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Mobile vs Desktop performance

     
6:20 am on Jun 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

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For the last three months my Adsense Performance Report shows my mobile Page CTR is only 60% that of Desktop, and my mobile CPC is likewise 60% of desktop. Is this others experience also?

Going to get a mobile version of the site done, any tips as to best ad sizes and placements?
2:25 pm on June 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Is this others experience also?


Nope my CTR for both tablets and smart phones is much better than desktop, EPC for tablets is much better whereas phones is about 60%.

These days I see a lot of people using tablets, sometimes as much as 50% of earnings, with 95%+ using the regular sites, actually it's probably nearer to 99% without checking, and I have no idea why they don't use the mobile sites other than the regular sites do display perfectly on tablets.

Be careful which CMS you use for mobile and test it thoroughly, I've seen some total disasters which may look ok on a PC and tablet but actually fall apart on phones. Sticky me if you want a good link to a mobile template site I use, works on everything.
2:50 pm on June 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

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I'm there too, best traffic ever, mobile not near desktop traffic but performing way better. I'm wondering about adblockers and ad blindness here: [webmasterworld.com...]

I'm using a custom built mobile site that works on low end phones and smartphones+tablets.
4:02 pm on June 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

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I used to use the original coding supplied from .mobi. If I remember correctly this had to be used or otherwise they would suspend the domain registration!

It was clean and quick but horrible to customise other than simple things, obviously a lot has happened since then, 2005, but, as posted above, my phone/tablet traffic still prefers the desktop. I guess that so much of my sites revolve around images is the clue and anyone wanting "serious" technical information still use their desktop.

I only use one standard 336 x 280 at the bottom of a few pages, it doesn't get that many clicks however it does display and fit well on a phone screen.
4:33 pm on June 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

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My sites are all responsive design (and I swap out ads based on viewport size); my event sites run about 50% mobile during the week and up to 70% mobile on weekends or when there's a major event. CTR is much lower on mobile, and the EPC does seem down over last year. But that's the way my traffic works. I know what kinds of ads are likely to appeal to my mobile traffic, and Google isn't providing them, so I'm going to try to sell them direct. I put the infrastructure in to do it this year, now I have to market it.

You have to really really think about how mobile users are going to use your site. I notice marked differences between desktop and mobile, and even more differences between mobile week day and mobile weekend users. In my case, if they're looking for something to do (or already on their way to an event) they're not really in a buying cycle. But a well placed/timed ad for say an eating or drinking establishment, maybe with a coupon or promo - that's something they might be interested in.

[edited by: netmeg at 4:36 pm (utc) on Jun 17, 2013]

4:35 pm on June 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

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My best CTR is tablet, desk is slightly better than mobile.
8:00 pm on June 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

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I notice marked differences between desktop and mobile,


Yep, for me this year tablets have really increased on weekends especially so on Sundays.
12:57 am on June 18, 2013 (gmt 0)

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for me mobile/tablets have the same ctr which is 5x bigger than desktop

and i have only 4-5% impressions for mob/tab but they earn 35% of total earnings :)
9:15 pm on June 18, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Tablets have a very high CTR, mobile is second, with desktop a somewhat distant third.

Tablet/mobile is 2/3rds of all traffic (thankfully). My sites aren't really optimized for them, especially something like an iPhone, but I got all the graphics, ads and text smaller and they should be appearing much better than they were before. I use 336x280 for everything.

Here's to hoping tablet use continues to rise.
8:19 am on June 19, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Thanks for the feedback, very useful.
6:38 am on Aug 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Just an update on this. So back in June I decided to have a full mobile version of my site developed, the site launched in early July. I have now have a month of data to compare to previous performance.

Mobile Page CTR is up 20%, CPC is down a bit, Page RPM is up 20%, as is earnings.

Still trailing a long way behind the performance of desktops though. Not the magical cure I was hoping for, but successful enough at this stage to pay for the development work in three months, and a little more income after that. Early days still I guess.
12:34 pm on Aug 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

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My CTR on desktops is always a lot less than desktops. Think about user intent.
4:57 pm on Aug 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

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@netmeg Desktops better than Desktops?

We use responsive design as well and tablets are giving desktops a run for their money. Phone is much lower but a nice addition to the revenue stream non-the-less since going responsive.
7:43 pm on Aug 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Opps, I meant mobile is always a lot less than desktops. However the EPC is pretty close; sometimes higher.
9:13 pm on Aug 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Exact same CTR across desktop, mobile and tablets. EPC is highest on tablets.
12:00 pm on Aug 9, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Mobiles and tablets now equal desktop visitors on my main site.

Tablets RPM is just above desktop RPM but mobile RPM is only half.

CTR on mobile is a third of tablets and desktop.

There are so many stats to compare in this area that my eyes simply glaze over when I start to analyse them. Page views and visitor numbers are all that my be-fuddled brain can take in nowadays.

The day is fast approaching though, possibly it has already arrived, when I should stop considering desktop stats and just concentrate on tablets and mobiles. If things keep on going as they are, in a few months income from tablets and mobiles will exceed that of desktops.

If you haven't adapted your sites one way or the other for mobiles and tablets then in all probability you are too late and the future will soon overwhelm you. G has so many stats on the subject that they already know who has adapted and who hasn't.
1:47 pm on Aug 9, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Somewhat apropos of this, Google released new guidelines for mobile (including speed for pageload) I'll be doing some tests with the async ads to see how that goes. Will that have an effect on CTR? I dunno.

