January 4, 2011, 12:17 PM

Mobile paid search clicks to account for 16% of all paid clicks by December, Performics says

Conversion rates are lower, but they can be boosted by improving mobile experiences, analyst says.

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Mobile paid search is growing—fast. This is evidenced by the retailer and other clients of digital marketing firm Performics Inc., which projects mobile Google paid search clicks for its clients will account for 16% of all Google paid search clicks by the end of the year, up from about 3.5% in January 2010.

“While 2010 wasn’t quite the year for mobile search, mobile impressions and clicks did surge in Q4, indicating that 2011 could be mobile search’s breakout year,” writes James Beveridge, senior analyst, planning and analytics, on the Performics blog. “Mobile search clicks could be greater than 16% of all Google search clicks by the end of 2011. Additionally, mobile search costs per click are, on average, 59% lower than desktop CPCs and continue to fall month over month, making mobile a highly efficient channel for advertisers.”

But compared with PC web paid search, mobile paid search conversion is not as strong, Performics finds.

“Conversion rates are still lower for mobile search than desktop, suggesting that advertisers should focus on improving mobile site experience,” Beveridge writes.

And all the data combined leads to one conclusion, he adds. “The trends all point in one direction—that mobile paid search will be an essential part of a successful 2011 performance marketing program.”

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