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How to create a PPC strategy in the travel industry

The travel industry is one of Google’s biggest revenue drivers. The advertising landscape within this sector is constantly becoming more competitive – which is why you need a PPC strategy that reflects this.

PPC methods play a huge part in how consumers are accessing and booking their trips online. Of course, there is a lot to think about when creating a PPC strategy – and you can read our top tips here. Today we’re going to highlight our advice as an agency, to help you drive better results from your ads.

When a user is looking for a particular type of holiday – they will be searching for a specific term. So, how can you ensure that your company is appearing before your competitors when they search?

Target audience

Understanding your audience is a crucial step when it comes to constructing any digital marketing strategy. Once you know more about your consumers – you’ll be able to create compelling and relevant ads that will encourage them to use your service. So, how do we suggest going about this? Well, our London agency always start by creating a ‘buyer persona’ – which is essentially a profile of your ideal customer. Your profile should cover everything from demographics, to what they search online and what they’re interested in. Your buyer persona will prevent you from targeting ads at users who won’t be interested – therefore avoiding wasted clicks and increasing your ROI (return on investment).

Now, you might be wondering how you can apply to this to PPC ads in the travel industry. Well, you should start by establishing the most important type of ‘traveller’ to your business. What kind of trips can you offer and who is most likely to pay for them? We’ve listed a few examples to get you thinking:

  • The student – When targeting students in particular – it’s probably best to think ‘cheap and cheerful’. Most students will be looking for experiences that they can enjoy with their friends without booking flights that will leave too much of a dent in their bank account. Think about promotions, special offers and package deals. You’ll probably benefit from prioritising the experiences over the luxury flight.
  • The family – If you’re trying to promote family resorts and experiences – try to consider each potential family member when creating your PPC ad copy. For example, can you offer childcare at different times of the day? Is there any sports or kids clubs?
  • Solo traveller – When targeting somebody who is travelling alone – try to be reassuring in your ad copy. Think about things like travel insurance deals, guided tours and opportunities to socialise with other solo travellers.

Search intent and keywords

When people are searching for a specific type of holiday online, it is likely that they’re intending to book a trip within a short time period. That is exactly why promotions, USP’s (unique selling points) and any of your company benefits should be included in your PPC ad.

It’s also important to remember that a lot of search engine users will be performing informational searches, i.e. looking for ideas and places to visit in the future. Although users are less likely to complete a conversion at this point – you should still be considering them when managing your keywords. It’s an important stage of the buying cycle – and a great opportunity for brand awareness. Think of it this way, how many times have you been browsing online and soon after, ended up purchasing something you didn’t expect?  

Targeting users who are at the awareness stage of the conversion funnel, is essential when it comes to your PPC travel ads. For example, a user might be searching broad terms such as “Holidays in August” or “Holidays in Europe”. We suggest targeting these terms with lower value bids and having the chance to reach out to those people who are considering their options. This is a prime opportunity to drive awareness and generate more leads.

Targeting broader terms alone probably won’t provide you with maximum value from your PPC budget – so, remember to target longer-tail keywords that are less competitive. The long-tail keywords will help reach out to those users who know what they are looking for.


It’s not just about your ad copy, but also the time of year that you’re sharing it. Before targeting holiday goers with ads – think about when they will be most likely to engage with your business and book a trip. Once you know the time period in which users are actively searching for a holiday – you’ll be able to produce highly relevant ads, increase conversions and therefore have a cheaper CPA (cost per acquisition).

For example, let’s start with a broad term “summer holiday”. It’s no surprise that people start to search for summer holidays when the seaons is approaching – so you should start to produce more ads once this predictable increase takes place.

However – not everybody will be booking trips in the lead up summer. Many users will want to book in the winter – especially if they’re planning a bigger, more expensive trip. The trick is, once again, to get to know your unique target audience. Measure the performance of your PPC ads and determine which ones are driving the most clicks and when there is a noticeable increase in conversions. The great thing about PPC is the valuable data you’re able to collect when running a campaign – so make the most of this as soon as your ads go live.

Get in touch

Hopefully this has helped you feel a bit more confident in building a PPC strategy. Here at Summon, we understand the challenges of online marketing within a competitive industry can be daunting. So, if you feel like you need a bit more guidance or you want somebody to step in and boost your results, please get in touch with our London based PPC agency.

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