You have established a new travel agency and are incredibly excited to help people have fantastic travel experiences, but you are having trouble gaining new clients.
Such a dilemma is incredibly common in the travel industry, as it is highly competitive. However, following some best practices will enable you to start on the right foot.
It is not rocket science, and even if you don’t have a high budget, you can begin learning about SEO and implementing it.
So, if you want to do SEO for travel agency website for free without spending big bucks on the best SEO agency, you are in the right place. Keep reading to understand SEO and how you can practically implement it for your travel business.
The Power of Organic Search: How Can Potential Clients Find Your Travel Website?
Think about how you plan to travel. You begin by searching the Internet and checking various sites to find the best quality, pricing, and more to make your travel easy.
Your potential clients will go through the same journey, so you must invest in SEO for Google to help them find you. The travel website must be there every step of the customer journey and satisfy their queries.
A Practical Look into Organic Search
Let’s say you are planning your vacation to Europe this summer. Here are some examples of searches your customers will be conducting to plan and book the vacation:
- Best places to visit in Europe
- Things to do in Europe in 2023
- Itinerary for the best European vacation
- Cities to visit in Europe
- Best European tour companies
In the same way, the users will be conducting many more relevant searches. As a travel agency, it is up to you to understand customers’ journey and target the right keywords.
We will take a deeper dive into this aspect of SEO further. So, keep reading to understand SEO for travel website.
Importance of SEO for Travel Website
If you are new to SEO, you might not know how important it is for travel marketing. Our experts have listed some of the top reasons SEO is important for your travel business and website:
1. More Cost-Effective Than PPC
Many businesses that aim to gain traffic think that PPC (pay-per-click) is a faster way of gaining visibility. While PPC ads have their place, you must still invest in SEO for your travel website.
This is because PPC is much more expensive than SEO, and you can’t always rely on investing in ads. Instead, you require a strategy yielding returns even if you don’t invest heavily in it.
With Google AdWords, the traffic will decrease as soon as you stop the ad. On the other hand, once you have good rankings with targeted traffic, SEO will keep giving returns for a long time.
Remember that SEO does have its costs, but it is still much more cost-effective than PPC. It takes time, but it is well worth the effort for travel agencies.
2. Helps in Getting Leads
As a travel agency, you need leads to pitch your packages and offerings to different customers. SEO will help you appear higher in your business’s SERPs (search engine result pages).
For example, when users type in “best cities to visit in Europe,” they will find the top websites on the first page of Google that have optimized their SEO.
If you have targeted such keywords and worked on SEO, your travel website will appear on the first page. According to a study done by Google, a high percentage of people begin their travel planning process with search engines.
So, invest time and effort in SEO to get the high-quality leads you require for your travel agency and website.
3. Boosts Growth of Travel Agency
With time, businesses must grow and scale to remain relevant in the competitive landscape. Most businesses fail because they don’t follow the right marketing strategies to grow their business.
SEO is a cornerstone for businesses that want to enhance organic visitors to their websites. Can you imagine hundreds of people visiting your website to book their travel plans?
The consistent traffic flow will transform your business and allow you to grow.
Remember that this is only possible by understanding SEO in-depth and the various SEO tips for travel website. So, keep on reading.
How to Get Started with SEO for Your Travel Agency
|On-Page SEO Strategy Checklist||Off-Page SEO Strategy Checklist|
|Conduct keyword research||Guest posting|
|Create landing pages||Link building|
|Create a travel blog||Social media engagement|
|Add links, title, and meta description||Local SEO|
|Technical SEO||Forum Participation|
You should not miss out on two important SEO aspects: on-page and off-page.
Both are two sides of the same coin. Your digital marketing strategy must include both SEO strategies for optimal results.
Let’s review them both in detail so you can understand how to take SEO for travel websites to the next level as you use SEO tools and work on your strategy:
On-Page Travel SEO Strategy
On-page travel SEO is a wide umbrella that covers various things. Here are some of the most important aspects of on-page travel SEO you must focus on for your website:
1. Conducting Extensive Keyword Research
The most important aspect of on-page SEO is keyword research. Keywords are responsible for letting Google crawlers know what the website is about and the keywords that will help you appear on the SERPs.
You must research extensively to find the best keywords for your travel website. Many tools will help you begin this process, such as:
- Keyword Chef
- And many others
Even if you don’t have the budget for these tools, you can conduct keyword research for free.
