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Boost Bookings for Your Travel & Hospitality Business With These SEO Tips

Search engine optimization (SEO) has become a fundamental part of running a successful travel and hospitality business in this digital age. But what does it mean when trying to grow your business?

In this article, we'll share with you the best travel industry SEO tips, the trends that impact the travel and hospitality industries, and the travel website SEO mistakes you should avoid.

seo for travel website

Why is travel SEO important?

Better brand awareness and exposure

Once your strategies take off and put you on the first page of a Search Engine Result Page (SERP), you can expect more people to discover your brand.

The more people that know your brand, the more visitors you get on your site, which leads to...

More traffic -> more bookings

Implementing SEO for your travel website ranks you higher for specific keywords you're targeting and allows you to get found by users who already have the intent to spend money on travel.

Cheaper and more efficient than Pay-per-click (PPC)

Running PPC ads to increase traffic is great, but your traffic will also drop once you put the campaign on hold. With SEO, your traffic volume stays consistent as long as you implement your strategies consistently.

The State of Travel and Hospitality Industries in 2022

state of travel and hospitality businesses

Although the tourism industry saw a 4% increase in 2021, it was still 72% lower than pre-pandemic levels.

The high inflation rate worldwide brought by the Russian-Ukraine War had also skyrocketed oil prices, affecting the rates of accommodations, flights, and other tourism-related businesses. 

According to Marriott International CEO Tony Capuano, there has been a tremendous shift in how we work, travel, and enjoy leisure activities since the pandemic struck. There are new factors to consider when traveling, such as vaccination rates and safety protocols.

Future of Travel and Hospitality in 2022 and beyond

The rise of remote workers paved the way for the emergence of bleisure travel, a.k.a. Business and leisure travel. Vacationers have more time to relax and work because of more flexible work schedules. 

Reliance on digital technology will also grow stronger, so more travel and hospitality businesses will implement marketing strategies such as:

  • Creating apps for a virtual guest experience
  • Integrating technology-assisted processes such as online payments and mobile bookings
  • Implementing virtual and augmented reality for virtual tours

Travel industry SEO tips to boost your bookings

travel and hospitality seo tips to boost rankings

Let's explore the most effective ways you can implement SEO for your travel website to increase your bookings:

1. Destination optimization

Implementing local SEO allows you to appear on SERPs when people search for your target destinations or when looking for something in the area near your physical location.

To effectively optimize destinations, combine popular keywords like hotels in [destination] with long-tail keywords, especially those formatted as questions. You should also consider creating content fit for voice search.

2. Create content around a traveler's customer journey

According to Google, four micro-moments make up a traveler's customer journey:

1. I-want-to-get-away

People are dreaming about vacationing somewhere and mindlessly planning their next getaway at this stage.

Best content for this stage:

  • Listicles about a certain theme or destination; ex. honeymoon destinations, beaches in [destination]
  • Travel vlogs

2. Time-to-make-a-plan

People are starting to arrange their trip by looking for activities at the destination, accommodations nearby, flight schedules, and more.

Here's an example of a user's search activity at this stage:

search path sample

Best content for this stage:

  • Informational articles like vacation rentals in [destination] & when is the best time to visit [destination]

3. Let's-book-it

At this stage, people are ready to spend money booking everything they need for the trip.

Best content for this stage:

  • Occasional announcement of promos and deals, especially on social media

4. Can't-wait-to-explore

At this stage, people still rely heavily on search engines for relevant details about their trip and their destination.

Best content for this stage:

  • Listicles such as best cafes in [destination], places to eat in [destination]
  • Short local guides such as things to do in [destination]

3. Work on your schema markup

Have you noticed these list-type results with more detailed information when searching for something on Google?

schema sample
schema sample2

These featured content on SERPs are the results of schema markup, an SEO practice used to describe the content of a page to search engines so they'll understand how to display it

Here are the essential markups for a travel and hospitality website like yours:

  • Place markups
  • Accommodation
  • Review markup

4. Have a strong link-building game plan

The more websites that link back to you, the more you boost your credibility online, and Google loves placing credible websites at the top of SERPs.

Here are some of the most effective link-building strategies:

  • Submit your site to travel directories such as Yelp, TripAdvisor, Google Maps, etc.
  • Analyze your competitor's backlinks using tools like Ahrefs and identity opportunities for your site
  • Write guest posts on travel websites

Travel SEO Common Mistakes

Despite the many tips about SEO for the travel industry online, many travel and hospitality businesses still commit these mistakes that lose them traffic and, eventually, sales:

Creating duplicate content

Posting the same content for your properties or services on booking platforms isn't ideal because it takes away the opportunity for the original content on your website to rank higher.

Not choosing an SEO-friendly platform

While a seamless booking process offered by booking platforms is convenient, it's still ideal to opt for a website, where you have control over the design and keyword placements.

A 90s-style website

Today, minimalism, functionality, and content are the website game-changers, at least for the most part. Japan has a slightly different opinion.

A complicated, slow booking system.

As a general rule, the simpler and faster the booking process, the higher your chance of closing a deal.

Their website is not mobile-responsive

Google considers a website's mobile-friendliness as a ranking factor, so if you want those traffic and sales coming in, ensure that your website is easy to navigate on mobile devices.

The secret to more leads and bookings comes in three letters: SEO

With  60% of travelers beginning their travel planning with search engines, it's only imperative to have your website on the priority list of search engines. To achieve this, SEO for your travel website is the key.

Not sure how to get started? We can help! Contact us for a free, no-commitment website audit, complete with actionable steps to revamp your website and get those bookings coming in!

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