Booking.com is the most visited travel website in the world according
to SimilarWeb, with an average of more than 420 million visit per month in the past six months.
In a new whitepaper that analyzes the brand’s mobile and desktop
traffic from several countries around the world, SimilarWeb found the site has
generated success with a core digital marketing strategy that is localized to
meet the needs of each geographic area. The report focuses on traffic from the
United States, Russia, the United Kingdom and Germany since those countries are
consistently the top traffic sources for Booking.com.
The unifying element of the strategy is the fact that Booking.com
has a single URL around the world and it is also the company’s brand, boosting
awareness and recollection.
In the study of traffic from March
2016 through April 2018, Russia overtook the U.S. as the largest source of site
visitors, accounting for 6.9% of visitors versus the U.S. at 6.8%. Of the countries
studied, only Russia has more of its traffic coming via desktop (55.8%) than
In Russia, traffic splits relatively evenly across the
sources of direct, organic search, referrals, paid search and email. SimilarWeb
states, “The even distribution of traffic sources suggests a market still
searching for an optimal customer acquisition strategy.”
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In the past six months, Russian metasearch site Aviasales
overtook TripAdvisor and Trivago as the leading source of referrals for
Booking.com in that country.
For the U.S., the U.K. and Germany, the majority of traffic
comes directly to Booking.com.
In the U.S., referrals from partners including TripAdvisor and
Trivago as well as Booking Holdings’ Kayak metasearch site are the second
leading source of traffic. SimilarWeb notes, “Booking.com’s strategy in the U.S.
shows a greater reliance on referrals than in other territories, generating
over 20% of its desktop traffic from external links. This investment in
referral partnerships means the site devotes fewer resources to paid search
than in other countries.”
Of note: In September, SimilarWeb says Airbnb pulled ahead of
Booking.com for monthly traffic in the U.S. for the first time, and it has
maintained that lead into 2018. “Visits to Airbnb.com also lasted longer, took
in more pages and enjoyed a lower bounce rate,” according to the report.
The findings from the U.K. and Germany are similar to each other, with direct traffic the clear leading source, followed by paid search, and then close behind, referrals and organic search.