Online brands such as Travelsupermarket and Teletext could become the Amazon for travel as companies continue to seek alternatives to Google.
Leading figures say PPC inflation through increased competition on generic search terms is making the marketing channel too expensive compared to even a year or two ago.
Travelsupermarket managing director Graham Donoghue said he felt the company was already an alternative and delivered a more qualified customer.
“The more people using PPC, the more expensive it becomes. There are some words – not in travel – that are in the £10 region. I firmly believe we deliver a more qualified result which is more likely to convert.”
Donoghue added that the tougher economic climate would force companies to rethink their strategy.
“Google is so dominant in what it does but do you really want to have 90% of your search budget with one provider. Companies need to be frugal with their marketing buck and spread the risk.”
He also said the quality and relevancy from Google was not good enough.
“They need to invest in understanding the intentions of the customers.”
On Holiday Group chief executive Steve Endacott said his company was always looking for alternatives but had no choice than to advertise through the search giant even though ‘PPC inflation is killing profit.’
He added that the industry needs to get behind existing travel verticals such as Teletext and Travelsupermarket.
“They are much better for us financially in terms of bid costs and conversion and we still need to use Google until these verticals establish themselves and the trade supports them.”
HotelConnect commercial manager Ian Ackland said the industry had brought the issue on itself with so many companies chasing the same traffic.
“Google is so embedded in people’s search now that I don’t think we can move away from it. We just have to find new ways of being clever with generic terms.”
The hotel specialist has just taken on Jellyfish to create specific landing pages for it based on generic search terms.