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Competitive Travel SEO Strategies in SERPs

SEO
November 28, 2023
15 mins
Content

SEO For Travel Business

There’s much talk about SEO for the travel industry. While everyone agrees about its importance, few are ready to pass the long way to success. 

Search engine optimization (SEO) is crucial for competitive travel players. Your online business performance precisely depends on a long-run effort invested in SEO. 

In this article, top SEO experts at Promodo explored the nuts and bolts of SEO for travel agencies.

Travel SEO is instrumental in elevating the visibility of travel businesses within search results. SEO enables travel websites to connect with a broader audience of potential clients. Within a fiercely competitive landscape of the travel industry, a well-executed travel SEO strategy becomes a pivotal tool for travel agencies to showcase their offerings.

While numerous travel companies resort to paid search methods to secure prime positions on search engine results pages (SERPs), the approach is financially burdensome. Especially when small and mid-sized travel agencies are trying to contend with industry giants for coveted ad spaces. Travel SEO presents a feasible alternative by allowing travel agencies to compete effectively without incurring advertising expenses.

Today, we are glad to share a bunch of SEO tips for travel website. 

How Travel SEO Works?

What is SEO for travel company? There’s no secret after all: fine-tune your travel website to achieve higher rankings in organic search results. The logic is simple: the higher your website ranks, the more visitors it attracts. 

The big question here is: How will individuals discover your travel agency while searching online?

People match your travel services on search engines by using specific keywords that reflect their search intent for the travel services you offer. While users tend to customize their travel planning, you should craft intent-focused keywords.

For instance, imagine a traveler seeking to book a winter skiing holiday. They might initiate their search with a broad keyword like "best winter destinations in 2023 for skiing."

Now equipped with a list of destinations to explore, individuals may refine their search further. Following research, they might narrow it down to a specific country, as in the query “best Italy tour companies.” Alternatively, they may delve into specific activities, such as searching for an "Italy’s skiing trip itinerary."

As the journey goes on, the traveler reaches a point of commitment, seeking accommodations and tour operators. At each stage of this search expedition, there is an opportunity to present pertinent content and showcase your business and best offerings to potential customers. The key is to ensure that your content captures the attention of your target audience. 

Have You Got Quality Travel Content? 

Eight out of ten marketers prioritize content creation and for a good reason. Consistently producing quality content provides multiple benefits:

🔴 Enhanced SERP rankings: ranking higher through keyword integration.

🔴 Establishing authority: building and maintaining your authority in the travel niche. 

🔴 Backlink opportunities: creating more chances for backlinks from authoritative sources.

🔴 Trust building: fostering trust among your audience.

Effective content solutions for travel SEO include: 

🔴 Blogging

🔴 Social media content

🔴 Case studies

🔴 Video content

🔴 Images. 

Don't underestimate the power of user-generated content (UGC). Reviews, images, and thoughts shared by delighted customers capture Google's attention, influencing potential buyers. Encourage user participation through competitions, where past customers share content for a chance to win prizes or discounts.

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Is Your Travel Website E-E-A-T?

In a harshly competitive landscape, digital ethics saves people from exaggerated or misleading representations crafted to capture readers’ attention online and buy more clients. 

Furthermore, the allure of boundless revenue potential in curated content marketing often blinds new businesses to the importance of generating content based on personal experiences or reliable information. This results in content deprived of authentic insights, solely crafted to attract more traffic.

Since December 15, 2022, Google has applied an updated framework to rank content on your website. Experience, Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness are quality rater guidelines 

to assess your website quality. 

If you are serious about ranking high in Google search results, turn your website into a sound source of travel information. This is the best travel industry ranking factor we can possibly suggest.

First off, your prospects anticipate your firsthand Experience with travel destinations and activities you offer. This familiarity can be gained through personal travel experience, employment within the travel industry, or other relevant avenues.

Travelers highly appreciate content crafted by individuals with firsthand, real-life experience in a specific travel destination, trekking route, or hotel recommendations.

Expertise is crucial, particularly for travel websites focusing on specific destinations or travel themes. Showcasing expertise in these areas is paramount, as it not only enhances credibility but also attracts a more targeted audience, which subsequently results in higher engagement rates and conversions.

