New Year Revelations White paper December 2008

Friday, 28 May 2010 | 12:39

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December 2008: New Year Revelations Whitepaper by Michael Wicks

Insights and opportunities from the online frontier

January is becoming increasingly important to online travel businesses and after the highest ever month in terms of online traffic last year, advertisers are gearing up for the 2009 Q1 peak. In our latest in-depth look at the search trends within the travel sector we look for opportunities for advertisers to capture a share of the Q1 market. To download the paper, please click here: New Year Revelations.

Consumers booking travel are increasingly going online in January

· 12% YoY growth

· 71% MoM growth up from 66% in previous year

· 34% growth in last week of December against previous week

· Correlation with offline spend


· Modify budgets to accommodate seasonal and daily peaks

· Allocate budgets accordingly over the year, and allow flexibility during peak periods

· Align offline and online investment

Exploring Q1 activity in depth

· Impressions decline more sharply than clicks in the post Christmas period

· High traffic volume is sustained throughout Q1

· Queries rise but clicks fall pre-Christmas as consumers research their holiday purchases


· Expand keyword lists to cover increasing number of unique search terms

· Keep budgets uncapped throughout Q1 – not just January – to capture the entire opportunity

· Make sure keywords cover research-led queries and that landing page content is relevant

High growth exists in value led keywords

· Customers are increasingly seeking value through their searches

· Auction intensity is increasing for value-led keywords


· Include 'budget' keywords in key Q1 campaigns

· Emphasise price and value for money in ad text

· Ensure CPCs are competitive in order to show more frequently against 'budget' keywords

Shifting destination patterns: slowing demand for secondary holidays like city breaks

· Travel queries still growing at 20% YoY

· Slowing demand especially for city break and short haul destinations

· Increased demand for domestic holidays


· Ensure maximum keyword coverage for high demand destinations

Consumers are increasingly engaging longer and more specific searches

· 3 to 5 worded queries growing twice as fast as shorter terms

· "Tail" category now growing fastest


· Build coverage on longer, niche keywords

· Create specific ad texts tailored to niche searches

Consumers are increasingly researching and purchasing travel products online

· 70% of consumers have researched and purchased a travel product online

· Only 27% research online and purchase offline

· Only 38% of consumers do any form of research offline


· Run online campaigns in conjunction with offline campaigns to reinforce message during consumer research phase

· Direct traffic to educational sections of websites