The Vertical Group says it is well on the way to switching off paid search advertising for all its consumer brands.
The firm soft launched its generic online holidays brand Instant Holidays three months ago and also operates hotel websites for partners in its Your Hotel Integration division.
Peter Healey, Vertical’s founder said the Vertical had already managed to reduce PPC spending by 60% by placing its focus on Search Engine Optimisation.
“I would like to reduce it entirely, buy I’m not there yet” he said. “I really do hope next year some time I will be confident enough to switch it off entirely.”
Healey said he was confident Vertical’s “castle brands” – those in the YHI group like Sani Resort in Halkidiki and Ikos resorts – will be off PPC this year.
“The challenge is to make the more genetic brand Instant PPC independent,” said Healey.
So far 32,600 pages have been indexed by Google with 400,000 still to go. Instant plans to have individual landing pages for all the hotels it offers within the next month.
Vertical believes it won’t suffer from exiting paid search on Google because the traffic it gets through SEO in organic results is “more sincere” and people are further into their buying journey because they are actively opting to click on the result for the brand website rather than a paid for ad.
“I think people are pretty shrewd and there’s quite a sophisticated audience out there that we underestimate at our peril,” said Healey.
Vertical group has brought in Worldpay for online payments expecting that this will help increase the proportion of mobile bookings from 37%, a figure that it has been stuck on for the last two years.
“We have had a great mobile experience right up until the payment,” said Healey. “Our previous partner was reliable but did not have a good mobile journey. The first two sites are live now and we should have all on Worldpay by the end of the month at which point we will be fully mobile compatible.”
Healey thinks being able to take payments on mobile more easily will see the channel grow to represent 50% of the group’s business.