Establishing Authoritativeness is key; your website should be recognized as a reliable source of information within the travel industry. This recognition may stem from citations on reputable travel platforms, accolades from industry organizations, or positive reviews from fellow travelers.

Trustworthiness is a cornerstone of a successful travel website. This is a matter of trust and loyalty through which you will increase the lifetime value (LTV) of your dedicated clientele. 

If Google rates your travel website with decent  E-E-A-T, you’ll stand sound chances to rank higher in search results.

E-E-A-T

E-E-A-T is rather important for travel SEO. 

Firstly, certain travel information websites delve into your money or your life (YMYL)  topics. This signifies that the information available on these websites can significantly impact traveler choices. For instance, someone seeking details about a hotel wants assurance that the information is accurate and current, avoiding the risk of booking an unsatisfactory or unsafe accommodation.

Secondly, there is intense competition for general search terms and travel-related keywords. To stand out from the crowd and overcome the challenge of infrequent conversions on the initial visit, your travel website should employ multiple strategies and target a vast array of keyword combinations.

Thirdly, the majority of travelers utilize mobile devices for trip planning. Google's mobile-first indexing accounts for page speed, mobile responsiveness, and user experience—all of which depend on how far your website adheres to the E-E-A-T principles.

Finally, E-E-A-T plays a decisive role in establishing trust with potential customers. When individuals seek travel information, they seek assurance from a reliable source. This trust-building aspect can lead to increased website visits and bookings for travel arrangements.

Does Your Travel Site Fit Schema Markup & Local SEO? 

Structured data markup, or schema markup, entails integrating microdata into the backend of your webpage. The practice provides search engines with a condensed overview of vital information, offering searchers additional links on your website for further exploration.

While travel websites are selling packages or bookings, the implementation of a product review schema is rather beneficial. This schema presents ratings and reviews directly in SERPs.

Integrating schema markup provides relevant context to Google; this is how you make your content snippet featured once search engines comprehend it. Various types of structured data are available, each offering insights into the SERPs:

🔴 FAQ schema for blogs

🔴 Review schema for product pages

🔴 Video schema to enhance the crawlability of video content

🔴 Price schema for product pages.

Utilizing structured data for travel SEO entails numerous advantages like wider visibility and increased click-through rates (CTRs).

While your competitor travel brands may overlook the use of rich snippets (normal Google search results filled with additional data), the benefit is in displaying valuable and intriguing travel information that will set you apart from the competition and bring more visitors to your site.

Structured data will definitely contribute to organic traffic growth. The implementation of structured data may result in up to 400 percent net growth in rich result traffic, higher impressions, and more clicks.

Given these digital marketing opportunities in travel SEO, we strongly recommend using the following types of structured travel data: 

🔴 Rates

🔴 Accommodation types

🔴 Airlines

🔴 Tour operators

🔴 Various types of tourist schema.

Leveraging Event Schema

Event schema proves to be an effective strategy for enhancing your travel SEO. By incorporating this type of schema markup, you provide search engines with additional information about events related to your travel business like upcoming conferences or festivals. This aids search engines in better understanding your website's content and improves its ranking in SERPs.

Event schema will benefit you with:

🔴 Enhanced click-through rates (CTRs)

🔴 Increased traffic

🔴 Voice search optimization.

Google's Structured Data Markup Helper will generate codes for your event schema. Relevant information will then appear on your page with up-to-date dates, locations, and event names.

Have You Made Your Travel SEO Local 

Develop Tailored Local Landing Pages

Crafting local landing pages with precision for each city or region you cater to, is a strategic approach. These web pages furnish specific information about your services within the local area, effectively attracting customers interested in your offerings.

These pages will help you target location-specific keywords and enhance search engine rankings. This will expand the reach of your business, ensuring that potential customers can easily discover information relevant to their decision-making process when selecting their next vacation destination.

Local landing pages will help you tailor content to target tourists based on location and accommodation types.

