SEO Checklist for Better Travel Website

As more than 5 million Google searches happen daily, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is essential to boost quality traffic on your website. It doesn’t matter whether you own a travel blog, travel company site, or online booking website; SEO is a crucial factor.

So, what are the main fundamentals of SEO? And how can you use these factors to optimize your travel website and make it better?

Well, we are here to address these questions for you. In this thorough article, we will be listing the best SEO checklist for a better travel website.

On top of that, you can get more insights on the importance of SEO for travel websites and find your questions answered with our detailed FAQs section.

Now, let’s get underway!

Some SEO Checklist to Grow Your Travel Website

While SEO is somewhat complicated and keeps on evolving, you need the expertise to achieve optimal results. Here are the best SEO checklists for a better travel website:

SEO Basic Checklist

1. Set-Up Analytic Tools For Your Website

Different analytic tools help you see if Google is finding and ranking all your sites’ pages. This allows you to plan your growth strategy accordingly. Hence, you need to set up two critical tools on your website:

Google Analytics is a crucial tool from Google that offers a comprehensive insight into your website performance. It gives key details like the number of visitors every day, unique visitors, and returning visitors. 

Likewise, Google Analytics offers insights on the most viewed pages of your website, your visitor’s behavior, source of incoming traffic, as well as your website’s bounce rate percentage. With specific statistics of your website traffic, you can easily make strategic plans to scale your website.

On the other hand, Google Search Console plays a crucial role in indexing your website so that it appears on search engines. In the meantime, this tool gives you an overview of your website’s health in terms of SEO.

This key tool for Google highlights issues and opportunities for improvement so that you can boost your website’s visibility in SERPs. Likewise, it enables you to submit sitemaps and individual URLs of your website for crawling. 

Moreover, you can use Google Search Console to get detailed insights on how SEO-friendly your website is. It lets you understand how your website performs on search engines in terms of click-through rates (CTRs), search queries, crawl errors, backlinks, and HTML errors. 

2. Create a robots.txt File

robots.txt file

A robots.txt is a simple file that tells search engines which part of your website they can and can’t explore. While having a robots.txt file is optional for websites including a travel website, you can still include it on your site to keep certain sections of your website private. 

There is an easy way to check if you already have a robots.txt file on your website by going to yourdomain.com/robots.txt. If you see a plain text file on this URL, you are good to go. On the other hand, if you see anything else, search Google for “robots.txt generator” and create the one for your website.

Technical SEO Checklist

1. Create a Proper Website Structure

You should design your website in a way that is easy for search engines to navigate and crawl for better online visibility. For example, if you are running a travel website, you need to present your business with separate categories/branches like services, blogs, galleries, about, contact. 

Each category/branch on the site should be an internal link to let search engines and visitors navigate between pages.

2. Make Sure Your Website is Responsive & Mobile-Friendly

More than 50% of users surf websites through their mobile phones. It means that if your website is not mobile-friendly, you are in considerable danger of losing a large amount of traffic.

To avoid this, you should focus on mobile-first indexing. This is the technique where Google principally uses the mobile version of the content for indexing and ranking.

Your travel website should look good to be used on every device, including smartphones, tablets, desktops, and laptops. For that, you should create a website using responsive and mobile-friendly travel WordPress themes.

Your users don’t like to wait for long as they want their business finished as quickly as possible. If they have to wait for a longer time, they are more likely to lose patience and leave your website once and for all. In order to make sure this never happens, you should publish your mobile website in an AMP format for exceptional loading time.

Both business travelers and leisure travelers are looking for mobile-friendly websites to make their travel-related decisions. Therefore, it is vital to optimize your website for mobile devices so that they can reach you quickly and book a service from you without any problem.

3. Focus On Website’s Speed and Performance

The page speed of your website plays a crucial role when it comes to ranking on search engine results. If your site takes more than one second to load, you are more likely to lose visitors. As a result, you can see a drop in your travel revenue as a travel website owner. 

For the past decade or so, page speed has been one of the most important ranking factors on the desktop. Similarly, mobile devices have also recognized the importance of page speed since 2018. 

If your website is not optimized for speed and performance, you are sure to experience a huge increment in the bounce rate of your website. 

GT Metrix

There are tools like GTmetrix, Pingdom, and Google PageSpeed Insights to check the average speed of your website. 

On-Page SEO Checklist

1. Make a Proper Keyword Strategy

Keyword research is by far the most crucial part of SEO. You can’t optimize your website and boost its visibility until you do proper keyword research. It, in fact, lays a foundation for your website optimization.

You can use Ahrefs to analyze the keywords related to your website content.

Ahrefs helps you nail your optimization strategies by focusing on keyword research and competitor analysis. 

This tool started off as just a backlink checker in the past. Now, it serves as one of the best content research and analysis platforms, an on-page SEO analyzer, a keyword rank tracker (with historical SERP movements), and a competitor research tool.

As Ahrefs is a paid tool, not everyone may have the budget to buy it. In such a case, you can use the free tool from Google like Google Keyword Planner. Although free, this SEO tool helps you to research keywords and plan your content strategy.

The best part of Google Keyword Planner is that it provides insights regarding the keyword competition, the Average Cost Per Click (CPC), and more. 

