Google Ads for Travel Agents - Marketing tips and strategies

2019 Jan. 04

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

In my experience with Travel agencies, most of their business has moved online over the last 5 years. Travellers wants to do their research and get the best offer for the trip they are planning on. Internet is the place where they get to benchmark each business. Though high in demand and highly profitable, travel and tourism  is one of the most competitive industries in Google Ads. Therefore, Google Google Ads is the launchpad for any Travel Agency as online visibility is a game changer and could lead  to success. If you are a travel agent, you need Google Google Ads to win regular customers from your competitors. .

If you have an Google Ads campaign and still haven’t been able to get it going, it may be because your ads or landing page are not optimized.

If you haven’t set up an Google Ads campaign for your service region yet, 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 as well as the best industry practices in Google Ads for Travel Industry.

Right PPC Keywords for Travel Industry

Choosing the right keywords for your Google Ads campaign can often be a challenging task. Does it come with confusing questions like should you go for long tail keywords for more visibility or more mainstream keywords with a high competition? The key here is to strike a balance between the two. You should target both long 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:

  • Firstly, it is recommended to use Keywords which are most relevant to your business offerings. For example, let’s consider that your tour specialization is European or Asian tours.

  • For your case, let’s consider a sample set of keywords you should use:

    • Euro trip

    • European vacation

    • Asia trip

    • Asian tour

    • Euro tour

    • Euro holiday

    • Asian holiday

    • Malaysia Trip

    • London Holiday

    • Paris vacation

    • Italy tour

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 tour, your ads can be triggered for search terms like Europe currency, Europe language, Europe countries, etc. which are not even close to what you are advertising for. Therefore choosing the keywords carefully is very important.

  • Though you must be tempted by the high search volume of common keywords, do not underestimate the power of long tail keywords. Irrespective of the fact that they have small search volume and are too tedious to work with when creating a campaign, they offer higher conversions at a lower cost as compared to common keywords. They are like low hanging fruits which can offer an easy win with a low cost and the least of competition. For example, if you are a Travel agent, considering the above cases, long tail search terms for your services can be as follows:

    • Euro Trip 2017

    • Family trip to Europe

    • Family trip to Asia

    • Trip to Paris

    • Vacation to Italy

    • Greece Euro trip

    • European family trip

    • Honeymoon trip to Europe

    • 1 week trip to Asia

    • Trip to European countries

    • Cheap trip to Asia

    • Budget trip to Europe

    • Above are a few examples of long tail keywords. As I mentioned, it can be tiresome to work with long tail keywords as it takes a long time to research and accumulate such data for your campaign. However, AdNabu can help you automatically create all the relevant long tails keywords using the basic keywords we defined earlier within minutes.

  • Another thing to keep in mind is the match type of keywords targeted

  • Statistics show us that exact match type gives maximum conversion at minimum cost, but it has the least coverage of all. Similarly, each and every match type has its own benefits and shortcomings. Using all the match types while structuring your campaign is considered a wise choice.

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 Trip, it might 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 Trip 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 aggregating Negative Keyword is an ongoing process, but to begin with, below are a  few points to consider.  

  • Negate the locations where you do not offer tour packages. For example, if you do not help organize trips to Australia, Korea, and India. It would be best to put them in your negative keywords list.

  • Negate all the keywords which are not giving you conversions or have the cost per conversion too high to be profitable. You have to keep an eye on such keywords during reporting and assessment or you can use AdNabu which automatically recommends you to pause such ineffective keywords

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't to follow:

Do’s

  • Use headlines with words of authority like Best Vacation Planner or Cheapest vacation to Europe or Family tour planning or Best honeymoon packages at the cheapest price to inspire trust in the potential customer.

  • Have a headline focused on Tour details like price, duration, cities included, etc for better conversions.

  • For Travel agencies, a click to call button on the top makes it easier for the user to reach the agent for any kind of details or confirmations.

  • Use of words like a Free consultation or Request trip estimate for the family/group to allure the visitors to try your agency.

  • Have very limited fields to fill on the form (not more than five). This makes it hassle-free for the customer.

  • Have your call-to-action button at the bottom of the form. It should be tailored to match the offer (for example, see the image below)

dos-Good_landing_page_for_travel-holidays-vaction.png

  • For content, have 2-3 bullet points. Showcase your awards, achievements or for how long you have been helping people plan their vacations or tours, customer testimonials, etc.

  • Add an informative video by giving your customers a nice view of the ambiance, services, and food.

Dont’s

  • Avoid using logos with a clickable link to return to the homepage easily.

  • Do not design disappearing label for the field name (for example, see the image below). Instead simply name the fields

donts-Good_landing_page_for_travel-holidays-vaction.png

  • Do not have text-heavy landing pages. It is very unlikely that your potential client will read through the entire thing. Instead, add a few important pointers.

