We know that the average cost-per-click in the travel space for February 2008 was .72, according to Efficient Frontier. I expect that number to rise in the next few months, as we are entering the prime planning time for summer travel.
Search Engine Land recently posted 10 Tips for a More Effective Paid Search Campaign. One of the ten tips that I recommend most: Longer Tail Terms.
We are seeing a trend in search marketing where consumers are searching on more specific terms and phrases. Longer tail terms are those that appeal to users searching for specific or niche terms. See this example for a progress of searches - Michigan getaways, northern Michigan getaways, and northern Michigan golf getaways. As the search terms progress, the consumer’s focus is more targeted and the cost- per-click is usually less.
In order to learn more about long tail terms and your travel product, be sure to use a research tool like Keyword Discovery, Wordtracker or SEO Digger. You can then import the long tail search terms into your Google Adword, Yahoo Search Marking and/or Microsoft Ad Center account for estimates on cost-per-clicks.
The value in using longer tail terms: your ads are served to more qualified consumers, click through rates increase, conversion rates are higher and, most importantly, your cost-per-click will be less expensive.