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Search traffic takes off for the travel sector

Consumers in the UK are using increasingly sophisticated search techniques when it comes to the online travel sector, according to Hitwise statistics on the number of search terms used to find travel sites during October.

Half of all successful search terms used by UK Internet users to find websites in the travel industry incorporate three words or more, compared with a mere 20 per cent who find sites using simple one-word searches such as 'flights' or 'hotels.'

Searches directed at the Destinations & Accommodations sub-sector exhibit an even higher level of complexity, with almost 60 per cent featuring more than three words, and 31 per cent consisting of four words or more.

With more than 40 per cent of traffic to travel websites coming from sites in the Hitwise Search Engines & Directories category, it is clear that the industry is an active user of search marketing and consumers demonstrate a high level of user maturity in terms of search sophistication.

According to Hitwise general manager Simon Chamberlain: "Travel companies are amongst the heaviest and most sophisticated users of search marketing. In that environment, it is no coincidence that customers using search engines to find travel websites are exhibiting signs of maturity in their search behaviour."

The latest Hitwise Search Terms data also reveals a particularly high level of brand-specific searching.

Sixty percent of the top 100 successful search terms to websites in the travel industry focus on specific travel names (including 'easyjet', 'ryanair' and 'british airways') rather than more generic terms such as 'flights'.

Source: Hitwise United Kingdom

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