Leads the Big Spenders for PPC in the Travel Sector

Kantar Media reveals as biggest spender on paid search advertising, while TripAdvisor takes the top spot for organic search

London: A small group of online travel agents, including, and Trivago, dominated paid search in the first quarter of 2018, each spending over £7 million on search through Google (on the keywords we monitored), with splashing out almost £20 million, according to new research released today by Kantar Media.

The study – which uses data from Kantar Media’s Digital Advertising Intelligence Solution, combining insights on both pay per click and organic search/display ad spend – also identified TripAdvisor as the clear leader when it came to organic search in the first three months of the year.

TripAdvisor saw over twice as many impressions and almost twice as many clicks as, its nearest rival in the travel sector, with an estimated PPC value of over £120 million. Of the three biggest PPC spenders, only features amongst the top six sites for organic search impressions.

Accommodation tops the keyword charts, but the battleground is for cheap holidays

‘Hotels’ was the keyword with the highest spend during the three-month period, with businesses spending an estimated total of £8,504,262, over seven times more than on the next most invested-in keyword, ‘air bnb’. in particular made huge investments in hotel related search terms. The site’s top ten keywords for both spend and estimated PPC value in organic impressions all contained the word ‘hotel’ or ‘booking’, accounting for a total spend of around £4.8 million.

Outside of accommodation, the key battleground for PPC in the travel sector is around low-cost breaks. ‘Cheapest holidays’, ‘cheap holidays’ and ‘cheapest flights’ all feature among the 20 most sought-after travel related keywords, accounting for almost £2 million in spend between January and March this year. 21 separate advertisers were spending on the keyword ‘cheapest holidays’ and 19 on ‘cheap holidays’, making them some of the most competitive keywords in the industry. In comparison, for all the spend on ‘hotels’, the keyword was only contested by 14 advertisers.

Richard Poustie, CEO, Kantar Media UK, commented: “Both search and display advertising are incredibly competitive in the travel sector, especially in the first quarter of the year, and this is reflected in the huge investments brands make in this space.  It’s important, therefore, to remember that spend in itself is only one part of the campaign – if brands want to get a good return on their advertising investment, it is vital that there is consistency across their online search and display, and that their chosen search terms complement their display advertising.

“In such a competitive space, being able to see what competitors are investing in – across both search and display – and to understand why, will help businesses tailor their own advertising strategy in order to stand out from the crowd and to continue to attract consumer spend.”

Top travel websites for organic search, January – March 2018

Website Impressions Clicks Est PPC value 1,353,018,863 104.141.417 £121,107,364 473,894,895 58,354,636 £96,925,346 580,171,673 61,182,258 £92,840,379 445,244,962 45,641,228 £84,553,050 196,829,325 35,569,759 £68,816,290 498,667,344 36,633,369 £59,637,151 360,390,948 42,539,860 £43,452,630 421,736,524 49,262,734 £35,659,424 269,630,591 19,078,494 £30,898,508 175,177,642 18,179,641 £28,449,537

Top travel websites for paid search, January-March 2018

Website Spend Clicks CTR CPC £19,778,343 34,771,265 12.2% £0.57 £14,219,537 20,785,491 9.4% £0.68 £7,560,265 26,981,798 13.4% £0.28 £4,214,191 8,876,411 7.8% £0.47 £4,117,060 7,463,685 9.7% £0.55 £4,069,010 5,383,876 8.5% £0.76 £3,990,677 12,267,385 10.8% £0.33 £3,937,678 8,617,832 9.2% £0.46 £3,358,448 4,116,570 5.4% £0.82

Top 20 keywords by spend in travel, January-March 2018

Keyword Spend CTR CPC No of advertisers
Hotels £8,504,262 11.46% £0.23 14
Air bnb £1,047,524 17.11% £0.23 5
Train ticket £1,033,309 11.82% £0.33 9
Air b n b £885,955 10.53% £0.08 5
Hotels in London £820,047 9.65% £1.30 37
London Hotels £805,466 10.14% £1.19 29
Hotels in Amsterdam £775,513 9.58% £1.77 26
Airbnb £740,420 19.22% £0.29 6
Holiday £678,671 4.43% £0.86 16
Train tickets £675,862 9.56% £0.25 7
Cheapest flights £663,480 4.13% £0.63 36
Cheap holidays £632,828 4.01% £0.95 19
All inclusive holidays £603,291 5.87% £1.48 23
Amsterdam hotels £580,538 12.59% £1.13 23
Hotels London £575,866 4.46% £1.85 25
Hotels Amsterdam £575,590 9.39% £1.23 22
Cheapest holidays £571,946 4.50% £0.81 21
Premierinn £537,711 18.25% £0.54 5
trivago £517,020 18.81% £0.27 11
European touring £512,890 4.62% £2.26 17

Our search intelligence data is derived from observations on the marketplace – more than 2.5 billion search engine results pages measured each month. Data is collected at keyword level every day, on a specific set of keywords. It is important to note that data should be treated as directional and that spend data is estimated based on the insights and keywords we have available.

About Kantar Media
Kantar Media is a global leader in media intelligence, providing clients with the data they need to make informed decisions on all aspects of media measurement, monitoring and selection. Part of Kantar, the data investment management arm of WPP, Kantar Media provides the most comprehensive and accurate intelligence on media consumption, performance and value.

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