data missing from the four-page report is the quality of the traffic driven from mobile.

If driving traffic is the main goal of AdWords advertising, then this research supports and should encourage advertisers to maximize mobile presence in their AdWords accounts. However, advertiser goals vary, so it will remain the advertiser's responsibility to determine whether the mobile traffic drives incremental revenue to the bottom line.

About the author

Lisa Raehsler is the founder and principal strategist at Big Click Co. , an online advertising company and Google AdWords Certified Partner, specializing in strategy and management of SEM and PPC for search engines, display, retargeting, and social media ad campaigns. More than just passionate about search, Lisa has led strategy on dozens of PPC accounts and puts her experience into practice every day as a thought leader in integrating clients' search campaigns with ecommerce websites, behavioral targeting strategies, and web analytics.

In addition to agency work, she has led successful online marketing programs at Thomson Reuters in search marketing, merchandising, and ecommerce strategies at the enterprise level.

Lisa frequently lends her expertise to the search industry through organizational involvement, speaking, and writing. She has participated extensively in the local interactive community, as well as at national search engine marketing conferences. Lisa's recent speaking engagements include SES, OMS, MIMA, HeroConf, and SMX conferences, as well as numerous private and public training engagements. As a columnist for ClickZ, she writes on the topic of paid search. She holds a BA in Economics from Valparaiso University and is a Google AdWords Certified Partner.