Search remains dominant amongst transport services.
Brand loyalty is a difficult thing to master and achieve in the transport industry. In an era of convenience the transport industry is struggling to gain recognition for a service that, unfortuantely more often than not, comes down to times of service and price.
The problem with trains, planes, and ferries is that there is limited competition for transport services, and so customers end up going for the best possible price rather than what they believe will give them the best travelling experience.
If, for example, I wanted to take a direct flight from BHX to Paris today I would only have two options. These are FlyBe and Air France. Now FlyBe are only leaving at 13.40, whereas AirFrance were leaving at 06.25. Depending on whether I wanted to spend the day in Paris or had something to do before 16.00 when the latter flight touched down then there is no competition as to which one I would take.
This is a common problem across the airlines, and so it remains ever more important to bring in customers when they are at a different stage of their journey. Bring them in when they have some leeway as to which company they go with.
The way to do this is through Search marketing. Allow the customers to find you through optimising inbound marketing instead on relying on the comparison sites to drive sales.
How to improve Search for Transport Companies
The best way to optimise Search for transport companies is to go after the contested terms. If we look below we can see the key terms for flights from the UK. With these it is possible to see how many people are searching and a term and how much competition there is for that phrase in terms of SEO and PPC.
Looking at the above, it can be seen that there is (a) a lot of search volume for each of the key terms, as well as (b) a large amount of competition. This being said, the competition on PPC is relatively low as suggested by the low bid amount. This trend continues for all of the suggest keywords, which is fascinating, but what does it mean?
What this means is that there is high competition for natural SEO and PPC, however, it also means that bids are not particularly expensive for PPC. This means that flight companies can afford to do PPC to get ahead.
For trains, on the other hand, the results are dramatically different.
What can be seen by the train search terms is there is low competition but high search volume. For a SEO this is the ideal situation as it allows for train companies to get ahead on their opponents in the SERP (Search Engine Results Page) results. Once again there is a low bid for the Pay-Per-Click advertising.
In essence, what these results mean is that train companies should be putting time and effort into their SEO, as pages optimised for those terms actually stand a chance of getting ranked in the top ten search results. It's not guaranteed, however, the odds are higher.
Why is this important?
Looking at the Search performance of transport companies is becoming more and more important as time goes on. It is a sad situation that train and plane companies are struggling ever more with gaining brand loyalty due to a completely saturated and yet unmoving market. More and more companies are gaining time exclusivity, making it harder and harder for companies to get ahead.
What this means is that more and more plane/train companies need to invest in inbound marketing techniques and, looking at the above results, potentially looking at PPC as well. There is not enough time and effort being put into SEO as competition is so low for the train market. The numbers do not add up as competition should be far higher for the number of train companies out there.
This being said, plane companies seem to be putting more money into search and SEO. This is reflected within the results.
To find out more about Search and how it can help you, please click on the button below.