As a digital marketing agency, we’ve seen many SEO practices from the travel industry in the last decade. Learning and adapting a few of these skills from major travel brands can help your site rank higher in Google and increase website traffic.
When it comes to SEO best practices, huge travel brands, such as Travelocity and Orbitz, are considered SEO giants.
Surprisingly, when we take a closer look at what these travel brands are doing right, we will realize that they are still using traditional SEO practices. While some may consider internal linking, homepage texts, and keyword-rich landing pages to be outdated, it still works for many of these brands.
Of course, in this ever-evolving technological world, there will always be room for improvement. Aside from the still-effective traditional SEO practices, there are new SEO techniques that deserve a closer look and fit with any budget.
Let us take a look at a couple of travel brand’s SEO strategies and let it serve as our guide in achieving our own SEO success stories.
8 SEO Techniques to Learn from Popular Travel Brands
- Use internal links for a boost
- Craft rich homepage text
- Prioritize important content
- Utilize available header & footer space
- Make title tags clickable
- Optimize your site for Google RankBrain
- Find untapped keywords on Quora
- Try exact match
1. Use Internal Links for a Boost
We all know that the home page is every website’s most linked-to page. However, there are other important commercial pages of your site that need special attention.
While it is true that most websites link their most important pages on the main navigation, there is a possibility that because of lack of space, they might miss out on other equally important pages. The website, TourRadar, prides itself on making booking tours easy. The front page lists popular and recommended destinations.
Within the areas, popular city locations are also listed. All of them are clickable and direct to that location’s page within TourRadar. Searching tours in one of those big-name destinations would likely lead to a journey on this website.
A home page with extensive links can navigate to pages that need a boost, ones that spark revenue, and of course, the pages with the most traffic.
2. Craft Rich Homepage Text
It is understandable that we all want our homepage to be classy and beautiful. But there is a bigger question in play. Is your homepage SEO-friendly and keyword-rich?
As much as we want our homepage to be aesthetically appealing, it needs to prioritize SEO while ensuring that the homepage makes use of keyword-rich texts and internal links.
Travelocity uses a massive amount of internal links on their homepage that cover a variety of travel-related topics.
By doing so, they have leveraged it to rank higher in searches such as hotel suites and top flight deals.
3. Prioritize Important Content
If we take a look at these major travel brand’s websites, we would assume that due to the huge number of pages on their site, it would be next to impossible for them to fill all of them with sensible content.
But it is the very reason that sets them apart from their competitors.
They make sure that every important page on their site has optimized content to rank higher in Google search. One good example is Orbitz’s text and flight guide in their flight to Las Vegas page.
The guide gives information that generally the most searchable. When going on vacation, travelers are more likely to search for the cheapest flights and deals, areas to stay, and things to do.
4. Utilize Available Header & Footer Space
With regard to the practice of putting links into your headers, it seems that SEO experts are quite divided when it comes to their own opinions.
Some say that the links are completely ignored by Google, and get devalued. Naysayers also argue that it may send unwanted signals.
Other SEO commentators insist that it is an ideal way to keep your key pages linked to.
Hotels.com doesn’t seem to mind the negative connotation of links on footers as they’ve gone ahead and did it straight on.
Major sites like hotels.com have a substantial number of link equity so they can get away with putting internal links on footers. Before going ahead and using this SEO practice, bear in mind that the success of this practice depends on the size of the site.
For smaller sites, it is advisable to link contextually or by adding just a few links to make your website easier to crawl.
5. Make Title Tags Clickable
The humble title tags may seem to be the simplest SEO strategy, but they are actually the most controllable not to mention powerful.
Another good reason to optimize these title tags is if you’re one of those who believe that click-through rates are highly affecting the rankings.
It may be easy to overlook the title tag, but just like the SEO professionals who love title tags, you should keep the CTR higher and higher. A simple Google search for hotels in Budapest shows how these highly optimized title tags work for the major travel brands.
Using targeted phrasing like “best,” also prompts users to click on your webpage. As a travel provider, they’re more likely to trust your authority.
6. Optimize Your Site for Google RankBrain
Google’s first-ever machine learning algorithm, RankBrain, turned out to be a game-changer. According to Google, RankBrain is one of their top 3 ranking signals, the other two being links, and content.
RankBrain measures a site’s interaction with the results on the first page. In order to optimize your site for RankBrain, you need to do a couple of important things.
First, enhance your organic click-through rate by adding numbers on your title and description. And second, improve your bounce rate and dwell time. You can do this by making sensible and meaningful content that makes users happy.
7. Find Untapped Keywords On Quora
When finding long-tail keywords, the media site Quora is considered as a keyword goldmine.
All you have to do is go there and search for your topic, scan for terms that often come up repeatedly. When searching for ‘paris travel,’ several results pop up that could be used for keywords.
If the Quora community is talking about it, there is a very big chance that people are using the same terms on Google. Check Google Keyword Planner and see if it has any search volume.
8. Try Exact Match
Even though Google has curtailed the impact of exact match or even partial match domains in the past, there is proof that it still works. As you can see, berlincitytours.com achieved its objective of ranking high despite having an exact match domain.
It worked for them because it wasn’t done in a spammy way. Their website has great content and quality backlinks.
Focus on SEO Basics Before Taking on a Challenge
An SEO expert knows the basics: from internal linking, keyword generation, content creation, and title tags. These eight actionable SEO best practices can be used even for smaller businesses.
Since this is proven for online travel brands with extensive platforms and followings, it would be interesting to see these practices within a different industry.
To measure the success of an SEO strategy, companies need to look at what they want their business to achieve. Is it an increase in traffic, revenue, customers, or something else? Either way, the data collected will inform the company of what their strategy should be moving forward