Travel Content Marketing

SEO for the Travel Industry

Interested in travel content marketing? Before the internet, most consumers would walk into a local travel agency, peruse glossy brochures, and book a vacation. Now people increasingly take their travel planning into their own hands through online travel services. In this age of do-it-yourself travel planning, how can a smaller travel business compete?

With focused search engine optimization and smart content marketing, small travel companies can still show up on the first page of Google SERPs and claim a stake in the multibillion-dollar travel market.

Content Marketing for Travel Companies

If you own a travel blog or website and are looking for cost-effective ways to increase traffic and brand awareness, travel content marketing might be the answer. Due to the nature of its product, the travel industry is full of content marketing opportunities. Travel content offers you a platform to inform, educate and inspire people, giving them extra motivation to take action. 

In this day and age, nobody wants to be a tourist. This is why traditional travel agents, brochures and old-fashioned travel guides don’t work. When you are in the travel industry, you should first and foremost realize that you are basically in the industry of selling a dream rather than a product. Travel content marketing can be a huge asset in your arsenal.

What Is Travel Content Marketing

Content marketing relies mainly on the creation and sharing of original online material (such as blogs, videos and guides), in order to spur interest in a brand’s services. Contrary to traditional forms of promotion, content marketing does not have conversions as a primary goal. Instead, its purpose is to inform, educate, entertain and spur interest in the product or services of a brand.

Travel content marketing is the application of this frame of mind into the travel industry. So, instead of relying on boring old brochures, you can create fresh, entertaining travel SEO content, that will attract and retain new leads to your site.

As the travel industry grows and evolves, the need for engaging content that will push your brand higher in the search results of Google increases. 

Who Can Benefit From Travel Content Marketing 

Travel content marketing is suitable for a wide range of travel businesses and can be adapted to suit your particular needs. Here are some types of businesses which can benefit from travel SEO marketing. 

  • Travel startups
  • DMOs
  • Tour operators
  • Commercial passenger airlines
  • Tourism boards
  • Online travel agencies & travel comparison websites
  • Accommodation booking networks
  • Airport transfer companies
  • Rental management companies

Being a Small Travel Business Has Unique Advantages.

What advantages could small businesses have when large corporations can take advantage of huge advertising budgets? Being continually bombarded by marketing attempts, today’s customers have well-tuned radars against anything that appears too salesy. Consumers are choosing ad-free streaming services and installing ad-blockers on their computers. Savvy travel marketers know that content is king in today’s travel industry.

When it comes to creative content marketing, small businesses have the upper hand. In a big corporation, innovative ideas need to pass through several departments before they can be implemented. With their ability to act quickly, small organizations can capitalize on hot topics and travel trends. Moreover, megabrands in the travel industry tend to be afraid of taking creative risks.

Create Keyword-Rich Resources that will Benefit Your Customers

A well-managed and informative blog is an important key to the success of any travel business. Through creative travel blogging, small businesses can encourage customers to return to their websites for information. Smart travel companies establish themselves as authorities who consumers trust for high-quality travel content.

Successful travel marketers employ effective content strategies, such as:

  • Emphasizing long-form travel content: Travel writing relies on descriptive language that evokes the senses and tells compelling stories which encourage consumers to book a trip. Long-form blog posts of 2500 words or more tend to rank higher in search results pages.
  • Keeping content fresh: Travel customers typically shop around before making a purchase. Give clients a reason to refer back to your site. Additionally, search engines reward pages that continuously add new content.
  • Creating useful resources: Informative and mobile-optimized Destination Guides and Vacation Planners help clients to remember your brand. These resources also make perfect opt-ins for building your e-mail list.
  • Targeting long-tail keywords: The best way for small companies to get noticed in today’s travel industry is to stop competing for the most obvious keywords. Long-tail keywords allow smaller travel companies to rank for specific niches that megabrands ignore. Small travel companies should focus their keyword research on the things that make their business unique. Rather than wasting effort trying to appeal to the masses, smart travel companies target the customers who are most likely to make a purchase.
  • Carefully placing keywords: Keyword placement is crucial for effective travel content SEO. Long-tailed keywords should be strategically placed in titles, meta-descriptions and sub-headings.
  • Using compelling images: Enticing imagery encourages clients to connect emotionally with travel destinations. If possible, use original images and develop your own style. Process any stock images that you use with special effects, and add text in a consistent style to help identify your brand. Don’t forget to optimize image titles with appropriate keywords.

