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Old 04-25-2007   #1
stevekoll
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What is a reasonable ROI for Travel?

Hi all, I'm running AdWords for a company in travel & tourism. They work with very small margins and expect not to spend more than 3.5% of the revenue of a sale on getting the sale.
So, if I spend 3.50 whatever on AdWords, I need 100.00 worth in sales coming from this.

Can anyone comment if this is a typical number for AdWords in general or for the travel industry in particular?
Thx,

Steve
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Old 04-25-2007   #2
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I doubt whether you will get this as an average... you are going to need to do alot of testing to find the right combination of keywords, ads and landing pages to pull that off.

If the sales are generally more than $100 then you have a bit more to play with, but for those types of numbers I would be working in travel search in my spare time..... it is a seriously competitive space both online and off and I think your client has unrealistic goals... he has to know that volume can make up for decreased profit margins.
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Old 05-01-2007   #3
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Hi Steve -
I work extensively in travel search and I think some of the factors that a lot of clients dont figure in are exposure, competition and their own website design. A picture is worth a thousand words (and a thousand dollars) when someone is planning a vacation.

PPCs are a great way to drive targeted traffic - but they can be expensive in a competitive area. If the client wants to spend close to what they earn, they need to be sure you have ALL of the tools necessary to convert those visitors - including a rocking user-friendly website. We do not encourage the behavior you describe in our clients.

I honestly dont think that seeing PPC conversions very low is a great indicator - most analytics software expires a visitor after at a max 24 hrs - so people who shop a lot may return to the site multiple times and even via direct access (typing in the domain name so the revenue may not come from a PPC ad directly - but they initially FOUND that client via PPC. If I'm spending hundreds or thousands of dollars on a vacation or trip - I'm going to shop around a lot before booking - sometimes for weeks or months.

High dollar items (such as vacations) are harder to convert via ppc - but it can be done. ONe thing I'vedone w/ picky clients is only keep keywords running that have shown conversions. I think it's IDIOTIC - but if the client insists on seeing a large amount of revenue from a PPC campaign - that's all you can do.

Last edited by AussieWebmaster : 05-02-2007 at 04:04 AM.
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Old 05-06-2007   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CarrieHill
most analytics software expires a visitor after at a max 24 hrs
Hi,

As far I understand, if you're working with Google Analytics, Google will attribute all conversions from repeating visits to the source of the first visit (in the lifetime of 1 cookie of course).
This means that if you have a site with a lot of repeat visitors and repeat conversions, you haven't got a clue what source caused the conversion. Google gives all the credit to the source of the first visit.
I tried to get final confirmation on this feature, but I'm still waiting for a answer. Does anybody know?

Béate
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Old 05-06-2007   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beatever
Hi,

As far I understand, if you're working with Google Analytics, Google will attribute all conversions from repeating visits to the source of the first visit (in the lifetime of 1 cookie of course).
This means that if you have a site with a lot of repeat visitors and repeat conversions, you haven't got a clue what source caused the conversion. Google gives all the credit to the source of the first visit.
I tried to get final confirmation on this feature, but I'm still waiting for a answer. Does anybody know?

Béate
Yes the first source is cookied and held... there are work arounds with other tracking programs... GA had it with Urchin but do not seem to be using advanced features... though I have not tried to contact them to see what add ons are available.
It is an additional javascript that appends to the cookie
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Old 05-12-2007   #6
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More Freedom!

Hi,

This is about aligning the goals of the agency and the client. The agency wants more revenue whilst the client wants the most cost effective acqusition structure as possible. Concentrating on the best converting keywords will help you achieve the clients targets, but it won't be best for you.

In my view, the cost as a percentage of acquistion target gives you more freedom, not less. Depending on how long you have managed the campaign, you should be familiar with the current cost %. You would hope the client is.

