Content marketing is one of the most effective ways to bring new people to your site.
With the travel and tourism industry slowly but surely growing every year, standing out from the crowd is more important than ever. And when it comes to SEO and content creation, you don’t want to cut any corners. That’s why we’re here with solutions to help you make the most of SEO for your tourism business.
WHAT IS SEO, AND WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?
Search engine optimization, or SEO, is the process of improving your online presence by directing relevant traffic to your site using a variety of content-based methods. Your ranking on Google can reflect how well-optimized your site (i.e., where your site appears when you search for relevant keywords). As you can probably imagine, being the first site to appear on page one of Google is ideal, though it can be difficult to attain. That being said, it’s estimated that almost 75% of people don’t navigate to the second page of search results, therefore making appearing in the top ten all the more critical. Many companies rely on SEO when they aim to gain new clientele, and since the travel industry is so competitive, it’s crucial that you keep up in an effort to increase your traffic.
Travel content relies heavily on keywords, which are arguably the most important aspect of SEO. This is primarily because your customer’s journey will start with a keyword or phrase, as they are often searching for the most relevant sites. The keywords that you use will differ depending on the service that you offer, so it’s essential that you research the most appropriate words for your business’ niche and target audience. This can be a tricky aspect to master, as you have to understand the intent behind every search. In fact, there are three types of search intent:
- Informational: When a searcher is looking for information
- Transactional: When a searcher is ready to buy or perform another activity online
- Navigational: When a searcher is looking for a specific site
Our recommendation is to cover all three types of search intent when creating content. This enables your pages to show up at each stage of the buyer’s cycle. So, keep in mind a three-pronged approach: have helpful content for your guests to read and educate themselves, create easily accessible and clear calls-to-action (CTAs), and think carefully when branding your company.
Before you get started, though, make sure you complete thorough keyword research. Generic keywords like “tourism business” or “travel packages” can be helpful, but you’re likely better off using more specific long-tail keywords that suit your business and audience.
ON AND OFF-PAGE SEO
On and off-page SEO are two halves of one whole, so pay attention to both of them. On-page SEO is the content, internal links, and more on your company’s website, whereas off-page SEO refers to the factors that boost your SEO off of your website itself, such as other sites that link back to yours. Let’s start with on-page SEO, as it’s more in your control.
To improve your on-page SEO, start by weaving in those keywords you searched so hard for into your content. Include internal links where appropriate (e.g., links to relevant blog posts or your contact page). Once your content is finished and polished, create clear but descriptive meta titles and descriptions for each of the pages on your website. You can definitely add some keywords in those as well, but do your best to not go overboard—keyword stuffing doesn’t help anyone! Landing pages and blog posts are also great avenues to explore. Focus on the first 100 words or so of the page. That’s prime real estate for your keywords.
Off-page SEO is a bit less predictable, since it depends on how relevant your page or content that you wrote is for other industry professionals. One great way to improve your off-page SEO is to offer to write guest blog posts for others in your industry. It may be time consuming, but you’ll be networking and improving your SEO at the same time!
As we previously mentioned, blogs can have an enormous impact on your on-page SEO—so much so that they deserve their own section. From an SEO point of view, including keywords in your blogs—preferably in the first 100 words—is a no-brainer, and an enticing title can go pretty far. So put some time into it!
As a critical component of content marketing in the travel and tourism industry, publishing blog posts that are engaging, thoughtful, and entertaining not only allows you to interact with your potential clientele (because people love to comment on blogs) but also gives you an avenue to self-promote in a natural way. Besides, people love reading travel blogs, especially if it is written for a specific niche that interests them! For instance, if your company focuses on providing tours for people over 60, then you shouldn’t write articles on backpacking for young millenials.
Content marketing and email marketing go hand in hand. As one of the most cost-effective strategies, there’s no reason you can’t put a bit of extra time into making sure it’s perfect. Your subject lines and email content need to be carefully crafted so that they pique interest but aren’t too sales-y. Simple and personal is a great rule of thumb. Besides, with such great content on your website and your blog, you need an efficient and effective way to reach out and let people know how great your site is. You may even be able to snag some returning customers!
Travel is an incredibly popular topic, so social media is an excellent place to garner some recognition. Posting, sharing, and engaging is what social media is all about, and these are some of the best ways to spread the word about your tourism business among your audience. If you’re consistently creating content (like photos, videos, and blogs), you’ll have plenty to post on your social media accounts. Of course, including keywords in your captions is vital—they might just show up in a Google search!
It may go without saying, but for those that are still wondering: only use the platforms that are relevant to your brand. There’s no point in using Twitter or Pinterest if your audience doesn’t.
REMEMBER: THE DIFFERENCES IN THE TRAVEL INDUSTRY
The travel industry does have its differences when compared to other business sectors, and these are particularly important to keep in mind. It has seasonality, since bookings, flights, and packages tend to be sold seasonally. It would serve you well to organize your content around certain times of the year and holidays.
It also tends to be more expensive than other products. Customers don’t often purchase impulsively in the tourism industry. That’s why providing helpful information that positions you as an authority and builds trust is incredibly important.
OUR TOP TIP: CELEBRATE THE SMALL VICTORIES
Overlooking small victories—a common practice in content marketing—can be a huge mistake! Remember: there are hundreds of factors that affect your site’s performance. Focusing on one aspect (like on-page SEO, for example) can discourage you, so keep in mind that there are a myriad of factors at work. Continue writing, posting images and videos, and sprinkling in keywords. SEO is not an overnight process. It can take months for you to start seeing results.
The tourism industry is a tricky one to master, and SEO is truly an art form. There’s so much to consider when planning your content marketing strategy and trying to improve your SEO. By following these tips (hint: write great content and post pictures and videos), you’re well on your way to making a name for yourself.
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