B2B Paid Search Slowly Gravitates Towards Smartphones

November 2, 2017

B2B advertisers continue to see most of their Google paid search clicks coming from desktops, but the device mix is slowly shifting towards smartphones. The latest quarterly Paid Search Trends report [download page] from iProspect shows that 42% of Google paid search clicks came from smartphones during the third quarter of this year, up from 38% during the year-earlier period.

Combined with tablets, mobile devices accounted for 46.7% of paid search clicks for B2B advertisers managed by iProspect, up only slightly from 45.4% last year. The minimal increase was due to a drop in the share of clicks from tablets (4.7%, down from 7.1%).

Overall, mobile devices have much less of a presence in the B2B vertical than in consumer verticals. Whereas desktops represent the majority (53.3%) of Google paid search clicks in the B2B vertical, they account for just 30.6% of clicks across all of iProspect’s clients.

That follows a general trend in the B2B space: for example, data shows that B2B email remains much more desktop-heavy than other industries.

Nevertheless, iProspect points out that B2B brands “are starting to embrace mobile” in paid search, increasing their investments and mobile optimization efforts. Recent research indeed indicates that mobile marketing is one of the key trends planned for implementation in the next 2 years by B2B CMOs.

Meanwhile, the iProspect report reveals that costs-per-click (CPCs) declined by 30% on Google and by 57% on Bing for B2B advertisers, with CPCs decreasing across devices.

For B2B advertisers, Google search ad click-through rates were up by 61% on desktops, by 33% on smartphones, and by 16% on tablets. By contrast, desktop click-through rates were down slightly on Bing (-11%), while more than doubling on smartphones.

The full report – which contains benchmarks and trends across other industries – can be downloaded here. It’s based on an analysis of data from more than 2,500 Google AdWords and Bing Ads accounts. All of the accounts analyzed for the report are managed by iProspect US, though spending is not limited to the US.

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