Travel companies may be missing out on valuable business by failing to make the most of search engine optimisation (SEO) and internet marketing, it has been suggested.

Travolution’s Kevin May reports that at the recent Travolution Summit, Graham Cooke, ecommerce project manager at Google, outlined the importance of effective SEO for travel firms.

Research from Google shows that when looking to make travel arrangements, consumers spend 29 days researching – making 12 travel searches over 22 travel sites.

This means companies that use SEO to boost their search engine rankings may be in a better position to attract customers than those who do not.

Mr Cooke recommended that travel firms analyse visitor data to find out why customers are leaving the site without making a purchase or an inquiry, carry out user surveys and test any solutions before implanting them.

"It’s not rocket science and Google believes the search function is one of the biggest areas for improvement with many travel companies are losing customers there," writes Mr May.

New research from Guava and Econsultancy shows that over half of UK companies will be spending more on SEO this year.

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