Travel marketing is as much technical as it is creative. Search engine optimisation (SEO) is an essential element of any travel brand's digital marketing strategy. Without SEO, your website doesn't stand a great chance of achieving a visible presence.

We mustn't forget that 93% of online experiences begin with a search engine. That stat is testified by the fact that Google processes more than 40,000 search queries every second.

It's fair to say, then, that a smart SEO strategy can boost your bottom line, as it will drive the right sort of visitors to your site – those who won't just come for a cursory look, but make purchases.

So what does a smart SEO strategy look like?

1. Keyword research

Everybody knows that keywords are a fundamental part of SEO, but you've got to pick the right terms otherwise they will have a limited effect. That means doing your research – what your customers are typing into Google to find businesses like yours – to determine which keywords will attract highly targeted traffic to your site. For example, if you specialise in Italian holidays, make sure your keywords reflect this – as opposed to throwing the search term 'cheap deals' around.

2. Schema mark-up

Schema mark-up is code that you put on your website to help the search engines return more informative results for users. When a website has schema mark-up in place, users can see in the results pages what a website is all about. Google likes it when you make life easier for users, which is why putting the right schema mark-up around your brand name can positively impact your site's ranking.

3. Metadata

A page's metadata is one of the first places that Google will look to for keywords as it looks to deliver relevant search results to its users. Therefore, it's crucial that you are making the most of the page title and description, or you'll be missing out on a chance to impress the all-seeing search engine.

4. User journey analysis

What route do your visitors take to get to the 'actionable points' on your site? If this is a mystery to you, it's time to analyse what information it is that your customers want to see when they arrive on your website – presenting that information to them in a way that is easy to find and understand.

5. Off-page boosting

It's not just what you're doing on your website that matters – you can actually boost your site's ranking and traffic by building a presence away from your four walls. It makes sense when you think about it; having content posted in your name elsewhere – on a travel blog, for example – gives the impression that your brand has credibility. Google likes it if you can project some trustworthiness.

Don't neglect SEO just because it's a thorny practise – it can be the difference between your travel business ranking on the first and second page. And we all know that 75% of users never scroll past the first page of search results.

We don't want to make you panic about SEO - but if you would like to pass the work to someone else, contact Digital Trip to see how we can create and manage your SEO strategy.

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