Why SEO is so important in the Travel Industry in 2018
Talent Hub shares your passion for inspiring your customers and giving them what they want and need.
Google has identified the travel seeker’s process into 5 ‘moments’: dream, plan, book, experience and share. A presence throughout these ‘moments’ is how to entice your customer to your landing page and keep drawing them back. Search engine optimisation (SEO) is fundamental in making that happen. There are no overnight wins with SEO. It might take months for your strategy to take positive effect. Monitoring platforms can provide the measurement needed to understand activity trends across all channels.
Travel seekers inhabit the online world. Online is where your customer shops, consumes and connects using social media, review, news and special interest sites. A Google study* reported that 65 percent of leisure travellers are inspired by online sources. A presence using advertising, comment and customer interaction ensures a close relationship throughout all ‘moments’ of the customer online experience.
The algorithms for reaching the upper echelons of the search engine rank race are sophisticated and constantly evolving. The exact formula is unknown but we can be certain that it is driven by search, speed of download and content.
Voice commands are set to dominate how we search online. SearchEngineWatch.com has reported that over 50 percent of searches are expected to be carried out using voice by 2020.
Just as we would normally speak, voice search typically uses whole phrases and questions. Optimising your site for voice search by understanding how your customers naturally speak about your content will allow you to structure and identify successful phrases for SEO.
Featured snippets are highly valuable and increase visibility. Stone Temple Consulting states that 30 percent of Google return searches show featured snippets. They allow desired and relevant information to be immediately accessible and encourage the prized click through to your website.
Speed of download
Super fast mobile internet connection is well established. Nothing less than instantaneous page download is tolerated. Not only by your customer but also by search engine algorithms.
Caching, web optimised content and AMPs (accelerated mobile pages) achieve faster download in addition to server technical enhancements for example: content delivery networks (CDNs), server placement and load balancing. Having a separate mobile optimised subdomain website is also essential as Google’s mobile-first index gathers pace to rank pages and snippet content from mobile sites first.
Once you’ve attracted your customer to your site you need to keep them there with your content. Inspiring your customer to a purchase decision is not the only motivating factor for capturing their attention. Session or dwell time on your website is thought to be weighted heavily for algorithms such as Google’s RankBrain.
The most important factor about content is to keep it relevant. Social media requires close management as discussed in the blog “The UGC conundrum for travel companies” however linking in with social media and trusted travel websites provides unbiased supporting evidence to your offering. Use video content to create a virtual experience that showcases your product and keeps your customer engaged.
The overriding message is to continuously invest in your content and SEO to inspire, inform and engage with your customer throughout their experience. The travel and hospitality industry has an online journey to be made with every travel seeker