Gone are the days when people had to visit a travel agency’s physical location to book a dream vacation. In the digital age, most of us prefer to explore potential travel destinations from the comfort of our homes before deciding to schedule a trip. However, while thousands of travel agencies have exciting offers, those that appear on the first page in Google search results get the most attention. By investing in travel search marketing and SEO for travel agency, you can become one of those agencies people stumble upon whenever they want to schedule a trip.
In this article, our digital marketing agency in Chicago will give you six key tips for crafting a successful search engine optimization strategy. Whether you’re new to travel SEO or have experience optimizing travel websites, we’re sure you’ll find valuable knowledge to help you get ahead of the competition in search engines. From keyword research to link building, use this guide as a compass, and take your business to new heights. Let’s start the journey.
Table of Contents:
- Why is SEO for Travel Agencies Important?
- When should you start SEO for your travel website?
- 5 Key Steps to Successful Travel Agency SEO
- Here’s When to Expect Results from SEO for Travel Agency…
- Get in touch with travel SEO experts
Why is SEO for Travel Agencies Important?
Before you move on with your travel SEO efforts, you should know more about why this form of digital marketing is crucial for travel agencies today. That’s why we’ve decided to break down some of the most common benefits of SEO for travel agency.
- Helps you increase website traffic and online visibility: Travel SEO is the best way to rank your travel website higher in search engine results long-term. It will help you get more bookings and increase revenue, as more and more people will start noticing your agency while exploring the internet for desired travel destinations. For example, if your travel agency specializes in historical trips in Europe and your website was optimized for relevant keywords such as “historical trips Europe,” it’s more likely to appear in the search results when people search for this type of vacation. And keep in mind that pages that rank 1st in organic search results receive ten times more clicks than those that rank in 10th place. How would thousands of organic visitors daily impact your business growth?
- Greater credibility: When your travel website appears at the top of the search engine results pages, it can give the impression that it is a reputable and reliable source of information. People will trust you more and be more confident to schedule a trip with your travel agency.
- It is cost-effective: SEO for travel agency is a cost-effective way to drive website traffic compared to other forms of advertising. Although it takes time and initial money investment to see noticeable results, once SEO efforts start paying off, you’ll get long-term benefits for your business.
When should you start SEO for your travel website?
SEO is a long-term strategy that requires time and effort to yield results. It’s never too early to start considering SEO for your travel website. In fact, our professional SEO company strongly advises our clients to start their SEO efforts from day one. If you wait until your website is live to start optimizing it, you may find that you’re already behind your competitors in the search rankings.
You need to ensure that your travel website is search engine friendly from the very beginning and has the best chance of ranking well in the future. And sooner you start with SEO for travel agency, the easier it will be for you to track your progress and make any necessary adjustments to your strategy as you go.
5 Key Steps to Successful Travel Agency SEO
The first positive results with the right SEO approach can come within a few weeks. Now we’ll reveal five steps we always take when doing SEO for travel agencies. Focusing on the following areas will allow you to craft a well-balanced search engine optimization strategy and secure long-term benefits for your business:
Do a Proper Keyword Research
Conducting profitable keyword research is a cornerstone of every successful travel SEO strategy. It will help you connect with the right audience at the right stage of their buyer journey. And here’s how to do it right:
Start with your target audience in mind:
Start a keyword research process by asking yourself this simple question – who are you trying to attract to your travel website? If your target audience is families with kids, you’ll need to tailor your keyword research slightly differently to those agencies that want to allure young couples, solo travelers, or elders.
Brainstorm a list of keywords related to your travel agency:
The next step is to consider all the services and destinations your agency offers and then brainstorm a list of keywords that might prove valuable. Don’t worry about search volume, competitiveness, or any other metric yet. If you quickly run out of ideas, you can utilize Google’s autosuggest feature to get back on track. And don’t forget to write your ideas down in a spreadsheet.
