Every journey starts with… Google! According to statistics, most people use the Internet to check tourist attractions and other information about a given region before booking a trip. So what to do to have your website displayed in the TOP 10 search results and how to do SEO in the tourism industry? Keep reading our article to find out!
After reading this article, you’ll know:
- what the tourism industry currently looks like,
- what are the tourism trends for the upcoming years,
- how seasonality affects the SEO process,
- what are the most important rules to keep in mind when doing SEO in the tourism industry.
Characteristics of the tourism industry
The tourism industry incorporates all institutions and enterprises that offer tourism services for which there is demand. These services are about providing food, transport, accommodation, leisure and other facilities that meet specific tourist expectations.
The modern tourism market is global and entities that compete on it are often international. And that’s when SEO comes in handy – one of its greatest advantages is the fact that a properly organized and conducted SEO process makes it possible for the smaller companies to compete with the biggest giants on the market.
As the statistics show, people are getting more and more willing to go on a vacation. However, what are the current trends and do they have any significance when it comes to SEO in the tourism industry?
The greatest tourism trends for the upcoming years
More expectations and increasing awareness of the clients can be listed among the main characteristics of the modern tourism market. People care about the standard which affects the quality of services and provides greater competitiveness between travel agencies and accommodation facilities.
Above all, it’s impossible not to notice the development of technology and applications in the tourism industry. As we’ve already mentioned, very often tourists search the Internet to find helpful information about the regions they want to go to. It’s natural that before booking a particular trip you want to find out more about the place or country where you plan to go on a vacation. Travelers appreciate personalized tips concerning places and tourist attractions worth visiting, therefore, the upcoming years will be extremely beneficial for all the apps and solutions that facilitate or speed up the process of finding and booking trips.
Another important trend for the coming years concerns travellers placing more importance on the experience and emotions than on the price of the trip. We tend to pay more attention to good quality accommodation, meals or tourist attractions. Traveling is supposed to help us gain new experiences and learn about the culture and customs in a given place.
Staying safe during the trip is the next vital trend in the tourism industry. As a consequence of the concerns about the safety of the beloved ones, people tend to choose closer and more accessible places as their destinations. Domestic tourism is gaining new proponents every year. It also results from the desire to visit the places we associate with our childhood. We love to come back (not only in memories) to the locations from our youth.
Recommendations are also extremely important and we don’t mean family or friends’ recommendations. Very often for our holiday destinations we choose places known from movies or books. A good example is the recent increase in interest in trips to Chernobyl which resulted from the premiere of the TV series with the same title.
Uniqueness is also becoming more and more significant. This refers not only to the place of accommodation but also to the means of transport. Tourists willingly choose non-standard accommodation facilities to experience something new. Sleeping in tipi tents, on trees, in mines or in castles is becoming increasingly popular.
Ecology is another important trend in the tourism industry. People are more concerned about environmental protection. And the last but not least, we want to travel more often but for shorter. Weekend trips are more popular every year, therefore this segment of tourism will certainly get more important in the next months.
It’s worth keeping these trends in mind and tailoring your activities to them when preparing your SEO and marketing strategies. This will certainly make your website more valuable for users. But before discussing the most important principles of SEO in the tourism industry, let’s take a closer look at an equally significant aspect of this market sector – seasonality. How does it influence the whole SEO process?
Seasonality in the tourism industry
There is probably no better example of a seasonal industry than the tourism one. It means that during the year there are months when it generates notable profits and there is also the slack season when the revenues from the industry are really small.
So how to do SEO in the industry with such high seasonality? Although the task isn’t a piece of cake, it’s definitely feasible. You just need to remember about a few basic rules:
- the SEO process should last throughout the whole year. Regular SEO activities will improve the visibility of your website and when the peak season comes your site will be ready and visible in Google which will result in higher traffic to the page and consequently it’ll bring bigger profits.
- it’s a good idea to run a thematic blog. It’s worth publishing blog posts related to objectives of a given business throughout the whole year. Adjust your entries to particular seasons of the year. The blog will allow you to increase topical authority of your website and linking various products in your posts will increase the visibility of the site and lead the potential clients directly to the product page.
- consider which phrases are searched for by users in particular periods of the year and change the keywords you position according to them. So for example, in summer a travel agency can use phrases such as “Egypt last minute” or “vacation in Croatia” and in winter it can position itself on “skiing Austria”.
- think about special offers, first and last minute offers or campaigns that will attract potential clients during the slack season.
Of course there are much more useful examples concerning SEO for seasonal businesses.
