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Travel

5 search marketing tips every travel marketer must know

Categories: Travel

The travel industry is a highly competitive marketplace, regardless of whether you’re selling holidays or insurance, car hire or suitcases.

If there’s one thing that’s crucial to getting your travel company seen by customers, it’s search marketing – making your business visible to customers, and getting them to come to your website instead of your competitors’.

Whether you’re doing your search marketing in-house or you have an agency who handles it, there are five crucial tips in this article that we urge you to read.

Only by knowing and implementing these tips can your travel website be competitive and start getting results.

If you suspect that these aren’t being done for your website, then it’s probably time to reconsider who you’re working with and what they’re working on.

1. Never finish a webpage or piece of content

We’re not saying you should leave a webpage half blank or an article half written – that’s insane.

What we are saying, though, is that there will always be ways to improve a page or piece of content, so in reality you’re never really finished with it.

Maybe an article you published on your blog a year ago suddenly has a new burst of life due to its relevance to a breaking news story. Or maybe you have a new product that you could link to from one of your most popular webpages.

Remember: there’s always a next action. There’s always another way to bring fresh value to a page or piece of content. There’s always a new way to introduce your business to a new audience.

What you can do right now:

  1. Look at Google Analytics for your three most visited blogs over the past 12 months
  2. Check all links to and from those blogs are still relevant
  3. Add in links to more recent popular articles
  4. Share again on social media

2. Put the user at the forefront of every strategy you create

It’s that new audience, as well as your existing one, that you must position at the centre of every piece of work you create (or at least acknowledge them within each strategy you devise).

This ensures that you are placing value and relevancy as core measurements of success; something that gets omitted far too often in place of simply trying to please the search engine bots.

In the travel industry, SEO content that’s valuable to both your audience and the search engines might include providing local attractions for “hotels near X” searches, as well as reviews.

Ultimately, it’s the audience who purchase from you. Your SEO strategies should always be built around them; what good is ranking highly on Google if you offer little value when they click through to you?

What you can do right now:

  1. Create user personas based on your Google Analytics and customer data (age, location, profession etc.)
  2. Analyse which content is most popular for those personas and why
  3. Replicate and expand on your existing content’s success by creating new content based around the most popular and relevant search terms

3. Constantly expand the opportunity

Don’t limit or restrict your digital success; be creative, collate lots of data, and make meaningful marketing decisions.

Of course you’ll need the right tools to be able to do this. Google Analytics, Google Webmaster Tools, SEMrush etc. are all industry standard platforms, but the colossal amounts of data they can pull in are even more powerful when they’re collated and analysed together.

Our diagnostic analytics platform, Apollo Insights, does just that. It’s collects everything there is to know about your website from every available data source then uses algorithms to make sense of it for you. It then gives you a prioritised list of everything you need to fix, boost, action etc in order to get the most effective return. Watch our 2-minutes video about Apollo here

With so much regularly-updated, constantly-changing information available, it’s crucial you use it all to your advantage and make the most of every opportunity.

What you can do right now:

  1. Ensure your website is set up to all industry data platforms
  2. Consider the data available to you – what are you missing that you wish you had?

4. Don’t overlook the basics

There are fundamentals in every marketing approach, and many of them get frequently overlooked. This is certainly true of the basic technical SEO, as it doesn’t get talked about that much.

Don’t forget how important technical SEO is for travel marketing. It might not have changed much over the years (it’s still all about title tags, heading tags, broken links and internal links), but it’s this stuff which makes your website work. Trust us; we’ve looked at hundreds of travel websites over the years; some really great and some really bad.

If your website and specific pages aren’t performing, chances are the issue is with the technical SEO. Addressing the foundations of SEO at their basic level and getting those things right, will help your web presence be stronger and work harder for you and the brand.

What you can do right now:

  1. Work through this SEO checklist (aimed at ecommerce websites)
  2. Get in touch for a free SEO health check

5. Integrate as much as possible

Get every specialist you work with together at regular intervals and encourage aligned and integrated working. This will deliver more than isolated working.

Has your SEO team noticed an opportunity to promote holidays to Italy that could be boosted with the help of PPC shopping, paid advertising and remarketing techniques? Maybe there are website issues preventing a smooth user experience that your SEO team aren’t capable of fixing?

This is one of the issues you’ll face when working with an agency that only focuses on SEO. It’s hugely beneficial to work with an integrated team of experts in various marketing fields, also including content, social media, PPC, and creative design.

That’s not to say you couldn’t only use a full-service agency just for SEO; it just means that you’ll also gain access to experts in other areas willing to help at any time.

Chris Pitt is head of marketing at Vertical Leap and has over 20 years’ experience in sales and marketing, previously holding senior roles in tax and financial companies, working with customers such as Ernst & Young, Deloitte, KPMG and Groupama. A regular at exhibitions and events across the country, Chris has presented at all the major industry exhibitions as well as providing educational talks at Google’s London HQ.

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