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According to eMarketer, this year we can see that digital sales within travel are looking to be significant, with an industry worth $510 billion worldwide – The UK will look to contribute $37 billion to these online travel sales this year
Now as we look into year over year growth, digital travel sales in France is set to increase 5%.
Looking ahead, the World Travel Monitor found that Europeans are slightly more optimistic about their travel intentions for this year than they were at the same time last year. The number of people who plan to travel as much in 2015 as last year or even more has gone up slightly to 72% from 70% last year. Overall, we expect a 3% rise in European outbound travel next year which would mean a good year of solid growth.
Furthermore comparison sites for Holiday Packages are the go to websites in France. In a March 2013 survey by Orange and Terrafemina, comparison sites for holiday packages were the top online travel planning service among respondents in the country, cited by 59%
We’re also seeing mobile playing a bigger role within travel as according to Expedia and Egencia, 23% of internet users in France book business and leisure travel on a smartphone.
So we’re seeing holiday goers in France are looking bright and mobile for 2015.
During the year we see travel searches peak heavily twice a year. With a big spike at the end of Dec to January for all the New Year travel plans, we’re also seeing that for summer time travel searches ramp up as of May and peaks till August.
With all up travel search volume uplifting over 20% during July. Here, we can see that the travel categories such as lodging, car hire and cruise queries see the strongest uplifts with an increase up to 15% in July.
Flight queries continues to see strong uplifts from March and increases over 20% in the running up to June and July, however it takes a dip in August before the last minute bookers start searching again in September.
Interestingly enough, Cruise related searches sees less of an uptick during the early summer but sees a sudden spike of 20% in the month of July only.
Lodging related queries sees a large increase towards the end of summer throughout July and August as it uplifts over 20%. Car hire on the other hand upticks a few months before in June and sees it largest increase in the month of July of 25%.
The key take away here is to ensure you don’t leave it to June to prepare for your travel budgets and to make sure that when setting budgets (especially for flight campaigns) they are set to last till end of August or even early September.
Here we have the top travel flight destination queries on all devices stack ranked by search volume on the Bing & Yahoo sites.
Destinations such as Barcelona, New York and Dubai seem to be the searcher’s favourite amongst the countries.
Flight destination searches for Italy tend to be more short haul within the EU, whereas the Dutch tend to search for more long haul destinations.
5 out of the top ten searched destinations in France are also French speaking countries, which plays an important role on where they decide to go abroad.
But which age demographic travels the most on our Yahoo Bing Network? Roughly 50% of all travel related search queries come from those aged 35-65 year old in all of the countries (interestingly those who are more likely to have a higher income). In the UK, the 65+ years old also tend to search for travel related queries, more so than any other country. In Italy and France, those aged 25-34 years old also tend to search a bit more for travel related queries. This may be useful when thinking about choosing your target audiences across countries for multi-market campaigns.
But are our users searching travel queries on a PC or on mobile devices?
Italy tops the countries with mobile as nearly half of travel queries in Italy are made on a mobile and tablet device, most of them being on a smartphone.
The brits also seem to be on the go with 39% of travel queries being on a mobile device, however tablet seems to play a bigger role in the UK then the other countries as it holds the highest percentage of 17% travel queries.
For Germany and France, 30% of travel queries were made on a smartphone and tablet device, and although the Netherlands are more PC focused we’re still seeing 20% of those travel queries being mobile.
As mobile starts to play a bigger role in the world of travel, don’t forget to target your mobile searchers who seem to be particularly active in Italy & the UK. Make sure you take a look at your bid modifier within Bing ads you can continue to tune your bids for optimum ROI.
As Mobile becomes more influential in the way consumers purchase travel, what we’re actually seeing on the YBN is that around a 3 in 10 travel searches are on a Mobile device (including both Tablet/Mobile)
Mobile is still significantly higher than Tablet, but interestingly car hire, flights and cruises are the most mobile categories in terms of queries. Trains and other travel related categories gain the highest share of Tablet searches.
Here, we looked into all travel intent queries, split by each travel category and how it performed by age group.
In France, majority of the travel category searches were by 35-49 year olds. What’s really interesting to see, is that over 40% of cruises related searches in the UK were by those aged 50+ years, with 14% being over 65+ years old
Now we kind of look into the overall click growth within the travel and transport sector on the Yahoo Bing Network in France. What we’ve done here is that we’ve found overall Travel click growth year over year for Yahoo Bing Network. That’s March 2014 vs March 2015.
