What’s changed in the last decade in SEO for Online Travel Sites?

Time to unlearn old SEO tactics

The last decade has seen a lot of businesses going to the top of search engine rankings using black hat techniques like paid links, article spinning, blog commenting, cloaking, invisible text and so on. What worked then does not work now as search engines also keep updating their algorithms and penalize businesses that use unfair means to gain search engine rankings. Read on to find out how to manage SEO for Online Travel Sites in a way that can build a brand for life.

Stop Link Building

It’s a common myth that more the number of backlinks to your site, the better is your ranking. Well, this did work for some time. Now the search engines want quality backlinks. So, what does this mean for OTA’s? This means that if you are an affiliate focusing on weekend breaks, a backlink coming into your site should enrich the quality and it should be contextually relevant. May be an article you have written about a ‘Thanks Giving’ weekend and how a traveler can optimize that weekend in time, cost and quality will help you earn their trust.

STOP focusing on SEO rank – Go Brand building

Make sure you convert your one time search visitors to long term loyal subscribers. Winning your visitors email address should be one of your goals. Once you have the email address of this visitor, you will never have to worry about your SEO rank. And thus, you need to make sure that when people visit your site, they see value. From the perspective of a travel site, picture your site like a real character that has a personality. So, if you build a persona on your site, you will be able to attract travelers who resonate with that personality. This will create an appealing brand image and help you to communicate effectively to your target group.

Monitor your competition

Your competitor is your best friend when it comes to building your brand. First analyse where they are getting their backlinks from by going to sites like www.majestic.com or www.semrush.com. Once you know where they’re acquiring their links, you can reach out to those same sites, forums, etc. and promote your brand. Next you can install a firefox addon tool like ‘SEO Quake’. By checking and comparing your competitors’ title tags and meta-descriptions, you can easily take inspiration. Make sure you keep a balance between keyword rich and user friendly when it comes to defining your title tags and meta description. If a traveler is inspired enough to click on your link, you have won half the battle already.

Analyse Traveler Behavior Data

What you cannot measure you cannot improve. Download this Custom google analytics report report built by Avinash. Make sure you are logged in to google analytics. This report will give you an understanding of how your content is doing. Pay special attention to the bounce rate. Now that you know how your pages are doing, go the the Behavior flow section of google analytics to see a pattern of how your visitors came in and how they engaged with your content. Set specific goals to evaluate your goal completions. If your visitor did not reach your goal of either purchase, or email subscription etc. the behavior data will give you a good insight why, and you can make proper amends to you site. If you are using the framework built by Quick Travel Affiliates, we build this for you.

Wrapping Up – Don’t optimize for Google

Finally it all boils down to the fact that you should not optimize the SEO for Online Travel Sites for Google. Optimize it for the potential travelers who will love to come to your site again. If you are able to get the user back to your site, you can be assured that google will also love your site.

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SEO for Online Travel Sites - Nov 5, 2015 09:12

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