What is mobile traffic really made of?

First of all… we did it! We successfully completed Google’s mobile vanguard program 🙂
To keep it short and sweet the intention of the program was to push mobile, to pioneer the drive forward and as the title suggests, become a vanguard. Obviously, as results driven PPC specialists, we have to see good performance and return from that push.

mobile search data

With it’s entire emphasis on mobile performance, we thought it would be a great time to compare impact of our efforts year on year.

We’re going to look at the Q2 of 2017 (April, May, June) vs the same period from 2016. Of course, mobile search volume changed (which was naturally to be expected) but so too has attitude which is very important. The amount of advertisers questioning whether they need in to invest in mobile is shrinking and the mentality now is how do we harness it? Mobile plays an integral part in modern commerce, both on and offline.

With very special support from Google, we set out see what mobile is really made of.

Here’s our results;

Mobile traffic increased – 53.79%
Mobile spend increased – 36.32%
Direct revenue from mobile increased – 115.27%

What did we do?

We revised and improved our efforts for mobile traffic specifically, readjusting strategy to hone in on all opportunities mobile. Such things include mobile specific ad copy, ad extensions specific to mobile, mobile bidding as well as data interpretation. What we were looking at and how we assess good vs bad was key to it’s success. User behaviour across devices fluctuates a lot and these should be treated as independent. Google provided advanced training for our account managers and specialist training on attribution which gave focus and direction.

The results speak for themselves – direct mobile revenue, as a percentage, made up a much bigger part of total revenue this year’s Q2 vs last.

Revenue breakdown by device Q2 2016 vs Q2 2017;

Revenue by Device Q2 2016 and Q2 2017

As we know, investment in mobile traffic can have a positive impact on other traffic sources such as brand organic or direct traffic due to cross device conversions. There unfortunately is no accurate way of knowing what exact impact that was but it certainly wouldn’t be a negative. So, the 115.27% rise in revenue represents a minimum increase.

The graph below shows the difference, year on year, for sessions and revenue across 3 channels;

Mobile Difference Q2 2016 vs Q2 2017

Whilst there has been a modest increase in organic sessions (and even a slight decrease in direct), we saw substantial increases in revenue, unnatural in comparison. A large part of this growth we believe should be attributed to the increase in mobile activity.

Why would users cross device/channel?

Mobile devices have traditionally been a research device for a lot of users, a device they have on them at all times making it really easy to research, review and shop etc. Micro moments occur a lot, micro moments are when people reflexively turn to a device (usually a smartphone) to act on a need to learn something, do something, discover something, watch something or buy something. With it being a mobile and not necessarily a fixed location e.g. computer at home/office, distractions happen and it breaks the line of thought and the user’s intention. That combined with users still being a little uncomfortable with making large purchases from a mobile makes for a lot of cross device / cross channel conversions.

We can also report a decrease in mobile CPC. Year on year mobile CPC has dropped 14.58% for our advertisers. Tablet CPC has a very similar percentage drop with a 15.27% reduction in cost per click, whilst desktop has remained the same.

Overall, we’re pleased with the outcome. Our additional efforts paid off and now we’re ready to go again with a revitalised outlook.

The future’s bright, the future’s mobile.
(*cough* with attribution, new data interpretation skills and a mobile specific strategy)

Do you feel you miss the latest Google Ads updates and feature releases? If so, then contact Mabo today to see how your PPC advertising could benefit from working with our team of PPC management specialists. 

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