SEO for Tour Operators: How to Optimize Your Journey
Optimization for travel websites and tour operators differs from SEO for other sites because of the nature of the industry. Optimizing multiple locations, experiences, and agencies can become a monumental project. Failing to optimize all your offerings could mean lost bookings and profits. SEO for tour operators requires attention to detail to ensure travelers can find all types of experiences.
Speak to Location and Experience
Both general and local SEO principles should be applied to attract all audiences who might be interested in a tour. Short tail keywords and longtail keyword phrases should be well-researched and carefully selected to attract targeted traffic. Tour operators must go beyond the location of the experience into what it specifically offers.
For instance, if you offer the unique experience of hot air ballooning over the Grand Canyon, it would be important to include keywords that spoke both to the location (Arizona, the Grand Canyon, the desert, etc.), as well as to the actual act of hot air ballooning itself. In this way, you will capture the interest of both travelers going to the Grand Canyon and those who haven’t yet picked a destination (also known in the industry as being in the “dreamers” phase), but who know they’d love to engage in an experience like the one you offer.
The goal is to optimize a journey that entices travelers to take action and book a tour. Visitors should be instantly engaged and want to know more. Typically, visitors only stay on a website for about 10 seconds, and in that time they determine if they want to know more, so you have to grab their attention right away. Discover how to use SEO strategies to attract tourists looking for a unique tour of a city, historical venue, or other destination of interest.
Short Attention Spans
In a fast-paced world fueled by ever-evolving technology, attention spans are getting shorter. Tour operators only have a few seconds to impress visitors before they surf off to another potential experience. Keep in mind that over 90 percent of searchers never look beyond the first page of search results.
SEO for tour operators helps them rank on the first page for more relevant keywords and phrases. Couple SEO strategies with compelling content that resonates with readers to draw them in to immersive experiences that create lasting memories. Focus on how the tour differs from others, as well as the emotions associated with such a unique destination experience. Help potential travelers to feel what it would be like to take your tour and why that would be so life-changing.
Other factors to weigh carefully include web design, fonts, and colors that are eye-catching and get visitors to take notice. Consumers are more likely to interact with a visually appealing website. In addition, you should make sure the site is easily navigable so visitors can instantly find what they want. Add visual content such as professional images and video tours. Use relevant keywords to tag all images, video, infographics, etc. so they are indexed by the search engines.
Tell a Story
There is no substitute when it comes to creating compelling content for SEO. Go beyond basic tour descriptions, and weave an irresistible story about the experience instead. Give readers something to think about and want based on Memorable Travel Experiences (MTEs) based on elements such as culture, food, environment and history.
SEO is much more than a technical playback for ranking high in Google searches. It’s an emotional experience. This is especially true when it comes to the travel and tourism industries. SEO branding helps to build trust and establish thought leadership, which is essential when customers are choosing between your hot air balloon tour over the Grand Canyon and the five others that might be offered. Through excellent content and imagery, show visitors to your website what the experience will be like when they book with you. This is the key to closing bookings.
Part of the key for tour operators is identify the micro-moments that are part of their target audience’s search process. For travelers, a micro-moment is when they are thinking about the vacation they would like to take in the future. They may be months away from booking, or maybe they haven’t even settled on a destination. A micro-moment occurs at the intersection of their desire to travel and the often-fleeting thought of what they’d like to experience on their trip.
These thoughts can be related to a specific location (like the Grand Canyon) or something more general, like the desire to travel to a warm area during the wintertime. In addition, their micro-moment could revolve around a desire to see something beautiful in a unique way, like witnessing a natural wonder from the vantage of a hot air balloon. It might be as general, though, as wanting to try something new and exciting.
Win with Generic Experience Content
These many variations of micro-moments are why SEO for tour operators should focus on explaining what you do and the setting it is in, but generally offering generic experience content that will draw in potential customers and help solidify bookings.
Not sure how to get started? Contact Galileo Tech Media today. Our expert team of SEO professionals can help you plan the best keywords, content, and white-hat backlinking strategies to drive travelers to your site.