Pay attention to the search volume and other metrics:
Now that you’ve got an idea of the general direction you want to head in with your SEO travel efforts, you can pick up your favorite keyword research tool. Here at our agency, we mainly use Semrush, but there are many other tools, such as Ahrefs, Google Keyword Planner, and similar, that are useful during the keyword research phase. Make sure to check the keyword search volume, difficulty, and search intent behind every keyword. And create a table in Excel or Google Spreadsheets with all the relevant keywords to your travel agency.
Prioritize your keywords:
Finally, you can prioritize them based on their relevance, search volume, topics they cover, or similar. We strongly advise you to avoid altogether focusing on keywords with high search volume, as those often have high competition. Instead, combine them with long-tail keywords highly relevant to specific search intents, although such keywords usually have lower search volume. We also advise you to group keywords by buying intent, as this will allow you to tailor your customer journey more precisely.
Optimize your homepage to draw visitors into exploring your offers
An attractive homepage is essential for any website, but travel agencies need to invest additional efforts into optimizing their homepages with the best SEO practices in mind.
Make sure the homepage of your travel website contains the following:
- High-quality photos of the destinations you offer
- Non-generic photos of people enjoying their holidays
- A section where you can highlight the most popular destinations
- Special promotions
- Most popular blog posts
- A powerful copy that will help you highlight what makes you different from other agencies
- Internal search function and filters that will allow visitors to quickly find their dream destinations
And a crucial aspect of SEO for travel agency is optimizing your homepage for the most relevant keywords. Make it clear to Google and other search engines what your travel website is about and what niche you’re operating within. For example, if you specialize in European travel destinations, ensure your page title reflects that. However, while stuffing tons of information on your homepage can be tempting, this will only harm your travel SEO efforts. Include only those pieces of info that are highly relevant to your agency and its offerings.
You must also pay close attention to the description you will use for your homepage. Choosing the right words and ensuring the proper length can make your travel website stand out in search engine results. However, don’t be surprised if Google doesn’t always show users the description you’ve written, as algorithms sometimes find a piece of text within the body of your page that best suits the search query. Nevertheless, making your meta descriptions readable and SEO-friendly is a task our WordPress SEO company in Chicago always takes seriously.
And don’t forget to add schema markup to make your website visually attractive and give users quick access to the pieces of information they’re looking for.
Fix your website speed to satisfy potential customers and Google algorithms
Considering the correlation between site speed and SEO success, improving loading times is a good starting point for travel agencies that want to engage in search engine optimization. While many factors determine the speed of your pages, here are quick tips for achieving better loading times:
- Reduce the number of redirects: Every time one of your pages redirects to another, a user has to wait for another HTTP request-response cycle to complete before consuming your content.
- Utilize browser caching: You can use browser caching to make your website load faster the next time a user visits it. This can significantly boost the user experience and help you improve within Core Web Vitals metrics.
- Use content delivery network (CDN): The content delivery network allows you to store your website information on servers located at different locations. Each time people try to load your page, data will be fed from the closest data center.
- Optimize image file sizes: As a travel agency, you need to post many high-quality images to bring exotic destinations closer to potential customers. However, image files are heavy resource consumers and can drastically slow down your pages. Luckily, various tools allow you to reduce image file sizes without sacrificing quality.
Importance of a travel blog
When someone mentions a travel website, attractive visuals usually first come to mind, and the textual travel website content tends to be an overlooked factor. However, you can boost your SEO travel success by including a travel blog on your website. Actively publishing high-quality articles requires a lot of effort, and you’ll need to expand your team or hire an agency to do it for you. But in competitive industries, such as the travel industry, it will pay off in a variety of ways:
- It will help you regularly post content on social media platforms.
- It will support your link-building efforts.
- You can use it to bring your travel destinations closer to your target audience and cover them from many different angles.
- A travel blog will help you educate your audience and establish your agency as a credible source of information.
- It will help you target new keywords and connect with potential customers at various stages of the buyer’s journey.
- It will give Google bots a reason to visit your travel website again and index new pages.
