Budget, Thrifty, Avis and SunCar muscle in on competitor visibility online

London, 7 June, 2010 - UK consumers made 1.4 million car hire-related searches online in April, a slight decrease since March, reveals the latest research from Greenlight, the UK's leading independent specialist search engine optimization (SEO) and pay per click (PPC) consulting firm. According to the report 'Car Hire April 2010', worldwide destinations accounted for 44% of the total search volume. The report also reveals that whilst the usual car hire companies and aggregators continued to maintain and even increase their visibility online, there were some notable strides made by players that previously had not featured as prominently.

Greenlight used industry data to classify 356 of the most popular global destinations that people in the UK travel to, and profiled which search terms they use to find and book car hire companies. It also analysed natural search* rankings on Google to ascertain which websites and brands were positioned on page one for each term in order to produce a ranking of the top 60 most commonly appearing and prominent websites. For paid search**, Greenlight monitored the advertisers appearing in the sponsored links for the top 90 of the 3,800 terms analysed.

Some key findings reveal:

  • Across generic and destination-based searches for car hire, the term 'Car hire', totalled 201,000 searches, accounting for 14% of all car hire-related searches in April;
  • Overall, European destination-based terms were the most searched for, accounting for nearly a third (31%) of all searches for car hire, with the term 'Car hire Spain' being the most searched for (33,100 times);
  • CarRentals, the most visible website in natural search, achieved 59% share of voice, almost a 10% increase since Greenlight's last report in January. It achieved this by featuring for 829,905 of all car hire-related enquiries. EasyCar followed with 50% then TravelSupermarket with a 32% share of voice;
  • Both Budget and Thrifty saw natural search visibility increase by 13% and ascended into the top 10 of the league table, having previously ranked at positions 11 and 12 respectively;
  • CarHire3000 was the most visible advertiser in April achieving 82% share of voice;
  • Avis increased its paid search visibility by 44% since January which saw it ascend Greenlight's league table from position ten to three;
  • SunCar was a new entrant to Greenlight's top 60 advertisers in April, achieving 25% share of voice and ranking at position nine;
  • Although CarHire3000 was the most visible advertiser, it was Avis who featured the most visible individual ad creative. Avis promoted its industry reputation to incentivise consumers to click, stating: 'trusted for more than 60 yrs'.
  • Of the top ten advertisers in paid search, seven were direct providers and three were aggregators

(Table showing Greenlight's top 10 of the 60 most visible Car Hire websites in both natural and paid search, shows below. If you are unable to view it please contact the press office)

Top 10 of the 60 most visible Car Hire websites in both in natural and paid search, UK

No. Website/Advertiser Natural Search Paid Search
1 travelsupermarket.com 32% 76%
2 avis.co.uk 25% 68%
3 carhire3000.com 8% 82%
4 europcar.co.uk 32% 51%
5 carrentals.co.uk 59% 11%
6 budget.co.uk 27% 36%
7 easycar.com 50% 3%
8 auto-europe.co.uk 9% 42%
9 holidayautos.co.uk 27% 22%
10 hertz.co.uk 31% 8%

Source: Greenlight

Please note: If you plan to run this story online, please link any references to Greenlight via the following: http://www.greenlightsearch.com/knowledge/sector-reports/

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