Analysing examples of PPC

Today is 14th September 2016 and I’m writing this blog in what feels like the hottest day of the year in UK. Luckily it is now late night and the cool breeze from my window will occasionally cool me down.

Anyway, today I felt like adding some content related to marketing, as my previous posts have been about video games.

I’m going to try my hand at giving my own analysis on a few different examples of PPC adverts displayed in Google by searching for random keywords that people might search. All of this may not be 100% correct, however I feel that my previous 3 years of experience working in digital marketing will somewhat aid in my analysis. Here goes.

  • The first PPC ad I’ve chosen to give a quick analysis is from searching “Groceries”, which at the time I searched came up with 2 results. The first being Tesco’s, followed by Asda. In hindsight, most people would probably search a combination of “groceries” plus “online” or “shopping”. Firstly, which PPC ad stands out more? I’d have to say that Asda’s use of rating system catches my eye, mainly because it is a different colour. However, given a second read through, Tesco has the stronger CTA with the “1 month free delivery trial”, whereas Asda only displays their website name. In my search I typed “Groceries”, which you can see is highlighted in Tesco’s ad within the url, however for Asda’s url, it shows me the delivery url which is not too relevant for me at this point. I would have to read the description below to actually spot the relevant keyword.  Both ads use sitelinks, as well as nearest stores based on my location plus opening hours, which is quality information for consumers to know. Overall, Tesco’s PPC ad seems more effective to me with a clear CTA & more relevant content. ppc-ad1
  • The next PPC ad comparison is for searching the word “Hotels London”, which I feel would be searched fairly often, hence the number of results & popularity in Google trends. We have 3 different competitors that offer online services to book hotels in London: Booking.com, Trivago & Expedia. I notice first that all three of these are third party sites and not actual hotels. This could mean that hotels aren’t buying their own PPC ads and instead relying on popularity of these sites to drive traffic. Using a ratings system, is a nice way to show people the quality of the site, especially for when people are searching for hotels. Therefore, I feel it’s a bit strange that Trivago are not using this. Next to the description, which is best to keep short and clear, so potential customers can quickly understand if that content is relevant. All three use fairly short sentences in their description, with Expedia’s description slightly longer than the rest. Always being at the top, doesn’t mean they are the best site. It could mean they spent more to acquire that position, however sometimes even 2nd or 3rd could generate greater results. I feel that Trivago does this better, if their customer is wanting to keep costs down. Their ad clearly focuses on the price point with mentions of the price in the CTA & description. In my personal experience, I’ve always used booking.com, as I find their website efficient & simple to navigate. However, if I were to be a new consumer with not much knowledge about each of the site, I would probably click on either Trivago or Expedia. This being the focus on pricing & clear cta used by Expedia.ppc-ad-hotels
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Google trends for “Hotels London” popularity in UK

  • The last PPC ad comparison is for when searching the term “Cheap holidays”. This search brings up the most number of ads thus far with 4 different websites. Again, Expedia appear since they offer holiday services as well as hotels. Only the top ad uses the rating system, which I feel the others could include as well, for an indiciator of the customer feedback of their site. All have pretty strong CTA with relevancy to cheap holidays, however I feel that loveholidays.com and Expedia’s call to action uses their copy more effectively. They both don’t repeat the website in their CTA and have strong actions on saving money. With the description, onthebeach.co.uk uses for too many words and it would be nice to see them try a shorter description. It’s good to know all that they fly to a lot of different destinations, however they could maybe try phrasing it better to shorten the length. I’m not sure what loveholidays.com means when they use the term ATOL/ABTA and for some holiday buyers they might not be looking for this term also. “0% monthly payments” sounds more like a bank or insurance ad, than a holiday ad. I would maybe try a different set of copy with more terms that customers would tend to search for. I feel that if the 2nd ad is the most effective as they have a strong CTA, however I feel they should tweak their description to include more common terms like “low prices” or “0% cancellation fees” and could see a better response.

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google-trengs

Taken from Google Trends – Cheap holidays is searched throughout the year

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