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  • SEO for air travel providers - Who is taking off and who is stuck on the ground 1

    Whitepaper

    SEO for air travel providersWho is taking off and who is stuckon the ground

  • SEO for air travel providers - Who is taking off and who is stuck on the ground 2

    About the studyDo you know what your competitors are doing on Google? We do!

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    The studyWho is taking off and who is stuck on the ground

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    Customer commentsDiscover how our customers take off with Searchmetrics

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    Our customers in the travel brancheThese companies trust Searchmetrics

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    Our productsYour engines to succeed

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    Table of contents

  • SEO for air travel providers - Who is taking off and who is stuck on the ground 3

    Do you know what your competitors are doing on Google? We do!

    We all know that marketing has changed. Online marketing has changed. Those who still conside-red the term SEO to be a car license plate a few years ago now know the keywords with which they would like to rank on Google and with which they wouldnt.

    And yet: Search engine optimization is a highly complex topic where numerous variables need to be taken into account and where small adjustments often times make crucial differences. No one knows this better than those involved in the air travel sector, in which millions of users are directly turned into passengers. The approach adopted by potential passengers is simple and understanda-ble: Search for a flight, click on one of the first three results, and soon the flight for their next busi-ness trip or vacation has been booked. Those who rank poorly in the search results will be bitterly disappointed, because they are not important in the eyes of their target group.

    To which group do you belong? Are you in a good position in comparison to your competitors? Or do you have some catching up to do when it comes to Google and others? This white paper on the air travel industry gives you the answer. We tell you which providers have the highest visibility on Google and how many keywords they use for optimization. But thats by no means the whole story: You will find out from us which providers use which link strategy and how they are accepted on social networks. Still not enough? No pro-blem! We will also offer you this for four markets: Germany, the USA, the United Kingdom and France.

    Heres the approach behind our investigation: We initially created a broad keyword set with the 1,439 most popular search terms relating to flights (this included keywords such as flying, book flight, airport, flight from A, flight to B, flight from A to B, etc.). Our second step was to analyze which providers in the industry rank in the top 15 on Google (SEO and SEA) and how they are positioned in terms of social media. We have used these results to draw conclusions for you that should help you optimize your own presence on Google and on the most important social media platforms.

    If you just spend fifteen minutes of your time reading this paper, you will also gain a valuable insight into the SEO and social activities of your competitors knowledge that can be worth its weight in gold if you incorporate the knowledge correctly. Searchmetrics is happy to help you do this!

    About the study

  • SEO for air travel providers - Who is taking off and who is stuck on the ground 4

    SEO visibility who is taking off and who is stuck on the ground

    Which providers on the market have high visibility when it comes to organic search results in Goog-le, i.e. those not funded by advertising. How do travel comparison services compare with traditional airlines and their booking sites? Do portals that are solely online based really have an advantage over airlines that are committed to their brand and their functional website? We will answer these questions for you in this chapter as well as provide you with insight we found after conducting an analysis in four different national markets.

    To provide an informative picture of the situation here, we determine what is known as Project SEO Visibility. This shows how visible a website is in the organic Google search results based on a certain number of keywords. To determine this visibility, Searchmetrics searches for millions of keywords in the Google index. The number of these search terms is then correlated with the number of searches for the defined keywords and the positioning for each search term.

    American airlines significantly more visible than European ones

    When looking at the American market, it is noticeable that traditional airlines are represented re-latively strongly there. Delta.com, Southwest.com, American Airlines, United.com, Usairways.com and Alaskaair.com occupy virtually the whole of the middle section in our ranking analysis on Goog-le.com. Therefore, there seems to be a completely different strategy here than amongst the Euro-pean airlines, which are increasingly handing over the market to travel comparison sites.

    Incidentally, this is also evident when looking at France, where Airfrance.com takes fourth place and is ahead of many major travel portals.

    The study

  • SEO for air travel providers - Who is taking off and who is stuck on the ground 5

    The German market: Travel portals are significantly ahead of airlines

    The absolute top dog in Germany on Google is Swoodoo.com. The portal is far ahead of all of the others and thus offers a good guideline value to estimate Project SEO Visibility. After all, with a value of 40,694, the flight portal has reached a level that puts it well ahead of all others. Second place is held by Flug.idealo.de with a Project SEO Visibility of 20,892. This is closely followed by Fluege.de (20,712) and Opodo.de (18,345) in the next two positions.

    Compared with the online travel portals, certain airlines, which are ranked in the middle of the pack, have some work to do. Somewhat poor visibility values on Google.de lead to one conclusion: Search engine optimization is not considered as high of a priority as a strategic marketing objecti-ve among airlines as it is among travel portals, whose business concept is based purely on online business. Tuifly.com achieves a comparatively high visibility value of 8,552, while Airberlin.com and Lufthansa.com, for instance, rank further behind. The possible cause of this: The airlines outsource their online business to travel portals specializing in online business.

    In fairness, it should also be said that online travel agencies such as Opodo.de and price comparison sites like Swoodoo.de offer a broader range of flights than an individual airline does. As a result, these rank with more keywords, which have a positive effect on Project SEO Visibility.

  • SEO for air travel providers - Who is taking off and who is stuck on the ground 6

    The United Kingdom: Travel portals used as a distribution arm for airlines

    Like Germany, the online travel portals in the United Kingdom also do their SEO homework better than the others. With a Project SEO Visibility value of 73,801, Skyscanner.net is ahead of the pack and thus dominates visibility on Google.co.uk. Clearly, the subject of SEO has once again been put high on the agenda over the last twelve months, since visibility has doubled over this period. Che-apflights.co.uk (66,736) is a relatively close behind, followed by Travelsupermarket.com (35,292) in third place.

    Similar to in Germany, airlines have clearly outsourced their online strategy to bookings on travel portals. They invest little themselves in their own prominence in the Google search results. Only three airlines appear in the analysis of the Project SEO Visibility ranking on Google.co.uk: Easyjet.com (19,964), Ryanair.com (19,705) and, some distance behind, BritishAirways.com (8,854).

  • SEO for air travel providers - Who is taking off and who is stuck on the ground 7

    SEA At the Google Adwords ticket counter

    SEO primarily means optimizing your own site. It can sometimes be a strenuous process, but it can have an enormous influence on an online companys sales figures. Anyone who combines this optimization with a consistent budget for Google Adwords has a sustainable advatange over their competitiors.

    In order to clearly show you the results of our analy-sis, we determine what is called Project Paid Visibility on Google this shows the visibility of an entered

    internet address in the advertisements area on Google compared with an applied keyword set. The search volumes and advertisement positions are compared and, depending on the position, weigh-ted with a corresponding coefficient.

    When looking at Project Paid Visibility, one thing stands out right away: In all of the national mar-kets that were investigated, the top SEO players also held strong positions in the SEA field. The background: Those who have noted the significance of organic searches will also be aware of the benefits of Google advertisements and will therefore put all their energy into SEO and SEA in order to ensure that their company is optimally positioned.

    The American market: Airlines taking the offensive

    The American market works a bit differently than the European market. What initially stands out about the American market is that some traditional airline compani

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