As holiday travel and purchases rev up, studies indicate search is the channel consumers consult first when booking.

Traditional means of booking travel is out. These days, around 57 percent of all accommodations are finalized online. As holiday travel comes to a peak, marketers are wise to optimize SEO strategies to compete on the channel where most consumers go to research and book their plans.

A Kenshoo report revealed that 60 percent of people start looking for leisure travel accommodations online, starting with a web search. Business travel isn’t far behind. Over half (53 percent) of all professionals begin looking for transit and lodging options on Google and other search engines.

Consumers aren’t just navigating to a particular brand’s page and making a purchase. They’re doing multiple searches to make sure they get just the right vacation package, the best resort options, the optimal travel dates – and at the lowest price point. Companies with great content and compelling strategies will stand out to web users and attract the attention of prospects on the edge of a purchase decision.

Cross-channel marketing strategies keep travel brands in front of their target audiences as they browse the web, learning about all of their options. Brafton recently reported that the average consumer consults about 12 sources before settling on a decision.

With so many people planning year-end travel and splurging on holiday vacations, there’s huge potential for brands that can get in front of buyers and make an impact with smart messaging and quality content.

Lauren Kaye is a Marketing Editor at Brafton Inc. She studied creative and technical writing at Virginia Tech before pursuing the digital frontier and finding content marketing was the best place to put her passions to work. Lauren also writes creative short fiction, hikes in New England and appreciates a good book recommendation.