Real-World Education for Modern Marketers

Join Over 600,000 Marketing Professionals

Start here!
Text:  A A

Tablets Surpass Smartphones in Paid Search Ad Spend, but Not CTR

by Lenna Garibian  |  
January 15, 2013

Advertisers invested more in paid search ads served via tablet devices than via smartphones in the fourth quarter of 2012, according to the Global Online Advertising Trends quarterly report, a study of key trends in paid search, mobile, and social advertising by Marin Software.

Desktops and laptop still accounted for the biggest share of paid search spend on the Marin platform in the fourth quarter, 83% on average, down 3 points from 86% three months earlier.

But device targeting gained more momentum during the quarter, with tablets and smartphones together accounting for 17% of paid search spending:

  • Tablets accounted for 8% of spend, up from 7% in 3Q12. (Prior to the fourth quarter of 2012, investment in tablet advertising lagged ad spend smartphone ads).
  • Smartphones accounted for 8% of total spend, up from 7% three months earlier.

Overall, smartphone and tablet devices accounted for a 22% share of paid search clicks in 4Q12, and computers accounted for 78%.

Below, additional findings from Marin Software for the fourth quarter of 2012.

Across the three types of devices (computers, tablets, and smartphones), click-through rates (CTR) and cost-per-click (CPC) rates varied in the fourth quarter:

  • Average CPC for ads served via computers was highest in the quarter, $0.77, followed by tablets at $0.67 and smartphones at $0.49.
  • Average CTR was highest for smartphones in 4Q12 (4.34%); tablets generated an average CTR of 2.85%, edging out computers at 2.21%.

Google accounted for 80% of paid search spend in 4Q12, and 78% of all paid clicks during the same period.

Sign up for free to read the full article.Read the Full Article

Membership is required to access the full version of this how-to marketing article ... don't worry though, it's FREE!


We will never sell or rent your email address to anyone. We value your privacy. (We hate spam as much as you do.) See our privacy policy.

Sign in with one of your preferred accounts below:

Lenna Garibian is a MarketingProfs research writer and a marketing consultant in the tech industry, where she develops engaging content that builds thought leadership and revenue opportunities for clients. She's held marketing and research positions at eRPortal Software, GAP Inc., Stanford University, and the IMF. Reach Lenna via Twitter @LennaAnahid and LinkedIn.

Rate this  

Overall rating

  • Not rated yet.

Add a Comment


  • by Sasha Zinevych Fri Jan 18, 2013 via web

    Great article and statistics! Personally I use both computer and a tablet to do some shopping as each option has its pros and cons. Tablets are mobile while the functionality that you may need working with your credit card/payment is the advantage of your PC or laptop.

MarketingProfs uses single
sign-on with Facebook, Twitter, Google and others to make subscribing and signing in easier for you. That's it, and nothing more! Rest assured that MarketingProfs: Your data is secure with MarketingProfs SocialSafe!