When you think of vacation, that last thing you think of is sitting at home. In reality, though, most planning and booking takes place from the comfort of a home office or kitchen table. Whether purchasing airplane tickets or booking hotels, consumers complete a majority of the buyer’s journey on the web, specifically via search engines. It comes as no surprise that the travel industry has the fourth-largest search ad spend of all verticals. Since SEM drives higher return on ad spend (ROAS), even travel brands have begun focusing on search.
Five Reasons SEM is Essential for Travel Marketing:
- The travel industry is too competitive for organic methods like search engine optimization (SEO) alone.
- Search marketing captures potential travelers at every stage of the buyer’s journey.
- SEM is ideal for remarketing, which is paramount for the tourism sector.
- Paid search consistently generates leads because people plan via search engines.
- Paid search boosts brand recognition, which is a must in this uber-competitive industry.
More than 80% of advertisers use SEM because they consider it the most effective method to deliver bookings. SEM works. Let’s break down why it works and how tourism-related brands are leveraging it to increase ROAS.
The travel industry is too competitive for SEO.
The sheer number of competitors makes it difficult for travel companies to rely solely on SEO. Furthermore, travel-related queries are dynamic and oftentimes destination-specific. In other words, travel queries are too fickle for SEO to keep pace.
This is where paid search campaigns with digital agencies like Ad.net come in. We leverage both brand and non-brand keywords to keep brands at the top of search results and at top of mind for consumers, all without the risk of losing their spot — along with their hard work and ad spend — at the slightest industry shift.
Search marketing captures customers at every stage of the buyer’s journey.
Another strength of paid search is its ability to keep travel at top of mind during every stage of the buying process. People plan trips for months on end, and most of this planning takes place online.
Search engines assist users at multiple points in their decision making. Typically search aids the planning process, but it can also enhance buyers’ experience while at their destination or be used to write reviews long after the trip is over. Tourism is intertwined with search from beginning to end.
A successful travel marketer captures buyers at every stage of this journey. Take Ad.net’s success with a hotel chain, for example. With flexible tracking technology, Ad.net was able to target active bookers with the right keywords at the right time. As a result, Ad.net outperformed its ROAS goal by 30%. If optimizing ROAS is your end goal, then search is one of your best means to doing so.
SEM is ideal for remarketing.
While remarketing, or showing ads multiples times to frequent site visitors, is not for every industry, it is efficient for travel bookings. Consumers spend weeks researching their vacation plans, and they often come back to their buying options again and again before pulling out their wallets.
Moreover, retargeting is effective. Conversion rates are two to three times higher for repeat customers than for first-time visitors. Paid search technology learns and adapts to capture customers at the right time, making it ideal for a remarketing strategy.
SEM generates leads.
Potential travelers search the internet for nearly all of their travel needs. They search blogs for inspiration, airline sites for cheap flights, and travel sites for lodging promotions. Therefore, digital marketing is crucial for the attraction and retention of nearly everyone in the travel marketplace.
In the past decade, search marketing has become an especially useful tool. According to WordStream’s research, of the 33 million internet users who searched for airline tickers over a six-month period, 24 million bought tickets. Similarly, of 29 million who searched for hotels, 22 million booked rooms. The takeaway: SEM drives ROAS by meeting buyers in their primary marketplace.
Paid search boosts brand recognition.
Paid search is currently one of the best ways to do just that. Even though ad spend and ROAS may ebb and flow with industry shifts, SEM is predicted to remain one of the key players in the travel industry.
Just in 2020, the travel vertical has shown signs of growth within Ad.net’s marketplace. Queries related to travelling have increased 10% from April to October, boosting our partnering travel brands’ recognition that much more. This means travel is bouncing back as consumers are looking to take vacations.
Travel marketers employ search engine marketing because it is effective and efficient. Contact our team at Ad.net to find out how our search marketplace can help you reach the right audience at the right time and place to reach new consumers.