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Paid search is working well in the travel vertical in 2021

16 October 2021 (Edited 16 October 2021)

Low costs per click and high clickthrough rates make paid search attractive for travel and tourism businesses

WordStream and partner with LOCALiQ this week released new 2021 paid search advertising benchmarks for 23 industry verticals on these metrics:

  • Average cost per click
  • Average clickthrough rate
  • Average cost per lead
  • Average conversion rate

The travel industry - hard-hit by COVID-19 travel restrictions, health and safety requirements and lockdowns by national, regional and local governments - is, happily, an industry for which paid search ads can be a very efficient and effective marketing tool for recovering from the pandemic:

Cost per click (All -industry mean: $3.53)

At $1.40, the average cost per click for travel is tied with Real Estate for the lowest CPC of the 23 industries studied. That means travel websites can get a lot of traffic at relatively low cost by using paid search ads.

Clickthrough Rate (All-industry mean: 6.18%)

At 8.54%, the average clickthrough rate for travel is higher than that of any other vertical except for Arts & Entertainment. This high clickthrough rate is likely indicative of the enormous pent-up demand for travel that we know exists because of COVID-19. People are doing serious shopping-around for travel.

Cost per lead (All-industry mean: $41.40)

At $7.34, the average cost of a lead for travel businesses is significantly below the all-industry mean, particularly when you consider the fact that travel products are high-priced shopping goods.

Conversion rate (All-industry mean: 8.82%)

At 6.01%, the travel industry performs below average on this metric. But consider that businesses with the highest conversion rates - veterinary services, medical services, auto repair, dental services, home repair - all are providing services that, unlike travel which is largely discretionary, people most often search for when they need something right now.

Comment: These numbers are very promising for travel and tourism businesses. But remember: the results your business gets will be a function of your execution of market definition, keyword choice, ad creative, landing page design and PPC bidding.

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