According to Google, 57% of leisure travellers and 64% of business travellers “always start [their] travel booking and shopping process with Search”. The basic principles of PPC are simple and can be applied to all industry sectors:

  1. Make sure your keywords are relevant
  2. Make sure your ads are relevant to your keywords
  3. Make sure your landing page is relevant to both
Although the basics are simple, the travel industry has its own nuances which when tackled correctly can help to enhance your campaigns and improve performance.Conversion TypesIn many cases it’s not possible to make a purchase on travel websites, with the user having the option to either ring a call centre, submit an enquiry form or request a brochure. It’s therefore important to consider the types of conversions you’ll need to track and the value of each conversion. If your website is set up for ecommerce transactions then bookings will almost certainly be your most valuable conversion type. However, if it’s not possible to make a booking on-site then you may regard phone calls as the most valuable conversions, followed by brochure downloads and email newsletter sign ups. This differentiation will help you to define your strategy and evaluate the performance of campaigns more closely.Attribution & User JourneysIf it’s not possible to make a booking directly on the website, it’s important to track the entire user journey to be able to attribute any sales correctly. Call tracking plays an important part in attributing sales if users can only make a booking by telephone as it gives the ability to assign calls to the correct channel and any resulting conversions. To improve attribution even further, it’s also useful to implement a field in enquiry forms or brochure requests to capture the gclid (unique Google ID) associated with each click. Once the gclid has been captured and fed into your CRM system, any subsequent sale can be attributed back to the original click.Purchase PeriodThe correct attribution of sales is made even more important by the fact that the purchase period tends to be longer in the travel industry because users either compare prices or simply take their time to consider a high-value purchase. If a user clicks on an ad and requests a brochure but doesn’t book until 3 months later by telephone, then tracking the entire user journey will allow you to attribute the sale correctly despite the long consideration period.RemarketingRemarketing ads come into their own in the travel industry with the ability to remind users of a holiday or tour that they've been looking at. If you’re tracking the entire user journey, this gives you greater insight into optimising your Remarketing campaign to ensure you’re retargeting the user at the point they are most likely to convert.Devices67% of leisure travellers and 78% of business travellers use a smartphone at some point during the travel process which makes it imperative that your website is optimised for mobiles. However, a mobile-optimised website doesn’t guarantee a great mobile conversion rate with users often coming back to the site via a desktop or tablet if they’re making a high-value booking. This cross-device behaviour reinforces the need for tracking across the entire user journey as well as considering different attribution models for conversions rather than purely first or last-click. User journey's may have started with a click from an ad on a mobile but ended with a desktop purchase.Overall, PPC in the travel industry is much the same as any other industry but if you consider the points above and try to address them, you will be much more likely to create efficient campaigns which drive valuable conversions.If you'd like to find out more about running PPC campaigns for your travel website, get in touch - we'd love to help!