4 Tips to Get Vacation-Worthy Return from PPC in the Travel Industry
Updated: Mar 22, 2021
The time of travel has changed, twenty years ago if you wanted to book a trip, you would drive over to your local travel agency, but now people start their journey on Google so we have to be right there when they are getting interested in travelling.
The internet accounts for over 74% of both leisure and travel planning, with 57% of leisure travellers and 64% of business travellers claiming that they always start their travel booking and shopping process with search, having a robust paid search strategy is beyond critical. Although with competition like Expedia, Orbitz, Trivago and millions of unique travel offerings out there, how does one stand out and capture quality leads through search engines like Google and Bing?
Tip #1: Adjust Your Offerings, Bids, and Budgets to Seasonality Patterns & Target Demographics
Do you think a retired doctor is interested in an all-inclusive spring break package to Cancun? Well, possibly, but that would be a rare, unlikely occurrence and might cause some awkward scenarios for the fellow 18-25 year-old spring-breakers.
If you saw an advertisement promoting cross-country skiing packages in April would you be likely to book? Probably not.
Advertisers need to be extremely diligent about timing as well as demographics, because within the travel industry timing and catering to specific personas is beyond critical.
Google Ads should never be set it and forget it, but with travel, pausing seasonably irrelevant campaigns, making adjustments to ad text, and monitoring locations, time and hour of the day are even more critical for these advertisers to avoid wasting large sums of marketing spend.
Beyond targeting the right locations, languages, etc., travel marketers need to be diligent about keeping up-to-date with seasonality trends and updating their keywords, ads, landing pages, etc. as necessary.
Travel marketers should:
Bid higher on locations, days, and hours when people are more likely to book travel
Create separate campaigns for each destination: Aside from giving you better control over your budget for higher interest locations, which have higher advertising needs, this will also allow you to easily pause and un-pause your campaigns that are relevant per season. For instance, in the fall you might want to run your winter vacation campaigns, but you’re more likely to pause these destinations in the spring.
Adjust ad copy to speak to a seasonably relevant demographic
Tip #2: Find an Intriguing Niche or Selling Point and Dominate it on the SERPs
List the features and benefits that are unique about your product or service
Decide what emotional need is being specifically met by your product or service
Identify aspects of your product or service that your competitors cannot imitate
Create phrases about your unique product or service that are short, clear, and concise
Answering your customer's primary question: "What's in it for me?"
Tip #3: Create Trusted and Socially Validated Landing Pages
In digital marketing, a landing page is a standalone web page, created specifically for a marketing or advertising campaign. It’s where a visitor “lands” after they click on a link in an email, or ads from Google, Bing, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or similar places on the web.
Unlike web pages, which typically have many goals and encourage exploration, landing pages are designed with a single focus or goal, known as a call to action (or CTA, for short).
It’s this focus that makes landing pages the best option for increasing the conversion rates of your marketing campaigns and lowering your cost of acquiring a lead or sale.
Here’s where landing pages might fit into your marketing funnel:
As you can see, the landing page exists after prospects at the top of the funnel click a link in an ad, email, or anywhere else on the web. It’s where the conversion (like a purchase, signup, or registration) will take place.
Tip #4: Expand to Bing
This tip can be relevant for many industries, but travel in particular has been one to show great return on Bing. Also since competition can be a challenge, Bing gives travel marketers the ability to really own and dominate the search results.
Moral of the story, focus on Google Ads first and then set a chunk of your leftover budget to experiment with Bing because it’s typically cheaper with less competition.