SEO in the tourism industry – what to keep in mind?
What keywords to use in the tourism industry?
Choosing right keywords is a must, no matter which industry we’re talking about. In the case of hotels and other accommodation facilities, it’s advisable to go for local SEO and phrases related to a given location such as “hotel Chicago” or “hotel near the Missouri RIver”. You can learn more about SEO for hotels in one of our blog posts.
Let’s now focus on the travel agencies’ websites. When it comes to the tourism industry, where you’ve to deal with a numerous competition on the market, it’s a good idea to use long tail SEO. Although long tail phrases are less competitive, there is a great chance that Google will rank your website high for these specific keyphrases. “Last minute Egypt trips September” is an example of such a phrase. That’s how even not-so-influential travel agencies can compete with the greatest giants on the market. So what phrases are most commonly entered into the search bar by travelers?
The most popular key phrases entered into the search bar by potential clients of travel agencies include tours, holidays or vacations combined with the name of a destination (“Croatia vacation)”. Thus, remember about it while creating content for your website and focus on long tail phrases.
Local SEO is another important aspect of SEO for the tourism industry. When it comes to travel agencies and SEO, it’s a must to create and optimize the Google My Business listing. You should place there information concerning opening hours, exact address or contact details. The possibility of posting customer reviews is also valued. Find out how to have a perfect Google My Business listing in one of our entries.
Mind the content!
As we’ve mentioned on numerous occasions, content is a crucial element of doing SEO for the tourism industry. Descriptions of trips and destinations found on the travel agency’s website should be unique and valuable. Keep in mind the basic SEO rules while writing content for your website. The description should include at least 2 H2 headings optimized for keywords, <strong> and <em> tags as well as equally important internal linking.
Take care of regular blogging and publish new entries from 4 to 5 times a month. Obviously each blog post should be optimized for suitable keywords and include internal linking which would redirect users to subpages with trip offers. This way you can direct a potential client to a specific subpage with trips that are of interest to them. At the same time, running your blog will increase the visibility of your site in the search results, also during the slack season.
Below you can see an entry coming from the Rainbow Tours travel agency blog. Articles have been divided into categories such as culture and history, wildlife holidays or responsible travel.
Client feedback matters
Client feedback is particularly important in the tourism industry. Probably everyone, before booking vacations, searches for reviews about the hotel, trip or area where it’s located. It’s a good idea to properly highlight reviews of the people who took advantage of your services. If your travel agency belongs to the group of rather small companies, potential clients will also certainly seek information and reviews about the business itself. That’s when the abovementioned Google My Business listing and the customer reviews posted there come in handy.
Focus on social media
Being active on various social media platforms will undoubtedly increase the interest in travel agencies’ offers and traffic to the website. But what can these posts be about? Well, in the case of the tourism industry, it seems that the possibilities are endless. You can inform your clients about all trips, first or last minute special offers and other noteworthy deals. Think about contests that could attract potential clients to your social media profiles. Remember about the importance of high quality pictures and graphics accompanying your posts.
The UX of your website
The UX of your website is the last but extremely important aspect when it comes to doing SEO for the tourism industry. A travel agency’s website should be tailored to the users and it should meet their expectations. Moreover, the site ought to be user-friendly so that people would eagerly come back and make conversions.
A trip search engine, which needs to be easily accessible also on mobile devices, is the most important element in the case of travel agencies’ websites. It must be visible on the site and it has to contain all the filters helpful for the users.
The possibility to filter offers is crucial. You should enable users to choose between important elements of a trip such as the type of the room, distance from the beach, type of food and many more.
Things you need to avoid on your travel agency’s website:
- no mobile website – every year more and more users are searching for vacation offers via their mobile devices. Responsive web design is a must,
- the website’s design is not updated,
- complicated and non-intuitive information architecture on the website.
There are many more examples of activities beneficial for UX. If you want to find out more, visit our blog.
To sum up
As you can see, a right SEO strategy is a key for being successful in the tourism industry. Tourism is a demanding market, mainly due to its seasonality. In order to succeed, you need to remember about a few basic steps such as choosing the right keywords, local SEO (Google My Business listing), unique content on the website (compliant with the SEO rules), internal linking, the possibility of posting reviews by the clients and being active on social media. Additionally, you shouldn’t forget about user experience of your website.
Although sometimes it takes even up to several months to notice first results of the SEO activities, the effects may go beyond your expectations. An appropriate SEO strategy will allow you to compete even with the greatest tycoons on the tourism market.