Blogging is more than just writing, publishing content, and hoping to attract the right audience sooner or later. There’s strategizing and planning involved if you want your blog to help build traffic and potential revenue to your travel website.
In this post, we’ll be looking at the top blogging tactics to help develop a fool-proof strategy for your travel blog or website. We’ll also look at a few examples of brands that used blogging to great effect using the tactics. At the end of this post, you should have a general sense of proceeding with your blog to achieve your business goals.
1. Research for the Right Keywords
Keyword research is a critical component of your SEO strategy, especially when starting with your blog. Optimizing content for the right keywords helps your blog rank on top of Google searches and generate lots of website traffic that you can convert into sales and leads.
There are lots of factors involved in finding these types of keywords. First, you need to know what your audience searches for online. To know for sure, you should have a clear understanding of your buyer persona.
By narrowing down their age, salary, education, and interests, among other things, you can form a picture of the person you want to attract to your website.
Therefore, by identifying the keywords your buyer persona searches for, you can create content that will bring them down your sales funnel. From here, you can eventually compel them to perform your desired action, such as sign up for a free quote, book reservations, and more!
When researching keywords, you want to find queries that users search for on Google and are relatively easy to rank for. In this case, using a keyword research tool like SEMrush shares with you the number of times users search a keyword in a month (search volume) and how easy or hard it is to rank your content for that keyword (keyword difficulty). Ideally, you want to find keywords with lots of monthly searches and low keyword difficulty.
2. Create Great Content
Once you have your keywords, you or your team of writers start writing them.
When creating content, it’s important to learn the intent behind each keyword. The goal is to not just optimize your blog post by observing the best on-page SEO practices. You also need to answer the question that the keyword is asking.
To do this, you must identify the user intent behind each keyword. There are three to choose from:
- Navigational – asks the question, “where can I find the brand’s page on its website?” Examples: Airbnb login, united airlines booking.
- Informational – ask the questions, “what do I want to learn about a topic?” Examples: what do I need to bring when traveling with an infant, how much to travel to Switzerland from the USA.
- Commercial – asks the question, “which hotel or flight reservations should I book?” Examples: best hotels in new york city with a view, cheapest direct flights to Toronto, Canada.
Most travel brands will have to deal with informational and commercial keywords. The difference between the two is that the former aims to provide information while the latter encourages visitors to book their hotel accommodations or flight reservations.
Therefore, if you’re optimizing for informational keywords, you can’t be selling your flight or hotel services there because it doesn’t match the user intent. The same goes for commercial keywords.
3. Build Topic Clusters
There’s more to finding keywords and optimizing for them. As a travel brand, you want your blog to be known for providing the best content to your audience about travel. Therefore, you need to create as many blog posts about travel as possible.
At the same time, you want to organize them into subtopics within your blog. For example, all content about travel tips should be grouped. The same goes for blog posts about travel gear.
To do this, you need to link similar pages to one another until all related posts are connected. You can then link to all these articles from the main page about the topic.
Here’s what clustering topics look like:
Clustering articles that share the same topic benefits your website from both perspectives of users and search engines. Regarding the former, you help arrange your content so that visitors can browse through related pages with ease. They no longer have to use your blog’s search function to find content about the same subtopic. All they need to do is click on the links pointing to different pages within your site, thus encouraging them to stay on your site and read more.
As for search engines, topic clusters allow you to rank higher for your blog pages. To find new content on your site, search spiders will crawl your site pages and index them for keywords they’re optimized for. They do this by looking at your blog’s sitemap, which lists down all the published pages on your blog. But with the help of internal links connecting the most relevant pages, spiders can simply jump from one link to another, thus speeding up the process of reading the pages.
You can have as many topic clusters on your blog as you can. In fact, the more groups you can create, the better it is for your search rankings.
A perfect example of a topic cluster in action is to create FAQs online. From the FAQ page, you can link to blog posts answering a particular question about a topic. This allows you to provide visitors with a seamless user experience and make the job of search spiders crawling and indexing your site much more straightforward.
4. Promote Your Content
Once you have published your content pieces, you should promote them to other channels. After all, just because you created them doesn’t mean visitors will flock to your site. At the same time, newly published content takes time to rank on Google. Therefore, while you’re waiting for Google to pick and rank them on search results, you need to push them directly to your audience.
If you have a social media presence, share your content there for your audience to see. Leverage the data provided for you from Facebook, Twitter, and others by finding out the hours when most of your audience is online. From here, schedule your content for publishing on those times using Hootsuite or Buffer, so you don’t have to keep logging in and out just to publish your posts during these times.
Another channel where you can promote your blog posts is via email marketing. Every time you publish a new post on your blog, send them to your email list for them to read. Better yet, you can integrate your content (both old and new) into your drip campaigns via marketing automation. This way, you can squeeze out more significant ROI from old posts from your evergreen campaigns using your email platform of choice.
Promoting your blog posts via email only works if you have an active and engaged email list to bank on. You can build one by setting up opt-in forms where subscribers can receive the latest news about your brand. Better yet, take a cue from experiential travel marketplace Headout when it used remarketing to attract more sign-ups to its email list.
Using both channels, you can also monitor other key performance indicators (KPIs) for your blog posts. For example, if one of the goals for your commercial keyword posts is to get visitors to call you, you can set up a call tracking as part of your digital marketing efforts
5. Tap Into Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing refers to the process of getting help from influencers in your industry to promote your blog. By increasing brand awareness and online visibility, you can raise awareness not only for your blog posts but also for your travel website and services.
To do this, you need to enlist help from bloggers, YouTubers, podcasters, and other online celebrities with a sustainable following to engage with your brand.
For example, Airbnb launched a #FloatingHouseParty “publicity stunt” by inviting the very same people to join the live stream and interact with everybody. The event garnered 70,000-page hits and 10,000 new users in 2015. Since then, Airbnb hasn’t looked back since.
While launching this kind of influencer marketing campaign for smaller brands may be a reach, they can use the same methodology but on a smaller scale. If you find yourself to be one of these brands, you can get influential bloggers in your space to link back to your content instead.
Backlinks are a crucial part of your blogging strategy. The goal of launching a link-building campaign is to help expedite the process of ranking on top of search engines. The more authoritative backlinks your blog posts attract, the faster they will rank for your target keywords.
However, similar to promoting your content, nobody will be able to link to your content if they don’t know it exists. Aside from sharing them on social media and your email list, consider developing a blogger outreach strategy and campaign.
Here, you reach out to bloggers asking them to link to your blog posts because they provide value to their readers.
The process is sound, but the most challenging part is convincing them to link to your content. Their answer will depend on how you craft your outreach emails and the strength of your blog post. Remember that bloggers may not answer the first time, so you need to create follow-up emails to increase your chances of getting a reply.
This is a time-consuming campaign that will require the help of virtual assistants and link builders to help get the job done right.
As you can see, there’s a lot that goes into developing a fully fleshed-out blogging strategy for your travel brand or any brand in general. Blogging doesn’t stop once you’ve published your content. You need to constantly promote it to increase its reach while building links at the same time to help move your blog posts up your search rankings.
By including these tactics into your strategy, you can make the most out of your travel brand. Good luck!
Guest author bio:
Christopher Jan Benitez is a freelance writer for hire who specializes in the digital marketing field. His work has been published on SEO and affiliate marketing-specific niches like Monitor Backlinks, Niche Pursuits, Web Hosting Secret Revealed, and others.
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