Friday September 25th sees the UK launch of Apple’s latest iPhone. Ahead of tomorrow’s highly anticipated launch we thought we’d share a few insights into what the iPhone release means for PPC Marketers.

Historically Apple have experimented with the launch dates for their new iPhones, with release dates ranging from end of Q2 to the beginning of Q4:

Chart of iPhone releases

Each successive generation of iPhone has sold in ever increasing numbers. Although Android devices now outsell the iPhone globally, it is still the iPhone that drives media buzz and mass consumer awareness of smartphone technology. 8 years on from the original iPhone release, the launch of a new iPhone has become one of the most keenly anticipated events in the consumer electronics calendar.

Apple’s annual release date appears to be carefully timed to take advantage of the Q4 retail rush, hitting the headlines at precisely the point that consumers begin to research and shop for their festive season goodies. Consequently, the media buzz around each new iPhone release tends to herald a new wave of mobile web users. We pulled some statistics from our UK PPC campaigns to illustrate this trend:

Mobile trend

Reviewing the stats we find that Desktop clicks now account for fewer than 30% of total Paid Search clicks. Smartphones have become the dominant device for internet access, responsible for a mighty 58% of Paid Search click share. In contrast Tablet click share appears to have levelled off this year, having dropped from 16% in March 2015 down to 12% of clicks in September.

It is very likely that over the next 3 to 6 months we will see another sharp increase in the volume and frequency of Mobile internet usage. So what does this mean for PPC advertisers?

  • Mobile optimised Ad creatives and landing pages are more important than ever before. Mobile landing pages that are hampered by slow page load times, difficult-to-read text and tiny buttons will deter a huge proportion of website visitors. Failing to provide a mobile-friendly service could seriously harm the performance of a PPC campaign
  • Mobile CPCs are going to rise. As businesses adapt to changing consumer trends we now see greater competition for clicks in the Mobile search auctions. With limited Ad space available “above the fold” on Mobile screens, we expect advertisers to battle more aggressively for the prime advertising space at the top of the Mobile Search Engine Results pages…
  • …however Mobile continues to offer PPC advertisers incredible value for money; although Mobile CPCs are on the increase, they are still approximately 49% cheaper than equivalent desktop or tablet clicks:

  • Desktop and Tablet CPCs are likely to rise too. With more online search activity taking place on Mobile devices, and with UK internet penetration (currently at 86%) approaching saturation point, we can expect greater competition between advertisers for the dwindling impression volumes available on Desktops. Tablet CPCs will be affected too, since Tablet bids are grouped with Desktop bids in Adwords. Savvy PPC advertisers however will take advantage of Bing Ads’ ability to set different bid multipliers for Smartphone and Tablet devices
  • Mobile conversion rates will give Advertisers a pleasant surprise this Christmas. Our UK online audience is moving to Mobile as the first-choice-device for web activities; as a consequence we expect to see gradual increases in Mobile conversion rates. We anticipate that this year’s festive shopping will see many more consumers experiencing mobile checkouts for the first time, building their confidence to “check-out” on Mobile again in the future

With the next wave of Mobile traffic growth about to crash upon our shores, now is the perfect time to health-check your PPC accounts;

  • Make sure every Ad group contains Mobile-preferred Ads; Mobile audiences tend to look for bite-size chunks of highly relevant information, facilitating fast decisions and actions. Do your Ads speak to this need?
  • Review your Mobile bid multipliers. Many Advertisers continue to set Mobile bid multipliers to -100% (effectively opting out), while others set bid reductions that are subsequently forgotten about. Are your bid multipliers causing you to miss the opportunity?
  • Launch / optimise mobile landing pages. Advertisers who don’t offer a Mobile friendly service for customers could really miss out this Christmas. Make sure your landing pages deliver what your Mobile audience needs. If you have already launched your Mobile friendly website, don’t stop there! Continue optimising and refining your Mobile website for better performance – very few businesses can expect to get it right first time!

Need a hand getting your PPC accounts into shape for today’s Mobile Audience? Drop us a line and say “Hello”!