A good way to begin is to get into your audience’s mind and think about what search queries they will add to Google.
You can also add the query in the Google search bar and see if it is relevant. You can target that keyword for your travel website if you think it is relevant.
2. Create Landing Pages
Dedicated landing pages for your travel website will help its SEO. Many visitors feel lost without a landing page as they don’t know how to navigate your website to find what they want.
Visitors can also leave your site when they don’t know what to do, which means you will lose business. If your travel agency offers different:
- Travel discounts
- Specific travel services
Then, you can create a landing page to navigate to these other pages. A blog will also help you with content marketing and getting your website to rank high.
In the long run, the blog will help you build topical authority through internal and external links. These will offer value to potential clients and open up a new avenue of traffic for your travel website.
3. Create a Travel Blog
SEO for blogs is crucial to implement for your travel website. Blogging should be a pillar of your overall SEO strategy for a travel website.
Remember not to follow basic SEO for travel bloggers. Instead, agencies must have different targets for their market.
The blog can help you gain higher authority on Google as you answer travellers’ queries. For example, the travel blog can help visitors with:
- The best places to go
- Planning a group or solo trip
- Destinations they can visit in a certain city or country
- Travelling on a budget
- Booking the best options
- And much more
You will slowly rank higher on Google as you answer the queries informatively. The search engine will understand you offer value to your customers and satisfy the search queries of your target audience.
Remember that a travel blog can take weeks to months to start doing well. SEO takes patience and time, so do everything you can and leave it to Google to help you rank high.
4. Add URLs, Page Titles, and Meta Descriptions
Writing a travel blog is good, but it will not pay off unless you optimize the content. Optimization includes adding meta descriptions, page titles, URLs, and more.
Any high-quality blog has internal and external links to help you attain a high authority in your niche. Have some pillar posts in your content strategy that you can link to in your blog articles.
You can add external links to high-authority websites in the travel niche. For example, adding statistics and data will help you back what you say with authority while allowing you to link to quality websites.
Optimizing the page title with the focus keyword and the meta title will also affect on-page SEO positively. For example, the meta title must include the keyword you are trying to target.
It should also have an ideal character length of 50 to 60 characters. Anything more than that will not satisfy the Google algorithm and will not consider the title.
Remember that these practices remain evergreen regardless of the content you write. So, be sure to do these for all of your travel blogs to ensure the best SEO for your travel website.
A meta description is the snippet on Google right below your blog title. Such a snippet shows what your blog is about and answers the most important question in the blog.
Here are some good SEO practices for an effective meta description:
- Naturally include your focus keyword
- Keep the character length between 150 and 160 characters
- Use active voice
- Include a call-to-action
- Offer relevant information on the topic
- Avoid filler words
These practices will help you optimize the SEO of meta descriptions. Follow these for all your articles and create unique descriptions for each.
5. Technical SEO
On-page SEO also has technical aspects you must follow for your travel website. These technical aspects will affect the rank of your website and signal your value to Google.
A good way to analyze your technical SEO is to check your bounce rate on Google Analytics. It will indicate whether you are following the right practices for technical SEO on-page.
Our SEO experts have listed the most important elements of technical SEO to help your travel website rank better:
Test Page Loading Speed
For the best conversions, the ideal page load time is between 0 and 4 seconds. Anything more than that, and your visitors will begin leaving the page.
You can check the loading speed of your pages on the Page Speed Tool by Google. It will give you a better idea of whether you have a good page load speed.
Create a Mobile-Friendly Website
Over 55% of website traffic comes from a mobile device, as over 90% of internet users use a smartphone. If you are not optimizing your travel website and SEO for mobile, you are losing a significant chunk of traffic.
When you create your travel website, you must focus on various aspects to optimize it for mobile. Doing this will let Google know you are also targeting mobile users and creating an inclusive travel website.
Conduct Regular Audits
You must conduct regular audits even after creating an incredible travel website and blog. An SEO audit will show you the technical issues with your travel website and what you can do to fix them.
There are many tools for this purpose. A popular one in the travel SEO industry is the Ahrefs Webmaster tool.
It will help you crawl your site with an audit to identify what you can do better. You can also conduct a web accessibility audit to make your travel website more inclusive.
Off-Page Travel SEO Strategy
Now that you deeply understand on-page SEO for your travel website, let’s move on to off-page SEO. You have to work on both of them together for the best results.