Travel clicks overall have grown +31%
Tablet clicks are up +107% and Mobile clicks +73%, year over year.
So overall, in the UK we’re seeing very healthy tablet/mobile data for travel specifically.
Now we’re looking at performance between each device in Travel.For each device, (laptop, desktop, and tablet/smartphones at the bottom), this is March 2015 data O&O, only - what we did here is indexed tablet, smartphone to desktop, in both CPCs and CTR. So in Travel, actually the CTR are still much stronger relatively speaking in desktop. Whilst tablet is slightly more expensive in France, mobile is still significantly cheaper at an average of 29cent CPC with a decent CTR.
Then if we compare CPCs within travel on the Yahoo Bing Network to Google Adwords, the Yahoo Bing Network continues to be more cost effective. With the UK being -43% cheaper on Yahoo Bing Network to Adwords, and even -55% cheaper overall in the Eurozone. We are significantly cheaper then Google for Travel.
Whilst we’re seeing large mobile activity within travel, make sure you help drive customer engagement and app installs with your mobile ad by using new app extensions.
Another way to drive customer engagement with your ad is through combining extensions.
In the past we have looked at ad extension combinations, and worked out averages of combined ad extensions, but not specific to the actual combinations. We have done some analysis this round, looking at average mainlaine CTR for each extension within Travel & Transport(looking at the average CTR of mainline ads with these extensions, or combination of extensions), and then looking at the averages for enhanced sitelinks + location extensions
Text ads are showing a pretty healthy mainline CTR average of 5%
Adding Location extensions and call extenstions means an average CTR of 6%
Enhanced Sitelink extensions, which adds relevant links, and expands real estate means an average of 23%
Combining ESL and location extensions shows a higher average CTR of just over 24% - this is because we are adding information, and driving engagement.
The main focus here is the more the merrier within travel – therefore more engagement with richer ads.
Here we’ve done a bunch of ad copy analysis for the UK, to help make your ad copy stand out from the rest. This can help you communicate product offerings in a way that resonates with your target customer, and makes your ad stand out
As part of this analysis, we identified a number of ad copy tactics typically used to optimise ads in the Travel vertical. We looked at whether these tactics improved the ad quality, and differentiated the ad.
To make it easy to understand, we’ve rolled all of the individual keywords and tokens into token categories and analysed which sub-categories are the best and most effective differentiators for Holidays, Flights and Lodgings.
If focusing and writing on holiday specific campaigns, try including clear delivery actions and make your ad stand out with brand endorsements.
Highlighting clear call to actions and pricing incentives will help for flight related campaigns and demonstrating brand endorsements and value with help you’re a stand out for Lodging campaigns.
We highly recommend building and testing different ad copy combinations to find the strongest performing ad for your brand and product.
Now if you want to get into the nitty gritty of the ad copy analysis, we’ve also created ‘ad creative heat maps’ for the top sub-categories, to help you zone in on the best language and tokens to use when writing ads. Here we’ve provided an example of how to read the heat maps.
There are 2 dimensions in this heat map
1.) How well tokens impact your ad quality
2.) How man other advertisers are actively using the token.
Within each token categories, we then have the individual tokens and words that you can include in your ad copy. The colour of the circle by the word token means that the more green the circle is the more likely it will have stronger impact on your ad copy. If the circle is yellow, it will have fair impact and if the circle is red it will have limited impact.
The fuller the circles they are too, the rarely used the token is by other advertisers and more likely your ad is likely to stand out. If the circle is empty then the token is often used frequently by other advertisers.
So what you aim to look for on the ad copy map are greener and fuller circles and these have stronger impact and are rarely used. The more red and empty your circles are the less likely it will differentiate you ad, as this shows to provide limited impact but is frequently.
The idea is, even if you choose a token category that may not be the most impactful, you can test the most differentiating tokens and words to make the most of your ad standing out.
To wrap up, make sure you forget your Bing travel essentials.
Here are the 3 must dos when thinking about your travel campaign:
Don’t wait until June to prepare for your travel ads, make sure budgets are set to last till the end of summer, especially if your working on Cruise related campaigns in the UK.
As mobile is continuing to play a big focus in travel, make sure you take a look at your bid modifiers and continue to drive engagement to your mobile ads wit app extensions.
Finally try testing different a copy and recommended tokens in May – make sure you run with the best performing ads during the summer peak time.