A new keyword coverage report from UK search and display company Net Media Planet has revealed the search savvy advertisers within the online hotel and holiday sector.  

Using aggressive paid search strategies, both Booking.com and lowcostholidays.com claim a dominant share of search across the highest traffic driving keywords, revealed ‘The UK Online Travel Insights Report’.

The share of search results are calculated using an advertiser’s keyword coverage and the average position of all adverts, weighted by keyword search volume.

Crucial Holiday Period

SEO represents an effective way for travel agents to get ahead in a market where consumers are all too happy to search for their next trip online. According to the report, 68% of travelers will use search engines before they even know where they’re heading, with 58% of leisure travelers starting their booking with an online search.

In October, known as the tail-end of the crucial holiday period, Booking.com led the way with the best positional strategy and has the largest share of paid search among hotel advertisers, with 33.3% of top ten paid search visibility thanks to strong brand awareness measures and optomisation of top keywords in the industry.

Among the top ten holiday advertisers with 31.3% of the search was lowcostholidays.com, with thomascook.com and onthebeach.co.uk following second, both with 15.6%.

Lowcostholidays.com has also performed well in positional strategy, with the most ads in top three position coverage, resulting in greater visability in search engine results page, generating a higher CTR.

“It is no surprise both booking.com and lowcostholidays.com have the lions share of search for hotels and holiday search terms. They have both realised (the importance of) and focused on consumer research and buying behaviour.” said Vishal Patel, Director of Travelpack Marketing & Leisure Services Ltd.

Online search has become an increasingly integral part of the travel planning process for B2B consumers too, with 64% of travelers researching online before they decide where or how to travel.  

The most important feature for all consumers when selecting air travel, accommodation and car rental is price, according to the report, followed by convenience and past experience.