  • Avoid multiple outbound links or multiple CTA on the same page as it can distract the clients.

Structuring Google Ads for Travel agency

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

  • Your ad contains 4 sections. Firstly the Headline 1 (character limit 30).  You should make sure that your headline is tailored as per the prospect’s search. Ideally, the ad title should include exactly what they were searching for. For example, Escorted Europe Trip or Experience Europe in Luxury or Experience Europe in Luxury or Multi-city trip to Europe or All Inclusive Europe [email protected] $2599 or 26 days family Asia tour, etc.

  • The next part of the ad is Headline 2 (character limit 30). It is separated from headline 1 by a hyphen(-). The best way to utilize this section is by encouraging the prospect to click on the Ad. A clear call to action should be included here. For example, Experience Authentic Europe‎ or Euro trip planning expert or Wide selection of guided tours, etc.

  • Followed by the two headlines is the Display URL where you have an option to customize it with 2 Path fields - Path1 and Path2 (Up to 15 characters each). Make sure the display URL is relatable to the type of Travel services the prospect is seeking for. For example, www.TravelWebUrl.com/Travel/family_Europewww.TravelWebUrl.com/europe/Honeymoon_Package, etc. Please note the display URL need not be a valid URL is only for aesthetic purposes.

  • The next major field is Description (Character limit 80). It gives you ample space for your ad's message. Here, clearly define the value proposition and specialties that distinguish you from the other competitors in the market. For example, We take guests to the very heart of each destination. Book Your Trip Now. or Feel at ease when traveling with Insight Vacations. Experience Europe in style.  or Book Multi-City Europe Trips, 100% Flexible. Customize or Build a Trip Online or 7D/6N Holiday With Flight, Hotel, Sightseeing, Transfers & Meals. Book Now!

  • Finally, the Final URL is the first page the prospect reaches after clicking on the Ad. Instead of using the home page as a final URL, ensure that the prospect lands on the specific section of your website that relates to his initial search or service they need. For example, if your customer is looking for Honeymoon Packages to Europe, then your final URL should reach directly to the page with available Honeymoon packages for Europe, preferably with a price list and number of days for each.

  • An effective sample ad:

Google_AdWords_ad_copy_sample-for_travel-holidays-vaction.png

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

For Travel businesses, best working extensions are:

Location extension

Location extension enables Travel agencies to add a physical location besides 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:

  • Having a physical address adds to the authenticity of the service offerings and reassures your customers that you are a genuine business.

  • Encourages customers who live nearby to contact you.

  • Also making it easier for people to navigate their way easily to your office, in case they want to make the booking in-person or fixed an appointment with you.

  • For example

Google_AdWords_location_extension_for_Travel_Agencies.png

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

  • This makes easy for the customer to relate their problem and highly likely for them to click on your ad.

  • Adding to the relevance of the ad copy itself, it redirects the customer to the most relevant page and encourages them to take a step further

  • For example:

Google_AdWords_sitelink_extension_for_Travel_Agencies.png

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.

  • Some examples for Travel services are #1 Travel agency in town, Best Trip planner in Pasadena, 24x7 service, Experienced trip planner, Customize your trip, etc.

  • For Example:

Google_AdWords_Callout_extension_for_Travel_Agencies.png

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 Travel businesses, it is considered to be very effective because usually clients have personalized problems or date confirmation inquiry or custom requirement which encourages them to call. 

For example:

Google_AdWords_call_extension_for_Travel_Agencies.png

Structured snippet extension

Structured snippets allow advertisers to describe brief and specific features of the product or service offerings. It provides customers with direct access to information about the nature and variety of tour packages offered. In the case of Travel agencies, structured snippets can show places and events included in the trip or list of luxuries and amenities included.

For Example:

Google_AdWords_Structured_snippet_extension_for-travel-agencies.png

Conversion Tracking for Travel services

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 Travel agencies, it mainly works in two ways:

Conversion Pixel

It helps to track the keywords that resulted in leads. This can further help in optimizing your campaigns. Setting up conversion pixel required some amount of technical effort (You would need the person handling your lead page). Having said that, benefits of results from it overpower 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 Travel service and luckily Google makes tracking calls even from a website easy. Check out how to set up call conversion tracking here.   

Conclusion

This was a short guide to get started with your Google Ads search campaign, keeping in mind all the best practices for Travel Agencies. In the last few years, Travel agencies have become one of the industries which are highly benefited from Google Ads and could become one of the most profitable platforms for agents, if handled correctly. In case you haven’t tried your hands on Google Ads 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 Google Ads campaign to next level, sign up with AdNabu & automate campaign creation and optimize within minutes.

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