Importance of search in all aspects of the Path-to-Purchase
Ciaran Rowe in Bookassist's Dublin office pointed out a nice piece of research from Google UK and comScore that highlights the online search habits of buyers and bookers at the moment, and particularly shows the importance of search engines and therefore the importance of your visibility online as a seller.
From the report:
"On average, customers make 12 travel related searches, visit 22 websites and take 29 days from the first time they search until they make a purchase. Forty-five per cent of transactions occur four weeks or more after the first search."
"38 per cent of transactions happen at four weeks or more after the first visit."
It's interesting that in Bookassist, because of the large number of hotels using our system with thousands of bookings logged daily and the detailed tracking we deploy, we can see very similar long-term behaviour from users and the idea that online users are doing a significant amount of pre-booking research is very clear from our tracking statistics in house. We regularly track bookings many weeks after the initial viewing of properties. Of course this shouldn't be surprising, people often take a long time to plan and make up their minds about trips so it should be no different on the internet. It does mean that careful tracking is very important though when trying to assess the true effectiveness of, for example, pay-per-click campaigns.
The article is well worth the read.
Ciaran Rowe is Senior Search Engine Marketer at Bookassist's Dublin office and is a Google Adwords Professional