Holidays Welcome Higher Mobile Searches and Ad Clicks

In Mobile Search by Marius Badenhorst

ad-clicksThe festive season is about to get into full-swing and a recent incident of holiday-related retail spikes has already passed in the US. Labor Day provided analysts with the opportunity to compare searches from smartphones and tablets as well as mobile ad clicks against regular trading days.

Yesterday Google released a post on its Mobile Ads Blog about how proven and projected surges in mobile search and ad clicks are seen over holidays, and this period in particular should move online marketers to action.

Off-Day Online Spending

Not too surprisingly when people have the day off from work or school, searches from smartphones and tablets increased quite substantially. Falling on the first Monday of September, Labor Day 2012 saw smartphone and tablet searches increase by 7% and 25% respectively when compared to those of a “normal” Monday.

Courageous Clicking

It’s understandable when users have free time on a national holiday that accessibility to mobile devices provokes increased online search. What this data has also revealed, courtesy of Google, is that people are much more open to investigating mobile ads and connecting with businesses on these holidays. Mobile ad clicks from smartphones enjoyed a hike of 9% while click-throughs from tablets experienced an increase of 39% when compared to your typical Monday. (see graphic below)


Black Friday Frenzy

This should be a call to action for anyone involved in mobile ad marketing to push more budget into campaigns around this time. Holidays that present such an opportunity include:

  •  Labour Day (first Monday in September – USA)
  •  Thanksgiving (fourth Thursday in November – USA)
  •  Black Friday (Friday following Thanksgiving – UK and USA)
  •  Cyber Monday (Monday Following Black Friday – UK and USA)
  •  May Day Bank Holiday (first Monday in May – UK)
  •  Spring Bank Holiday (last Monday in May – UK)
  •  Late Summer Bank Holiday – last Monday in August – UK)
  •  Christmas

Black Friday 2011 experienced smartphone search growth of 17% compared to a typical day, whilst mobile ads enjoyed a 61% click-through jump. Under the same conditions searches from tablets increased by 40% and mobile ad clicks saw a staggering jump of over 100%.


Such trends are not exclusive to the US and the UK has a massive tablet and smartphone market. The UK follows suit in the fact that tablet-optimised ad campaigns are becoming much more prevalent and an estimated spending increase of 25% is predicted for this coming holiday period on the device, according to M&C Saatchi. The UK has experienced more than 100% increase in mobile advertising this year, reaching £500m. As budget is generally paid search-heavy, companies are clearly becoming more aware of users’ penchant for mobile ad click-throughs over vacations.

From this evidence it’s clear that holidays result in the increased use of smartphones and tablets for conducting online searches. This is extended to mobile ad networks as people are increasingly likely to click through to ads that spark their interest and provide retail opportunities on these days off. To take advantage of this period, marketers should look to increase budget, incorporate holiday-related terms into their ad text and be continuously visible across platforms.

About the Author

Marius Badenhorst