Trends in Mobile vs. Desktop CTR: How User Behavior Shapes Ad Performance

Leyla Ezgi Dinc

Leyla Ezgi Dinc

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10 Mins

E-commerce AI


In the ever-evolving digital advertising landscape, understanding click-through rates (CTR) across different devices is crucial for campaign success. This article explores the estimated trends for CTR on mobile devices vs desktops in 2024. It's an intriguing topic that could provide valuable insights to optimize advertising strategies and achieve even better results. Let's have a thoughtful discussion and see what we can learn.

Trends in Mobile vs. Desktop CTR: How User Behavior Shapes Ad Performance

Trends in Mobile vs. Desktop CTR: How User Behavior Shapes Ad Performance

How many times do you click in a day? It wouldn't be an exaggeration to say that counting them is nearly impossible. But what if I told you that these clicks carry a completely different meaning for advertising? Here's where our story begins. Let's see what happens next.

Mobile devices and desktop devices both play essential roles in our daily lives. For instance, we typically use our desktop computers to complete work-related tasks like filling out Excel spreadsheets. On the other hand, we tend to use our smartphones to enjoy leisure activities like watching Reels or TikTok before bed.

We can join a Zoom meeting using a computer, smartphone, or tablet. I still prefer using my laptop for online shopping, although many people tend to use their mobile phones instead. However, when establishing a solid marketing strategy, focusing beyond personal experiences is a must.

The number of smartphone users worldwide is increasing day by day, which shouldn't be hard to predict. But the numbers and estimations precisely support this gut feeling. Research indicates that in the e-commerce industry, mobile click-through rates (CTR) are higher than desktop CTR.

According to Statista data, the number of global mobile network smartphone subscriptions was almost 6.4 billion in 2022 and is expected to surpass 7.7 billion by 2028.

Allow me to clarify the conclusion that can be drawn from this:

It is crucial for businesses to have mobile-friendly designs and strategies. Companies can enhance user interaction and engagement by tailoring their content and design for mobile devices. I'm sure you want to take advantage of the golden opportunity the ever-increasing mobile traffic presents.

In light of all this background information, we can first examine how user behaviors affect ad performance, along with the reasons behind it. The role of user behavior in determining the success of online advertisements would be a good starting point for comprehensively grasping the mobile vs. desktop trends in 2024.

How User Behavior Shapes Ad Performance

If I told you that demographic factors such as age, gender, and city of residence impact overall online user behavior, you probably wouldn't be surprised. But I'd like to know if you're ready for what I will say now. Even how users hold their devices in their hands affects ad performance. That's correct; you heard it right.

The other components to consider while evaluating the relationship between ad performance and user behavior can be summarized as follows:

User Attention Span: It is imperative to keep in mind that mobile users' attention spans are considerably shorter than desktop users. Thus, mobile ads must be precisely crafted to be engaging and concise. Mobile users typically have more immediate needs, preferences, and expectations compared to desktop or laptop users. So, people seek quick solutions to their problems or questions.

Desktop users expect fast, relevant results as well. But mobile users require even faster results due to lower attention spans. Google reports that over half of mobile site visitors abandon pages that take longer than three seconds to load.

User Click Behavior: For mobile ads to be effective, they must be attention-grabbing and compelling, or users are less likely to engage with them. Crafting ads that appeal to your target audience can increase performance.

User Search Behavior: Users tend to use different keywords when using mobile devices. Optimizing mobile ads with a specific keyword strategy is more important than ever. By focusing on mobile optimization, we can ensure our ads are seen by the right people at the right time and maximize the impact of our advertising efforts.

Mobile vs. Desktop Trends With Numbers

Numbers reveal the undeniable truth: Mobile is taking over desktop.

Here are some general trends and statistics regarding the differences between mobile and PC CTR for ads as of 2024:

  • Mobile ads have a higher CTR than PC ads. Mobile CTR ranges from 2-5%, while PC CTR ranges from 1-3%.
  • Mobile devices drive 60-70% of digital ad clicks.
  • Mobile ads have higher conversion rates than PC ads, with rates 2-3 times higher. This shows that mobile advertising is effective in driving user actions.
  • Around 27% of PC users globally use ad-blockers, while only 7% of mobile users use them, affecting ad CTR on both platforms.
  • Mobile video ads are 2-3 times more engaging than PC video ads, highlighting their effectiveness on mobile devices.
  • Mobile commerce is on the rise, with a significant portion of online purchases now being made via mobile devices. This trend can affect the click-through rate of ads on mobile platforms, especially in e-commerce.

Increase in Mobile CTR in Recent Years

In the current technological era, businesses have been increasingly investing in mobile advertising to reach out to their target audience. This has led to a significant increase in Mobile Click-Through Rate (CTR) in recent years. According to the latest statistical data, as of 2023, mobile devices account for 48.5% of the worldwide CTR, while desktop devices account for 41.5%, indicating that mobile devices are fast becoming the preferred choice for users to browse the internet and engage with advertisements, and marketers need to adapt their strategies accordingly.