By targeting the primary set of keywords, you can help Google understand what your content is all about. This increases the chance of your blog post popping out on the first page of search engines. 

Once you find keywords for your travel content, you have to pick the one that has the highest search volume and low competition. This now becomes your target keyword.

Incorporating the target keyword on your content can rank your content and eventually drive more traffic to your website.

You can use tools like Frase.io, Clearscope, and SEO Surfer, which offer you the idea of how many times you should use the targeted keywords to rank your website above your competitors.

Next, you should explore the Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) keywords. These keywords are the searches related to your focus or target keyword. 

In order to find out the LSI keywords easily, you should enter your focus keyword in the Google Search bar and go way down to the bottom to see the results. There you can find all the related searches.

2. Write Descriptive and Structured Content 

The on-page SEO factors are very important if you want to scale your travel website. On-page SEO factors involve creating high-quality content, organizing keyword placements, adding meta descriptions for your posts, and focusing on image optimization. 

To make sure your travel website is descriptive and well-structured, you need to keep the following key things in mind:

#Create a Proper Blog Post Title: 

The title of your content is crucial when it comes to search engines. If your content has a proper post title, it becomes more relevant to the search query. In fact, it urges users to click your post link when they see it on search engine results. 

You can use an online tool called CoSchedule Headline Analyzer to create a search engine-friendly blog post title. This tool checks your headline length, keywords, balance, sentiments and scores your title on a scale of 0 to 100. 

Note: Your post title should contain your primary keyword, and it should not exceed 66 characters.

#Focus on Keyword Placement:

After you do proper keyword planning, you should make sure that you properly place these keywords across your blog post. It shouldn’t look as if you have done keyword stuffing when your visitors read your travel content online. 

Google pays more attention to the primary words of your blog title. Therefore, the closer a keyword is at the beginning of your post title, the better your page’s chance of ranking higher on search engines.

Some SEO gurus also recommend using your main keyword within the first 100 words of your content. You can even use two or three relevant keywords whenever you are writing the introduction part of your content.

Keyword Placement example

Similarly, you should use your keywords wisely on headings of your content like H1, H2, and H3. As Google pays special attention to page headings, inserting keywords properly in them can help your travel website achieve higher rankings on SERPs.

Last but not least, you should place important keywords on the meta description of your post. Google displays meta descriptions in the search engine result pages (SERPs) to help users have a complete understanding of the content. Therefore, adding keywords to your meta description is very crucial for improving your click-through rate. 

#Use Subheadings Properly:

In order to amplify the visibility of your travel website on search engines, you should make use of subheadings wisely while creating descriptive content. By default, the post title uses an H1 tag. Thus, you can use the H2 tag, H3 tag, and H4 tag in proper order for the next subheadings that you create for your blog posts. 

Don’t make the common mistake of skipping H2 tags and using only H3 and H4 tags on your blog posts. You should use subheadings in the right order to ensure a better SEO score. If you use these heading tags properly, your content is likely to appear on Google’s snippet.

#Write a Proper Meta Description:

A meta description is a significant element for a blog post as it provides search engines and users information about your content. A well-optimized meta description can attract more users on search engine results which, in return, helps to boost organic traffic to your travel website.

There are a plethora of WordPress plugins that help you create a proper meta description for your content. Rank Math is one of the best WordPress SEO plugins for creating meta descriptions for your blog posts.

The meta description you write should include your main keywords and should not exceed 156 characters. 

#Use Images & Videos on Your Post and Optimize Them:

The use of graphical content makes your blog posts more engaging and interactive. You should include relevant images and videos in your blog posts to ensure that your content attracts more visitors. 

However, you should make sure that all the images and videos you use are appropriately optimized. For instance, whenever you post a photo on your blog post, you should consider adding image alt text. This is because Google and other search engine platforms can only recognize your image with its alternative text. 

You can manually add image alt attributes when you upload an image on your blog. In fact, WordPress allows you to add alt text while uploading a photo to your post.

#Focus on Internal Links:

Internal linking helps you to decrease the bounce rate percentage of your website. Whenever you create a new blog post, you need to analyze the relevant posts to link to your new post. Then, wherever it makes sense, add those links for better optimization.

Placing internal links and interconnecting your content enhances the user experience by helping them better navigate. Similarly, if one of the web pages on your website is highly ranked, internal linking spreads this ranking to related posts. 

It is super easy to add internal links to your travel posts once you get the real intent of interlinking. Besides, you can always use the plugins like LinkWhisper for quick internal linking.

3. Use Short and Descriptive URL

A descriptive URL helps searches to understand what the page on your website is actually about on search engine result pages. Also, if the URL of your page is short, it is even better for search engines. 

The basic trick of making your URL short and descriptive is by setting your primary keyword as the URL slug. For instance, if you want to write content about the popular travel destinations around Europe, you can define your URL as:

yourwebsitename/category/popular-travel-destinations-europe.

If you keep your URLs long, the search engines may automatically trim them when they appear on search engine results. Since the cut or trim process could be random, it could take away the gist of your content which can have a negative impact on your whole website. 

4. Use Tantalizing and Expressive Images

It is even more important to display tantalizing photos of various destinations if you run a travel website. