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Smartphones and tablets are transforming paid-search in UK - new study

Tuesday February 12th 2013

A new study has found that smartphones and tablets are transforming the paid search advertising industry as consumers increasingly use their mobile devices to conduct research and shop online.

According to a report by Marin Software, smartphones and tablets accounted for 14.8% of UK paid search in January 2012, and by December had risen to 24.4% of all paid clicks. The rise was fuelled by a rise in the number of consumers using their mobile devices to research products and shop online.

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As a result of the study, the company is predicting that the conversion rate of search ads originating from mobile devices will match those from desktop in 2013. 

The study found that paid search clicks on smartphones and tablets increased by 65% in the UK during 2012 and with a 24.4% share of smart mobile paid clicks, outstripped the Eurozone at 14.5% 

Marin found that the UK ha the highest smart mobile click through rate in Europe, second only to the US internationally. 

The data shows that in 2012, UK advertisers increased their smartphone and tablets paid search budgets by 94% while in the Eurozone investment rose from 4.8% to 11.8%. 

Marin predicts that cost per click for smartphone and tablets will come in line with desk-top in 2013.

The report indicates that early UK adopter traffic resulted in a 36% increase in the cost per click for tablets. 

"This study indicates in no uncertain terms that the age of desk-top dominance in the paid-search advertising is coming to an end," said Jon Myers, commercial director, EMEA at Marin Software. "There has been a significant uptake of smartphone and tablets in the UK, and this country now leads Europe in terms of consumer engagement with mobile advertising as we all increasingly shop online on mobile devices."

Myers continued: "While the rise of tablets is no secret, what’s interesting is based on our report, tablet users engage with search ads more than ads on desktops. A high user involvement combined with favourable performance characteristics make search ads on tablets hard to resist for advertisers."