How to promote a travel company. Part 2.
A great website is essential if you are in the travel business and want to sell vacations. Regardless of how fantastic your travel company website looks, it must be found by the search engines. Most people want to book their vacation online and if your website is a no show in the search engine results, you won’t be selling a thing. To drive more traffic to your website you need to utilize some clever search engine optimization (SEO) techniques - which simply mean using every trick possible to get your website noticed by the search engines.
1. Shrewd Use of Keywords
The search engines probe the internet looking for content to match searched phrases. It’s all down to the words used. If your content contains keywords which match the search phrase, you’re on the way to showing up in the results.
There are two types of keywords to use to improve your website rankings in the search results:
- Keywords about your vacations: The search engines must be able to easily discover what types of vacation you offer. If your company is called ‘Worlds Apart’ and offers exotic vacations to the Far East, great keyword phrases might include ‘exotic vacations in Asia’. Don’t opt for generic terms such as ‘exotic vacations’ or you may attract clients who want to travel to Australia!
- Keywords about your brand: When you have a strong brand for your travel company, people will associate it with a particular type of vacation. If a discerning traveller has heard about ‘Worlds Apart’ they will search by this branded keyword. And the search engines need to find your brand quickly and easily.
A strong brand gives you a double edged sword: by careful placement of a mix of branded and non-branded keywords in your content you are going to attract far more visitors than just opting for generic terms. Additionally it will ensure that a customer can find your company easily online – if your brand doesn’t appear near the top of the search results, there’s a strong probability that your client will end up travelling with one of your competitors.
- Placement of keywords:
A skilled website development company can artfully place keywords in all the right places, such as in the page title, meta description and H1 tags to ensure your website ranks. It will also ensure enticing keywords appear in the search engine results – your website entry will be accompanied by a one sentence summary of your company. This is ab-so-lutely critical to attract targeted visitors – those who are most likely to convert into purchasers. This short sentence must succinctly tell viewers what you offer so they can quickly decide whether you can match their needs and whether to click through to your website.
- The danger of keywords
Back in the day, people thought by cramming vacation orientated keywords into their travel website content that they would rank highly. But the search engines have wised up. Today’s crystal clear message is that you must write content for your target market, not for the search engines. The Google spam detectives will soon spot if you have been ‘keyword stuffing’ which is seen as the cheat’s way to attempt to rank highly – but this approach will backfire and may even count against you in the rankings.
2. Fresh Content on your Website
Keep the search engines happy with fresh content. They just love to see a website with plenty of action. Write articles and blogs on any subject you can think of relevant to your market niche and publish them on your website. ‘Top Sights to See in Vietnam’ and ‘The Do’s and Don’ts of Packing for your Asian Vacation’ would both work for the Worlds Apart example.
Make sure your articles are completely unique, entertaining and with good use of grammar throughout. The search engines cannot be fooled. They will soon pick up if an article contains nonsensical content for content’s sake in an effort to boost rankings. They want to see an article which is well written, informative and genuinely written with the reader in mind.
3. Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Campaigns
In addition to improving your website ranking by using keywords and creating great content, you can give your travel company a step up the marketing ladder by taking out PPC adverts. These are today’s online equivalent of traditional newspaper adverts in that they have to be paid for. However PPC adverts rely entirely on words. When someone enters a search term into Google and it matches your advert keywords, your ad will appear at the top of page one, effectively leapfrogging the organic search results. And if the reader likes what your advert promises, they will click through to your website to discover more.
Handy Hints: There are other proven ways to drive more traffic to your website:
- Social Media
When you have a strong presence on selected social media websites, you can easily drive more traffic to your website. Include your web address in your company information area and share photos and posts that link back to your website.
When you have a client database, don’t let them forget about you. Send out regular e-newsletters with all your best offers and news. The e-newsletter itself should comprise concise text to tempt the reader – and then they can just click through to your website to learn more about the offers.
- Printed items
Don’t forget to capitalize on every single opportunity to drive more visitors to your website via printed items. Make sure your brand is highly visible and include your company website URL on your email signature and business cards.
You can be sure of increasing traffic to your website by following the tips above which is half the battle won. And then of course, it’s all down to the perfectly branded website to persuade visitors that your travel company is the one to book their vacation with.