Why is SEO important for the travel industry?
Guests that aren’t familiar with your properties will only stumble across your site through organic Google searches. This makes obtaining a high ranking on Google essential to attracting new guests to your properties.
Every month, more than 165,000 Australians google the term “accommodation” – having an effective SEO strategy allows your business to get a piece of that pie. Statistically, very few people make it past the first few hits of a Google search, let alone past the first page. This means if you aren’t ranking high on Google, you are missing out on customers. An effective SEO strategy will allow you to improve your ranking on Google and along with other content marketing for hotels, resorts, accommodations, in turn drive more customers to your property websites and ultimately increase direct bookings.
For ideal results, you will want your property website to appear in the first three results on a Google search. Achieving this might not be easy, but with the right tools and strategy it can be done – and once your site is there, you will see your traffic and direct bookings skyrocket.
But understanding the importance of SEO for your travel business is only the first step. The real question is, how can accommodation providers utilise SEO to increase direct bookings and grow a business?
The role of keywords research for travel SEO industry
There are many steps you can take in getting the most out of your SEO strategy. This post will focus on one of the most important tools for SEO, keywords!
Keywords, keywords, keywords! You’ve probably heard this term before as it is arguably the most important term to know in any effective travel industry’s SEO strategy (and one that’s frequently thrown around by SEO providers). But what does it actually mean?
In a general sense, keywords are simply topics and phrases that describe the content on a site. When applying an SEO lens, they are the specific phrases and words that people type into Google or other search engines to find what they are looking for. So what does this mean for you? For a website owner, keywords refer to everything on your page – be it words, phrases, images or any other content.
Search engines such as Google will scan your site for certain keywords and cross reference this against the words that its customers are searching for to determine your ranking on the search page. As an accommodation provider and website owner, what you want is for the keywords on your site to match the keywords that people are typing into their searches. Simply put, the more matches between the keywords on your site and the keywords people are searching for will result in a better ranking on Google, Yahoo or Bing for your site. Essentially, you want the language on your site to match what your targeted audience and potential customers use when searching the internet.
Sounds simple enough? Well, not exactly… There are many other factors to consider with keywords and it takes a multi-pronged approach to really maximise their potential.
Keywords strategy involves lots of research, planning and implementation to effectively rank your site above your competitors. We’ve put together a basic guide on how to best utilise your keywords.
See more: Direct bookings vs. OTAs
Important factors in travel SEO strategy
Find the right keywords
Conduct extensive research to find the right keywords for your industry, your brand and your target market. You want your keywords to match popular searches for your industry, for example “holiday rental Central Victoria” or “luxury accommodation Peninsula”. However, these keywords could be highly competitive and therefore difficult to break into the top rankings. Perhaps, considering your situation its better to focus on lower competition and more niche phrases like “wedding accommodation packages Bendigo”. Ultimately, the right strategy will depend on the specifics of your business, area and competitors. Choosing the right strategy is something an SEO provider can help you with.
Don’t forget about images SEO
Keywords aren’t just about words. They cover video and visual content as well. Google and Bing rely on the tags and associated text with the images you post on your website. Thereby, you can maximise your keywords competitiveness by optimising your images and video content to effectively capitalise on SEO. Some common approaches can be through optimising file size and quality and including relevant file names and descriptions.
Go past your website
Successful SEO strategies involve multiple approaches to maximising your online exposure. This means, taking your brand beyond your website. Utilising social media, other websites and blog posts is a simple yet effective way of promoting your business. Social media and blog posts are a low cost way of attracting more visitors to your site. And down the line, as people start engaging with your posts and content – this will have an exponential effect on your SEO.
Page titles and meta descriptions
You can really fit in keywords anywhere. URLS, meta descriptions and page titles are all great opportunities to lift your ranking on google. By implementing targeted keywords in this formats, you can lift your SEO game remarkably. This area can get quite technical, and is another field where an SEO provider could be of use to you.
There are multiple more factors and considerations that go into keywords, but to cover them all would be quite long (and boring). Once you’ve mastered these basics, the options for expanding your digital presence and upping your Google ranking are endless. Contact HOP today to discuss our travel SEO services and how we can get SEO to work for you!
See more: SEO vs. SEM