You should be aware, not only of the first and last click before a sale, but the clicks that happen between. In my experience, travel customers go through a long click journey before booking, starting very broad and finishing in the long tail or often on a branded term. Understanding the correct mix will allow you to maximise your revenue within your constraint.

However, using one target across the board is not constructive for either party. For example, closer to the departure point travel companies reduce prices in order to fulfil occupancy obligations. Hence, your target is compromised by factors out of your control. The company is making it harder to make the sale and will keep reducing prices etc. Separate targets must exist for across the product range. If a company wants to make sales in a competitive area then they need to know that this target is not obtainable, at least not with any great volume.

As Carire describes, you also need to keep you up to speed on overall revenue achieved via the website. The "halo" effect from PPC causes increased clicks on natural search results but also the amount of people entering the site directly. An acqusiition target of total revenue might be worth exploring.

We are currently working under similar conditions and have found them very beneficial for us and the client. If you want to talk more, please let me know.

Gooner
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Old 05-17-2007   #7
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I was told GA gives last visited campaign credit

Quote:
Originally Posted by AussieWebmaster
Yes the first source is cookied and held... there are work arounds with other tracking programs... GA had it with Urchin but do not seem to be using advanced features... though I have not tried to contact them to see what add ons are available.
It is an additional javascript that appends to the cookie
Are you sure about this? That's not what I was told from Google and I want to make sure I wasn't given the wrong info....

There is a no override tag that can be used to retain the ORIGINAL referrer but it has to be appended to the tracking URL (couldn't really find much about it in the GA help). I had this very question when GA first came out and the response from Google is in italics below.

Scenario 1 - click on a Google OR Yahoo ad, then go direct and buy:

I confirmed that in both cases where a user first reaches your site (from Yahoo or AdWords) and then comes directly to your site later, the conversion, in Google Analytics, will be under the user's original referring source. Thus, while it cannot hurt, you do not need to use nooverride parameter. This is because direct visits don't reset campaign variables.

Scenerio 2 - click on Google ad THEN Yahoo ad

This parameter {no override} ensures that the conversion will retain the first campaign's information (i.e. AdWords), irregardless of which links the user later followed to arrive at your site and then convert. So in the example above, the conversion would be credited to the AdWords campaign, if both links were tagged with the nooverride variable. If they were not tagged, the conversion would be credited to the Yahoo campaign. [/i]

This would suggest to me that the default is that the last campaign gets the credit.

PLEASE let me know if you have other information that refutes this... GA was pretty new (even to Google staff) when I was asking this so would love to confirm...
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Old 05-21-2007   #8
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Lightbulb

Hi buddy
this is the good topic increase over knowlage........hurry
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Old 05-26-2007   #9
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Thumbs up Africa Adventure

Does anything quite prepare you for an adventure in Africa; quite simply, nothing can, as my experience on Acacia’s overland South West Safari would lead me to discover. Our tour through Southern Africa began in Zambia and on arrival into Livingstone we were transferred to our accommodation on the banks of the Zambezi River, a few miles upstream from the Victoria Falls. Arriving in plenty of time before the tour began I made the most of the opportunities available in the area – this being one of Africa’s adventure capitals offering a range of activities, from bungee jumping to sunset cruising.

