In a recent post, we discussed our three must-implement travel industry SEO strategies specific to the travel industry. One of our recommended travel industry SEO techniques was to ensure that your webpage integrates relevant, high ranking location-specific keywords in order to “speak the local language.” Ahead, we’re digging deeper into this suggestion, offering our tips on how to leverage hyper-local SEO strategies to capture travelers in all stages of the search – and purchase – funnel.
Stake out your location.
There are plenty of elements that travelers focus on during the research process, but the first step is simple and obvious: Physical location. Fundamentally, travelers need to know where your business is located in the context of the place they are visiting. Make it easy for them. Instead of integrating your address on your main page (or other pages), build out an entirely separate page specific to your location. Be sure this page is optimized to include keywords like neighborhood, street location, and nearness to notable landmarks. Moreover, consider integrating elements such as your proximity to local transportation hubs (airports, subway stations, or bus stops) in order to help the traveler further understand how to arrive at your business – and to capture relevant searches, too.
While you’re at it, think about drafting up a local guide of your must-do’s in the area – not only will doing so further improve your website’s SEO (more on that below), you’ll be helpfully briefing travelers before their visit. Finally, lubricate the entire process by adding a dynamic map to your site (a Google map or similar) so visitors can “explore” the area – shops, bars, restaurants – without ever leaving your page.
Know your (local) competitive set and highlight your differentiating points.
In the evaluation process, travelers often cross-compare local businesses to ensure they’re selecting the one that is right for them. In this competitive landscape it is crucial to communicate your positive differentiating points, as they can sway the decision-making process in your favor. So, for example, if you’re the only five-star hotel in your neighborhood, then your copy should speak to that – and speak to it often, in multiple areas throughout your website. Same idea if you’re the highest-rated Mexican restaurant in North Chicago or the sole hotel in Raleigh that has an indoor pool. These key copy points will not only capture relevant search inquiries on such subjects, they’ll help to delineate your unique position in the market. After all, it’s one thing to have an indoor pool – it’s quite another to have the only indoor pool in the city.
Think outside of your business.
Travelers want to know about you, but they also want to know about what’s around you. In this sense, it’s not enough to describe your business. It’s important to integrate other high-ranking, travel-oriented keywords in your local area, too. Think: Nearby restaurants, landmarks, shops, bars, and small businesses. So, whether you are a hotel located steps away from an internationally acclaimed opera house or a dive bar that’s a block away from the city’s football arena, you should be integrating your proximity to such prominent businesses in your web copy. Moreover, research has shown that outgoing links to trusted sources – in this case, relevant local webpages – can help improve your own website’s SEO. With that noted, don’t be shy about highlighting the city’s best coffee shops and linking out to them – you just might find that by sharing the love, you’re getting some love, too.