The paid search trends of 2017 so far – and what they mean for hoteliers

The new Q1 digital marketing report by Merkel has been released, sharing quarterly digital marketing benchmarks. The report identifies a number of key paid search trends which suggest that for hotel brands, PPC advertising companies have renewed importance as strategic partners in an ever shifting and fluid paid search landscape. Amongst the patterns identified in the report are a growth in Google search spend, an increase in Local Inventory Ads, greater Google Maps ad importance and a strong mobile ad share on social networks Facebook and YouTube.

Read on to find out more about key findings and what your hotel should be doing to make the most of its paid search budget in the coming months.

  • Google Search Ad Spending is Growing

The Q1 figures show that advertiser spending on Google paid search ads was up 21% year on year. Click volume also increased 20% compared with the year before.

Merkel analysis believe this increase in spending is due to the wider variety of text ads available to advertisers, plus an increase in Shopping ads and Google Map ads uptake. For hoteliers, this means that if you haven’t reviewed your paid search budget recently, or examined your paid ad formats in the last quarter, you could be in danger of being left behind by your competition.

  • Google Shopping PLAS Are Growing Faster Than Text Ads

Advertiser spend on Google Shopping increased by a huge 32% year on year, with non brand queries doing particularly well and driving as much as 75% of all clicks.

  • Expanded Text Ads Not Necessarily Driving More Clicks

The CTR for Expanded Text Ads suggests that ETAs don’t provide any real click through benefits to retailers, with performance sluggish in the quarter. The report findings conclude that where an ad campaign has ETA and standard text ads active, the older format is responsible for 40% of impressions. ETA don’t produce more click throughs than the legacy format when device, keyword and ad location are taken into account. You’ll need to select an expert PPC advertising company to help you define an effective strategy for your hotel, if you use ETA and standard text ads to drive clicks.

  • Bing and Yahoo Ad Spend Falling

Advertising paid search spend on Bing Ads and Yahoo Gemini fell by 14% in total in Q1. This followed a 13% decline in Q4 of 2016. Product Ad and non-branded keyword clicks also fell on both Bing and Yahoo by 23% in Q1 when compared year on year. This overall trend of decline suggests advertisers are pulling their spend away from both search engines, fuelled perhaps by lower click volumes. Google maintains the monopoly on mobile ads, which undoubtedly has fuelled some of the Yahoo and Bing decline.

It’s worth considering if the two platforms serve any of your key demographics – a highly targeted Bing or Yahoo paid search campaign will use much less PPC budget than Google so offset the click volume and cost to determine if this is a lower competition, lower cost route to certain key consumer groups for your hotel.

Navigating the paid search landscape can be a difficult task. Enlisting expert PPC advertising companies to roadmap a strategy and manage budget, platform and ad type can help to unlock the benefits while avoiding the pitfalls. Speak to our PPC team here at Digital Arabia to see how we can help you – as one of the top PPC advertising companies in the Emirates, we’re well placed to help you make the most of your paid search budget