BrandVerity has published a report on paid search marketing by hotel brands and Online Travel Agencies (OTAs). Centered around hotels’ branded keywords (such as “Orlando Hyatt” or “Philadelphia Westin”), the study evaluates more than 100,000 advertisements that were triggered by these keywords.
The study monitored 120 branded keywords in total, covering 12 brands across 10 different markets. Some of the study’s key findings include the following:
- On Google, each Search Engine Results Page (SERP) averaged almost two OTA ads (1.82 per SERP)
- OTA ads outnumbered hotel brands’ own ads on Google, Bing and AOL
- 87.5% of OTA ads on Bing included the trademark of the brand that was searched
- Brands did not appear in the #1 ad position on 23.6% of SERPs on Google Mobile, 15.9% of SERPs on Google, 17.4% of SERPs on Bing, and 24.9% of SERPs on AOL
- When brands did not appear in the #1 position, OTAs dominated the #1 ad spot, controlling it well over 50% of the time on each search engine
Overall, the data from this report indicates that OTAs bid on hotels’ branded keywords rather extensively. In certain situations, brand bidding OTAs can be useful to the brand—ensuring that a potential customer doesn’t book with a competitor. In others, they may be harmful—reducing the brand’s traffic and direct bookings. The ideal balance for this should be worked out by hotel brands and their OTAs. However, the data from this study should help inform hotel brands in particular as they adapt their PPC strategies and manage their relationships with OTAs.
BrandVerity provides brand protection and trademark monitoring in paid search and other digital marketing channels. BrandVerity’s technology enables its clients to monitor how their brands are being represented and then take action on the data that is most relevant to their brand. BrandVerity was founded in 2008 and is based in Seattle, Washington. For more information about BrandVerity and its PoachMark™ technology visit brandverity.com.
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