Building a Search Marketing Plan Grounded in Real Data [Video Series]

 
Ben Page

This is part 2 in our video series, Growing Revenue Through Direct Bookings

If you missed part 1, you might want to start with Part 1: Why Direct Booking Strategies Fail.

Direct bookings are better for your brand because they give you complete control over the relationship with your customer from the moment they are researching, dreaming, and planning, all the way through to booking. When a third party has the attention of the customer during those stages, you own only part of that customer relationship and part of the revenue.

In this video, I’m going to show how direct bookings start with building a search marketing strategy. Creating your plan begins with data. You have virtually unlimited free data to create a successful direct booking plan grounded in real insights.

In this video, you’ll learn:

  • How to understand consumer behavior and the tools you can use as a starting point to understanding your customer.
  • How to map out your competitive landscape 
  • How to turn this data into actionable insights

The Travel Customer’s Journey

If you’re going to reach people during their journey, it’s essential to really understand that journey and the customer’s mindset along the way. Namely, how do people search for travel? You want to reach them at that point so they can land on your tour page and press the booking button. 

Successful tour operators have a two-sided strategy:

  • Reaching travel pre-planners who are typically out-of-destination and doing their research for their next trip in another country or state. 
  • Reaching in-destination travelers in the area, using “near me” and “close by” search queries. This can result in tour booking on the same day or within a few days. These kinds of searches have grown six times this year.

Tools such as Google Trends and Answer the Public can help you plan your website content, marketing plans, and even your FAQs to address the most important questions customers are asking. 

Map Your Competitive Landscape

In this part of the video, you’ll learn about the tools that will help you fully understand your marketing landscape online. We’ll look at Google, Bing, Google Ads Auction Insights Report, and other tools that are great sources of information to see what customers are searching for online, and what keywords and questions they are asking to find the answers they need to book travel. 

Turn Your Data Into Insights

In this final section, you’ll see how to use information you can find in your own Google Search Console, Google My Business Insights page (for local search opportunities), and Google Analytics to see what your top keyword queries are, what pages people are landing on, and how well your tour pages are converting. You can also use tools like Microsoft Clarity to see how users are interacting with your website. All these tools are free ways to find the information you need to build your fact-based search marketing plan. 

Watch part 2 and please let us know your thoughts on the series! 

Other Videos in the Series

Part 1: Why Direct Bookings Fail and How to Change That

Part 3: How to use Search Marketing to Maximize your Direct Booking Revenue

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About The Author

Ben Page

As Blend's Director of Search Marketing, Ben leads strategy and execution of paid search marketing, including advertising on platforms such as YouTube, Google, and Microsoft Ads. Additionally, Ben’s depth in SEO supports tourism clients on organic search.

Email Ben

About The Author

Ben Page

As Blend's Director of Search Marketing, Ben leads strategy and execution of paid search marketing, including advertising on platforms such as YouTube, Google, and Microsoft Ads. Additionally, Ben’s depth in SEO supports tourism clients on organic search.