Let’s review the core elements that make up an effective off-page SEO strategy for a travel website:
1. Guest Posting
Just like you create blogs for your travel website, submitting content to someone else’s website in your niche is just as important. Guest posts need to have valuable information and high-quality content.
These aspects will help you benefit from the traffic of the third-party website. Your content will lead them to your website, and you can convert those leads to gain more clients.
Think of your guest posting efforts as a way to get targeted traffic to your relevant pages. Remember to conduct extensive research to create successful guest posts for the website you are writing for.
2. Link Building
Link building is the most common element of off-page SEO that almost all businesses use. The idea behind this strategy is to link back to your travel website and its pages.
In the long run, building links will enhance the perceived authority of your site on Google. You can think of link building as building trust with Google as the first step of a long-term relationship.
The more trust you build with the search engine, the more traffic you will get, as you will rank high. An important aspect of link building is earning quality backlinks from websites with higher domain authority than you.
For example, if you run a travel company, getting links from a website about cat food will not make sense. Instead, you must determine your travel niche and find relevant websites to build links.
The Competitive Nature of Travel Link Building
The travel market is highly competitive, and finding sites that want to backlink your travel websites will be challenging. Some common options many people run to for link building in the travel niche include:
- Travel magazines
- Travel influencers and bloggers
- Hotel comparison websites
- Airline companies
- Travel review websites
Sometimes, these websites will help you build links and other times, they will not because they want to rank their own sites.
So, how do you get quality backlinks for your travel websites? Our experts suggest you also focus on partnering locally:
Partner with Local Businesses
Create partnerships with local attractions or restaurants. You can create a few “best of” and “things to do in” localized articles.
Tell them you linked to them or would like to link to them. In the same way, they can also link back to your travel website.
It will be a win-win situation for both parties and help your efforts of local link-building.
3. Social Media Engagement
When people think of SEO, social media doesn’t even cross their minds. However, big social media platforms have billions of users that you can reach.
Because of this, it is crucial to tie in social media with your SEO strategy. Leverage the power of Reddit, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.
Here are some things you can do for the social media engagement of your travel website that will also help with SEO:
- Create social media content from the blogs you write
- Link your travel blog or website to the social media posts
- Leverage the power of user-generated content for your travel campaigns and packages
- Create shareable posts that link back to your travel website
Social media is a great way to connect with your users and potential clients. So, be sure to utilize social media for this purpose.
4. Local SEO
Travel websites and agencies also have physical locations from where your business operates. If that is the case with your travel business, then local SEO is important.
People spend a lot of time on the Internet looking for local information. For example, someone in your region planning a vacation will search for relevant companies, packages, and more.
The first step of local SEO is to list your business on Google. Once you do, here are some things to do to ensure optimal SEO:
- Verify the location of the business account
- Make sure the information is accurate
- Add the local address of your agency to the homepage
- Optimize the descriptions and headings
- Align the information on Google listing with your social media platforms
There are many other steps you can follow. However, these are the most important aspects of listing your business on Google.
5. Participate in Forums
As soon as you enter the travel market, you must increase your brand awareness. If people don’t know who you are, they will not do business with you.
A good first step is to begin participating in forums. Research the relevant forums in your industry and engage with the participants.
You can offer genuine advice and avoid spammy links to build trust. Our SEO experts also suggest you use a signature with a backlink to your website if the forum allows it.
When you do this, you will get links to your website that will help with more leads and clients. So, begin the research today and participate in relevant forums.
Top 7 SEO Tips for Travel Websites
SEO has many aspects, and most overlap, as the essential strategies are the same. However, the travel sector has some unique challenges you must address and build a strategy that solves these challenges.
For example, many people think of vacations and generally search for travel terms without implementing their travel plans. So, getting visitors to convert is a big challenge.
Don’t be overwhelmed, though. Let our experts guide you through some general SEO tips for tour operators that will enable you to address these challenges:
1. Create a Keyword Strategy
While you can find the best keywords for your content, you must have a strategy in mind. Targeting keywords without a strategy is like shooting darts with a blindfold on.
For example, your keyword strategy has to take into account the following:
- Search intent
- Seasonal travel demands
- The stage of your customer journey
- And more
There might be a long weekend in your region, and people would want to escape. So, your keyword strategy will have to consider these specific changes.
If the weekend falls on Christmas Eve, they might search for keywords such as “Christmas Eve weekend getaway in California.”
Opt for long-tail keywords to attract people that match the search intent of your blogs.
