Sharm el Sheikh and Turkey proved the two most searched for long haul and short haul destinations when UK consumers went online in February to find a holiday. This is according to the latest research by Greenlight, the UK’s leading independent specialist search engine optimization (SEO) and pay per click (PPC) consulting firm.
Greenlight’s report ‘Holiday Sector Report – Issue 5’, classified 356 of the most popular global destinations that people in the UK travel to between November 2009 – February 2010. It profiled which search terms they use to find holidays for each location, assessed how popular each search term was and determined the 60 most prominent websites and brands and the size of the online audience they reached as a result of having keyword-specific visibility.
Key findings from the report reveal:
* There were 8.3 million searches performed in February 2010 for holiday-related keywords. This was a decrease of 23% since January when 10.9 million searches were made;
* European destinations accounted for 2.4 million searches in February, a 92% increase on October 2009 volumes;
* Directline Holidays, Thomson and Holiday Hypermarket were the 3 most visible holiday websites in natural search* achieving 66%, 61% and 56% visibility, respectively;
* The term ‘Turkey holidays’ was searched for 550,000 times, accounting for 23% of all short haul holiday searches. ‘Cyprus holidays’ and ‘Lanzarote holidays’ followed with 12% and 7%, respectively;
· The term ‘Sharm el Sheikh holidays’ was searched for 368,000 times, accounting for 15% of all long haul holiday keywords.
Greenlight also conducted a detailed level of monitoring and analysis to determine which advertisers appeared in the paid search space**. An advertiser’s share of voice is based on: how often it was present in Google, which ad position it bid for and the associated search volume for the keywords it bid on.
Across the top 90 holiday keywords, First Choice was the most visible advertiser attaining 49% visibility. This was achieved through bidding on 70 keywords, at an average ad position of five. Low Cost Holidays followed with 46% then Thomas Cook with 37%.
Of the top 10 advertisers in paid search, four were direct providers: First Choice, Thomas Cook, Thomson and Direct Holidays.
Google research has shown that most travel-related queries are performed on Mondays, with slightly fewer on other weekdays. The fewest travel-related searches are made over the weekend, with Saturday seeing the least number of queries. However, Greenlight’s research reveals that on the whole, advertisers failed to recognize the importance of high consumer search activity between Monday and Wednesday.