Choose your Words Carefully: Travel Edition

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What happens if you use “free” in a car rental PPC ad? Do optimal word combos change depending on the device being used? The Bing Ads research team has put together a great study that answers these questions, and includes a separate look at PPC word choice by device. Find out what the best word combos are for the top travel sub-verticals: Airlines and flights, car rental, hotels and cruises.

Published in: Travel, Technology

Choose your Words Carefully: Travel Edition

  1. Choose your words carefully: Travel edition How word choice can make or break pay-per-click search ads
  2. Microsoft ConfidentialMicrosoft Confidential Don’t say “free” in a car rental PPC ad – or its evil cousin, “upgrade”. What other surprising word combos make travel searchers click somewhere else?
  3. Microsoft ConfidentialMicrosoft Confidential The researchers at Bing Ads recently tackled a couple of big questions about performance for PPC travel ads.
  4. Microsoft ConfidentialMicrosoft Confidential What combinations of words in the title and description get the highest Ad Quality ranking?* Does this change depending on what device the audience is using? *Ad Quality is a calculation which factors in both the clickability (the likelihood ofanadbeingclicked,agnosticof position)oftheadandotherindicatorsofadquality.Adswithbetteradqualitynotonlyhave a better CTR,they get rewardedwith better ad ranking and lower CPCs than other ads with lower ad quality.
  5. Microsoft ConfidentialMicrosoft Confidential We analyzed 150,000 ads running on the Yahoo Bing Network. Microsoft Confidential
  6. Microsoft Confidential These ads generated 50 million impressions.
  7. Microsoft ConfidentialMicrosoft Confidential 1 ad on the Yahoo Bing Network reaches 163 million searchers 5.6 billion monthly searches on Yahoo Bing Network
  8. Microsoft ConfidentialMicrosoft Confidential We limited our study to June 2013 to have the richest data to work with. Microsoft Confidential
  9. Microsoft ConfidentialMicrosoft Confidential Then we broke the travel vertical into 4 categories. Flights and airlines HotelsCar rental Cruises
  10. Microsoft Confidential Critical insights we uncovered: 1. Travel searchers are very specific – and focused on accomplishing their task. Destination, dates and activities are often already determined by the time the searcher begins the hunt for airline tickets, hotel and car rental. Writing PPC travel ads with specific location names is key. 2. User intent as it relates to device is critical. Putting together different ads for mobile and PC is a must, as users on PCs are more likely to be attracted to official sites, while mobile users want to take action from a “book now” interface.
  11. Microsoft Confidential Mobile is big for Bing travelers When compared to Google, the Yahoo Bing Network audience is: 20% 15% more likely to access travel content via mobile browsers at least once a week more likely to access travel content via mobile browsers 2-3 times in a month more likely to access travel content via mobile browser ever in the last month Source: comScore Plan Metrix Site Audience Profile, January 2013. Composition Index compared to baseline internet users 13%
  12. Microsoft Confidential Here’s how to read a heatmap Ad description Adtitle Great Good Insufficient dataPoor Air Airfares AirlineBrand Airlines Book CalltoAction City Deals Destinations Discount Fares Find Flights Fly Guaranteed Huge/Big Lowest Nonstop Now Offers OfficialSite Online Prices Save Tickets Today Trademark Travel Website Your Air Airfares Airline Brand Airlines Area Book Call to Action City Deals Discount Fares Find Flights Fly Lowest Nonstop Official Site Online Save Tickets Trademark Travel Website Our study results show that a travel ad with “airlines” in the title and “deals” in the description has high Ad Quality.
  13. Microsoft Confidential Airlines and flights: Ad performance heatmap Air Airfares AirlineBrand Airlines Book CalltoAction City Deals Destinations Discount Fares Find Flights Fly Guaranteed Huge/Big Lowest Nonstop Now Offers OfficialSite Online Prices Save Tickets Today Trademark Travel Website Your Air Airfares Airline Brand Airlines Area Book Call to Action City Deals Discount Fares Find Flights Fly Lowest Nonstop Official Site Online Save Tickets Trademark Travel Website Ad description Adtitle Great Good Insufficient dataPoor
  14. Microsoft Confidential Airlines and flights: Top word combos PC Mobile Tablet Title Description City Official/Official Site Tickets Official/Official Site City Find Travel Flights Tickets Find Title Description Find Today Find City Book Flights Flights Airlines City Lowest Title Description Deals Travel Deals Find City Travel Travel Flights Fares Air Key insights - The word “find” in the ad description ranks high when used with almost any travel-related words in the ad title, from “airfares” to “[city name]” to “deals”. - PC users are much more interested in ads that include “official site” than either mobile or tablet users, which is indicative of the different intent depending on device. PC users have a bigger screen and are more willing to navigate a large, official site. Mobile users go directly to action, clicking on ads that include “book” and “flights”.
