01 Dec The tourism industry and SEO: not just keywords
The tourism industry and SEO: a seemingly complex combination, but also an excellent secret weapon for reaching new users and increasing visits and bookings. But in practical terms, how do you take full advantage of the potential of the internet and search engines to have your content reach a wider audience?
In recent years, between the advent of low-cost flights, alternative lodging solutions, and more recently the impediments caused by the pandemic – which has allowed many to rediscover the local beauty and simplicity of domestic travel – the travel and tourism industry has changed dramatically.
This has largely been accompanied (and in many cases originated) by the widespread dissemination of the internet, which has revolutionised the way people travel and organise their trips: whereas previously people relied exclusively on catalogues and travel agencies, today the web is teeming with platforms and services for comparing prices and booking holidays easily.
While on the one hand these changes have brought exciting opportunities for tourism operators, on the other hand they certainly represent a new challenge to contend with: what you offer is no longer the only important aspect, as how you do it has become increasingly relevant – with what keywords, on what platforms, and with what user experience, just to name a few examples.
In particular, in recent years the tourism industry and SEO have become an increasingly indispensable combination for those who use the web to offer their services. If you’d like to learn more about this topic and how to make the most of the possibilities offered by SEO to increase visits and bookings, our article today is definitely for you!
Why is SEO important in the tourism industry?
Almost all travellers these days use the internet to search for information, compare prices, and make reservations for their trips, and back in 2009 more than 50% of those using the internet for this purpose simply started from search engine queries. In other words, very often users are not sure where to find what, but rely on Google to search (literally) for “Rome-New York flight prices” or “cheap Prague hotels“.
Considering, then, that users are often ready to be persuaded by the search results, the marriage of the tourism industry and SEO becomes crucial to succeed in increasing visits to your site and, consequently, bookings.
Keywords yes, but not only…
If you’re thinking that reconciling the tourism industry and SEO simply means stuffing your content with keywords, those famous keywords thanks to which your site will be able to rank high in the search engines, we have some bad news for you: unfortunately, Google’s algorithm has constantly changed over the years, and as of today the only real keyword to keep in mind is EAT, an acronym that stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness.
In other words, to assess the relevance and usefulness of your content, Google doesn’t simply check how many/what keywords you have included in your articles, but will pay attention to other more general aspects in order to ensure an optimal user experience.
To focus on Expertise, you will therefore need to ensure that you create articles and content with a clear and recognisable structure, ideally with backlinks and images. In other words, an article about the best hotels in Venice will have little relevance to Google if it simply turns out to be a wall of text in which the query appears 15 times but without adequate structure.
Think about your company as a whole
Speaking of the tourism industry and SEO, and especially the aforementioned EAT paradigm, it’s important to pay attention to the concepts of Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness.
Although these aspects are difficult to measure, broadly speaking we can say that it’s more necessary than ever to comprehensively curate your image, looking beyond the individual article or piece of content.
Simply put, you’ll have to make it clear to the search engines that you can be trusted, that you are a source of information that is indeed trustworthy and authoritative.
But how is this done in concrete terms? For example, think about your overall online presence: a social page where you can tell users about your daily work and introduce yourself as an expert, an “About Us” section where new visitors can figure out who the author of various content is, or timely references and citations in your articles that can support the data and information you present, just to give you a few ideas.
Competition can help you
The next tip may seem trivial, but it can actually prove extremely useful: always keep an eye on the competition.
In other words, if you’re hoping to rank high in search engines, why not start by analysing who has actually achieved this goal? What are the distinctive features of their websites, what keywords do you see appearing most often, how is their content structured?
Let’s be clear, we’re certainly not telling you to copy what others are doing (also because, when it comes to the tourism industry and SEO, copying even a couple of sentences without citing sources could prove to be really counterproductive!), but rather to try to understand what choices and solutions have proven to be effective by analysing those who have tried them before you.
More visits, yes… but conversions?
If you’re thinking about learning about the tourism industry and SEO because you’re hoping to increase visits to your content and your site, don’t overlook one key aspect: more visits to your site won’t always translate into increased sales and bookings (and, consequently, your earnings).
In fact, in all likelihood, users will come to your site looking for specific information, and at best, once their curiosity is satisfied they will close the page and move on — and we call this the best case scenario because the users could leave immediately, leading to an increase in the infamous bounce rate.
To make sure you convert your new users, it is therefore be crucial to always end your articles with a CTA, a call to action which, speaking directly to your customers, will convince them to take a certain action (contact us, book now, download a free eBook).
Remember: without a call to action, visits are unlikely to lead to purchases and reservations!
Every language is different
Of course, when it comes to the tourism industry and SEO, you will always have to take the language factor into consideration, as many of your users (especially if you communicate in English) may come from different countries and markets.
We have already extensively discussed the importance of international SEO: especially when communicating with a potentially global audience, as in the case of the tourism industry, it is essential to develop different strategies based on the audience you are trying to reach.
At Creative Words, we have been working for years with sites and companies that want to reach new markets, devising customised SEO strategies and creating localised versions of content and websites suitable for different target markets. If you work in the tourism industry and would like to make the most of the potential of SEO, contact us to find out how we can help you, obligation free.