Our first day was spent relaxing from a long flight on the banks of the Zambezi. Watching the glorious sunset and serene African surroundings with a “sun downer” was welcome respite as the next morning we had to be up early for our first adventure – white water rafting down the Zambezi River. The fourth largest river system in Africa after the Nile, Zaire and Niger Rivers, the Zambezi runs through six countries on its journey from central Africa to the Indian Ocean. All of these claims however, must come second to its notoriety as one of the wildest white water rafting runs in the world; its long, violent (grade 4 – 5) rapids and steep gradients providing a challenge for even the most enthusiastic adventurer. Our journey took us through 23 rapids in total, some of which were absolute monsters and we gulped down our fair share of the river on the way, but the challenge didn’t end there as we then had to climb out of the gorge itself. Back at camp we ran through the day’s events once again and rediscovered our sense of adventure – our white water rafting excursion rewound and played back on film.
Next on the list was the Victoria Falls. This world-renowned “Smoke that thunders” took my breath away – nearly a mile wide and 100 metres deep, with walking paths so near the edge you can lean over and look into the gorge itself. Coming face to face with one of nature’s most astounding sights was spell bounding; the enormity of staring at the largest falling curtain of water on earth becoming clear, as the spray soaked us all completely to the skin.
From the falls we crossed the Livingstone Bridge and spent the rest of the day in Zimbabwe checking out Victoria Falls town. Showing another side to this diverse continent Zimbabwe was very different to Livingstone despite its proximity. We found the people a little more demanding when it came to tourists, but the shopping experience was pure excitement. The market place was a hive of activity and not one for the faint hearted, however, with a little time and patience and a friendly smile for our newly made ‘friends’ there were many bargains to be had. After bartering and staking claim to numerous souvenirs we were ready to indulge in our traditional ‘Boma’ dinner – a combination of crocodile, kudu and warthog making for a culinary feast; traditional dancers and drums providing an atmospheric ambience before heading back to Zambia.
It was another early rise the following morning allowing us plenty of time to tackle our next challenge – the gorge swing. Often put forward as an alternative to those who can’t face the bungee jump, gorge swinging is a no less death-defying feat. Enjoying a longer freefall than the bungee, the scare is lessened by being attached around your upper body rather than dangling by your feet – a little comfort and peace of mind before jumping off into the abyss. My friend and I decided that we would jump tandem – thinking that if we went together it would be less scary. Our ingenious idea didn’t quite go according to plan, our combined weight making us swing still further. Travelling at what seemed like nearly 100 miles an hour this was more adrenalinee pumping and scarier than if we had done it alone!

Challenges aside, it’s still the traditional safari experience that draws travellers to Africa in their hordes, and we were no different. Our first wildlife encounter would take us overland, a short distance to Botswana into Chobe National Park. Boasting one of the greatest concentrations of elephants in the African continent (the current count is estimated at over 120,000), the park is also home to hippos, baboons, hyenas, lion, leopard, antelope and varied birdlife - but it’s not simply the abundant wildlife, which makes the park worth visiting as the beauty and splendour of the area also ensure this a worthwhile trip. The amazing variety of habitats, which range from floodplains, through woodlands of baobab, mopane and acacia trees, to verdant grasslands and thickets, bordering the Chobe River, all combine to give a real essence of Africa. The highlight of the safari was the afternoon ‘Fish Eagle’ boat cruise on the Chobe River itself where we watched a herd of elephants wrestling in the water, these huge beasts performing ballet type maneuvers with nearby hippo and crocodile trying their best to avoid the melee.
Our next stop was the dusty outback town of Maun, the gateway to the Okavango Delta. Taking a light air craft flight over the delta we were able to get a birds eye view of the lagoons, cannels and reed covered islands, which stretch for 1000's of square kilometers – actually up to 16,000 square kilometers. The following day we trekked into the Okavango itself passing through the villages of the indigenous tribal people – a brief insight into local culture before our river journey by traditional dug out canoe (known as a 'makoro'). After being poled through the reed-covered islands by our local guide we reached our next destination – a wilderness camp deep in the swaying grasses of the Okavango Delta. Truly relaxing and off the beaten track here we had a chance to kick back, relax and dip into the natural and refreshing waters – a second to none experience for those who want to delve into the heart of Africa.
A further highlight of island camping in the delta was seeing the wildlife close up –especially at night, our proximity to the natural world becoming clear as the noises came closer to our tents. The animals presence made for a dramatic walking safari the following morning as we ventured out on foot to track the wildlife that had visited camp that night – trekking through the Okavango meeting buffalo and giraffe, with nothing but the experience of our guide between us and the possibility of danger.
Back on the road trip across Botswana we had the opportunity of meeting the Kalahari Bushman – a hunter-gatherer tribe thought to be the descendents of the first inhabitants of South Africa, with records dating back 30,000 years. The harsh conditions which they contend with have been amplified by the encroachment of modern civilization with its huge cities, large farms, and grazing cattle – many of them being driven off their native lands to make room for mining and farming operations. However, there is some hope in tourism, with the industry providing economic assistance through tours such as those devised by Acacia, ensuring the tribe keep their land, preserve their culture and continue their historical survival.
Leaving Botswana we crossed into Namibia - our first port of call being, Etosha National Park. Covering an area of 22,270 square kilometres, the park is home to 114 mammal species, 340 bird species, 110 reptile species, 16 amphibian species and, surprisingly, one species of fish. Its name stems from the massive mineral pan that dominates the area – ‘Etosha’ meaning ‘great white place’.

