Published on Thursday, July 5, 2012

Staying ahead of the competition online


Travel companies need a strategy for winning traffic via internet search engines like Google to stay ahead of their competitors, said SEO expert Chris Liversidge.


"Big names are dominating the current travel market and many of them can attribute this to investing in their website to compete in the already crowded market place," he said. "The end goal is simple- ranking in a high position for key search terms can bring large numbers of high value consumers to your website.


"It’s also key to point out that if your site allows for a pleasant booking experience your new visitors will become long term customers, returning via brand searches in the future."


Liversidge, who created SEO for British Airways and founded search marketing agency Queryclick, has come up with the following tips to help travel businesses get the most out of their online performance:


  • Understand your users to know which key phrases they are searching for and target these effectively on your website. For example, when it comes to holiday searches, people start of with a generic term 'hotel Marrakech' and refine their search using longer tail key phrases before converting "hotel Marrakech Nouvelle Ville"
  • Increase visibility in Google local search results by encouraging reviews from customers on travel sites like TripAdvisor.  Additionally reviews from customers should be displayed on its website using schema micro data which will enhance listings within the search engines
  • Build image SEO as striking pictures attract consumers. Including image SEO in a travel SEO campaign also means it is easier to get ranked in Google Image Search and images also show up in regular Google search via Google Universal search results
  • Multilingual SEO is important as many websites assume consumers all speak English but most people search the Web in their native tongue. This increases the possibility of outmatching competition in other languages and local Google versions
  •  Hotels should ensure they have an optimised Google Places or Google Plus Local page


By Linsey McNeill

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