How is Air France elevating its place on Google?

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

An airline ticket is sold every 6 seconds on This represents 40% of the company’s total sales. It’s easy to see that optimizing your search campaigns is key to your brand. Only, how to cope with Google’s increasingly sophisticated algorithm?

The Air France site exists in about a hundred markets and is present in 10 different search engines. This includes SEA managing several million keywords, according to Cédric Ibanez, head of search engine marketing and Metasearch at Air France. However, when you enter a brand name in the Google search bar, many fake ads may appear: “Air France Airline Ticket of € 9.90” or “Exceptional promotion of – 70% on your Air France ticket”. In order to stand out in this multitude of announcements, this aviation giant surrounded itself with the market leader in SEO analysis, Adthena.

Fighting keyword theft

Between fake commercials and real competition, there is an important issue of brand protection. To see more clearly, Adthena’s artificial intelligence-based algorithm scrolls relevant Google keyword results for Air France 24 times a day on Google’s desktop and mobile device. In this way, the company has access to detailed reports and comprehensive data that represent all the parameters that need to be sent to Google in order to launch an investigation and reject fake ads that use the brand name. Protecting your brand on Google then has a twofold impact. According to Air France’s chief marketing officer and Metasearch, this “improves the user experience – customers have easier access to real ticket prices, relevant information and quality content – and a drop in CPC (cost-per-click)”.

Position yourself in a highly competitive market

Air France’s digital teams track the keywords on which their competitors are positioned. “Why don’t we appear on 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 the potential click estimate available in the Adthena tool, Air France can thus improve its settings and optimize its investments. The company also monitors variations in competition on parameters it deems relevant. For example, it observes the evolution of its share of impressions or clicks on certain keywords in order to adjust its strategy.

The company goes even further by looking at estimates of spending on search campaigns by its competitors. When activities continued after the health crisis, digital teams wondered about the right level of investment for the SEA award and more specifically for each keyword. “Compared to our competitors, are we investing too much or too little?” Cedric Ibanez wondered. To answer these questions, Adthena gave Air France access to estimates of competitors’ investments in this and that keyword. Adthen’s SEA expert and head of sales, Elodie Vincenti, explains: “With our algorithm, we get the display rate, the number of clicks and the average CPC. It is this data that allows us to estimate the average spend on keyword typologies. ” Air France knows its position in relation to competitors and so can adjust its own investment.

SEO / SEA synergy to save money

With hundreds of digital marketing campaigns a year and in a highly competitive universe, the airline has a strong challenge to optimize its investments and reduce costs. Thanks to Adthena’s weekly report, which lists keywords in which the brand is the only one positioned in the SEA and in the first position in SEO, Air France knows keywords in which it is not interested in continuing to invest. . “Then we can reduce SEA budgets for consumption without losing traffic or revenue, as we re-capture customers with SEO,” explains the head of search engine marketing and brand meta-searches. The airline’s digital teams are approaching an estimate of potential gain, due to the removal of a useless SEA, and may receive a warning in the event of a return of competition for the keyword.

Finally, by playing on the synergy of SEO / SEA, the brand becomes visible, optimizes its performance and gets rid of unnecessary costs. Combined with effective brand protection and detailed competition intelligence, this allows it to better optimize its referencing on Google.

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