Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Maybe the web alone isn't enough?

According to Ad Age, a recent study conducted by Travelocity showed higher conversion rates on branded keyword searches than non-branded terms.

Only in 2% of paid-search conversions did the searcher originally click on a non-branded term and then search a branded term. And only 4% of hotel bookings (not hits) on Travelocity can be credited to non-branded searches. Any sort of primitive math tells you that 96%, therefore, came from branded search terms.

And that, friends, is evidence that however strong your web site is and however hard that SEO works and however much you invest in Google keywords, you’ll get a lot more qualified customers to your site – and your business – if they have some familiarity with your brand before they start to monkey around on the web.

The name of the game – it seems to us – is to use a strong integrated approach to drive prospective customers to search “Your Name Luxury Hotel” rather than just “hotels, Maryland”, or to Google “Izzy’s Ice Cream” rather than simply “ice cream, Bethesda”. To paraphrase a classic McGraw-Hill ad, sales starts before the customer fires up the Google search engine.

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