Clicks Around The Clock - How The Average Value Of A Click Changes Through The Day
Some people can enjoy the process of booking a holiday as much as the holiday itself. Browsing hotel websites, local guides, travel resources and online guidebooks can take up a lot of time. People can do extensive research online, looking at luxury holidays and imagining themselves off on some sunny beach somewhere, without ever being close to actually booking.
In the current travel market, hotels are facing increased competition from OTAs and from metasearch sites, meaning that they have stiff competiton for bookings even when users are searching for their brand terms. A lot of hotels turn to Google AdWords as the way to fight against the big boys - our clients have found that this really works well, and showing an ad at the top of the listings with some kind of call-to-action promoting direct booking through the website can mean a large increase in direct online revenue.
However, AdWords clicks cost money. A lot of independent hotels don't have enormous marketing budgets, so they need to minimise the number of times they pay $3-4 for a click to their website only for the person just to browse with no intention of booking. Although all clicks are beneficial, as even those people who aren't prepared to book right now might well come back later having mulled it over, it makes a lot of sense to put the most effort (and money) into getting those people who already have their credit card in their hand.
In order to do this, we have to try to segment the user base as much as possible. There are a massive number of different methods for this - by location, by interests, by previous browsing behaviour, even by age and gender. AdWords has ways of doing all these things. However, a way of segmenting users quickly and easily that can prevent you from wasting AdWords budget is by the time of their visit to your website.
We took all our visit and revenue data for people browsing from Australian timezones from the first 8 months of this year. We then plotted both visits and revenue against the time of day of the click.