Maintain Your Google Business Profile

Your Google My Business profile stands as a pivotal component of your online presence, and the best part is, it's free. 

Establishing a profile empowers you to personalize your page with the latest images and offers while integrating posts designed to captivate your audience.

Similar to the ongoing efforts required for travel SEO, optimizing your GMB profile is essential. As more travelers turn to search engines for trip planning, a well-optimized Google My Business profile becomes a key element for success in the travel market.

Leverage your GBP for various purposes, including:

🔴 Incorporating reviews and rankings

🔴 Crafting informative posts

🔴 Providing map directions

🔴 Creating and sharing videos on social media

🔴 Employing local SEO techniques to optimize your profile.

When adding images, be mindful of including alt tags and limiting picture size for optimal loading. The recommended image size for GMB posts is 1200 x 900 pixels when directly uploaded from the GBP dashboard, maintaining a 4:3 ratio.

Once your travel agency operates across multiple locations, create a distinct Google My Business profile for each location.

Besides setting up a GMB profile, boost your travel business with Yelp, TripAdvisor, Facebook, and Instagram.

Keyword Research for Travel Agents

More often than not, search volume surges on more specific queries, which makes it way more challenging to determine where to direct internal links, especially when you are faced with numerous origins and routes. Including links to all of them on your homepage is rather impractical.

Crafting a potent keyword list is fundamental for a successful SEO strategy. Compile a list of relevant words that would best sell your travel offerings. With that, bet on long-tail keywords like 'family vacation packages' or 'luxury hotel rooms.' which are pivotal for effective travel SEO.

Don't overlook the significance of incorporating location-specific keywords, such as 'Miami beach resort' or 'New York City tour guide.'

Conduct a competitive analysis to gauge keyword search volumes. Once you have compiled your list, strategically integrate these keywords into various elements: 

🔴 Blog posts

🔴 Meta descriptions

🔴 Social media posts

🔴 URLs

🔴 Website content. 

Crafting a Keyword Travel Strategy

Keywords serve as powerful magnets for organic travel SEO. However, their effectiveness hinges on a well-thought-out strategy. While this is an excellent starting point, understanding how to strategically deploy keywords is crucial for yielding top results.

By adapting your keyword strategy to align with seasonal demands, user intent, and various stages of the customer journey, you stand a higher chance of capturing the attention of active seekers for your travel offers.

Consider a couple searching for a Valentine’s Day getaway, unsure of the destination. Instead of looking for a specific location, they might use phrases like 'romantic break in Chicago' or 'Valentine’s weekend break in Chicago.' Incorporating these long-tail keywords into your blog content can effectively attract the desired audience.

Beyond catering to seasonal search patterns, it's crucial to create content tailored to different stages of the customer journey. For example, a person planning a vacation undergoes the same stages as any other consumer: awareness, research, and purchasing.

Alternatively, we suggest applying Adido’s customer journey map, which breaks down as follows:

Dreaming moments: in the early stages when the tourist lacks concentrated plans, use long-tail keywords.

Planning moments: as the searcher has a specific destination in mind, align your content with their intent. If, for instance, they've chosen Chicago, focus on local SEO, tourist attractions, dining options, and events within your blog content.

Booking moments: this marks the buying stage, where you've successfully persuaded the searcher to book with you.

Experience moments: drill down and concentrate on highlighting things to see and do in the chosen location during this phase.

Customer Journey

Have You Bet on Voice Search?

The speakable schema will facilitate voice assistants like Alexa in recognizing specific sections within an article or webpage that are most suitable for audio playback.

If a user queries their voice assistant, "What are the top places to see in Madrid?" and you have speakable schema enabled, Alexa will audibly present a summary of your blog article, highlighting the top 10 attractions in Madrid.

Voice search optimization

Is All Fine with Page Titles and Meta Tags?

Conducting a thorough examination of your content is essential to pinpoint areas requiring enhancement for a competitive edge.

As part of your on-page SEO homework, be sure to optimize individual web pages to boost search engine rankings and visibility. This involves incorporating keywords into page titles, meta tags, heading tags, and other elements, as well as adding image alt text and meta descriptions.

