There is no business that does not aspire to move up the search engine rankings (or for the lucky ones, maintain its place on the top spot). In the highly competitive travel industry, having a robust SEO strategy is as important as ever. SEO enables travel businesses to prove the relevance and value of their content in relation to a particular search term – and this is what propels a business up the search engine rankings.
However, smaller travel firms are often left wondering how they can ever compete with the huge travel sites and millions of other hotels out there. The reality, of course, is that they are never going to beat the 'travel top dogs' on organic search. Instead, what they need is a comprehensive list of SEO strategies that fit their business needs. Here are our top five travel SEO strategies (stay tuned for the next five which we will publish next week).
Local SEO and map SEO
Location is at the heart of the travel industry, which is why local results are so important. Google local results appear in many travel-based searches. For your business to appear there as well it needs to have been reviewed on big travel sites such as Tripadvisor. This is a strategy that works for all businesses – and is especially important for those with domain names less than a year old.
When it comes to map SEO, you need to think beyond Google. As part of your strategy you want to be included on maps that are produced in the country to which they relate.
Do not fall into the trap that everyone speaks (or at least understands) English. There are a huge number of websites in hundreds of different languages. If you have recognised that you are unable to beat your competition in English, why not see if you can outmatch them in other languages and on local search engines?
The thing that best sells a destination or hotel is not a beautifully crafted description, it is a series of stunning images. When images appear in Google's listings they are above the fold and grab the users' attention. It is often easier to rank highly in Google Image search so image SEO needs to part of your strategy.
Videos are more likely to rank highly in search results, so you can use YouTube to your advantage. Include video in your SEO strategy - but don't rely on it too heavily.
Making travel plans can often be a spontaneous decision for holiday-makers. We get inspired to travel from many sources – the news and current events included. Get involved by publishing an article relevant to a current event on a group blog, to encourage more people to visit your site.
Next week we will be looking at more top tips for your business's SEO strategy.