Good keyword research is invaluable; but when it comes to effective travel marketing, there’s so much more in play. Consumers are expected to spend $381 billion on leisure travel in 2017; and yet, Google tells us that 55% of those consumers will embark on just one or two trips all year. Throw in the fact that the majority of booking is done in a two-month (December-January), then a three-month (June-August) period, and here’s the takeaway: there’s a lot of money to be made, and there’s a tight, highly-competitive window in which to make it.
Further complicating things is the way people search for, and ultimately purchase travel services: they are mind-bendingly meticulous. Somewhere deep in the history of selected-for traits, in a period evolutionists don’t like to talk about, people unafraid of being screwed on renters insurance were eliminated from the face of the earth. One Think with Google study saw an especially thorough woman named Amy stumble down a veritable wormhole of links—to the tune of 34 searches, five videos, and 380 total pages—all in the name of Disney World research.
As the number of brand suitors in Amy’s search increases, the number she’ll interact with meaningfully decreases. Here are some tips to ensure that, on the night of the big dance (auction), your brand’s not stuck sulking alone in the corner—shoes tied together, bowtie askew.
First thing’s first: here you have this gorgeous list of relevant travel keywords at your disposal. What to bid on? Simply put, high-intent keywords are the travel marketer’s best friend; and we can probably mark brand terms among the most important inner circles.
If you’re Grand Circle Travel, for instance, and your commodity is luxury cruises, relying on SEO to maximize clicks/visibility when people search “Grand Circle cruise” may get you into trouble. Bing evangelist John Gagnon has cited one case study in which brands that bid on their own keywords saw a 32% increase in clicks next to those that relied on organic search alone. One thing to think about: savvy competitors will outbid you on your own keywords, if you let them.
Another integral travel marketing strategy is leveraging the power of remarketing. WordStream data shows that people are 76% more likely to click on a remarketing ad than a non-remarketing display ad, even after seeing it numerous times. Viewed through the lens of the travel marketer, whose consumers rarely book with the first brand they search for (14% of air consumers, 10% of hotel consumers), this is particularly useful data—remarketing is an effective way to combat the disloyalty that plagues the industry.
Finally—we know you’ve heard it before, but it’s worth harping on here: have an optimized and aggressive mobile strategy. While Google research suggests that 75% of people book on laptop or desktop, the Bing Network recently reported a 43% year-over-year increase in the number of smartphone searches related to travel. These numbers suggest that while consumers may not yet be comfortable booking on mobile, they’re conducting copious amounts of research on their smartphones, and making more than enough brand affiliations to warrant your travel brand’s presence in the mobile sphere.
For more travel marketing tips, tricks, and trends, check out the WordStream blog.