Google And Its Advertisers That Didn’t Prepare For Mobile Face Uphill Struggle [Report]

Advertisers are paying higher prices for fewer clicks on mobile search; Facebook mobile display ad engagement is growing while Google's declines.

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google-mobile-smartphones-blue-ss-1920Delayed or deficient mobile strategies are hurting both Google advertisers and Google itself, Adobe Digital Index finds in its latest Digital Advertising Report.

Brands that were not prepared for Google’s mobile friendly update that began rolling out in April lost up to 10 percent of organic traffic in Q2, and any attempts to make that loss up with paid search ads came at a higher costs for fewer clicks. Adobe Digital Index (ADI) found mobile on Google CPCs rose 16 percent year-over-year in Q2, while CTR fell by 9 percent in Q2.

“Increases in CPC stretch marketing budgets due to what is known as click inflation — advertisers have to spend more just to stay even,” explained Joe Martin, an analyst with ADI.

google smartphone ctr vs cpc, adobe

Facebook Is Challenging Google In Display

Google is “starting to lose ground as a marketing vehicle,” Tamara Gaffney, principal at ADI, said. “And part of the reason why is because they aren’t getting as many clicks out of global display ads.”

ADI found that Google has seen a 3 percent decline in consumer actions on display ads. That compares to Facebook’s increase of 11 percent during the same time period.

Click-through rates (CTRs) on Facebook ads have nearly doubled since the social network began to show ads in the news feed and reduced the number of ads that appear for mobile users. Compared to Facebook’s year-over-year increase in display ad CTR of 99 percent, Google’s CTR rose just 24 percent across all devices globally.

Incremental Steps Aren’t Enough, Report Says

Google, which has accelerated efforts to transition its advertising platforms and formats for mobile in recent months, and marketers that haven’t made major adjustments for mobile, need to make more significant changes in order to stay competitive, ADI finds.

“The data is telling us that incremental change to adapt to mobile is not going to be sufficient for marketers,” said Gaffney. “They will have to disrupt the process in all parts of their offering to adapt to mobile. The whole mantra of mobile-first isn’t even enough. It has to be mobile is the experience because the world we live in is not going to be about engagement and ROI in the way we are used to. It is going to be about fully integrating into the mobile experience in new and important ways.”

Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily MarTech. Staff authors are listed here.

About the author

Ginny Marvin
Ginny Marvin was formerly Third Door Media’s Editor-in-Chief, running the day-to-day editorial operations across all publications and overseeing paid media coverage. Ginny Marvin wrote about paid digital advertising and analytics news and trends for Search Engine Land, Marketing Land and MarTech Today. With more than 15 years of marketing experience, Ginny has held both in-house and agency management positions. She can be found on Twitter as @ginnymarvin.

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