Make sure each page of your travel website contains a single H1 tag containing relevant keywords for improved content understanding by search engines. On your page content, Google precisely ranks H2 headings, so make sure you separate travel content on your pages with eye-catching H2 and H3, H4 headings.  

Are Your Pages Loading Fast?

Considering the high bounce rate in the travel industry, you should secure fast page speed on your site. 

On-page SEO

Our first bit of advice is to compress your images. Images are major contributors to slow page loading. Compressing images is a swift solution to enhance page speed and bolster SEO rankings. Strive to maintain image quality while minimizing file size. Tools like PicResize and ImageOptim can aid in resizing and further optimization.

Eliminate HTTP requests. HTTP requests, initiated when browsers seek additional information from a website's server, affect page speed. Aim to minimize or expedite these requests for a faster user experience. Google Chrome's developer tools or GTmetrix can help assess and manage HTTP requests.

Minify JavaScript, CSS, and HTML. Minimizing code by removing unnecessary elements enhances page speed. Employ online tools or plugins like WP Rocket to streamline your code.

Enable Browser Caching Browser caching to store temporary webpage data and boost faster loading upon subsequent visits. 

Finally, use a Content Delivery Network (CDN) like Cloudflare or Jetpac that distribute servers across various locations, and reduces loading times for users based on their geographical proximity to the server. Integrate a CDN to enhance the global accessibility and speed of your website.

These speed-optimization SEO tips for travel agencies will provide your users with a faster and more satisfactory browsing experience on your site.

Link Building

Efficient link building is crucial for travel SEO. Backlinks from other reputable websites can significantly boost your rankings on search engine results pages. Establishing links from authoritative pages to your site enhances visibility and relevance.

Consider strategies like: 

🔴 Issuing press releases

🔴 Securing interviews with magazines and podcasters

🔴 Creating comprehensive 'ultimate guide' posts

🔴 Developing image-rich content for sharing on social media

🔴 Releasing travel tips eBooks, and writing guest posts. 

Link building, when executed effectively, will solidify your site's credibility and prominence in search engine queries.

Safeguarding Your Reputation

Your online reputation is a cornerstone of success. Positive reviews significantly enhance the likelihood of holidaymakers who have preferred your services. Beyond shaping consumer decisions, maintaining a positive reputation has a ripple effect on your travel SEO. 

In-depth reviews not only contribute to your authority in the eyes of Google but also foster backlink opportunities. Well-crafted reviews serve as a source of inspiration for potential buyers, guiding them toward informed actions. However, acquiring reviews is just one facet; proactive search engine reputation management (SERM) is equally vital. 

Search Engine Reputation Management

Regularly monitor what people are saying about your business. Dedicate time each week to search for relevant content, and actively respond to reviews, whether positive or negative. This proactive approach will work wonders for consumer confidence.

Final Notes

Optimizing your website is not a one-time task. It requires regular attention to improve user experience and adapt to evolving search engine algorithms. Regular audits and optimizations are essential to: 

🔴 Identify gaps and issues

🔴 Highlight areas for improvement

🔴 Capitalize on opportunities.

Consider aspects like site speed, performance, content optimization, and link building during your audits. Additionally, analyze analytics data to understand visitor interactions with your site. This information is invaluable for refining your marketing strategy, boosting SEO rankings, and increasing conversions.

Let’s improve your travel business's visibility on major search engines by:

🔴 Conducting keyword research

🔴 Incorporating relevant keywords into your articles

🔴 Building backlinks

🔴 Adding schema markup

🔴 Publishing relevant content to the immediate travel interests shared by your target audience.

Looking to boost your travel business?
Enhance your online visibility and attract more customers with digital marketing services!
Written by
Taras Bereza

Content Marketing Manager at Promodo

Taras has 16 years of hands-on copywriting experience overseas with 3000+ unique copies.

Accredited with Certificate of Proficiency in English (C2 level) by Cambridge University. Studied at Writing Launch Academy (United States) and owns an Academic Writing Certificate from Oregon University. Author of 12 dictionaries with Apriori Publishers.

Published:
November 28, 2023
Updated:
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