Understanding Google in the Travel Sector

Finding your company’s holidays on the internet should be central to your marketing. The key player in this role is Google.

There are some suppliers with whom you can negotiate – but Google has a market capitalisation of $395 bn. So if you want your search marketing to work, then you’ll need to play their game. So what does Google want?

Their key objective is not to make as much money as fast as possible (though they’re pretty good at this) but something deeper. They want to protect their brand by ensuring when you search on Google the best and most relevant results are displayed on the search engine results page (SERP). This ensures people keep using their search engine.

So how do you make the most of this?

Well I’m afraid Google isn’t saying. Some people claim they have secret knowledge but in reality the guts of what they want are pretty simple. They want your:

  • Pages to load quickly – and so do you. It’s not rocket science. Every additional second it takes to load a page is estimated to cost you 7% in sales.
  • Website code to be clean and bug free – This may sound simple and obvious but is surprisingly rare. Bugs mean your website is unlikely to look at it’s best in every browser and screen size. There’s a great free tool available at http://validator.w3.org/ that will list in a few seconds the bugs on a page of your site. A bug-free website is just basic quality control – and good business sense. Go on, check your website right now.
  • Website content to be directly relevant – It may not come as a shock to learn that Google isn’t a charity. They couldn’t care less about your holidays, SEO keyword densities and metatags because it doesn’t make them a penny. Anyway, who really wants a website so stuffed with keywords that it’s difficult to read and so won’t create sales for you?

Next time Google releases an update to their search algorithm you could find your search results going overnight from position one to page 101 – and your years of SEO investment disappearing into thin air.

It is better to be completely genuine.

  • Use AdWords – they’ve built their business on this. Obvious isn’t it? AdWords can be expensive especially if you’re not an expert but you’ll know if a campaign is cost-effective within 90 days. You can test thousands of search ideas for every holiday and then optimise the campaign over time to reduce your costs – often by 50%-60%.

So by playing Google’s game you’re much more likely to generate profitable sales.

This strategy is equally valid in any sector be it, construction, household goods, fashion or finance.