TUI Travel says ad trial did not impact own sales

TUI Travel is “looking at doing a lot more” with third-party advertisers on its web sites after a trial showed that there was no impact on conversion rates for its own product.

Sandra Leonhard, director of web strategy and business development, said that it had offered advertising placements on thomson.co.uk, its TUIfly.com site in Germany and four activity specialist web sites.

“It was a low-key trial to see what would happen to our conversion rates but there was no obvious impact. It was a very positive start and we are looking at doing a lot more with this.”

Leonhard was talking to Travolution following her presentation at the EyeForTravel summit in London.

TUI Travel is Europe’s largest travel business, and Leonhard’s role as web strategy director sees her report into commercial director Will Waggott.

She has also been looking at ways to optimise its search engine marketing spend. It has been aligning its spend on keywords with the average selling price of the holiday. “We have a figure in mind, so that when the spend reaches a certain percentage of the selling price of the product we stop buying the traffic,” she said. “It’s all about making our spend more efficient,” she said.

Moving into the lates market, TUI will take this one step further and look at margins rather than the price, particularly for its own tour operator product where it has commitments.

“It is very important for us to sell these holidays, so even though the price might be low, the margin we can achieve will be the key to deciding how much we spend on keywords.”

Natural search is also being overhauled, with TUI bulding different landing pages depending on the search terms.

“Holidays in Alcudia” will bring up a generic, destination-based Thomson  page within the natural search results, while “luxury holidays in Alcudia” will bring up a different page, specifically pushing TUI’s upmarket hotels.

The luxury page will also feature links to similar properties near to the specified destination, while also talking up options, such as extra legroom on the flight, which appeal to that market. It is also looking at a similar approach to natural searches for families and couples.

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