How does Air France improve its ranking on Google?

Between brand protection, competitive intelligence and SEO/SEA synergy, optimizing search campaigns on Google is a real challenge for companies.

A flight ticket is sold every 6 seconds on the Airfrance.com website. This corresponds to 40% of the company’s total sales. It’s easy to understand that optimizing your search campaigns is vital to the brand. But how do you find your way around Google’s increasingly sophisticated algorithm?

The Air France website exists in around a hundred markets and is present on 10 different search engines. According to Cédric Ibanez, Head of Search Engine Marketing & Metasearch at Air France, this includes the SEA management of several million keywords. However, if you type the name of the brand in the Google search bar, many fraudulent ads may appear: “An Air France flight ticket from €9.90” or “An exceptional promotion of – 70% on your Air France ticket”. In order to stand out in this multitude of announcements, the airline giant has surrounded itself with the market leader in SEO analysis, Adthena.

Fight against keyword theft

Between fraudulent advertising and genuine competitors, an important brand protection issue can be felt. To see more clearly, the Adthena algorithm, based on artificial intelligence, scrolls through Google results of relevant keywords for Air France 24 times a day on desktop and mobile devices. In this way, the company has access to detailed reports and comprehensive data with all the parameters that need to be sent to Google to launch an investigation and denounce fraudulent ads using the brand name. Protecting your brand on Google then has a double effect. According to Air France’s Head of Search Engine Marketing & Metasearch, this allows “an improvement in the user experience – customers have easier access to real fares, relevant information and quality content – and a reduction in CPCs (cost per click)”.

Position yourself in a highly competitive market

Air France’s digital teams monitor the keywords on which its competitors are positioned. “Why aren’t we showing up for these keywords? Is it because they are not in our SEA account structure? Or because we don’t invest enough?” asks Cédric Ibanez. Thanks to an estimate of the potential clicks that can be accessed in the Adthena tool, Air France can thus improve its attitudes and optimize its investments. The company also monitors fluctuations in competition in relation to the parameters it deems relevant. For example, it observes the development of its impression share or clicks on certain keywords in order to adjust its strategy.

The company goes even further by monitoring its competitors’ search campaign spend estimates. As activities resumed after the health crisis, digital teams wondered how much investment should be made for SEAs and specifically for each keyword. “Are we investing too much or too little compared to our competitors?” asked Cedric Ibanez. In order to answer these questions, Adthena gave Air France access to estimates of competitors’ investments in this or that keyword. Elodie Vincenti, SEA expert and Head of Sales at Adthena explains: “With our algorithm we get the impression rate, the number of clicks and the average CPC. Using this data, we can estimate the average spend on keyword typologies.” Air France knows its position compared to its competitors and can therefore adjust its own investments.

An SEO/SEA synergy to save money

With hundreds of digital marketing campaigns per year and in a very competitive universe, the airline faces a major challenge to optimize its investments and reduce its costs. Thanks to a weekly report by Adthena showing the keywords where the brand is positioned as the only one in SEA and in first position in SEO, Air France knows the keywords on which it has little interest to invest further. . “It allows us to reduce SEA spend budgets without losing traffic or revenue as we recapture users with SEO,” explains the brand’s Head of Search Engine Marketing & Metasearch. The airline’s digital teams access an estimate of the potential profit from the removal of an unnecessary SEA and can receive an alert should competition for a keyword return.

Finally, by exploiting the SEO/SEA synergy, the brand gains visibility, optimizes its performance and eliminates unnecessary costs. Combined with effective brand protection and detailed competitive information, it can optimize its referencing on Google as much as possible.

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