Our game drive was off to an impressive start as immediately after we passed through the gates we were greeted by a pride of lions. We were also lucky enough to see elephants, leopards, rhinos, giraffes, springboks and a multitude of other animals and birds, but the most memorable experience was watching four lionesses stalk their pray for over two hours before taking a young gemsbok. Once the lionesses made their kill two large male lions and four bouncing cubs came out to feed – another incredible wildlife sighting.

Our next stop was Swakopmund, Namibia’s only seaside resort – a great place in which to combine relaxation and adventurous pursuits. On arrival our group opted for quad bike desert driving, a trip which incorporated the most amazing vista as we watched the sun setting over the Atlantic Ocean from the top of a massive sand dune.

Cosmopolitan Cape Town was the last stop on the South West Safari, but we decided to extend our visit here to make the most of our stay in what has been described as one of the greatest cities in the world – Acacia’s optional extended city and short stay tours making this a simple and hassle free add on to any overland adventure. The famous Stellenbosch Wineries and the Cape of Good Hope are only a short distance away from the city and the vibrant mix of bars, restaurants and art galleries are best viewed with plenty of time to spare.
The only question left to ask is where will I go next after such an extensive tour of Africa? This wondrous continent deserves many more holidays, so I am now planning my next trip, again travelling with Acacia Adventure Holidays, but this time to East Africa. I can only hope that it is as memorable as the first.
I travelled on the 19-day South West Safari with Acacia Africa – www.acacia-africa.com
By Jody Corothers, age 29.
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Old 05-26-2007   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jornada
Are you sure about this? That's not what I was told from Google and I want to make sure I wasn't given the wrong info....

There is a no override tag that can be used to retain the ORIGINAL referrer but it has to be appended to the tracking URL (couldn't really find much about it in the GA help). I had this very question when GA first came out and the response from Google is in italics below.

Scenario 1 - click on a Google OR Yahoo ad, then go direct and buy:

I confirmed that in both cases where a user first reaches your site (from Yahoo or AdWords) and then comes directly to your site later, the conversion, in Google Analytics, will be under the user's original referring source. Thus, while it cannot hurt, you do not need to use nooverride parameter. This is because direct visits don't reset campaign variables.

Scenerio 2 - click on Google ad THEN Yahoo ad

This parameter {no override} ensures that the conversion will retain the first campaign's information (i.e. AdWords), irregardless of which links the user later followed to arrive at your site and then convert. So in the example above, the conversion would be credited to the AdWords campaign, if both links were tagged with the nooverride variable. If they were not tagged, the conversion would be credited to the Yahoo campaign. [/i]

This would suggest to me that the default is that the last campaign gets the credit.

PLEASE let me know if you have other information that refutes this... GA was pretty new (even to Google staff) when I was asking this so would love to confirm...
Interesting that it is a parameter that is attached to the tracking code... most others it can be set in the js file giving instructions to what is done to the cookie.

But I will find out about this next week. Thanks for the new knowledge.
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