Thomson winning for destination SEO prize

SEM agency Greenlight’s natural search analysis now includes holidays, with figures from May showing how is the most effective brand when it comes to optimising destination-specific keywords.

Using its usual methodology of looking at a number of keywords for a sector to find which businesses appear on the first page of Google natural results, the holiday sector report also offer an insight into what Brits were looking for in May. was the most visible brand for short and long-haul specific keywords. Greenlight analysed keywords which generated 2.7m searches for short-haul destinations. was visible on the first page of Google 83% of the time. TUI’s other major brand,, had a visibility rating of 27%. came up on the first page of less than one in ten short-haul searches.

For long-haul, and First Choice came up significantly ahead of Thomas Cook again. Thomson achieved 66%; First Choice 18%; Thomas Cook 11%.

The destinations which UK users were googling fits with industry trends – for short-haul, “Turkey holidays” was used for 20% of the 2.7m searches, compared with Spain and Ibiza at 5% and 8% respectively. However, Crete and Cyprus also performed strongly in May, accounting for 14% and 9%.

The most searched-for long-haul destination was Sharm el Sheikh with 17% of the sector; Egypt had 8%.

The generic search analysis offers an insight into the holiday product types which users were looking for in May.

Despite much industry talk about the rise of the “all-inclusive holiday”, this term accounted for only 4% of generic searches; package holidays notched up 3%.

The lates market is another battleground for the sector this year. In May, searches for “last minute holidays” accounted for 4% of generic searches.

The rankings for generic searches saw Thomson knocked off it stop slot by seven other brands, including stable-mate First Choice. topped the table with a visibility ranking of 89%. had a rating of 19% on the generic searches, higher than its showing in the specific charts but still behind the TUI brands.

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