AdWords for Online Travel Agents and Flight Booking Sites

Last Updated On : 2018 Dec. 04

In this series of industry-specific AdWords practices, today we will discuss how to create and manage a successful AdWords campaign for Online Travel agencies and Travel services who are targeting for new customers.

Is Investing in AdWords a good choice for Travel Industry

In my experience with Online Travel Agencies, most of their business has moved online as a whole over last 5 years. Everyone wants to do their research and get better offers and deals for their air travel. Online is the place where they get to benchmark each business. Though high in demand and highly profitable, it is one of the most competitive industry in AdWords. Therefore Google AdWords is the base for any Travel Agency as online visibility for a Travel agency is the best way to succeed. If you are a travel agent, you need Google AdWords to run it successfully.

If you have an OTA and still haven’t been able to achieve success, it may be because your ads or landing page were not optimized.

If you too are someone with OTA and you haven’t yet set up an Adwords campaign for your service region, you are practically missing out on a lot of potential customers. Having said that, It is very important to use this tool efficiently or else it may end up costing you.

So without further ado, let’s begin with the basics and the best industry practices in AdWords for OTA.

Right PPC Keywords for OTA

Choosing right keywords for your AdWords campaign can be a challenging task. It comes with confusing questions like, should you go for long tail keywords for more visibility or more mainstream keywords with the high competition? The key here is to strike a balance between the two. You should target both long tail as well short tail keywords. It will help you get the most out of your campaign. There are 4 major practices for Travel Agencies to keep in mind:

Note: Avoid using one-word keywords which are highly searched for, as these search terms aren’t very informative about the kind of services you are offering for your prospect.

For example, if you use Europe as a keyword for Europe airfare, your ads can be triggered for search terms like, Europe trip, Europe currency, Europe language, Europe countries, etc. which are not even close to what you want to target for. Therefore choosing the keywords carefully is very important.

AdNabu takes care of this from the very beginning itself. It creates the structure of the campaign such that each keyword type has 3 different AdGroup (one for each match type) ensuring that you target the right keyword for the right search term.

Advantage of using Broad Match Modifier over Broad match

Broad match modifier (a.k.a BMM) is a variation of Broad match. Broad match triggers ads for all searches around the keyword, keyword idea, synonyms, grammatical forms as well as related words, etc. BMM gives you much more control over the search terms for which your ads will be a trigger. It excludes synonyms but allows variations. For Example, If you target Broad match-type for keyword Europe airfare, it might be a trigger for a search term like Europe which may or may not be relevant for you. Instead, BMM will ensure that the word Europe and airfare are present in the search. AdNabu automatically creates campaigns which use BMM instead of Broad match.

Best Negative Keywords for Travel Agencies

The importance of negative keywords cannot be ignored, especially when each click costs a fortune. Though accumulating Negative Keyword is an ongoing process, but to begin with, below are a  few points to consider.  

What is a good landing page for you?

A landing page should use numerous parts like trust badges, result-oriented headlines, explainer videos, testimonials, etc. Such landing web pages are aimed at driving visitors to take a worthy action.  Since every click will cost you a fortune, there’s no room for an error when designing a landing page for your business. Below are some Do’s and Don’ts to follow:


AdWords landing page sample for OTA.PNG


Structuring Google Ads for an OTA

Ad copy is extremely important because it is the initial touch point where the content of the ad compels the client to click on your ad instead of the competitor’s Ads. Below are the few points that you must keep in mind:

Which ad extensions should a Travel Agency use?

Google ad extensions add life to your ads and make them look more professional and trustworthy. When used the right way, they can lead to better visibility for your potential customers and hence makes you easily approachable. Ad extensions work differently for different Industries. Some deliver a better result than others. For Flight Travel businesses, best working extensions are:

Location extension:

Location extension enables Travel agencies to add a physical location along their ads. However since you may have a business online, it may or may not be important for you to add this extension. However, this may help you in numerous ways:

Sitelink extension:

The Sitelink extension enables Travel businesses to add extra links to share achievements or additional sub-categories of services (in-case targeting for a generic keyword).

Callout extension:

Call-out extension gives Travel agents an additional 25 characters of space to add beyond the basic description of the ad. It is recommended to use this space to encourage the prospect to take action.

Call extension:

Call extension allows Travel businesses to add a contact number to their Ads. It works much effectively for mobile devices as Google adds a clickable call button to the ad. This allows the customer to call you instantly. For Flight Travel businesses, it is usually not much of help in case of conversions, yet considering that some clients may have personalized concern or a custom requirement, call extension may really help. For example:

Google AdWords call extension for OTA.PNG

Structured snippet extension:

Structured snippets allow advertisers to describe brief and specific features of the product or service offerings. It provides viewers with a direct access to the information about the nature and variety of services offered. In case of Travel agencies, structured snippets can show places you cater to. For Example:
Google AdWords structured snippet extension for OTA.PNG

Conversion Tracking for Online Travel Agencies

Now that the campaign is ready to work its wonders, conversion tracking is very important and the last thing to set up as it will help you analyze your performance and optimize later. Depending on the business type, different conversion types are tracked. For a Travel agency, it mainly works in two ways:

Conversion Pixel

It helps track which keywords resulted in leads. This can further help in optimizing your campaigns. Setting up conversion pixel requires some amount of technical effort (You would need the person handling your lead page). Having said that, benefits of results from it overpowers the hassle. Here is a guide to help you setup conversion pixel.

Call conversion Tracking

This will help if you are allowing customers to make a business call directly from their phone. Calls are extremely beneficial for a flight ticket service and luckily Google makes tracking calls from even a website easy. Check out how to set up call conversion tracking here.   


This was a short guide to get started with your AdWords search campaign, keeping in mind all the best practices for OTA. In last few years, Online Travel agencies have become one of the businesses which are highly benefited from AdWords and could become one of most profitable platform for agents, if handled correctly. In case you haven’t tried your hands on AdWords for your business, we suggest you to consider setting a campaign right now!  

If you are still not sure about how to start or to take your AdWords campaign to next level, sign up with AdNabu & automate campaign creation and optimize within minutes.