Different CTR Rates Across Various Sectors

Differences in click-through rates (CTR) between mobile devices and desktop computers vary depending on the industry sector. For example, in the e-commerce sector, mobile CTR rates are higher than desktop CTR rates. This could be attributed to the fact that consumers are increasingly using their smartphones to browse and shop online. However, it's worth noting that this trend may only be applicable across some industries as other sectors may have different user behaviors and preferences.

CTR Variances Based on Device Type

Regarding CTR rates on mobile devices, the type of device can significantly impact the results. For example, tablets generally have larger screens and higher resolutions than smartphones, which can result in a more engaging user experience. As a result, tablet users are more likely to interact with ads by clicking on them, leading to higher CTR rates than smartphones. It's worth noting that CTR rates can also vary depending on other factors, such as ad placement, targeting, and ad content.

Mobile, Desktop and the User

Mobile on the Rise: A Continued Trend

Experts predict that mobile click-through rates (CTR) will continue to outperform desktop CTR in 2024, driven by various factors such as:

  • Increased Mobile Usage: The power of technology has enabled us to connect, discover, and thrive like never before. Consumers increasingly use their smartphones and tablets for browsing, shopping, and engaging on social media platforms.
  • Convenience and Accessibility: Mobile devices provide quick access to information and convenience, making users more receptive to relevant advertisements.
  • Improved User Experience: Mobile ads and, thus landing pages are more mobile-friendly, leading to a smoother ad experience.

Desktop CTR: Not Dead Yet

Despite the surge in mobile devices, desktop click-through rates are still expected to hold some significance by 2024. Here's why:

  • Complex Tasks and Transactions: Users prefer desktops for tasks requiring more concentration and attention to detail, such as complex purchases or financial transactions. Ads displayed during these browsing sessions may have a higher potential for conversion.
  • Larger Screens for Richer Content: Desktops provide a significantly larger screen real estate than mobile devices, making them an ideal platform for displaying ads requiring a more extensive canvas to showcase their visual appeal or provide detailed information. Moreover, desktop users tend to have longer attention spans and are more likely to engage with ads that are relevant to their interests.

The User at the Center: Tailoring Strategies for Different Behaviors

Marketers should tailor their strategies to fit different user behaviors on mobile and desktop devices.

  • Mobile Ads: The mobile ad experience is about conveying the message in limited space, time, and attention span. Maximize user engagement with clear calls to action and a user-friendly mobile experience. Enhance your visuals and incorporate touch-friendly elements.

Engage new ad formats, such as augmented reality and voice search optimization, which are more likely to be used by mobile users.

  • Desktop Ads: Enhence desktop experience with compelling storytelling, detailed info, and engaging interactive elements. Offer tempting incentives that align with users' preferences on bigger screens.

Expected Trends:

Here are some expected trends that could further impact mobile vs. desktop CTR in 2024:

The Rise of Voice Search Technology: As voice assistants continue to gain popularity, it will be increasingly important for advertisers to fully comprehend how users interact with voice-activated ads. In order to maximize the potential of voice-activated advertising, businesses will need to develop strategies that take into account the unique characteristics and preferences of this growing user base.

The Influence of Artificial Intelligence (AI): With the help of AI-powered ad personalization and targeting techniques, advertisers can create highly relevant and engaging ads for their target audience for both mobile and desktop devices. By analyzing user behavior, demographic data, browsing history, and other parameters, AI algorithms can identify the most suitable ad content and format for each individual user.

The Continued Growth of In-App Advertising: As mobile usage continues to grow, so does the need for effective in-app advertising strategies. The click-through rate (CTR) within mobile apps is expected to increase, making it crucial for marketers to develop impactful ad campaigns that resonate with their target audience. With the right strategy in place, businesses can leverage in-app advertising to increase brand awareness, drive traffic to their website, and ultimately boost revenue.

Things to Consider:

  • Google Ads Reports: The reports in the Google Ads platform offer a clear comparison between mobile and desktop CTR rates. These reports are helpful for businesses who want to understand the performance of their ads on different devices and optimize their ad campaigns accordingly.
  • A/B Testing: One effective way to improve the click-through rate of your ads is to conduct A/B testing. By testing different ad variations on desktop and mobile platforms, you can identify the most effective ad format and content to capture the attention of your target audience. The difference in screen sizes and user behavior between these two platforms means that ads that work well on desktops may not necessarily be effective on mobile devices. Therefore, optimizing your ad campaign for both desktop and mobile users requires testing different ad variations on each platform.
  • User Experience Optimization: If you're looking to enhance your website's performance and attract more visitors, optimizing user experience is the way to go. By providing a delightful browsing experience, you can not only retain your existing users but also attract new ones. Focus on creating a user-centric design, ensuring easy navigation, and providing relevant content.


To ensure optimal performance, marketers should tailor their advertising strategies by understanding evolving mobile and desktop click-through rates (CTR) trends. Adapting the message and format according to user behavior on each platform will be crucial for maximizing click-through rates and campaign success in 2024 and beyond.

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