SEO For Tour Operators: Starter Guide
The internet is how you get people to know that you are out there, and with search engine optimisation (SEO), your website will get the visibility it needs. As one of the largest and fastest-growing industries, the competition from other operators in the tourism sector is the number one reason for you to put your best advertising foot forward.
When done right, SEO tells search engine crawlers, such as Google and Bing, that you offer the best tours & activities out there.
You’ll be able to use keywords that search engines will use to list your products, informative content, and other pages on SERP (search engine results pages). These are the list of options that a searcher sees when they start looking at options online using a search engine. As such, learning how SEO for tour operators works is critical to getting your brand out there.
Here’s what you need to know:
Why your travel business needs SEO
There are a few types of SEO — search engine optimisation — that you are going to want to know about. There is on-page SEO, technical SEO, and off-page SEO.
On-page SEO is when you deliberately optimise your website’s pages so that you can rank higher with more relevant keywords.
Performing on-page optimisation can be in either the content or HTML code. Because this type of search engine optimisation relates to content, you don’t have to focus on HTML code if it is overwhelming. However, the use of content and code go hand in hand for better results.
Off-page SEO is when you rely on links and other external efforts to boost your ranking position on SERP. Because it helps strengthen the influence and relationship your website has with other websites, it will increase your site’s authority and reputation, resulting in better ranking positions.
Off-page techniques involve working with factors that are outside of your website itself. A common example (that we will discuss in detail a little later) are backlinks.
Lastly, technical SEO specifically focuses on the back end structure of your website with the purpose of helping web crawlers understand what it is about. It will ensure that your site ranks as accurately as it should be, and you’ll be focusing on making your website as crawler-friendly as possible.
Quick SEO Tips
Interested in figuring out how to make travel SEO work for you even amongst the competition? Here are the focal points that will help you make the most out of your online presence.
- Clearly define your niche.
Most travel agencies and websites focus on a broad aspect of travelling in order to fit as many keywords as possible in there. However, you’ll want to make sure that you are staying specific and focused on what you can offer your customers.
Clean Travel aims to promote unique travel destinations, most importantly, we believe in connecting travellers in immersive sustainable experiences that support local communities.
Ask yourself what tours do you provide that are specific to your business. Depending on your business, you can keep brainstorming other questions like what services do you offer related to travel, what makes your company different from the sea of competitors, and more. Keep it focused on your niche in particular so that they can find you easily when they are searching.
- Craft high-quality tour and activity titles and descriptions.
Doing SEO for a travel website often means that you are going to have to put some focus on the tour and activity titles. These titles should be optimised with keywords as much as possible, but remember not to overdo it. A golden rule to follow while doing white-hat SEO is to remember that you’re targeting real humans, not robots.
It doesn’t stop there, this is also a critical on-page technique. Together, an optimised meta title and description tag can help increase click-through-rate. This step will ramp up your visibility in search engines.
- Create interesting and relevant content.
White hat SEO refers to using optimisation strategies for search engines focusing on a human audience. Following search engine rules and policies will help you prioritise what your ideal customer wants. Create content that aims to answer their questions, draw in their emotions, and more (creativity takes an important role here).
If you keep your website focused on content that matters to your target audience, you’ll increase online visibility. As a consequence, they’ll find your products and services when they need them (using your relevant keywords), and help you to offer them a much better service in all the stages of the buyer journey. Essentially, cater to their needs and it will pay off for you.
- Focus on user-experience.
There’s more to SEO than content and technical optimisation methods, there’s an important partnership between SEO and UX (user experience). You’ll also want to make sure that you offer a simple-to-understand experience — in a good way — and streamlined.
A well-designed web page is one of the best ways to convert page visits into conversions, and you’ll be able to bring in a lot more interested customers to your tour business. Keep your content focused, but also make sure that your website is straight-forward, user-friendly, and designed specifically for mobile use (since most people rely on their devices to both learn about tours and make bookings!).
- Get good backlinks.
We talked briefly about off-page SEO earlier, and backlinks are one of the essential parts of off-page efforts. There are several ways to win backlinks, these can range from offering discounts to those who review your tours and link to your page, to looking at working with influencers and other experts who can put a plugin with your link.
In a nutshell, backlinks will help boost up your presence and show the search engines that you focus on relevant and well-liked content. This will mean that you will be able to rank higher in the search engines themselves and that will bring you more views.
On a final note
Your travel agency or tour operator business deserves to be at the top of the list when it comes to search engines. You know this better than anyone! So, make sure that you are equipping yourself to succeed by putting SEO to work.
Most importantly, implement SEO in a way that is going to be easy enough for you to do — and maintain over time — and also get people to your website that are actually looking to learn about, and book your tours and activities. Your business absolutely needs SEO, so it’s best to be certain that you’ve always got it working for you instead of against you.
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