Consumers in the UK looked to book their holidays well in advance of summer, according to the latest quarterly research by independent search and social marketing firm, Greenlight. Its latest quarterly report, ‘Holidays February 2011’ reveals 3.1 million holiday-related searches were conducted on Google in February compared to 1.2 million in the previous quarter.
‘Cheap holidays’ and ‘Holidays’ most popular search terms
Consumers appeared unperturbed by where they were headed. If the price was right, so too it seemed was the destination. This is borne out in Greenlight’s data which shows the majority of holiday-related searches (61%) were non-destination specific. In fact, these generic holiday searches totalled 1.9 million in February, increasing a whopping 192% on November 2010 levels when 667,000 were performed. What’s more, the terms ‘cheap holidays’ and ‘holidays’ were the most popular search terms used by consumers looking to find getaways online. Search volumes for both terms increased a massive 233% on the previous quarter, when each keyword was searched for 135,000 times.
Other popular terms used to conduct holiday searches online included ‘direct holidays’, ‘last minute holidays’ and ‘package holidays’.
Search for holidays to European destinations up 10%
In terms of region, holidays to European destinations were most popular, accounting for 41% of geographic-related searches. In fact, the search market for holidays in Europe increased by 10%, totalling 514,000 in February compared to 191,000 in November. Meanwhile North America accounted for 18% (223,782), Africa 13% (161,281), Caribbean & South America 12% (146,990), Far East & Australasia 10% (127,633) and Middle East & South Asia 6% (74,029).
Thomson.co.uk the most visible UK website to searchers, IceLolly most visible advertiser, TravelRepublic the most popular brand in social media
Greenlight determined the 60 best positioned and hence most visible websites to consumers searching for holidays, based on the search volumes for each keyword and the site’s respective ranking for those terms on page one of Google, representing visibility to a total of 3.1 million searches in February.
Thomson was the most visible website in natural search*. It achieved a 64% share of voice, increased its visibility by 9% on November levels and the site was visible to over 2 million searches. TravelSupermarket and ThomasCook followed with 57% and 43% share of visibility, respectively.
IceLolly was the most visible advertiser in paid search**, achieving a 51% share of voice. Thomson followed with 39% and yet again increased its visibility by 21% on the previous quarter, ascending Greenlight’s paid search league table from position 12 to two.
TravelRepublic remained the most popular brand in Greenlight’s social media league table, attracting a combined following of over 51,000 Facebook fans and Twitter followers. It continued to encourage people to join its Facebook group by advertising that people who pressed the ‘like’ button could win ‘free flights and hotel stays’.