Ad spend


Ad clicks


Ad revenue



Generic and navigatinal ads lead the way

We analyzed billions of data points from Q1 and Q2 this year using peekd data to deliver powerful insights into the world of Google Ads. The aim of this study is to see how different types of ads perform across industry segments and devices.
We looked at 4 categories of ads: generic, navigational, dynamic and Google Shopping Ads across three devices - desktop, mobile and tablet.
The top two categories in terms of overall transaction revenue were navigational search on desktop (24.8%) and generic search ads on mobile (20.7%).
Revenue Share by Ad and Device Type

Return on Ad Spend higher on desktop than mobile

Comparing these two top categories, navigational search on desktop greatly outperforms generic search ads on mobile with an average return of 9.6 times ad spend. Generic search on mobile’s average ROAS is just 1.6.

In fact average ROAS is higher in all ad categories except Google Shopping, where mobile performs slightly better.

Even though navigational ads contribute more overall revenue (43.3% vs 39.7%), businesses are spending way more on generic search ads which explains the lower ROAS for mobile ads.

Desktop ad conversion rates double that of mobile

Across ad categories, desktop ads tend to have a conversion rate that is double that of mobile. In the top category by revenue, navigational ads have a CVR of 4.7% desktop compared to just 2.2% on mobile.

Desktop ads have a conversion rate that is more than double that of mobile across all ad categories. Despite these lower conversion rates, mobile ads still lead to more overall revenue in both Shopping and generic ad categories.

Ad spend predominantly on mobile ads

Ad spend was greater on mobile in all four categories of ads. This shows that advertisers are planning PPC ad campaigns in a mobile-first way. The ad spend split is particularly noticeable in the generic search category where ad spend on mobile was almost double that of on desktop.

Mobile and desktop still evenly matched revenue share

Mobile and desktop were evenly matched in terms of overall revenue, but ads did perform differently across the industry segments. Desktop just beat mobile ads with an overall revenue share 49.4% to 48.0% respectively. Tablet devices only made up 2.6% of overall revenue.

Google Shopping most mobile-first category

Google Shopping is the most mobile-first ad category, with almost twice as much revenue coming from mobile vs. desktop devices (9.1% vs 5.2% respectively), a wider gap than any other ad type. Interestingly Google Shopping is the ad category with the lowest click-through rates overall just 1.8% and 1.6% on mobile and desktop respectively.

This is explained by the vast amount of impressions in this category with relatively few of these impressions resulting in clicks.

Dynamic Ads still unpopular

While Google Shopping accounted for over 14% of all transaction revenue, Dynamic Ads only accounted for 2.4% -– by far the lowest of the four categories. It seems Dynamic Ads are not as popular as the other forms of ads. Even though average conversion rates on dynamic ads (around 2% for desktop and 0.9% for mobile) are comparable with other ad types, the return on ad spend is lower – this shows that the overall transaction volume resulting from Dynamic Ads is not as high as other ad categories.

CPC higher on desktop, varies by ad type

CPC is higher on desktop than mobile or tablet across all categories of ads. Google Shopping had the highest CPC on desktop, whereas generic search has the highest CPC on mobile.

Seasonality affects industry categories

To investigate any seasonal effect, we grouped the data by calendar month, ad type and device. While seasonality was relatively stable across the entire dataset, we did notice category-specific seasonal effects which we discuss in the next section.


Lorem ipsum


Lorem ipsum


Lorem ipsum


Lorem ipsum

Industry segment analysis

We also took a deep dive into five of the top performing industry categories: Home & Garden, Consumer Electronics, Health, Fashion and Groceries.

Seasonality affects industry categories

Looking at the breakdown of revenue by ad type across the categories, we see generic and navigational ads lead the way. While Health and Home & Garden are dominated by navigational ads, Consumer Electronics is dominated by generic search ads. Interestingly, generic search ads create more revenue in the fashion category than navigational ads.
Google Shopping plays a larger role in fashion than other categories, and dynamic ads make it into third place in both Health and Groceries.
Average CPC by Category
Electronics and Health have the highest CPC, whereas Fashion the lowest.
Average ROAS by Category
This low ad cost resulted in Fashion having the highest ROAS of the 5 categories at 4x ad spend.
Even though Health has a very high CTR and relatively high conversion rate, it has the lowest overall ROAS of the five categories, showing that transaction amounts are significantly lower in this category.
Fashion had the lowest click-through rate of the categories, illustrating the highly competitive nature of this segment.
Conversion rates vary greatly by category ranging from 3.7% in Consumer Electronics to just 1.5% in Home & Garden.
The CVR in Home & Garden is surprisingly low considering that like Consumer Electronics is a category that is dominated by desktop ads which tend to have a higher conversion rates.

Key takeaways

  • Revenue from desktop and mobile is evenly split
  • Ad spend on mobile is way higher
  • Navigational and generic search ads dominate most categories, but it depends on the industry segment
  • Conversion rates on desktop ads are roughly twice that of on mobile
  • Higher CTRs and CVRs don’t automatically mean more revenue overall
  • ROAS is higher on desktop in all ad categories except Google Shopping
  • Dynamic search ads are unpopular
  • Each industry segment needs an individual PPC strategy

Overall by Month and Ad Type

Lorem ipsum.

Device Deep Dive

Desktop highest revenue share in Home & Garden, Health and dominates Electronics with 74%. Mobile only wins Fashion and Groceries - explained by shopping apps (people ordering on their smartphones). Tablet still very low between 1 and 3%.
Revenue Share by Device Type (1)
Head of Product @ peekd

"We use peekd to create reactive marketing strategies based on competitive intelligence."

Home and Garden Deep Dive

Lorem ipsum.

Home and Garden Device Split

Lorem ipsum.

Consumer Electronics Deep Dive

Lorem ipsum.

Consumer Electronics Device Split

Lorem ipsum.

The new standard in marketing benchmarks

Analyze your industry like never before


Lorem ipsum


Lorem ipsum
Explore Benchmarking

Health Deep Dive

Lorem ipsum.

Health Device Split

Lorem ipsum.

Fashion Deep Dive

Lorem ipsum.

Fashion Device Split

Lorem ipsum.

Groceries Deep Dive

Lorem ipsum.

Groceries Device Split

Lorem ipsum.

Curious to see our data in action?

Get a personalized walk-through from our Head of Product