Should travel advertisers bid on their brand search terms across pay-per-click (PPC)
ads? Bing Ads
has done some research suggesting the answer is yes, in many cases.
PPC marketers may be skeptical. But this fresh data suggests that bidding on your travel brand terms is more beneficial than not, both in terms of receiving clicks on PPC ads and interaction with organic listings.
Bing Ads' data is significant because it runs 30% of all searches in the US through Yahoo and Apple platforms and has about 20% market share
of US search overall.
Its staff notes that "there's an ongoing debate about the inclusion of brand name keywords in search marketing campaigns."
For their study, Bing Ads analyzed 400,000 impressions across travel searches in December 2014. They included the majority of the brand terms consumers search for in travel. They measured if clicks went to the brand whose keywords were being searched on, a rival's brand, or somewhere else.
The research found that, on average in the travel industry, more clicks went to brands bidding on their own brand, which meant that fewer clicks went to competitors who were also bidding:
- When no brand ad from any company was present, competitors received 40% of clicks for searches on a brand's keywords.
- When a brand ad was present, clicks on a competitor's paid ads decreased from 20% to 4% and clicks on a competitor's organic ads decreased from 19% to 8%.
The statistics assume the brand ad was in position 1 and was also on top of the organic listings when a consumer ran a search on its keywords.
The researchers wrote:
"When no brand ad was present, the average travel brand received 61% of clicks on the search results page -- from organic listings. When a brand ad was added, clicks increased 27% overall (roughly half through the paid links and half thorugh the organic links)."
To put this another way, the typical travel advertiser saw a 27% boost in incremental clicks across PPC and organic if they bid on their own brand. By "incremental" clicks, Bing Ads means that they aren't cannibalized, meaning the brand might have received them anyway from organic listing.
Bing Ads acknowledges that the performance of brand name keywords varies by several factors. In short: your mileage may vary.