One-Third of US Organic Search Traffic Said to be Mobile

July 17, 2014

RKG-Mobile-Share-Organic-Search-Q2-2012-Q2-2014-Jul2014Mobile devices accounted for 34% of US organic search visits during the second quarter of the year, up from 31% during Q1, details RKG Digital in its latest quarterly digital marketing report [download page]. The iPhone alone contributed 12% share of organic search traffic, slightly higher than the iPad’s 11% share, such that Apple devices together accounted for almost one-quarter of US organic search traffic. Mobile’s influence continued to be far higher on Google and Yahoo than on Bing.

Indeed, smartphones and tablets accounted for 36% of Google organic search traffic during the second quarter, up from 33% in Q1 and 29% in Q2 2013. Similarly, mobile devices accounted for 37% share of Yahoo organic search traffic, flat from the prior quarter, but up 10% points from the year-earlier period. Bing dragged down the overall average as a result of mobile being only 17% of its organic search traffic.

Mobile search visits increased by 18% year-over-year, although overall organic search traffic declined by 7% as a result of a continued drop in desktop search traffic. Organic search traffic held steady at 31% share of all US site visits.

Meanwhile, mobile’s role was just as pronounced in paid search, as smartphones (19%) and tablets (18%) combined to account for 37% of paid search clicks. Despite generating a slightly higher share of clicks than tablets, smartphones drew just 9% of paid search spending, versus 19% captured by tablet traffic. That’s likely due to conversion rates and average order values being far lower on smartphones than on tablets.

Turning to social media, the report indicates that it continues to be a fractional player in terms of traffic, averaging just 1.6% share of US site visits. Some 42% of social site visits came from mobile devices, up from 40% share in Q1 and 25% share in Q2 2013. While that’s a higher figure than for organic or paid search, it appears to be fairly low given that almost three-quarters of time spent with social networks is via smartphones and tablets.

About the Data: Figures are derived from samples of RKG clients who have worked with RKG for each respective marketing channel. Where applicable, these samples are restricted to those clients who 1) have maintained active programs with RKG for at least 19 months, 2) have not significantly changed their strategic objectives or product offerings, and 3) meet a minimum ad spend threshold. All trended figures presented in the report represent same-site changes over the given time period. Unless otherwise specified, the data points in this report are derived from the North American market region.

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