Brand terms offer a good start for analysing this as there are no issues of ad placement or competing ads. The brand, at least in most cases, is the only paid listing and the top organic listing. When UK consumers visited Expedia.co.uk from the term "expedia" in the past four weeks, 65.20% of the time they came from a paid listing. When they came from the term "expedia.co.uk" 8.54% of the time they came from a paid listing. Why the difference?

It seems to be down to ad copy and bolding and highlighting. Whilst we can't be sure what ads were appearing over the past four weeks, today, when I searched for "expedia" on Google UK, the paid listing featured the brand name in bold in the title of the ad, the URL and body of the ad (see screen grab below). The result for "expedia.co.uk" was titled "Discount Travel" and the only mention of Expedia was in the URL (again screen grab below). Similarly, for the term "expedia.com" which shows a high paid rate, the search term was bolded in the title of the ad, as we saw above with "expedia".

This points to the impact of ad copy on click through rates. Using keywords in ad copy that match those the consumer entered into the search box seems to influence CTR as those words will be highlighted in the ad presented to the consumer. This needs more and careful study (which will follow in due course). It is also worth noting that this may be influenced by placement of the .com and .co.uk URLs in the organic listings.

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