WTM – Don’t ignore natural search

Online travel companies are missing out on traffic by focusing on pay per click marketing instead of organic listings, which consumers prefer.

Online marketing company Neutralize urged online travel firms to stop ignoring search engines’ natural search listings in favour of expensive pay per click marketing.

Business development manager Martin Dinham claimed the industry is out of kilter with consumers who prefer to use natural search results instead of sponsored results.

Dinham claimed online agency Expedia receives 69% of its search engine traffic from paid listings.

However, 63% of search engine users prefer organic listings, with the figure for UK search engine leader Google topping 70%.

“Travel firms can spend millions on pay per click but if they are not on the left-hand side of the page (where natural listings are) they are missing out on loads of traffic.”

Dinham said companies could generate greater traffic and save the costs of acquiring customers by optimising their sites so search engines pick up all their content.

He highlighted no-frills airline Ryanair – which doesn’t operate any pay per click marketing – as proof that online companies don’t need to focus on sponsored links.

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