10 SEO Tips for Travel Bloggers
The Travel Industry is one of the largest in the world.
Maybe it’s part of human nature. We want to visit other places. We want to discover.
I have a 9-month old baby girl and it’s fun to watch her explore new places. Right now it’s just crawling into the next room or peeking around a corner or scooting a little further out in the yard, but it’s gotta be the same for adults. Just that itch to discover new things.
Because the travel industry is so large there are a lot of different businesses. The obvious ones are hotels and attractions, but there are also planning services and all kinds of businesses in the industry.
If you’re in the travel industry and looking to start a blog or struggling with a blog or wanting to take your travel blog to the next level then these SEO tips should help.
1. Identify Your Audience
Big one here. It seems obvious, but it’s worth pointing out. You want to have a clear picture of the person that you want to read each post.
This helps with the writing. It helps with the research. It helps hone your focus on everything you do when putting together the post and also when you’re promoting the post.
Most often it will be your target customer, but there are some corollary audience members as well.
2. Identify Influencers
It’s also worth spending time focusing on influencers in the travel industry. Travelers, reviewers, people on social media, etc. Anyone that influences your target audience is important because if you can get an influence to, for example, share one of your posts it’s going to reach a larger audience. The audience you want to reach.
That might include writing the occasional post that answers a question an influencer is curious about or including a quote that they said on a podcast or something like that.
3. Identify Questions
This is the big one. Where do topics for posts come from?
They mostly come from identifying the questions your audience has. Any question about anything in the travel industry and even in their lives in general.
Then doing all you can to provide the best answer for each question. Researching. Experiencing something for yourself. Providing your own advice.
That’s really what blogging is at the most basic. Education and entertainment.
You’re not just competing with other travel blogs. You’re competing against travel video bloggers, travel podcasts and you’re also competing against content in general. Will someone read your travel blog or watch something on Netflix?
4. Identify Long Lasting Trends
What was popular 10 years ago that remains popular today?
This is something I think is overlooked in blogging. You don’t want to get too caught up in the present with anything and that includes travel blogging.
For example, a hurricane may be impacting an island right now. It’s important, but in a year people probably won’t be searching for information on it.
But maybe there is a beach on an island that has been popular for decades. Writing about that beach will get traffic today and it will likely get traffic in 10+ years.
Posts that keep bringing you traffic really add up over time. It’s like compounding interest in investing.
5. Identify Emerging Trends
But it is also important to focus on the present. Still keep the long-term outlook, but look for emerging long-term trends. The wine industry in Napa has been well known for a long time, but in the 1960s and 1970s it was emerging. The folks that saw it and wrote about it then are likely still reaping the rewards.
What travel trends are you seeing on the horizon? Think about what is popular now. Think about why it’s popular. Then apply what you learn to new things coming on the scene.
6. Blog Post Formatting Basics
Alright, now we’ll get into some more expected blogging items.
When it comes to formatting use headers. Just like you see in this post. It breaks up the content and makes it easier to read. The easier it is to read the more likely people are to read the full thing, share it, etc.
Internal links (to your own site and blog) are good. External links are good as well. To other blog posts. To research. To websites.
My rule of thumb is if a link helps the reader then it should be included.
7. Consistent Schedule
Big, big one here. Often overlooked. Consistency is key with a lot of things in life and that’s true with blogging.
Think of it again like you’re saving money. If you save money here and there you probably won’t save much. If you setup a consistent saving plan it’ll become routine and when you look back in a few years you’ll have a good amount saved.
Set a blogging schedule. Get past the first few months until it becomes routine and then keep your head down. You can look back in a few years when you have hundreds of posts that are all now bringing in consistent traffic to your website.
8. Your Own Research
Links haven’t really been mentioned much, but they are still important for SEO purposes. You do want to look at ways to get people to share and link to your blog and its posts.
One way to do that is to create your own research.
Other bloggers and people with websites and social media accounts love research. Bring up your favorite news site and you’ll see headlines that say, “The latest research shows…” or “New research shows…”.
Survey people in your industry. Run your own tests. Create your own research and promote it as something that others in the travel industry can use and write about.
It’s a great way to get exposure for your brand.
Speaking of which…
Brand recognition is a big SEO factor. Google wants to see that your brand can be trusted. It’s risky for them to show a brand new brand or an unrecognized brand as a top result. If the result isn’t a good one it reflects poorly on Google.
The more recognizable your brand the better chance of higher rankings.
Start by understanding your brand. It might be your company or perhaps the name of your blog or perhaps the brand is you and your name.
Partnerships are great ways to raise awareness. Advertising can certainly help.
And there is another one that is a favorite of mine…
Guesting is when you provide content for an existing audience. Think of the actor on the late night talk show tonight that is there to tell a funny story for five minutes as a way to raise awareness for a movie they’re in that comes out this weekend.
You can do that for your brand and travel blog. You can guest write for other blogs. You can guest on podcasts or video series. You can provide quotes for other bloggers and writers.
Make guesting a part of your blogging strategy as a way to raise awareness for the content you’re creating on your blog.
You might be thinking that these tips didn’t include things about keywords or using keywords a certain number of times or word count or sharing or things like that. The search engines are getting very smart. Keywords are important. Links are important. It’s all important, but the engines now use many indicators to find what content deserves the best ranking. By following the tips above you’ll be doing what the engines want – to provide great answers for searchers.
Do that and you’ll be setting yourself up for long-term blogging success.