Advertising Marketing Smartphones/Mobile Applications

The Value of Mobile Advertising – Why does Desktop Convert 60% More?

With the use of mobile phones increasing, brands are investing more resources into mobile marketing, but is it worth the time and expense? As data-led digital marketing experts, AccuraCast decided to investigate.  

AccuraCast conducted research over a 12-month period (august 2018 –2019) to determine the value of mobile advertisements. This research analysed 100 Google ad accounts and 10 million clicks.

Our research found that, although the number of conversions generated from mobile ad clicks has increased, desktop still converts 60% more than mobile. On top of this, desktop conversions are worth 93% more than mobile conversions. (For B2C companies, conversion value was calculated as the average order value, and for B2B it was calculated as the lead value and propensity to buy.)

Despite this difficulty in monetizing mobile clicks, mobile traffic continues to grow. Over a 12-month period, ad clicks have increased by 11 percentage points to 60%, and mobile ad impressions climbed 6 percentage points to 56%. 

The issue mobile advertisers face is, app developers are more focused on the quantity of clicks (the money maker), which comes at the expense of the user experience. Ads are often ineffective due to poor placement of action buttons and bad audience targeting. False clicks are generated by users who accidently press an ad whilst trying to maneuver around the app. 

That’s not all, AI systems are now also playing a vital role in how the ad performs. An AI will look at the data, clicks, impressions, and conversions to decide if it believes the ad is performing at an acceptable level. If it decides that an ad is underperforming the AI will reduce the frequency the ad is shown and may even stop showing the ad altogether depending on how well other advertisers’ ads perform. 

This is a serious issue for mobile ads, as often a mobile ad will receive a high click rate but low conversion. 

Another issue hindering mobile advertisements from being as valuable as desktop advertisements is the lack of connectivity between devices. A user could open an effective mobile ad but due to several reasons (poor internet connection, lack of time or mistrust in putting their bank details on a mobile phone) decide to convert later using a desktop. Although the mobile ad played a vital role in this journey, because the user was not using the same internet browser and/or not logged in on the browser, the value of conversion will go directly to desktop rather than be counted as a cross device attribution. 

There are actions mobile advertisers can take to increase their ads worth:

  • Be selective, keep an eye on the apps that are driving high clicks but low conversions and block these placements. They will only hinder your campaign and eat away at your budget. 
  • When creating the ad, remember the screen size is significantly smaller than a desktop screen, so avoid big bulky ads such as banners to avoid looking spammy. 
  • Invest your budget wisely, just because your audience lives on a specific app doesn’t mean you should throw your entire budget into it. Keep testing ad formats and text to see which engages the right audience, this will also keep the AI happy.

About the author



AccuraCast are the UK’s #1 international digital marketing agency. They help businesses grow by driving more qualified traffic through intelligent online advertising, innovative social media marketing, and ethical search engine optimisation.