Having awesome content on your website that shows off your tour offerings is one thing, but unless people are finding you when planning their trip, thats all for nought. Effective Search Engine Optimization (SEO) can solve this issue and ensure that you’re bringing traffic to your site for the right search queries.
Choosing the right keywords
Settling on a definitive set of keywords to target for a tour operator can be difficult due to the variety of tours offered. First of all, it’s important to find a niche, and with the travel industry this is usually actually quite easy – your tours are their own respective keyword niches. “Walking tours in the Himalayas”, “European battlefield tours” or “charity cycling tours” might be some of the tours you offer, and each one offers a distinct set of keywords to focus in on.
The tours you offer are each made up of three main facets: the destinations (countries, cities), the accommodations in each destination that the travellers reside in while on the trip, and the activities that can be enjoyed at each destination. As explained above, these facets give you a wealth of valuable, long-tail keywords that you can focus on effortlessly.
With properly search engine optimized content, you’re one step closer to being found by the right searchers at the right time – travellers at the research phase of the buying cycle.
Building a link profile
It is possible to accelerate the process of ranking for valuable search phrases by obtaining high quality links to your website. It’s important to emphasise ‘high quality’ here, and by these I mean links from sites like Lonely Planet or a local publication’s travel section, for example. The quality of links far outweight the quantity of links you have pointing to your website.
Some SEO companies (or companies that provide SEO services) will sell link packages that purchase links on low quality, spammy sites that can actually damage your site’s rankings with search engines, and sometimes even have your domain blacklisted from their index, so be wary of how and from where you obtain your links. The best methods are always the most natural – approaching highly relevant sites with high quality sites and approaching them, asking for a link to your website on theirs. This could be in the form of sponsored content, a guest-blog post, a mention in one of their own posts, and more.
Having a properly managed presence on social media is vitally important for tour operators. While your customers might not be looking for you on those platforms, they will want to know more about your company and about other peoples’ experience with it once they’ve learned about you, and for that they will turn to social media.
Be sure to keep your profile stocked with high quality imagery (tours are a highly visual product), up to date NAP details (Name, Address, Phone number), and – a big one – actually engage with your audience. No good comes from a social media page where the company doesn’t respond to their customers’ queries, compliments or complaints.
Interlinking your content on your site is important, no matter the industry your business is in. Your site visitors shouldn’t have to search much to find the information they’re looking for. This means having your content connected in the right ways, not just via a top level menu. Tours pages can link to other tours that visit similar areas. Destination pages can link to tours that visit that destinaiton. Accommodation and activity pages can have links to tours that features those accommodations and activities, and so on. This helps both users and Search Engine spiders to efficiently find their way around your site, a boost for UX and SEO.
Our LSX Tour Operator plugin makes interlinking content a breeze with its related content feature, which helps you to easily link your tour pages to accommodation pages, destination pages, activities, reviews and more.
This post really only scratches the surface of what factors matter when it comes to SEO, but has focussed on some of the more pertinent issues when it comes to SEO for Tour Operator websites. If you run a tour operator website and are in website-reviews/need of a SEO review, we can help. Or if you’d like to first discuss things with us, please get in touch.