Meet the Customer at the Right Stage of the Journey
Another important aspect of keyword strategy is meeting the customer at the right journey stage. Let’s review a comprehensive example of a possible customer journey map for travel agencies:
Stage 1: Inspiration
In the inspiration stage, the customer will see a travel post and get an idea of how to travel to a specific destination. During this stage, the customer will search for places to go.
They will also share travel ideas with their friends and family to make travel plans. Customers might search various channels for travel information, such as:
- Social media
- Travel websites
- Search engines
Investing in organic and paid search is a good way to target this stage. A social media page and website will also ensure visitors gain awareness about your travel website.
Stage 2: Shopping
During the shopping stage, the potential customer will search for flights, accommodation, car rentals, and more. They will also read reviews and compare packages from various travel companies.
As a travel agency, you can gear your SEO efforts toward:
- Creating personalized packages
- Getting reviews on your Google listing
- Create landing pages
- Creating a flawless user experience
This will help the visitor land on the right page that matches their search intent. The key is to aid their journey and focus on conversion.
Stage 3: Booking
Now comes when the customer will pick the best prices and offers. They will also book flights and hotels and decide whether your travel agency is the right choice for them.
You must include a shopping cart on your website to help customers book packages, accommodation, and everything else you offer. Agent support is also important as they might need to clarify a few things before booking.
So, be sure to optimize your website to help with booking. SEO will go a long way to ensure customers can convert.
Stage 4: Pre-Trip
The pre-trip is a crucial stage when the customer will prepare for the trip and book activities within it. They will look at excursions or tours on your website and compare it with others.
Building trust and customer relationships will aid this stage, as customers will be more likely to book excursions and tours you offer if they trust you.
You can also enhance customer engagement with in-trip activities, travel insurance, and more.
Stage 5: In-Trip
In-trip will be the stage where your customer will determine whether you deliver on what you promise. Anything that goes wrong during this stage will affect your overall business.
Customers might look for:
- Restaurant recommendations
- Itinerary changes
- Reviews of experiences
- In-trip assistance
- And more
Having people dedicated to the in-trip stage will make their experience smooth. Find keywords that address this stage by creating articles for recommendations, travel guidelines, assistance during the trip, and more.
Stage 6: Post-Trip
After the trip, customers will decide whether booking your travel agency was worth it. All your SEO efforts will go to waste if you don’t provide a good experience as word spreads.
Make sure you have a feedback and review process where you can learn from their feedback and do better. Loyalty will also come in at this stage, as customers will not stay loyal if they don’t have a positive experience.
Keyword strategies during this time should focus on customer retention. You can also use the data to build the profile of target audiences to target them better.
2. Focus on Quality Content Creation
Creating content is easy, but the quality of it can be questionable. When you work on the content of your travel website, high-quality information will guarantee:
- A high level of trust between you and your customers
- Higher chances of backlinks
- Establishing and maintaining authority
- Higher ranks in the SERPs as you integrate the right keywords
So, what kind of content will work best for your travel website? You can choose from travel blogging, social media, video, case studies, and more.
User-generated content also works great for travel websites. When customers travel through you and share images and thoughts about your website, Google and potential visitors will take notice.
You can launch competitions, urge people to share content from travels or create a forum for travellers. All of this will help you with content quality creation that will boost your SEO efforts for the better.
3. Utilize the Power of Structure in Your Content
Working on the structure helps Google have some context about what you have written. Schema markup is a vital aspect that helps Google gain the context for the search engine.
Some common schema markups of various content can include the following:
- FAQs for blogs
- Prices for the product pages on your travel website
- Video schema to ensure Google can crawl your video content
- Review schema markups for your product pages
If you don’t believe us, let us tell you that Search Engine Journal helped one client experience 400% net growth in traffic when they implemented structured data solutions.
While this is a little technical, endless resources online will help you understand this well. Don’t forget to learn more about schema markup before you decide to implement it.
4. Audit Previous Content
SEO for travel website will be incomplete if you don’t audit the previous content you have added. It allows websites to determine areas of improvement to help you stay ahead of competitors.
Let’s review some ways you can audit your previous content:
- On-Page: Update information, add keywords to tags and titles, include image alt text, and add meta description
- Off-Page: Increase social media shares, write guest posts, build backlinks, and more
- Local SEO: Optimize your Google Profile
- Technical SEO: Improve crawling and indexing
Some important areas for auditing include mobile responsiveness, meta descriptions, page speed, canonical tags, and more. Check each page and audit it with these practices.
