How holiday companies use search marketing

Marketing, Search, User journey

With so many holiday companies competing for revenue online there is a lot of competition to rank highly for search engine results pages (SERPs). However, a strong focus on search engine optimisation and an effective paid search campaign can help these websites increase their visibility online.

We take a look at how holiday companies use search marketing to rank highly for specific search terms that users are likely to look for.

Sydney holiday
Travelbag and Austravel have been smart to run PPC campaigns as these two websites do not feature organically in the top 5 results.

sydney holiday search

Travel Bag focus their ad on value with a bold statement of “60% off” in the title, and mention savings, “low prices” and “great special offers” throughout. The links they have included are also relevant to the search term.

Aus Travel use a more descriptive ad with a freephone number, mention of ATOL & ABTA protection, and claims of the best medium holiday company to Australasia. The links within the ad are useful and emphasise the number of awards the company has won. Oddly they have included a link for New Zealand tours which would not necessarily be of relevance to a user who had searched for a Sydney holiday.

Las Vegas holiday

las vegas holiday search

Best at Travel have a rather minimal ad with no extra links included and whilst they state “up to 35% off” they don’t elaborate or really home in on this selling point. This search term has lots of competition and companies should be doing everything they can to point users to their website, so Best at travel have wasted a good opportunity and should choose a more engaging strategy to compete against Low cost USA and Virgin Holidays.

Low Cost USA have done well to include their rating and mention ATOL protection to entice users to click through as well as including links to special offers specifically for the Bellagio and Wynn hotels.

Virgin Holidays feature 2nd on the SERPs but have also run a PPC campaign to direct more traffic to their website. Their successful ad focuses on “unbeatable value” with the inclusion of a price and “Ends 23rd February” to inflict a sense of urgency. Their extra links are also relevant pushing the user to their awards page, Las Vegas excursions and hotel deals.

London holiday

london holiday search

There is not so much competition for this search term and the only ad is from Trivago who don’t feature in the top 5 results organically. They place an emphasis on price stating “Save up to 78%” and include the links “Save up to 78% on Hotels” and “Hotels from £14” alongside “Covent Garden Hotels” to entice users to click. Oddly they also add the slogan “Fast. Easy. Clever. Free”. Whilst this indeed grabs the user’s attention, the word free is a little misleading and confusing as to what it refers to.

Paris holiday

paris holiday search

Expedia feature 7th in the SERPs so have been smart to increase visibility through a PPC campaign. Their title of “Expedia guarantees the best price” is excellent and captures the user’s interest immediately. The addition of their rating score both below the title and again in the copy further adds credibility to their company. They have also pushed their unique selling point with a link to earn “Up to 1,000 Nectar Points” which helps to set themselves apart from the competition.

Low Cost Holidays aim to capture the essence of Paris with the title “Visit the stunning French capital”, the copy “Life’s made for breaks like these!” and a link to “Sites & sounds of Paris”. They have also added their rating, although it is lower than Expedia’s so in this case it might simply push users to go to their competitor.

In conclusion…
Most of the companies who have run PPC ads have focused on the low cost of the holidays that they offer, with a couple of them differentiating themselves from the competition by including links to various awards they have recently won.

Successful ads have also included ratings where possible, a compelling title and a sense of urgency to help push users through to their websites.

Companies have slipped up with the inclusion of irrelevant links, campaigns with no enticing text, and misleading copy.

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