With the paradigm shift towards a digitized experience in traveling, businesses in the travel and hospitality sector face the challenge of transforming their business digitally while still maintaining (or improving) their stand on the market. One of these is how to create a website that attracts visitors and bookings.
Today, allow us to be your tour guide as we walk you through SEO for tourism businesses. Throughout this quick tour, we'll explore the state of travel and hospitality industries during the pandemic and other global phenomena and how you can stay ahead of the digital curve.
2022 Travel Industry Trends
Traveler needs are shifting to a different accommodation preference, with younger travelers choosing vacation rentals and AirBnBs over hotels. This can be due to factors such as:
- Offered experience
- Unique decor
- Local community immersion.
- Safety assurance with the lack of in-person interaction.
Travelers are also becoming more aware of their travel spending, opting for economical trips instead. They also have a preference for travels that make an impact or offer a unique, fulfilling experience for them.
Travel and hospitality industries will see a trend in domestic travel, nature-themed trips, and rural tourism.
What Are Your Competitors Doing?
The first step to gaining the favor of search engines is to study those already at the top of their priority list through an SEO competitive analysis.
An SEO competitive analysis focuses on discovering the strengths and weaknesses of the competition's SEO strategy and comparing it with your current standing.
To perform an SEO competition analysis, list your top five direct competitions for your target keywords. Take note of their websites' elements - their copy, page title, design, site speed, keywords used, site structure, etc.
Then, compare these websites with each other and find a pattern you can use to your site's advantage.
Your Website's Mobile-Friendliness
Google says 60% of travelers' destination searches come from mobile devices.
SEO tourism-wise, 79% of mobile travelers use their smartphones to book a flight, activity, or accommodation after researching on the same device.
With these stats in mind, how do you make a website mobile-friendly?
Use Google's Mobile-Friendly Test
The tool will tell you if your site is fit for mobile viewing and will provide more information on what areas you can improve on.
Ensure your site's design is responsive on mobile devices.
Websites not optimized for mobile screens end up messy, with some elements misplaced and some buttons unclickable.
When revamping your website, check the mobile version every time to see if everything's working on the mobile end.
Get ready for Voice Search
More and more travelers are embracing voice search as part of their customer journey. Most travelers use voice search during their trip when looking for things to do in the area or where to find their next destination. 20% of Google searches today are voice searches, and you can expect it to rise in the coming years.
Here's a prime example from Expedia about how tourism and voice search co-exist.
You want to be the top source of information that Google runs to when someone searches something like where's the best cafe in [destination] or [destination] tour packages.
This is where SEO for tourism comes into play, particularly in keyword and content optimization.
Google is likely to favor your conversational content based on long-tail keywords. With the addition of schema markups on your content, you'll increase your chances of getting noticed by the search engine.
People have short attention spans
And that's why page speed has become more significant than ever. If your site loads at turtle speed, you can expect a high bounce rate for your site.
So if you notice your website lagging, you can try these optimization methods:
- Use tools like Google PageSpeedInsights to check and monitor your site speed.
- Compress your images. Larger media files can consume your site's loading speed and slow down your site.
- Use a Content Distribution Network (CDN), a group of geographical servers used to deliver content faster.
Don’t forget “[location] near me” keywords and alternatives
We've said it before: destination optimization is the key to SEO for tourism. The searches for the keyword "open now near me" have grown by 400% globally.
With that idea, some businesses have decided to build their brand around the near-me trend, going so far as incorporating "near me" in their business name to rank first in the near-me searches.
However, Google caught on with this spammy tactic, improving its algorithm so it can display the accurate near businesses in the user's location.
Does this mean you shouldn't optimize for near-me searches? Not really. To appear at the top of these local searches, we reiterate the tips about completing your GMB profile, providing your updated address and contact details, and including schema markups to your HTML.
In order to evaluate content quality and determine whether it deserves to rank higher, Google uses the Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness (E-A-T) formula.
If you want to be one of those content that Google deems worthy, you should keep these in mind while creating your content:
- Understand search intent. Why are your readers searching for the best beaches in the Maldives? In what format do they prefer to receive the information they seek?
- Link to credible sources such as studies, research papers, industry experts, and trustworthy sources like NCBI.
- Update your content with relevant information and check for dead links periodically.
- Include visuals in your content, like infographics, snapshots of your featured destinations, and relevant videos.
Leverage the power of images
In an industry that relies heavily on visualization and Instagrammable moments, including high-quality photos of your properties and destination is imperative.
Pinterest is the most effective option if you want to mix tourism SEO and social media marketing together. You can share stunning images of your destination here with your valuable content to inspire those seeking travel inspiration.
If you want to use Pinterest for tourism SEO and marketing, you must treat it as a search engine. You should use your target keywords in your profile name, about you section, and the content itself.
With the combination of stunning visuals, you'll leverage Pinterest effortlessly for tourism SEO.
Your target audience usually prefers to discover information visually, so they go straight to the Google Images results.
The key to making your photos appear in these results is providing as much context as possible so that search engines can understand them better. You can check out Google's image guidelines to learn how you can boost your ranking on the image results.
Are you keeping up?
If there's one thing guaranteed in the SEO industry, it's that Google loves throwing algorithm updates. If you want to be the first brand that appears when travelers search for something relevant to you online, you need to implement the tips above - pronto.
If some of these tips are too complicated or time-consuming for you, YQ Digital can help. We offer tourism SEO services to increase your site's ranking, gain traffic, and ultimately, get those bookings flocking like tourist traps during the holiday seasons. Give us a call, and let's discuss your SEO needs!