Travel intermediary hasn't spent a single pound on Google
Investing in Google AdWords may be the route to rapid early growth for many travel start-ups, but this was not the case for Holiday Pirates.
In fact, today the company, which launched in 2012 as a travel blog publishing value for money deals, only pays for 7% of its traffic, with all this spend being directed to social media.
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David Armstrong, CEO of the social media driven metasearch for travel deals, says:
“So far, we haven’t spent a single pound or euro in Google.”
The rest of its traffic arrives organically from either Google or social media, with around 30% recurring through the app or as a result of CRM initiatives following an email or WhatsApp campaign.
“Most of our organic traffic is from people who have typed in our brand name – either the URL or into Google. We do have some SEO traffic going to our landing pages, but 70% of organic traffic is on the brand name,” he says.
This goes to show, he adds, “that you can build a brand on social media, which also helps in search engines”.
The website receives around 30 million monthly visits, the app has been downloaded 9 million times, and it has racked up more than eight million Facebook fans.
Growing traffic in social channels is one thing, but Holiday Pirates is also seeing growth in transactions too. Armstrong says:
“The nice thing is that total transaction volume is growing faster than traffic. So we continue to have high conversions year on year.”
“It’s easy to spend money in Google. You just have to top up an account and press a button – but that is not sustainable.”