A Case Study - PPC to the rescue

The Results

One of the great advantages of PPC is that it gets immediate results. As soon as the new site went live, so did the PPC campaign, which meant traffic from day one. The Southern Sun website, received an average of 7500 clicks per month for the first three months.

The traffic generated by the PPC advertising ensured that the site was noticed by search engines and was trusted as a valid South African hotel site.

Split testing revealed some very interesting and useful behaviours and trends:

  1. The overall best response was to the adverts containing the Southern Sun brand - particularly from the local market. This was very positive for Southern Sun and gave them a distinct PPC advantage with regard to Google's quality as it meant high click-through on competitive key phrases like “Cape Town hotels”. It also showed that their brand was not as well recognised in the UK and USA.
  2. Search marketing is driven by meeting a need whereas offline marketing involves creating a need. Split testing picked up that the (very successful) offline marketing campaigns were not so successful when actively marketed through PPC, and that they do better when advertised from within the site. The campaign had an average booking rate of 0.38%. The landing pages that supplied a list of hotels in an area or offering a service far out-performed this with an average booking rate of 3.45%.
  3. International traffic responded differently to various offers and hotel details compared to local traffic. In general, there was a better response locally with an ROI of 780% vs. 430%.

Analysis of the initial PPC campaign and subsequent campaign optimisation has resulted in the following:

  • The conversion rate increased by 125%
  • The cost per conversion decreased by 67%
  • Southern Sun currently enjoy an ROI of 20:1 (for every R1 spent they get R20 back) on their PPC campaign

The Bottom Line

Running a PPC campaign when you launch or relaunch a site will:

  • Attract enough traffic to ensure you don't lose business
  • Test site structure and browser behaviour
  • Allow you to assess where traffic comes from so you can test and optimise the presentation of your product to your customers

Coming soon: Chapter 8. What should you expect?

Next time we'll take a look at the most successful and cost effective arrow an eMarketer has in their quiver - Email Marketing. By Email Marketing we don't mean Spam, so keep an eye out for our next instalment of the eMarketing 101 series.

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