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Spring cleaning: SEO for travel agencies

Summer is finally in sight and travellers everywhere are busy planning trips around the globe. For travel agencies, it’s now time to give your website that long overdue SEO Spring cleaning.

In a nutshell, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is an ongoing process that makes websites easier to find through online search engines. This is done through the use of programs, often referred to as “robots” or “spiders” which scan sites and rank them accordingly.

Swipe up the business of vacationers this summer by following our top SEO tips for travel agencies:

Link Building

Link building is at the top of our travel SEO checklist. It refers to the process of connecting external pages with your website via the use of hyperlinks. Travel agencies must acquire a high volume of organic links from trusted sources in order for their website to rank well in the search engines. This can be done by teaming up with travel bloggers or writers and asking to be featured in their content, which in turn will generate traffic to your site and give Google’s spider friends something good to report back. Remember, great content is all fine and dandy but it may lose out on visitors to more optimised content if there are no links pointing in its direction. Each link will act as a step closer to the search bar.

Broken Pages

Googlebot’s job is to go from link to link, collect data and determine whether or not it’s good enough to be added to Google’s index. If there’s no data for it to collect, the link will automatically be deemed a bad one and this could seriously damage your website by minimising your SEO efforts and creating a bad user experience. Invest in some good quality SEO tools to help you locate and fix this problem. It’s often just a case of updating broken hyperlinks or removing unneeded pages which, if rectified, could play a huge part in the success of your website.

Keywords are Key

Even those with little or no experience in SEO know that keywords are crucial in attracting online traffic. How many times have you Googled a phrase, clicked on a seemingly relevant link and been directed to a page that is misleading in its content? Using the right keywords will not only increase the chances of being found via search engines but will also increase the chances of being found by the right audience for your travel agency.

Look at it this way… the search results for ‘Christmas holidays’ include sunny Winter breaks in Australia and trips to the German Christmas markets but this information is unhelpful to a mother who just wants to know when her kids finish school for the year. Do some research to ensure your content is clear and create a keyword strategy. Need help?

  • Be in their shoes. What would you type in to the search bar to find the perfect getaway?
  • Use keywords naturally. There’s nothing worse than content that has been crammed with keywords. For example: “Are you looking a last-minute deal? We specialise in last minute deals. Check out our last-minute deals!” Google’s algorithm punishes cheaters by lowering rankings and/or removing sites completely!
  • Make the most of high-volume keywords by using them in the copy, meta descriptions and title tags. For travel agents, this could be phrases such as “holiday packages” or “hotel resorts”

Have a Nosey

The travel industry is huge and the competition is fierce. But don’t worry, competition is healthy – it gives us that extra bit of oomph and keeps us on our toes. Rather than seeing it as a threat, travel agencies should use it as an opportunity to learn. Business is a game in which players are constantly trying to overtake competition – surely there are some genius ideas flying about that your agency can take inspiration from!

Check out agencies using similar keywords and phrases to yours. Are they targeting keywords that you’re not? Are they capturing any additional traffic via landing pages that don’t exist on your site? How are their meta descriptions structured? If their website is ahead in the search engines, find out why and what you can do to take the lead.

The race to the top isn’t easy but following these key SEO tips will surely help to get you there.

Do you have any SEO tips for travel agencies? Tweet us @billianIT or join the conversation using the hashtag #tech4travel to share your thoughts!