It’s that time of the year again. Google is gearing up to announce their Q3 earnings this week and predictions of their mobile ad gains are already being reported.

According to eMarketer, the majority of Google’s global revenue will be attributed to mobile ad spending. Similarly in the US, ad spend is quickly teetering away from desktop and toward mobile devices. It’s expected that by 2018, Google’s revenue from US ad spend will align more closely with their current global mobile earnings, which currently sit at 59.5%. And by that point, nearly 75% of Google’s global net ad revenue will come from mobile ads.

Google mobile revenue

  • In 2015, desktop placements contributed to 60% of Google’s net US ad revenues
  • In 2016, desktop and mobile placements will be closer to 50% of Google’s net US ad revenues
  • Over 60% of Google’s net US ad revenues will be attributed to mobile spending by 2018

There’s an explanation for this shift in Google’s ad revenue from desktop to mobile. It all starts with consumer behavior.

The customer journey has gone mobile thanks to the rising adoption of smartphones and tablets. Google found that 48% of mobile users begin their research by conducting a mobile search. Consumers spend more and more time on their mobile devices because they’re portable. And because they can search for and engage with businesses online at practically any place and time, digital marketers have shifted their ad budgets to mobile.

What does this mean for marketers? More competition for SERP space, and an increased need to properly attribute every dollar of your search budget.

Google’s Changing The Mobile Search Experience

Google iphoneA recent study by Searchmetrics found that Google’s search engine has decreased the amount of organic search results displaying on the first page. This has left room for Google to display new features based on consumer search behaviors by device. For instance, desktop consumers will likely be exposed to results with images, listings for products, and fact and answer boxes, while smartphone searchers will be exposed to videos, maps, social, and app integrations.

Google wants to present their users with the types of ads and content that they’re inclined to engage with after conducting a search. By taking into account the devices used to conduct a search, they’re making the user experience better, which benefits advertisers.

Google is creating more opportunities for advertisers to organically drive more traffic to their websites based on a user’s device by adding more interactive content in the organic search results, such as videos, maps, and images. And when it comes to mobile search, paid search ads are given more screen space on a smartphone. Especially if the ads are enhanced by including Google’s ad extensions, such as location extensions and call extensions, which helps paid search marketers get their ads front and center.

Marketers Must Get Credit for Every Ad Dollar

If you run paid search ads then you’re running them on Google, so make sure you’re spending your budget wisely. It’s best for marketers to measure every conversion and be aware of evolving mobile consumer behaviors across the customer journey.

Marketers need to take into account how mobile users engage differently than desktop users. Google does this with their organic search listings. They know what’s going to engage a user based on the device they’re using, and you should think the same way when optimizing your paid search campaigns.

For instance, smartphone searchers convert both online and offline. They can click through to your mobile website to make a purchase and fill out a form. Once they’re on your website, they can choose to take that experience offline by visiting your local business or calling to speak with a sales agent. And rather than visiting your website, they can call directly from your PPC ads if you include a Google call extension. In fact, search marketing is driving billions of calls to US businesses thanks to smartphones and click-to-call. These calls convert to revenue 10x-15x faster than filling out a web form, making call conversions a key metric that marketers should analyze.

If you’re not analyzing those call conversions alongside your clicks then you’re not getting a true picture of your CPL, CPA, and your overall ROI. You can learn more about this mobile blind spot and the role calls play in the customer journey and how to attribute those calls back to your paid search campaigns by downloading The Click-to-Call Playbook for Paid Search.