We all need a break from work, everyday life, difficulties. It’s what we think about the busiest days of the week, at work, at night before bed. Others prefer the sunny beaches and others the snowy mountains and the natural landscape. When searching for the ideal destination they will end up with a travel page, expecting suggestions and complete packages from you.
Most people limit their selections to the sites that appear on the first page of search results. This leaves two options for travel agencies: pay-per-click advertising and painstaking SEO (Search Engine Optimization). The latter, when done right, has a strong long-term marketing strategy that secures the top positions for long periods of time, which is worth discussing.
Let’s take a look at what is really effective SEO for travel websites.
1. Make your site mobile friendly
The number of mobile users has been growing more and more in recent years. Users are more likely to book tickets from a mobile device.
So stay tuned for Google mobile rankings and act accordingly.
- Use flexible web design : a website should look good and be easy to use on any device.
- Reduce page load time: users do not want to wait. The longer they wait for the page to load, the more likely they are to lose patience and leave. Publish your responsive website in AMP format for fast page load times.
- Optimize images : the smaller the file size, the faster a page loads. You need to find a balance between the size, the dimensions and the quality of the images.
- Do not use small text: it is rather tedious to enlarge the image on the screen every time you need to read something, right? To avoid this make the text large enough for people to read it without any extra effort.
- Avoid using small touch elements: If the page has a button you want to press or a box you want to control, it should not be too small for their thumbs.
- Flash animation : Of course, users prefer search engines, but Flash does not know about SEO. Look for an alternative if it can increase SEO performance.
- No unnecessary annoying parentheses: only pop-ups that ask the visitor to use a cookie or a single demographic query are considered necessary. A penal algorithm from Google for other items that disrupt UX has been out since January.
2. Create a path with keywords on your site
Let’s say someone wants to visit Paris. When does their journey begin? The moment they arrived in Paris? Error. Maybe when they get on the plane? Also wrong. Then when they leave home and head to the airport, right? You are not close yet.
The correct answer is that as soon as they decide to visit Paris. And your job starts even earlier than this: your job is to predict that the traveler will try to achieve his goal. They will certainly turn to the internet for help and will probably use your services, but there is an important link between these two events that will determine whether or not that person will become your customer.
Since you are a travel agency whose mission is to send people from one place to another (in order!), The keywords should be appropriate for this purpose. This means that you have to be as specific as possible. If you offer customers a “plane from London to Paris”, this is the key word to use. If you can help them “book a hotel in Paris”, here is another one. Variations of these phrases are welcome. These are the long-term keywords for you: long-lasting, specific phrases that accurately describe what prospects want and what transforms them. When you are ready to meet the needs of people, they will use your services instead of others.
To choose the right traffic-related keywords for your site, they need to be based on specific services and destinations. The tourism industry does not tolerate ambiguity.
3. Utilize social media
Although verbal reason dominates as the main factor that motivates people to travel, social media has also gained ground. This does not surprise us: the world is full of wonders and historical landmarks and people want to see it all. A single photo can make them pack their bags and several days later share their own experiences on Facebook and Instagram. And the cycle continues.
There is a nice synergy between social media and visual media. The travel industry has a lot to show, which is an indisputable reason for using social media to promote your services. As I said before, a journey begins with the decision to travel and this decision is made easier by viewing images and videos that show the world. They can not replace the real world, but they are great to arouse interest and arouse curiosity.
However, be sure to post fascinating photos that have not already been captured in everyone’s mind. Do a Google search to make sure a photo hasn’t been posted 10,000 times.
4. Start a blog
Blogging is a must in any travel business. There is no better way to get more backlinks than with new content. Especially if it is enthusiastic and exciting. Landscapes, places rich in history, cultural events that you do not see every day – travel around the world is an inexhaustible source of material!
Do you know how some people turn the globe and where it stops they put their finger on it and go there? Imagine having a “random post” button on your blog that works according to this principle. If it was full of countless amazing posts about interesting places, I would read it myself. Tell visitors stories that will inspire them to travel with you – and then share their own stories
5. Create links to authoritative travel-related sources
Now that the traveler has decided to embark on an adventure, the next step is to choose a travel agency. How will they make their choice? They will prefer those they trust the most. They will listen to their friends and acquaintances, who have used his services. If they do not have friends with this knowledge, the next option would be unbiased online resources. Needless to say, if there is no reference to your business in these sources, these customers will not become yours.
This is why linking is a huge aspect of travel SEO. There are many popular travel websites where you can earn a valuable link to your site, such as:
- The Telegraph Travel
- UK Travel Advice
- The Guardian Travel
- Money Saving Expert Travel Advice
- Conde Nast Traveler
- Mumsnet Travel Forum
- Lonely Planet
- CNN Travel
- Yahoo Travel
- Huffington Post
Not only will they improve your site’s SEO and rank it higher in Google rankings, but they will also help significantly in building your online office reputation.
6. Install navigation
Every website with a large number of pages should have a well-designed internal link structure. It is recommended that no two pages be more than three clicks apart for the best user experience. The best way to ensure this is to place a navigation on the site.
Pages work great when the content is split into sections, which in turn are split into sections – and so on.
7. Use impressive visual content
Social media is not the only place where you should actively use visual content. Your website is supposed to have it too. The images and videos leave a strong impression on the viewers, despite the raw text. Let the pictures do the main work and the words complete it.
Videos in particular have the potential to impress visitors and motivate them to embark on a journey. When their desire to travel falls, there is your site, ready to rekindle the desires. Then visitors become customers.
8. Complete a schema markup for your site
Schema markup is probably the nicest feature Google has ever implemented on its front page. They only work for sites that rank high in search results, but you can equip them with lots of useful information for users before they even click on your link. Of course, they have to click after seeing the schema markup, so it is up to you to be as obvious and valid as possible.
An absolute must-have is a review schema. A large number of ratings and five stars (or at least a price above 4.5) can convince potential customers about your business. It’s like magic or maybe even better.
9. Spy on your competitors
If there is one sector without competition, travel agencies are definitely not in it. But there is a way to turn your opponents into allies: by spying on their sites.
You can also use WebCEO tools to better evaluate your competitors’ SEO strategies.
Things to look out for:
- How they rank for the keywords they use : if they rank high, you can consider selecting new ones that have not optimized their landing pages. After checking the way competitors form the basket with the keywords they have chosen, go to WebCEO to find the great keywords you can master.
- Domain-related sites, ranked by principle or popularity: the best backlinks competitors have could also link to your business. WebCEO can show you various articles, forums and posts related to specific industries, to which the competitors refer. You will soon learn exactly what you need to do to compete.
- Their activity on social media: Are you in charge of this battlefield of tags, likes, shares and comments? Google pays close attention to this activity.
Doing business without a competitor analysis strategy is like playing blackjack with only one card in hand. Fortunately, spying on competitors’ websites is easier now. All their hidden aces will be revealed for you to see.