When it comes to marketing your travel site, SEO is one of your best bets for facilitating a long term marketing plan and getting your brand out there. But are you getting the most out of your SEO strategy? As an agency with a keen interest in travel, we’d love to offer a helping hand. Below I’ve compiled five top tips for your SEO approach that are bound to get people talking about your travel site.
1. Link Building
Link building is one of the most important, and useful, factors to implement into your SEO strategy for your travel site. Not only is it a core ranking factor, but when you put yourself into the shoes of the customer who will be looking for the best travel agency to use for their next holiday, then they are far more likely to opt for the one that is mentioned by the most travel authorities on the web by trusted, unbiased sources. If your agency has no presence whatsoever in the customers online search for the best agency, then you can hardly expect the customer to use your travel agency over any other.
Not only is Link Building fantastic for improving your website’s Google ranking, it can also help to boost your brand’s general online reputation, and people’s awareness of it. If you aren’t already using link building in your SEO strategy, then make sure you start doing so right away!
2. Site Structure
If you want prospective holiday-goers to come to your website over others, then it is vital that you have a well-designed website to draw users in. And one of the most important aspects of good website design is having good site structure. The more appealing your site is to users, the more appealing it is to search engines, too. If your site has poor CTRs and low dwell time, it will not perform well in the SERPs. By contrast, when a user finds a site that they like- they don’t bounce and they stay longer. A well-designed site structure can reduce bounce rate and increase the time spent on your site by users.
Another huge benefit to having a good site structure is Sitelinks- links to subpages in your website that appear in SERPs, such as different products or travel destinations. If you want to benefit from these helpful hyperlinks, then you have to prove to Google that your site structure is good enough! This is because you can’t manually add Sitelinks to your listing; Google adds them to through automated algorithms, determined by whether your site has an easily navigable site or not. Sitelinks are a huge SEO advantage, in that they can increase the navigability of your site by pointing users to the most relevant information, e.g., by taking users to their preferred holiday destination straight from the SERP: increasing your brand’s reputation, improving user trust and giving your CTRs a huge boost! You can see an example of sitelinks in the SERPs below, taken from Trivago:
3. ON-PAGE OPTIMISATION
Another one of the most important factors of a good SEO strategy is to make sure all of your copy contains the most relevant keywords and phrases. Using tools such as the AdWords keyword planner to keep on top of the trending industry terms and phrases has so many benefits for your site. You can optimise your website’s content and copy to include these terms, which will drastically improve your travel sites ranking and traffic, or you could even structure your creative content around the latest trends and searches. For example, if a particular holiday destination is receiving lots of searches, you can take advantage of this by structuring new content ideas around this, by focusing your newest blog posts around this destination; such as the "top 10 things to do there this summer". By keeping on top of what’s being searched, you can stay ahead of the competition and create optimised content for your users that actually matches what they are searching for!
And it’s not just your blog content and landing page copy that benefits from this keyword research: the same logic applies to everything in your website, from Meta Titles and Descriptions, to landing page URLs and more. If Google can recognise the most popular searches and keywords in every part of your website, then they will be sure to rank your site even higher. Though an important thing to keep in mind is keyword stuffing, or keyword “spamming”. If you overuse a certain keyword over and over again in a piece of content, this can lead to penalties (in severe cases). The best course of action when using optimised keywords is to use them naturally throughout your content, as opposed to just cramming them in wherever possible.
4. Start a Blog
Blogging is generally a very useful tool for SEO strategy, but an especially prevalent one in the travel industry, as there are so many opportunities for engaging content to give to your site visitors. Be it focusing on specific destinations, activities or events, offering exciting content to users is a guaranteed way of keeping them engaged and boosting user experience (assuming the blogs you write are any good, of course!). These are all sure-fire ways of getting your travel site higher up the Google rankings than before.
5. Keep Up with your Competitors
While some of the information you learn here might be news to you, it certainly won’t be to many of your competitors! For this reason, it is vital that you keep up to date with what your closest travel rivals are doing, and what sort of strategies that they are implementing in their own sites. Are some of your competitors being linked to by certain domains with a better authority or popularity than the ones that link to you: and are they doing anything special to achieve this? How do your competitors rank in terms of keywords and phrases? Are they particularly dominant in one area, or are they perhaps missing a trick in other areas? Maybe you can spot weak points in your rivals SEO strategy, and can carve out a niche area for yourself to overtake them in the rankings.
And those were 5 simple tips to kickstart and improve your approach to SEO in the travel industry. Hopefully these tips can give your SEO a boost and help your travel site to overtake the competition. If you want ot learn a bit more about SEO, you can get in contact with our team on the SEO services page, and if you're interested learning mroe startegies and innovations you can take into your travel marketing, you can search for some of our other travel marketing blogs here!