Online marketers have long been focused on acquisition and traffic metrics. The key to staying ahead lies in the deployment of more sophisticated tools and techniques to boost income from landed traffic.

The pressure on travel media buyers’ metrics seems likely to continue. While search is crucial to the travel industry there is some confusion around just what search inventory is cost effective.

Search is great for high margin niches with low CPA and a good way of cleaning down distressed inventory. But what about the mainstream inventory which makes up the rump of business?

Many airlines are moving toward zero commission, which cuts the options. With more and more direct-to-client selling, competition for traffic can only go one way.

There is a clear answer to this challenge. Online marketers have long been focused on acquisition and traffic metrics. If they are to stay ahead they must deploy more sophisticated tools and techniques to boost income from their landed traffic.

Analytics is a critical technology providing analysis and decision support tools. But what about serving the right content, having the user experience, the optimal booking engine and the most targeted offers?

This is where Content Optimisation comes into play - offering a range of methods for placing the right content in the right place at the right time.

Techniques including multivariate testing assess multiple variants of content areas on a page, or across a series of pages. Algorithms then drive increasing proportions of traffic to the page combinations that are statistically proven to convert more visitors.

By segmenting visitors automatically by the variables that best define different customer groups and serving optimal content to them, targeting can also be improved.

Finally, when we add a user’s historical behaviour to the system’s decision, content can be personalised and targeted dynamically. We term this final level of optimisation on-site behavioural targeting but it’s also known as personalisation.

With better onsite conversion metrics, acquisition efforts can be scaled up bringing yet more traffic to the site at page one.

This gives a competitive edge when bidding for traffic in highly competitive mainstream areas; a site that converts more can afford to invest more. Content Optimisation completes the virtuous circle of improvement started by analytics that will ultimately power winning travel businesses.

For further reading, see our latest whitepaper 'Happy Holidays Start With Great User Journeys'.

Mark Simpson is MD of Maxymiser.

Mark Simpson

Published 17 January, 2008 by Mark Simpson

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