- Search engines will trust your website more once you provide high-quality travel content.
Luckily, you won’t have to worry about running out of ideas for your travel blog. There are so many topics you can cover, including:
- Practical tips for traveling
- Exciting activities you can do at each destination
- Places you should visit when traveling to a particular area
- Travel guides for families with kids
- Travel guides for young people
- Popular events
- Beautiful beaches
- Local food
The possibilities are endless. Just make sure to do proper keyword research before writing a blog post. Establishing strong content marketing can also help you maximize the effectiveness of your blogging efforts and give you a headstart over your competitors.
Link building for Travel Agencies requires special effort
A backlink is a link on another website directly pointing to one of your web pages. Building quality backlinks is one of the most important aspects of off-page SEO for travel agency. Research suggests that pages that rank first in the SERPs have almost four times more backlinks than pages that occupy other positions. This is because backlinks work as a vote of confidence, sending positive ranking signals to Google. However, sometimes this is easier said than done, as link-building in a competitive travel industry can be challenging.
We’ve found that the following link-building tactics work best for our travel agency clients:
Creating highly-shareable content on your travel website:
One of the best ways to get backlinks without asking for them is by creating helpful content, such as infographics, that other people want to include on their website. Infographics are highly-shareable because they effectively convey complex information. Content writers often implement infographics and statistics to give credibility to their articles, so it’s unlikely that these will go out of trend soon. You’ll keep obtaining backlinks for years without doing additional work.
Reaching out to your industry partners:
As a travel agency, you work closely with hotels, airlines, and tour operators. Once you establish a strong connection with them, there’s nothing wrong with asking if they would be willing to link to your travel website. If your industry partners have authoritative websites, this way, you’ll obtain high-quality backlinks with minimum effort.
Many websites within the travel agency publish guest posts, as these provide an opportunity to easily get quality content for their blog and educate their audience. But first, you need to find a website you believe your travel agency could benefit from obtaining a backlink from. Ideally, it will be an authoritative website that covers topics similar to yours. Once you find it, don’t hesitate to contact owners and find out if they’re interested in publishing a guest post with a link to your travel website.
Exploit broken links:
This strategy contains two essential steps. First, you need to find web pages with broken links. Then you need to reach out to website owners and offer similar content on your travel website they can link to instead.
Once you start combining these tactics, you should be able to build a solid backlink profile and boost your travel SEO. However, regularly perform a backlink analysis to remove any potential obstacle on time and arrive at the desired destination after this long journey.
Here’s When to Expect Results from SEO for Travel Agency…
Experience has taught us that it can be difficult to precisely predict the date when our clients will start seeing noticeable results from SEO for travel agency. Depending on various factors, it can take anywhere from several weeks to several months. These factors include the website’s age and authority, the industry’s competitiveness, keyword difficulty, and the quality and quantity of the travel website content. And what can you do to speed up the process?
Unless you have adequate in-house resources, we strongly advise you to hire professional travel SEO services. Not only will it shorten the timespan between initial efforts and noticeable results, but it will also help you maximize the effectiveness of SEO for travel agency long-term.
Get in touch with travel SEO experts
Are you looking for ways to attract new clients and stand out in a crowded online market? Our SEO agency in Chicago can help.
Alpha Efficiency’s team of experienced professionals will work with you to understand your business goals and target audience. We’ll then use proven SEO for travel agency strategies to optimize your website and boost your search engine rankings. You’ll enjoy increased visibility, more qualified leads, and, ultimately, more bookings.
But there is more to travel SEO than just improving search engine rankings. That’s why our services also include regular website audits and optimization to ensure that your travel website continues to perform at its best. Plus, you’ll get regular reports to track your progress and see the tangible results of our efforts.
Don’t let your competitors steal the spotlight. Partner with Alpha Efficiency and watch your travel agency soar to new heights. Let us provide a compass that can take you anywhere you want during your digital journey. Get in touch today to learn more and get started.