goSeek Earns Web Traffic From Yahoo Native Ads, More Likely To Convert

goSeek, a site that helps travelers find lower rates on hotel rooms, wanted to increase conversions among new and existing customers. After seeing success with standard search ads, goSeek worked with Yahoo Gemini to extend efforts and deliver search ads from native ad inventory.

The company has been ramping up the ability to extend its search ads to native inventory for the past year and a half, but Sarah Bartlett, director of marketing and analytics at goSeek, admits the Web site experienced nearly "an instant traffic lift from the campaigns."

Marketers optimized and tweaked campaigns as they ran, but the company achieved 50% of its goal within the first month, she said, explaining how the native ads running on display inventory are targeted to consumers on publisher sites based on prior search behavior.

Serving search ads on native inventory through Yahoo Gemini proved to be an effective solution for goSeek. The company found it could successfully target potential travelers with custom ads. Travelers who clicked through these ads were 10 times more likely to convert and select their hotel discount, compared to standard native campaigns.

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The native ads run on all devices -- desktop and mobile -- each performing a bit differently. 

Overall, goSeek generates about 1,500 visits to its Web site daily, compared with about 10% of the traffic levels seen from Google, based on spending around $25,000 per month on Yahoo Gemini Native Ads, Bartlett said. Yahoo's traffic isn't cannibalizing Google's or the one-third of traffic generated from Bing campaigns. It's all incremental traffic, she said.

In January 2017, Gemini generated about 42,000 Web visits and 81% were new sessions on goSeek's Web site.  

Bartlett said the company sees about 65% new sessions per month from Google. She boasts Gemini brings incrementally new traffic to the site, but conversation rates are pretty much on par with traffic from Google and Bing.

Now goSeek plans to increase the amount spent on Yahoo Native ads to increase traffic. The team continually tests a variety of native ad strategies to determine success and failure. For example, email retargeting, one of the latest tests, where the company can target native ads to consumers who have received email from Expedia or Hotels.com or booked a flight but not a hotel.

Search retargeting on native ads has been the most successful, Bartlett said, because it relies on using an audience segment filled with consumers who have searched for specific keywords in the past.

About 20% of goSeek's traffic comes from retargeting using search data. Searchers may search on "cheap hotels" on yahoo.com and a week later see a native ad on a publisher's site.

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