SEO - A Key Travel Industry Marketing Tool
With few exceptions, travel SEO is the most valuable tool for gaining access to targeted travel consumers. A high ranking position for a key search term can bring large numbers of high value consumers to your travel website. Therefore, SEO should be a core component of any travel industry marketing plan. This is because search marketing has transformed the travel industry more than almost any other industry vertical.
Each day there are millions of travellers making highly targeted searches for flights, accommodation, hospitality and leisure solutions via search engines. Most of these have a high propensity to book or enquire. Especially if the search is via a mobile device.
Search engines are therefore the ultimate direct marketing channel for hotels, airlines, online travel agents and tour operators. Travel SEO is the key online marketing tool to unlock that potential.
Travel Industry SEO and PPC
Travel marketing has been transformed by search engine marketing. Within the field of travel distribution, the roles of travel principal, tour operator and travel agent are now indistinguishable to the typical consumer. The consumer searches on Google, Yahoo and Bing based on a travel or hospitality need and reviews the results that are presented regardless of the ownership or apparent role within the travel distribution chain.
One option is pay per click advertising. But a complete reliance on PPC means higher costs of customer attraction. Search engine optimisation, even in a basic form, will reduce those costs by diluting the cost of paid search traffic.
A well structured SEO campaign could lead to the vast proportion of customers being acquired via organic search. Travel SEO has therefore become the most critical marketing tool for communicating with the new travel consumer.
Sharp End Travel Industry Expertise
Simply Clicks has heavyweight travel industry marketing experience. Simply Clicks is led by David Burdon. David has a background in senior level travel industry marketing stretching back to the early 1990s and a leisure industry background stretching back into the 1970s.
David's travel marketing experience includes Stena Line, where he was Chairman UK Marketing Group and responsible for building a retail brand leader in ferry travel and motoring holidays, and Cosmos Holidays, where as Sales and Marketing Director he created the Somewhere2stay brand, set-up the Tesco Clubcard business stream and initiated affiliate distribution arrangements with major retailers such as Next. Somewhere2stay became a £40 million turnover standalone business before the Cosmosair and Monarch Group succumbed to a takeover by Greybull Capital.
David has spoken on travel SEO, PPC and social media at several travel industry marketing events. These include Eye4travel, the Travel Technology Initiative (TTI), CIMTIG (the Chartered Institute of Marketing Travel Industry Group), Group Travel Organiser, Smile Hotel Conference, Dublin and the Travel Technology Show. He has appeared twice at the Global Travel Group Conference, in 2011 and 2012, speaking on Travel SEO at the Global Travel Group Conference in Chester in March 2012.
SEO across a range of travel market categories
The Travel Industry covers a number of separate categories. The larger ones are effectively inidustries in their own right. Simply Clicks has experience in a wide range:
- Tour operators
- Ferry and cruise lines
- Hotels, Chalets, Villas and other accommodation
- Tour operators
- Car rental
- Travel agents
- Travel ancilleries such as travel insurance and transfers
There is a large amount amount of crossover between the individual travel categories. Tour operating is largely an industry that packages travel and accommodation within a defined value chain. Yet, at the same time, the tour operators compete directly with upstream suppliers such as airlines and hotel chains as well as downstream customers such as travel agents. Meanwhile, within the travel industry value chain, there is also a large degree of horizontal segmentation. For example the travel agency category splits down between online specialists, known as OTAs, and the more tradtional bricks and mortar led variety. Competition between online "accommodation only" booking agents and hotels is extremely fierce. At the same time new entrants to the travel industry, such as AirBnB and taxi firm Uber, sit outside orthodox definitions and threaten to disrupt existing patterns of consumption and distribution.
Travel SEO and PPC Clients
Simply Clicks has worked on a wide range of travel SEO, PPC management and search marketing training programmes since 2004. For UK and international travel business in domestic and overseas markets. Over those years we have learned some valuable lessons about both the theoretical and practical approaches needed to deliver effective SEO programmes. Clients include:
- Starwood Hotels - Italian Luxury hotels. A 9 year relationship involving the international marketing of some of the most famous hotels in Venice as well SEO and PPC training courses for their Venice-based marketing department.
- Venue Holidays - A long-term AITO member providing camping holidays to France, Italy and Spain. Simply Clicks provides international PPC campaigns and SEO for the Netherlands, Germany, Denmark as well as the UK and Ireland.
- Comarch - A Polish-based international software company providing loyalty services to many international airlines, tour operators and travel agents.
- Get Travelling - A Kent based travel agency operating several specialist travel websites including ski and cruise holidays.
- Kids Pass - A family discount card for travel deals and discounts with leading theme parks and brand name restaurants and cinemas across the UK.
- Travel Local - A specialist organiser of authentic private tours to central Asia, Indo-China, India and China.
- The George in Rye - One of the leading hotels in Rye, Sussex.
- The Zetter Hotel - A London boutique hotel located in Clerkenwell.
- Adventure Base - A luxury catered chalet operator in Chamonix and Morzine. Specialising in Ski holidays in the winter and Adventure holidays in the Summer.
- Travelbag - Specialist for long-haul flights to Australia and New Zealand.
- Completely Croatia - An independent specialist direct-sell tour operator.
- Hotel des Deux Domaines - A French Ski Hotel in La Plagne with a unique business model.
- The Falstaff Hotel - One of the most prominent Canterbury hotels.
- Le Casacce - A private holiday resort in Tuscany, Italy.
- Skylord - Specialist in supplying India Visas and travel to south Asia.
- The Global Travel Group - A national travel agency chain and long-haul tour operator.
- Go Travel - Dubai luxury holidays.
- Cha-am Villas - A private villa complex in Hua Hin, Thailand.
- The Glenlo Abbey Hotel - A prestigious 5 star hotel in Galway, Ireland.
- The Hythe Bay - A Kent based fish restaurant.
- The Pass - A specialist Group Travel magazine.