Six ways to improve your leisure travel ad copy

Summer is the high season for adventure, including the perennial American favorite – the road trip. Have you planned your vacation yet? Have your customers? As travel advertisers, time is of the essence to capture searchers in the late spring and early summer as they research their options and plan and book their summertime adventures.

For leisure travel campaigns, it’s critical that you choose your words carefully. And in search advertising, it’s even more important when you have less than a hundred characters to make an impression and grab a traveler’s attention.

To help you and other leisure travel advertisers find the right combinations of ad titles and descriptions, we analyzed 149,000 ads and 290 million impressions on the Bing Network.[1] Our analysis reveals top-performing ad copy combinations across devices for different Travel subindustries – Online Travel Agency/Aggregator, Lodging, Air Supplier, Car Supplier, and Cruise Supplier. It also found opportunities for using Sitelink Extensions more effectively to increase click-through rates.

Below are six ways leisure travel advertisers can connect with more vacationers.

1. Tailor your ads based on your industry and audience

You know your industry, subindustry and audience best. Make your ads reflect them. For example, Cruise Supplier ads targeted at deal seekers perform well with Prices/Pricing (e.g., “cash back”, “low prices”, “spend $”) and Cheap/Affordable (e.g., “cheap”, “cheap cruise”, “cheap caribbean”) terms.

Searchers clicking on Online Travel Agency/Aggregator ads are looking for a site they can trust. The top five ad combinations for Online Travel Agencies/Aggregators had titles with Official Site (e.g., “official”, “official site”, “site”) terms. They pair well with a variety of descriptions including Services (e.g., “guarantee”, “worldwide”, “guarantees best”) and Rentals (e.g., “rent car”, “rental”, “rent”).

Appeal to lodging searchers by letting them know about your online booking options. Ads for Lodging perform well with Online (e.g., “book online”, “hotels online”, “online now”) and Param Insertion (i.e., parameter placeholders used in dynamic ads) in the ad title, while Online and Lodging (e.g., “suites”, “resorts”, “villas”) perform well in the description.

Air Supplier searchers are interested in airfare sales and destinations. For Air Suppliers, the top performing ad titles and descriptions combine Sale (e.g., “flights sale”, “Sale”), Destination (e.g., “usa”, “europe”, “international”), Official Site, and Brand terms.

Let Car Supplier searchers know what services your offer. Ad titles with Services performed well paired with descriptions with Superlative (e.g., “best rates”, “great”, “quick”) and Deals/Discounts (e.g., “fall savings”, “free upgrade”, “save big”) terms.

Draw in searchers with Cruise Supplier ads focused on deals and savings. High-performing ads include titles with Prices/Pricing, Offers, and Sale terms, and descriptions with Cheap/Affordable and % Off terms.

2. Develop mobile-specific ads to connect with mobile searchers

Mobile searchers are not only looking at smaller screens, but also doing things on the go. They are looking to check prices, compare features or find last-minute deals.

For Online Travel Agency/Aggregator ads, mobile searchers are also looking for official websites. The top Mobile ad combination pairs Official Site in the title with Brand terms in the description.

Lodging’s top Mobile ads focus on affordability. They combine Official Site in the title with Cheap/Affordable (e.g., “find cheap”, “cheap hotel”, “affordable”) in the description.

The top Mobile ad combination for Air Suppliers confirm that mobile searchers are planning on the go. It has Official Site terms in the title with Plan (e.g., “vacation”, “minute”) terms in the description.

Mobile ads for Car Suppliers can benefit from dynamic text insertion. Mobile ads with Param Insertion titles and Brand terms in the description are high performers.

Cruise Suppliers can appeal to Mobile searchers by combining Features (e.g., “luxury”, “luxury river”) in the title with Official Site in the description.

In addition to tailoring your mobile ads, you need to have your mobile landing pages ready and optimized to turn researchers into bookers. Mobile searchers don’t have time to waste waiting for your website to load and are likely to bounce. Pay attention to page loading times to keep them on your page and learning more about your products or services.

Got a mobile app? Promote your mobile app with App Extensions. They add a link to your ad that takes searchers directly to your app’s page in Apple iTunes or Google Play.

3. Use Sitelink Extensions to see a higher click-through rate

Sitelink Extensions offer a number of opportunities for leisure travel advertisers. Take advantage of categories where there’s high ad quality and low usage.

In particular, Car Suppliers can benefit from using sitelink extensions. Ad quality is high for the top 10 sitelink variables, yet all are underutilized by advertisers. A few keyword groups to consider include Services, Brand terms, Rental, and Offers.

Opportunities for each subindustry are presented in the following table.

4. Test, test, and test again

Our study provides insights into average ad quality, which has a lot of variability. To get the highest quality ads, it’s important for you to test and optimize your ads, keywords, and sitelinks on a regular basis. Visit the Opportunities page in the Bing Ads UI to see the ad copy, keyword, bidding, and budget opportunities specific to your account.



5. Take advantage of available ad tools and formats

To make the most of your campaigns, take advantage of some of the tools offered by Bing Ads to give your ads greater impact.

  • To get a second chance to turn high-quality visitors into customers, use Remarketing in Paid Search. You can increase your ROI by optimizing your ads, bids and keywords for searchers who have previously visited your website, like those that visited your homepage or abandoned a shopping cart.
  • To deliver more clicks for your and fewer for your competitors, bid on your own brand terms. A Bing Ads’ study found that brand term bidding gained Travel companies 27% more clicks, and dropped the competitor share of clicks by 70%.[2]
  • To help drive foot traffic into your local establishment, use Call extensions in conjunction with Location extensions, which can lift CTR by up to 10% and 20%, respectively. Your phone numbers will be displayed as well as directions to help customers find your business. And don’t forget to layer in location targeting to ensure optimal customer experience and the most relevant leads.
  • To reach specific demographics, use Demographic targeting. Over the past year, Bing Ads has improved our demographic targeting with increased age and gender coverage to help you improve the chance of your ads showing to the demographic groups you want.


6. Connect with your audience

To make the most of your leisure travel campaigns, get to know the Bing Network audience. Numbers show that about 32 million searchers used the Bing Network – including 25 million unique searchers not reached on Google – for 138 million travel-related searches, and accounted for 39% of all travel paid clicks.[3] Compared to Google, the Bing Network audience is more likely to have spent between $1,000 and $9,999 online on travel in the last 6 months.[4] For more insights on our audience, visit our Audience Insights page.


Interested in learning more? We’ve got more leisure travel ad copy and sitelink analysis in our Choose Your Words Carefully: Leisure Travel edition presentation.



For more seasonal and vertical insights, check out the Bing Ads Insights Portal.

[1] Microsoft Internal Data. Total Impressions Generated = 298 Million, Total Ads Analyzed = 149k, Analysis Period = 12/1/2014 – 11/30/2015

[3] comScore qSearch (custom), US, September 2015; industry categories based on comScore classifications.

[4] comScore Plan Metrix, US, June 2015, custom measure created using comScore indices and duplication. June data was used to reflect the month prior to the beginning of the leisure travel season.

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