Good news for SEO in the travel industry: search engine optimisation is picking up the lion’s share of any increases in the online marketing budget of a travel company over the next year according to whatsonwhen and this article from Travolution.
Nearly 90 businesses across all sectors responded to the survey, which was carried out in July. Search engine optimisation spend is being increased in over two-thirds of the companies which answered the question. Investment in content is on the up in half the businesses, while adword spend is on the up in 46% of cases. The traditional banner ad has been under pressure recently, with the survey showing 21% of businesses actively reducing spend in this area. However, overall budgets for online marketing are on the up, with more 50% planning to increase their spend with 32% keeping it level. Nearly 11% of respondents planned to increase their online marketing budget by over 50%. The survey also confirms that travel businesses are recognising that the web site content is about generating revenue, with “increasing conversion” the top priority when spending on additional content. The second priority was to target specific customer sectors, with building their brand and improving the customer service coming in closely after that.
In particular, expect to see an increase in the need for in house SEO recruitment – as most managers know, any growth in budget spend or revenue beyond 25% can be very difficult to manage without increase the level of resource assigned to monitor it. With the increased levels of competition in SEO and the quality of top flight consultants being brought in house, agencies will no doubt be forced to improve their service to match. 2009 should be an interesting year for SEO.