Remember to audit your content as you learn SEO for travel website. So, as you go along, keep updating your content to ensure high quality.
5. Track SEO Metrics
There are various metrics to keep for your SEO efforts that will help you gauge whether you are making the right SEO decisions.
These can include page visits, search engine rankings, and more. Google Analytics is a great free tool that will help you understand traffic and engagement rates.
It will provide you with an insight into the behaviour of your website visitors. Then, you can create SEO strategies that target them better and convert them into customers.
6. Optimize All Images
You can write high-quality content, but you also need to use images to provide visitors with a visual understanding of what you mean.
Our SEO professionals have listed a few ways you can optimize images for SEO for travel website:
- Include alt text in images
- Add relevant keywords in image alt text where possible
- Compress images for better page speed
- Consider creating an image sitemap to help with search engine crawling
- Ensure the images are high-quality
Another important part of image optimization is to ensure you don’t face copyright issues. Your travel company can take the images, or you can use images that fall within the copyright laws.
Websites such as Unsplash, Pexels, Canva Pro, and others can provide relevant images. So, research all options and decide which will be best for taking images and optimizing them.
7. Work on Your Business Reputation
Reputation takes a long time to build and a second to break. One viral negative review about your travel agency on the Internet can wreak havoc on your SEO and other efforts.
However, you might wonder how a positive reputation can affect SEO. Well, when you maintain your reputation online, Google will consider you an authoritative website that will aid in building backlinks.
We recommend that you sign up on various travel websites to build your authority and work on your reputation. These can include TripAdvisor, Yelp, and more.
Here are some ways you can manage your reputation:
- Respond to all reviews by your customers
- Take time to search for content relevant to your business
- Monitor what people are saying about you online
- Increase customer confidence by offering compensation for negative experiences
Small gestures go a long way in maintaining a positive reputation that will eventually aid your SEO efforts.
Common SEO Mistakes to Avoid for Travel Websites
As you venture into the world of SEO for travel website, you are bound to make mistakes. That is how you learn, grow, and see what works best for your website.
While some mistakes may be unavoidable, here are some common SEO mistakes you can avoid for your travel website as a beginner:
SEO Mistake 1: Duplicate Content
Whatever content you create for your travel website has to be unique. If you are using the same content available on other websites, it will not rank high.
This is where research comes in. You have to be willing to go the extra mile to conduct extensive research for SEO for travel website.
Don’t just rely on Google. Instead, use forums such as Reddit, Quora, and other places for your research.
Doing this will allow you to have unique perspectives that will only help your content in the future.
SEO Mistake 2: Using Non-SEO-Friendly Platforms
Any platform you select for your website must be SEO-friendly. For example, if your website builder, booking page, and other elements are not SEO-friendly, it will affect your business.
WordPress is perhaps the most common website builder to help you align your website with SEO goals. If you want to achieve high rankings, you have to take these small things into account.
SEO Mistake 3: Not Creating Customer Connections
Customers are the backbone of your travel business that will help you scale and grow. If you ignore customer comments or responses, they will not be willing to do more business with you.
Some ways to make more connections can include the following:
- Responding to all comments
- Answering customer queries as soon as possible
- Taking the time to focus on user experience
- Urging them to create and share content
- Showing them your business values
Working on these things will help you connect with your customers for a long time. Ignoring your ketcustomers will only leave you behind in the travel mare.
How do I SEO my travel website?
You can implement various SEO for travel website tactics, such as link building, creating quality content, adding tourism-related keywords, and more.
What is SEO in tourism?
SEO is the process of appearing at the top of SERPs (search engine result pages) for keywords relevant to your travel website. For example, if a user searches for “best travel destinations in 2023,” the website with the best SEO practices for this keyword will appear at the top.
Why is SEO important in tourism?
SEO is important in tourism because it ensures better visibility, higher value, and more conversions. Focusing on the customer journey will help you create the best path to conversion.
How do I get backlinks for my travel website?
Partner with travel publications and start guest posting your content on their website. Be sure to create content worth linking for the best results.
SEO for travel website is a comprehensive process that you must start on the right foot. Keywords and content are not the only aspects of SEO.
As you focus on off-page, on-page, technical, local, and other types of SEO, you will come much closer to your SEO goals. Follow our tips, learn from your mistakes, and do better to benefit from the power of SEO for your travel agency.