SEO for Travel Marketing: What Is It and Why Does It Matter?
SEO (search engine optimization) is about increasing organic search traffic to your website by helping search engines understand your content better. Since organic search is a key part of your website performance, getting SEO right will help your digital presence in general, supporting your overall content marketing efforts.
And even more importantly, SEO is about reaching your target audience by making your content more likely to be found by travelers - and specifically, travelers who are looking for what you offer.
Organic search performance is particularly important and relevant to the travel industry, as more and more travelers are searching for travel information and inspiration online, and an increasing number of travelers are also booking their trips online. With organic search being a key part of the "customer journey" (the paths that travelers take to discover, get to know and purchase from you), travel and tourism businesses cannot overlook the impact of search performance on their digital marketing efforts.
SEO as Part of Your Content Marketing Toolkit
While SEO best practices do include various website techniques - some simple and quick, others more advanced - it's important to remember that SEO is not about optimizing your website ONLY for search engines. With search engines becoming "smarter" today, the best approach to SEO is to focus on your target audience - the human searcher - and their search intent by creating and promoting quality content that's relevant to what your audience is interested in.
Built on a solid foundation of quality product and quality content, SEO can be a powerful tool to boost travel marketing.
SEO, however, is not a solution for building relevance and importance. It's your job to make your content relevant and your website popular. And that's why SEO is not just about technical approaches to building a search-engine friendly website, but also about effective marketing through quality content - and quality content created, designed, and promoted in the right way.
Web Analytics: Key to Your Digital Marketing Success
A key part of achieving digital marketing success through effective SEO strategies is clearly defining success in a measurable way and tracking and monitoring your search performance over time. To make SEO a meaningful part of your travel marketing success, make sure to incorporate analytics into your SEO strategy, so that you can make informed, data-based decisions about your digital marketing efforts, rather than relying on guesses and gut feelings.
Remember that you need a data-based approach to monitoring, evaluating and improving your search performance, and that you need to implement performance indicators metrics on a consistent basis over time.
While there are some SEO quick fixes that you can implement on your website to improve your ranking in the short term, most SEO and digital marketing approaches rely on building authority through quality content in the long term. So it's important that your analytics plan also looks at both short-term and long-term performance results.
SEO Strategies and Best Practices
To learn more about the specific SEO tactics for effective travel marketing and best practice examples, view the replay of the Tourism Training Live session below:
This Tourism Training Live session was recorded on January 26th, 2015.