Only one in 10 search engine travel searches lead to an immediate booking, according to new research into the habits of travel product-buying consumers.
Yahoo! Search Marketing development director Nick Jones said the study, which covered 7,500 Internet users, demonstrates search engines’ important role in the research of holidays.
He said a similar Yahoo! study in the US showed 20% of web searches lead to an immediate booking.
A follow-up survey of 300 UK surfers revealed 39% visited a travel site they did not plan to visit. A quarter said they considered a brand they had not heard of on the basis that the company was placed at the top of search engine results.
Jones added: “Marketers need to consider the strategic aspects of the search engines as a method of discovery for new brands and services.”
The research concluded that search engines, including Google, Yahoo!, MSN, AOL and Ask Jeeves, generated 9.8 million travel purchases in the three-month period between December 2005 and February 2006.