Directline Holidays Find Major New
Revenues With AdSense
Based in Surrey, Directline Holidays is an online travel agent and tour operator with
five product specific websites for ski, flights, city breaks, cruises and beach holidays.
Originally a phone-based travel agency, it moved online with the success of newly launched
Directline-Holidays.co.uk in 2000. Working from a database of both big-name providers
and niche specialists, Directline Holidays has seen rapid growth and is now among the top
ten most visited travel agent websites in the UK. Summer 2008 saw over 2 million visitors
and 10 million page views for Directline-Holidays.co.uk and its related sites.
User behaviour when booking a holiday online is complex, distinct and something all
travel agents seek to understand better. It is also something that Matt Adams, Head
of Marketing, saw as an opportunity for monetising Directline-Holidays.co.uk. He says
“The data invariably shows that traffic will flow to and from websites with similar or
exact substitute products. We saw advertising as the obvious way to take control of this
situation and benefit from browsing behaviour.” With this in mind Directline Holidays
began looking at different methods of monetising the inevitable browsing behaviour that
went with a sizeable travel purchase. Adams says “Banner advertising, pop-ups and data
collection didn’t appeal because we thought they were too distracting, took-up too much
valuable space, were poorly targeted and generally offered a disappointingly low CPM”.
After completing the research it was decided that Google AdSense was the best option.
matter of minutes. Using ads from the AdSense Search network targeted directly to the
users’ search query was the ideal solution for monetising their search results’ pages and
Directline Holidays was able to tailor the AdSense ads to their own specifications. A small
number of direct competitors were blocked. Ads were