Travel SEO is much more than just having some content or targeting a list of keywords or doing a bit of link building. In today’s hyper-competitive, deeply fragmented environment, those days are long gone. Today, a successful travel SEO strategy encompasses data-driven research and a deep understanding of the nuances of digital behavior, particularly in the travel industry.
Every travel SEO campaign requires an astute understanding of the keywords that drive commercial transactions. To start building an effective campaign, we begin with keywords that have high transactional intent but are narrower in scope, so that competition is lower. Over time, we will evolve to more broad-based terms that encompass multiple intent, but also drive more traffic. This Funnel (broad) and Pinpoint (narrow) approach also helps to inform the design of the content and navigational structure of a website.
As a site becomes advanced, with thousands of visitors, we start analyzing the actual keywords driving traffic. We learn about the language used by site visitors, about the path they traveled through in order to arrive at the site and about their purchase behavior. In short, we uncover customer intent. We use this information to make dynamic and data-driven decisions, maximizing your organic search results.
Identifying your target customer
When engaged in any marketing activity, you should have at least one ideal buyer in mind. A trendy hotel, for example, might want tech-savvy millennials as their ideal clients. This ideal or target buyer can be generalized as a fictional person with wants, needs, fears, demographics, psychographics, and various other descriptive information derived from experience or data. This fictional person is called a Persona.
For Travel Search Engine Optimization, there are several types of Personas we need to consider. A Buyer Persona is the most important since this is the actual purchaser. An Audience Persona represents both the buyer and any other person who might be involved in the decision-making process for purchasing, for example, someone just gathering information on behalf of someone else. Finally, an Influencer Persona is important because this Persona represents people in social media, the press, bloggers, publishers, and anyone else who might write about or refer people to the products and services being sold. These influencers help build the authority of the site.