Build Seamless Internal Links and Cultivate Backlinks from Reputable Sites

Link-building cannot be overemphasized for the travel industry. Travel pages at the top of Google search results have an average of 150 internal links! Successful travel businesses add internal links to alternate travel destinations, hotel guides, budget itineraries and destination guides. A travel site that offers seamless navigation pleases both potential customers and web-crawlers.

Googlebots favor websites that include backlinks from reputable sites. Additionally, backlinks from popular travel sites allow businesses to benefit from “Barnacle SEO.” Small businesses can gain backlinks by guest posting for travel publications, including:

  • Travel blogs: Travel blogging has become a lucrative industry with new influencers popping up daily. Busy bloggers usually welcome quality blog posts that they don’t have to create themselves. Small companies can create personal relationships with bloggers who normally expect financial compensation from larger brands.
  • Local magazines: Usually open to submissions from travel businesses, local magazines maintain online versions of their publications.
  • Hotel and airline publications: Submitting a well-crafted article to these types of publications can help your small travel company reach national and international audiences.

While there is no guarantee that a publication will run your article, the potential return on investment can be game-changing for your business. You can always repurpose unaccepted articles for submission in other publications. Don’t forget to add your contact information in the by-line.

Cultivate User-Generated Content

Word-of-mouth advertising converts, and user-generated content is the new social proof. Studies show that today’s consumers are much more willing to make a purchase based upon peer-reviews and recommendations than direct marketing from travel companies. Small businesses can find virtually limitless ways to encourage user-generated content, such as:

  • Social media campaigns: Contests and hashtag campaigns on Facebook and Instagram remain fantastic methods of encouraging user-generated content. Smart businesses cultivate a community of superfans through shared emotional connections. Let members know that their influence counts, and they will advertise your business for free.
  • E-mail marketing: Entertaining and engaging newsletters can include calls to action for clients to share their travel experiences on review sites like Yelp and Yahoo Travel.
  • Pinterest: This platform deserves a special mention. On the surface, Pinterest simply looks like a convenient way to save ideas. However, Pinterest maintains its own search engine. By creating pins for informative articles, you can drive potential customers to your site who might not see you in a typical Google search result.

Frequently Analyze the Effectiveness of Your Travel Website

While Google Analytics can provide statistics on user-metrics such as click-through rates, time on site and bounce rates, there can be no substitute for regular website audits. A competent SEO specialist will look for issues that may be causing your business to rank lower in search results pages, including:

  • Duplicated content: Googlebots penalize websites for duplicate content. Besides, duplicate content bores potential customers. A world where attention spans are continuously becoming shorter leaves no room for boring content.
  • Slow loading times and broken links: Broken links and slow loading times sink pages to the bottom of Google SERPs and frustrate potential customers.
  • Faulty website structure: Potential clients quickly abandon travel sites that are difficult to navigate or continuously interrupt their browsing with pop-ups.
  • Ineffective landing pages: Like pushy used-car dealers, overly salesy landing pages turn off travel consumers. Landing pages need to provide useful travel content that includes well-structured links and subtle, yet effective, calls to action.

The travel industry and search engine algorithms continuously change. An SEO-expert that specializes in the travel industry can help you to target keywords that huge corporations ignore. In today’s information age, creative content marketing provides infinitely higher ROI than traditional ad campaigns.

Contact us, and we can devise a content marketing strategy that will get your travel business noticed.

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