Advertising Mobile Phones in Paid Search

Mobile phone models are consistently among the top retail keywords in paid search based on ad spend. For example, according to AdGooroo data mobile phone keywords account for:

  • 10 of the top 20 retail keywords over the past 12 months
  • 7 of the top 10 consumer electronics product keywords over the past 12 months

Mobile phone keywords are also among the top keywords overall. In July, for instance, there were 3 mobile phone keywords among the top 20 keywords across all categories, including ‘samsung galaxy s8’, which ranked 4th with $3.25 million in spend for the month. 

To explore mobile phone advertising in paid search we analyzed US Google desktop text ad activity on 268 mobile phone keywords, including both brand models and generic keywords, over the 12 month period from August 2016 through July 2017. Please see the Top 20 Keywords chart below for examples.

From August 2016-July 2017, 2,149 advertisers spent $72.8 million sponsoring the 268 mobile phone keywords at an average clickthrough rate of 3.41% and an average cost per click of $1.22.

The following shows the top advertisers by their percentage share of total clicks on the keyword group:

Advertiser

Click Share

apple.com

26.1%

att.com

13.4%

verizonwireless.com

10.5%

t-mobile.com

7.2%

samsung.com

6.6%

bestbuy.com

6.4%

sprint.com

5.1%

amazon.com

3.0%

gazelle.com

2.9%

target.com

2.3%

bestdeals.today

1.9%

virginmobileusa.com

1.4%

walmart.com

1.4%

boostmobile.com

1.3%

xfinity.com

1.2%

Other (advertisers with less than 1% click share)

9.3%


There were four additional telecoms among the top advertisers, including Sprint (5.1%), Virgin Mobile (1.4%), Boost Mobile (1.3%) and Xfinity (1.2%). Retailers among the top advertisers include Best Buy (6.4%), Amazon (3%), Target (2.3%) and Walmart (1.4%).

Apple dominates clicks on the mobile phone keyword group, accounting for more than 26% of all clicks on ads served on the keywords during the 12-month period. The only other device manufacturer among the top advertisers is Samsung, with a 6.6% click share. The next three advertisers in the ranking are telecommunications companies: AT&T (13.4%), Verizon Wireless (10.5%) and T-Mobile (7.2%). Telecoms advertise mobile phones, often at extremely low or no cost, to entice consumers to sign a service contract with them. 

Top Keywords - iPhone vs. Samsung Although there are phone models from multiple brands included in the keyword group we studied, competition is overwhelmingly focused on two brands, Apple iPhone and Samsung Galaxy, whose branded keywords together accounted for more than 88% of total ad spend on the 268 mobile phone keywords we studied. However, the competition between the two brands is not close. 

The 55 iPhone keywords among the 268 mobile phone keywords we studied generated $49.9 million or 68.5% of total spend on the keyword group, while the 73 Samsung mobile phone terms we studied totaled just $14.5 million or 19.9% of total ad spend on the keyword group. 

You can see the iPhone-Samsung dichotomy at work in the top 20 keywords based on paid search ad spend from August 2016-July 2017, which includes 9 iPhone terms and 6 Samsung terms. Two iPhone models, ‘iphone 6s’ and ‘iphone 7’, dominate the ranking, generating $18.8 million and $18.4 million, respectively during the period. 

Samsung Galaxy S8 Takes Over in June & JulyThe third ranked term over the 12 months studied is ‘samsung galaxy s8’, with $9 million in total spend. 

However, the majority of that spend occurred in June and July. Starting in June and continuing in July, ‘samsung galaxy s8’ surged ahead of the iPhone keywords into the top spot in the ranking, generating $4.4 million in June and $3.25 million in July. For comparison, the top 2 keywords over the 12 months, ‘iphone 6s’ and ‘iphone 7’, generated $1.75 million and $1.1 million, respectively, in June, and $1.8 million and $980,000, respectively, in July. The Samsung Galaxy S8 model was released in April 21, 2017.    

Advertiser

Click Share

apple.com

26.1%

att.com

13.4%

verizonwireless.com

10.5%

t-mobile.com

7.2%

samsung.com

6.6%

bestbuy.com

6.4%

sprint.com

5.1%

amazon.com

3.0%

gazelle.com

2.9%

target.com

2.3%

bestdeals.today

1.9%

virginmobileusa.com

1.4%

walmart.com

1.4%

boostmobile.com

1.3%

xfinity.com

1.2%

Other (advertisers with less than 1% click share)

9.3%  

Advertiser

Click Share

apple.com

26.1%

att.com

13.4%

verizonwireless.com

10.5%

t-mobile.com

7.2%

samsung.com

6.6%

bestbuy.com

6.4%

sprint.com

5.1%

amazon.com

3.0%

gazelle.com

2.9%

target.com

2.3%

bestdeals.today

1.9%

virginmobileusa.com

1.4%

walmart.com

1.4%

boostmobile.com

1.3%

xfinity.com

1.2%

Other (advertisers with less than 1% click share)

9.3%  

Advertiser

Click Share

apple.com

26.1%

att.com

13.4%

verizonwireless.com

10.5%

t-mobile.com

7.2%

samsung.com

6.6%

bestbuy.com

6.4%

sprint.com

5.1%

amazon.com

3.0%

gazelle.com

2.9%

target.com

2.3%

bestdeals.today

1.9%

virginmobileusa.com

1.4%

walmart.com

1.4%

boostmobile.com

1.3%

xfinity.com

1.2%

Other (advertisers with less than 1% click share)

9.3%  

Advertiser

Click Share

apple.com

26.1%

att.com

13.4%

verizonwireless.com

10.5%

t-mobile.com

7.2%

samsung.com

6.6%

bestbuy.com

6.4%

sprint.com

5.1%

amazon.com

3.0%

gazelle.com

2.9%

target.com

2.3%

bestdeals.today

1.9%

virginmobileusa.com

1.4%

walmart.com

1.4%

boostmobile.com

1.3%

xfinity.com

1.2%

Other (advertisers with less than 1% click share)

9.3%  

Advertiser

Click Share

apple.com

26.1%

att.com

13.4%

verizonwireless.com

10.5%

t-mobile.com

7.2%

samsung.com

6.6%

bestbuy.com

6.4%

sprint.com

5.1%

amazon.com

3.0%

gazelle.com

2.9%

target.com

2.3%

bestdeals.today

1.9%

virginmobileusa.com

1.4%

walmart.com

1.4%

boostmobile.com

1.3%

xfinity.com

1.2%

Other (advertisers with less than 1% click share)

9.3%  

Advertiser

Click Share

apple.com

26.1%

att.com

13.4%

verizonwireless.com

10.5%

t-mobile.com

7.2%

samsung.com

6.6%

bestbuy.com

6.4%

sprint.com

5.1%

amazon.com

3.0%

gazelle.com

2.9%

target.com

2.3%

bestdeals.today

1.9%

virginmobileusa.com

1.4%

walmart.com

1.4%

boostmobile.com

1.3%

xfinity.com

1.2%

Other (advertisers with less than 1% click share)

9.3 %




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