Keywords: your window into what people are interested in, what they think about your brand, where they are in the sales cycle, what their intent is, and any travel industry trends that are on the horizon. When someone enters keywords into an online search engine, they are looking for a certain answer or piece of information. This is why finding the best travel keyword opportunities – and making the most of them – is critical to digital performance.
You want your website to rank at the top of the search engine result pages for as many keywords relevant to your business as possible. Research shows that average click-through rates drop drastically the further down a page you rank: from 20.5% in position 1 to 7.95% in position 10. Simply put, the higher you rank and the more keywords you rank for, the more chance you have of gaining highly relevant referral traffic. Read on find out how to research the best keyword opportunities and how to use them within your content.
What is keyword research?
Keyword research is the process of identifying the words and phrases that your customers and potential customers use to move through the travel sales funnel, from inspiration and research all the way through to booking and travel preparation. They are the words that are valuable to your travel business and that will bring the right kind of traffic through to your website.
Keyword research tools
Keyword research can tell you how often people search for you brand and products, what the likelihood that you’ll be able to rank for them is, the expected click-through rate, and any related keywords or phrases you may not have thought of. There are free and paid-for tools to help you do your research. We recommend Google Keyword Planner, Ubersuggest by Neil Patel and SEMrush, which offers a broader SEO overview. Alternatively, you can work with an agency offering travel SEO services to help you get the job quickly and thoroughly.
Knowing which keywords to prioritise can feel overwhelming, especially given the potential array of words and phrases in the travel industry. When you’re doing your research, or working with your travel SEO agency, be sure to use a data-driven approach to focus your attention on keywords with high search volume but low-to-medium difficulty or competition. These are the keywords that hit the sweet spot, offering plenty of search traffic opportunity while being fairly easy to rank for.
You’ll also need to trust your gut here; you know your business inside and out, which keywords are important and those that are likely to be profitable. Use your internal compass to further prioritise by importance. Finally, factor in the expected click-through rate, as this is important to gauge how much interaction your links are likely to get.
Types of keyword
The term ‘keyword’ is a catch-all word for single words, short phrases and longer strings of words. Any groups of three words or under are known as ‘short-tail’ keywords and any longer than three words are ‘long-tail’. It’s important to understand what the difference between the two means for you and your travel keyword research. The shorter the keyword, the higher the volume and the higher the competition.
Short-tail keywords are notoriously difficult to rank for, so focus your efforts on smaller-volume but lower-competition long-tail keywords. The extra detail given by the extra words in this type of keyword mean that you can serve up really relevant content. If you specialise in ‘senior travel to the Algarve’ for example, you’ll have much greater success targeting this as a long-tail keyword than ‘Algarve holidays’. The specificity given by long-tail keywords also means that you should see conversion rates soar, because you are accurately matching your content to detailed search terms.
Optimising your website content
72% of marketers say the single-most-effective SEO tactic is creating relevant content. This impressive statistic highlights the importance of not only finding the best keyword opportunities, but also ensuring that your content is as relevant to your chosen keywords as possible. Think carefully about the keywords you are targeting and what your prospects and customers will expect to see when they visit your landing page, and create content that aligns the two as closely as possible. You want to deliver an exceptional experience from the SERP through to your landing page – by doing so, you’ll be much more likely to convert your visitors and see your rankings rise.
Taking a data-driven approach like this to keyword research can give you a real competitive advantage. Finding great keyword opportunities in this way will ensure you are focusing your time and resource on the most valuable and potentially profitable words and phrases. Start your research today, or speak to a travel SEO agency, and get ready to see your rankings and SERP visibility soar.