According to Google AdWords, across 10 countries (including the United States and Japan), more searches are performed on mobile devices than on desktop computers. Further, 77 percent of those mobile searches lead to action.
To learn more about mobile, SERPs and how they impact one another, let’s look at Mediative’s report on eye-tracking and consumer searches on mobile.
Heat Maps: Desktop Versus Mobile
Heat maps are color-coded images that show which parts of a web page get the most attention. Mediative has them for both desktop and mobile—red indicates the most views, followed by yellow then green.
Back when mobile wasn’t as popular as it is today, heat maps showed a “golden triangle” pattern on the desktop SERPs. Now, with more mobile devices using search, users’ eyes travel down rather than sideways.
Ultimately, this means users see more listings, but spend less time viewing each one, according to a report at Search Engine Land.
Last year, Google removed right sidebar ads and put ads up above and below the organic listings. Google knew mobile search habits were changing how people looked at SERPs, and that placing ads vertically meant they’d get more clicks.
What It Means for Advertisers
Relevancy counts in mobile. The top sponsored ads might eat up most of the screen and only take a half-second to be seen, but users take almost six seconds to click on it. That means they’re scrolling to see other listings. For advertisers, it means competing for attention and investing in relevant messaging.
Paid search does more for traffic in mobile than in desktop as well. In mobile, more than 19 percent of page clicks went to the top two sponsored text ads, while the same ads in desktop received not quite 15 percent of page clicks.
Another win for mobile paid ads: When a mobile SERP has three sponsored ads, the top organic CTR is about 30 percent—down from 34 percent when there’s only one paid ad. And just under 59 percent of mobile SERPs include one, two or three sponsored ads at the top.
The takeaway for advertisers is to understand the necessity of creating ad campaigns for mobile to pull customers in, and then be certain your site is optimized for a mobile experience.
In sum, the smaller screens and prominent sponsored content that users see on mobile is definitely changing the way we look at SERPs, which in turn alters how information gets presented. The landscape is prime for advertisers to be seen, though the competition remains fierce.