Welcome to the Travel Marketeer, a weekly series where we examine data, insights, and ideas around marketing, creative testing, and ways travel brands can improve the online customer experience. In this week’s installment, we review uses of Google Trends for travel marketing planning.

Google Trends is a fun tool where you can see the popularity of searches related to Miley Cyrus vs. Justin Bieber. But it’s not just a source of entertainment: Google Trends can also be used to supply useful data to travel marketers.

Take this query on “hotels” for example. We can see that the overall trending search volume has decreased relative to the highest point on the chart. But there is more information we can extract upon further digging.

Regions

Google Trends shows regional interest for specific search terms. This is useful to brands looking to make better regional advertising investments to capture demand on popular destinations. From our search on “hotels,” we see growing interest from users searching from a handful of major cities in Europe and Asia.

 

Quick Tips

  • Review your media plan to ensure coverage in high demand destinations. For existing campaigns, look at metrics like impression share and cost per booking by geo.
  • Conduct additional research on similar terms such as “accommodation.” You may find that similar terms perform differently by region which is helpful data when planning creative and messaging.

Related and Rising searches

Google Trends also shares data on popular search terms associated with your primary keyword plus terms that are currently trending in popularity. Here we see that hotel queries related to maps are on the rise. We can surmise that users are looking for directions to their hotel.

Quick Tips

  • Ensure that you include maps and directions on site, especially on mobile to keep users engaged with the content they want.
  • Consider proactively adding “maps” and “directions” as negative keywords within direct response paid search campaigns. Although these terms are popular, they represent user intent that is unlikely to lead directly to a booking.
  • Utilize related searches as a cross-reference point for keyword research to help ensure keyword coverage.
  • Evaluate rising searches to inform creative, messaging, and content development that will help to drive organic traffic. For example, if lots of people are search on queries related to hotel reviews, you may want to mention reviews directly in ad creative and build out your reviews section on-site.

These are just a few examples of how to use Google Trends for travel marketing planning to make better decisions based on more data. What are other ways you might use Google Trends to inform your travel marketing strategy?