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3:30 pm on Aug 9, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Over the last 2 years one of my sites has seen a large shift to mobile traffic away from desktop. Something that hasn't surprised me as its a business information site which attracts a lot of "local" traffic which means mobile these days.

Unfortunately this mobile traffic the CTR is dreadful from these devices, only a third of where tablets and desktop stand (tablet performs best, just slightly over desktop). CPC is exactly the same (which perhaps suggests adsense ads don't change with platform - a different topic perhaps).

Intuitively it makes sense, mobiles are more fiddly and people feel less comfortable surfing away from the core topic for a long period of time. I'm not entirely sure there is a solution for this. My page load times are instant (all dynamic pages are cached so its just file system load time) and I have 728x90s right at the top of each page.
4:18 pm on Aug 9, 2013 (gmt 0)

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@netmeg Yes, it looks like Google is focusing it's real attention for responsive design at the Async versions of their ads so I'm sure I'll be making that switch sometime in the future. I'm waiting for them to get the first few rounds of bugs out of the system before taking the leap. In the meantime, I'm using their recommended approach with regular ads using JavaScript.

@robster124 Are you saying that you're using a 728x90 on a mobile page or am I misunderstanding? I can't imagine it would be very effective due to only being able to see part of the ad without scrolling/zooming. I use 234x60's and 200x200x a lot and they do fairly well. The 320x50 doesn't work well with my design (margins and padding push it outside the viewport in most cased but that's just my design).

I won't throw advice at you 'cuz I'm not sure if I even understand your approach but your comments did raise a question or two. For example, are you using responsive design?
4:54 pm on Aug 9, 2013 (gmt 0)

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I am using a 728x90 which shows up ok on my samsung. I use no responsive code but I know I'm going to have to. I'm so swamped with projects I need to add it to my to do list.

My mobile condenses the page very well to be frank so I can't immediately see how a different design would work but admittedly I don't have much knowledge on the subject and need to get up to scratch quick given proportion of mobile visits to my sites now
5:14 pm on Aug 9, 2013 (gmt 0)

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I'm not a guru on the subject of mobile design by any means and I wasn't thinking of a device automatically sizing a static page to fit the screen but I've definitely seen that behavior with our old site design and I've also seen devices open the page at full size with only a part of the page visible forcing the user to zoom. Either the scale of the ad is out of whack with the available viewing space or it's so small as to be almost unreadable. You get such better use of space with a responsive design and should be able to completely eliminate the need for zooming or horizontal scrolling.

Bottom line for us was, we couldn't ignore the mobile traffic any longer and the rewards we're well worth the late nights of coding it took to get 'er done.

Not sure what you're using for a CMS but if you've got hand-coded sites like we do, something like Grid960 or Twitter Bootstrap can really speed up the conversion process.
5:38 pm on Aug 13, 2013 (gmt 0)

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@robster124:
I am using a 728x90 which shows up ok on my samsung.

Try "responsive ad unit" - it will scale from 320x50 to 728x90, depending on viewport size. Your 728x90 may look OK for *some* ads but too small for others - you just never know, I assume you don't just sit all day refreshing you page to see what comes up. So, chances are, you're just not seeing the ads that look awful downsized by the phone to 320px wide from their original 728px.
5:43 pm on Aug 13, 2013 (gmt 0)

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@webcentric: you can prevent automatic resizing by adding this to the header:

<meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width, initial-scale=1">

But then your layout will have to either adjust via CSS or you'll have to serve a different layout based on agent because anything with fixed widths will slide right off the screen if it's too wide.
5:54 pm on Aug 13, 2013 (gmt 0)

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My mobile site earning is 40% higher than desktop. I think there are less advertisers for desktop than mobile/tablets?
7:45 pm on Aug 13, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Definitely not, but there have been some significant changes recently in the way mobiles and tablets are bid.
7:58 pm on Aug 13, 2013 (gmt 0)

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I replaced some old units with the new responsive units and my mobile results are on par with desktop. Prior to the change mobile ad results was lagging behind a little. I'm not earning more overall however, it does seem like the ad dollar might be being stretched thin between adsense/adwords and other options. I'm not 100% certain on that, it might just be because of where I rank on any given day.
9:12 pm on Aug 13, 2013 (gmt 0)

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you can prevent automatic resizing by adding this to the header:

<meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width, initial-scale=1">


@1script Seems like that would've sunk into this gray matter by now. I use bootstrap and it's in every one of my pages. Duh. Using bootstrap for a responsive layout pretty much eliminates the need for resizing the screen (automatically or otherwise) to the point where I almost don't consider it a factor. I'm fairly new to mobile design so I appreciate when someone points out a fundamental fact that makes another light go on.
10:53 pm on Aug 13, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Right - I'd better try responsive ads then. I'll give it a go and report back.
1:39 pm on Aug 14, 2013 (gmt 0)

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My mobile (Cell and Tablet) used to be less than 5% of my total traffic several years ago (2010). Now, it's 25% and growing. My mobile RPM is currently outperforming my desktop RPM.
2:47 pm on Aug 14, 2013 (gmt 0)

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My mobile RPM is currently outperforming my desktop RPM.
Any chance you can add an important bit of info: does your site have responsive design (i.e. all types of devices on the same URL) or do you have a separate mobile site (meaning, differences in performance between subdomains may also play a role, not only type of device)
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