Travel advertisers spent three quarters of a billion dollars on Google AdWords in the U.S. last year, according to AdGooroo’s annual review of AdWords activity in the U.S. travel sector. Nearly 12,700 travel advertisers competed for visibility on more than 50,000 keywords.
Booking.com captured more impressions on Google AdWords desktop/tablet in the U.S. than any other travel advertiser, surging to the top spot from number seven in 2012. Based in Amsterdam, and owned by Priceline, Booking.com invested heavily in U.S. television ads as well last year as it makes a play beyond its European foothold. AdGooroo says Booking.com was the second highest-spending company among all paid search advertisers in both the UK and France last year.
With Priceline.com, Booking.com and Kayak.com, Priceline-owned sites accounted for over 2 billion impressions, or more than 35 percent of the impressions earned by the top ten travel advertisers in 2013.
Though, it clocked in at number 4 for impressions, Expedia was the travel sector’s top U.S. spender on AdWords in 2013, rounding out the top ten list of spenders in all categories, not just travel. Booking.com came in at number 11 on that list, just behind Expedia.com.
Looking ahead to summer travel trends, the keyword “expedia” was the top-clicked keyword between January and April of this year. Travelocity, which didn’t even make the top ten list for impressions, earned the number three spot on the most-clicked list for its branded term “travelocity.”
There were just two non-brand keywords to make the list most clicked terms in the beginning of the year: “cheap flights” at number two and “cheap tickets” down at number 18.