Mobile Ecosystem

AdMob Clicks Result in Least Engagement

Becky Doles

Advertising is a results-driven business. You have to constantly measure success in order to shift dollars from campaigns that aren’t performing to campaigns delivering results. How you define those results depends on your business.

HasOffers customer, iNC Network, recently analyzed the engagement quality of ad clicks from six mobile ad networks. That analysis resulted in an important discovery – top revenue generating mobile ad network, AdMob by Google, delivered the least engaged users. It also highlights an interesting way to use our tracking technology beyond affiliate conversions.

When comparing AdMob against AdsMobi, Big Mobile, inMobi, Millenial Media, and Mobile Theory, AdMob clicks were 50% less engaged than the nearest competitor.

Engagement Tracking Methodology

In order to track engagement, data was aggregated from 126,399 clicks across the six mobile ad networks. HasOffers tracking platform and iNC tracking system combined to measure the catalog interactions by anonymously following an initial ad click through a series of specific catalog interactions.

HasOffers tracking was used to measure:

  • Clicks from the ad network
  • Page loads of the first two catalog pages where cookies were permitted
  • CTR from page one to page two of the catalog

iNC tracking was used to measure:

  • Hyperlink clicks within a catalogue page
  • Page zooms
  • Mobile device type (i.e. iPhone, iPad, Android)

Results of the study are presented in aggregate in order to keep ad network and iNC Network client data confidential. As a result, you will see a comparison of relative performance between networks rather than itemized per-network data in the charts below. With AdMob currently representing more than 50% of all mobile ad dollars spent online, they make a relevant benchmark for comparison. Here’s how AdMob stacks up when comparing catalog interactions and multi-page catalog views across ad networks.

Engagement Tracking Results

As you can see, AdMob underperformed by both engagement metrics. In a joint press release with Mobile Theory, David Burke, Head of Partnerships at iNC Network, puts it more diplomatically by saying, “[T]he results indicate that AdMob campaigns may require greater customization in order to achieve desired results.”

Mobile Theory was the clear leader in pages viewed, with 6.5x more clicks resulting in multi-page catalog views than AdMob.

Comparison of Catalog pages viewed by ad network

For interactions with elements on a catalog page, Big Mobile was 9x more likely to result in an interaction than AdMob.

Comparison of Catalog Engagement by Ad Network

You can download the Mobile Network Study from iNC.

Test Your Own Campaigns

While these results may lead you to conclude that AdMob isn’t the best place to spend your ad dollars, it’s important to dig deeper. AdMob serves advertising inside more than 300,000 mobile apps. They cannot be ignored any more than you would consider writing off Google AdWords as part of your marketing strategy. What this probably indicates is a need to utilize different ad targeting strategies when working with AdMob. As with any type of performance marketing, it’s important to test.

What’s your experience with mobile marketing? Are you seeing a better quality of user interaction from one network over others?

Becky Doles

Becky is the Senior Content Marketing Manager at TUNE. Before TUNE, she handled content strategy and marketing communications at several tech startups in the Bay Area. Becky received her bachelor's degree in English from Wake Forest University. After a decade in San Francisco and Seattle, she has returned home to Charleston, SC, where you can find her strolling through Hampton Park with her pup and enjoying the simple things between adventures with friends and family.

2 responses to “AdMob Clicks Result in Least Engagement”

  1. Lukas, says:

    Main problem on AdMob we have: We have extremely must clicks… but we don’t know how many of them are real… most of them seem fake… i.e. for our Mini-test-campaign targeted for Switzerland (iPhone App ‘iCompare Mobile’) – we see 400+ clicks… but we had about 2 downloads that would have been caused from AdMob… some more for other campaigns…
    so what is that number even good for… Assuming only 25% of people linked to the iTunes App store have actually downloaded the free App… then still that number would be wrong by a factor 50!

    So I guess the number “clicks” actually is good for nothing??

    Aditionally we would have to built in code to our Apps, in order to clearly say, how many downloads effectively came from our AdMob… which is bit a hassle for a quick Mini-campaing only.

  2. […] once rock-solid foundation have been apparent for some time now. Last year, in fact, an iNC Network study analyzed the engagement quality of ad clicks from several leading mobile ad networks. Incredibly, […]

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