  15. Microsoft Confidential Car rental: Ad performance heatmap Ad description Adtitle Great Good Insufficient dataPoor Airport Book Brand Callto Action Car CarSize Cheap Deals Free Great Hire Low/Lowest Now Off Official Online PricePoint Quick Rates Rent/Rental Reserve Save Savings Specials Today Trademark Upgrade Weekend Weekly Your Airport Brand Call to Action Car Cheap City Deals Discounts Free Great Hire Off Official Online Price Point Rent/Rental Savings Specials Trademark Upgrade Weekend Weekly
  16. Microsoft Confidential Car rental: Top word combos PC Mobile Tablet Title Description Off Low/Lowest Weekend Specials Weekend Online Weekend Quick Weekend Price Point Title Description Rent/Rental Specials Brand Specials Car Specials Price Point Specials Car Weekend Title Description Weekend Specials Weekend Online Weekend Quick Trademark Deals Weekend Price Point - Consumers won’t be duped: The words “free” and “upgrade” in any car supplier ad will not be good for clicks. - “Weekend” is king of the keywords regardless of device when it comes to car supplier PPC ads. For mobile, “specials” is especially hot. Key insights
  17. Microsoft Confidential Hotels: Ad performance heatmap Ad description Adtitle Great Good Insufficient dataPoor Best Book Brand CalltoAction City Deals Downtown Family Free Great Guaranteed Hotel Lowest Luxury Now Official PricePoint Rates Rental(s) Resorts Room(s) Save Suites Today Trademark Vacation Best Book Brand Cabin Call to Action City Deals Downtown Great Guaranteed Hotel Luxury Official Price Point Rates Rental(s) Resorts Save Suites Trademark Vacation
  18. Microsoft Confidential Hotels: Top word combos PC Mobile Tablet Title Description City Save City Room(s) Rental(s) Save City Official Rates Rates Title Description City Brand City Guaranteed City Great City Call to Action Trademark Rates Title Description Rental(s) Save Call to Action Room(s) Rental(s) Rental(s) Vacation Today Deals Today Key insights - “Luxury”, in either ad title or ad description, gets low marks except when used in combination with a hotel brand name. This is in line with shifting spending habits across the US since the economic downturn. - “Family” in the ad description attracts a lot of attention when used with either a brand name or a price point.
  19. Microsoft Confidential Cruise ships: Ad performance heatmap Ad description Adtitle Great Good Insufficient dataPoor % All-Inclusive Book Brand CalltoAction Cruise(s) Deals Exclusive Great Largest Location Low/Lowest Luxury New Now Offers Official Prices Rates Sail Sale Save Today Tours Trademark Vocation Your % All-Inclusive Book Brand Call to Action Cheap Cruise(s) Deals Exclusive Great Largest Location Luxury New Offers Official Sale Save Tours Trademark Vocation NoVar
  20. Microsoft Confidential Cruise ships: Top word combos PC Mobile Tablet Title Description NoVar Call to Action Cheap Cruise(s) NoVar % NoVar Your Sale Today Title Description Cruise(s) New Official Deals Cruise(s) Sale Trademark Now Trademark Location Title Description All-Inclusive Deals All-Inclusive Cruise(s) Deals Largest All-Inclusive Call to Action Cruise(s) Sale Key insights - Two high-ranking words for ad title in the cruise suppliers category indicate a savvy market who knows what to expect in this category: “all-inclusive” and “sale.” - Regardless of device, ads indicating a bargain (“sale”, “deals”, even “cheap”) get a lot of attention in this category.
  21. Microsoft ConfidentialMicrosoft Confidential Before you pour this awesome info into your search ads, consider three important things: Microsoft Confidential
  22. Microsoft Confidential ONE Test. Then test again. Test some more. Testing is critical to understanding your ad copy performance across devices, categories and time periods. Microsoft Confidential
  23. Microsoft ConfidentialMicrosoft Confidential TWO Use ad extensions like Sitelinks. Understand the value of Sitelink lift and the impact it could have on an entire account. Implement and spread to all your ads.
  24. Microsoft ConfidentialMicrosoft Confidential THREE Scale your execution to all your ads. Develop a framework for understanding the clickability of your ads and executing top performers on a large scale.
  25. Microsoft Confidential Now that you know what makes a strong PPC travel ad, consider this: 15 million searchers exclusively used the Yahoo Bing Network to conduct travel searches. This audience is not reached on Google.1 More cost-effective paid clicks within Travel are found on Bing, 23% lower in cost than Google.2 1 comScore US qSearch (custom), March 2013 2 AdGooroo, Yahoo! Bing PPC Performance Metrics, What Search Marketers Need to Know About “The Other Search Engine,” March 2013

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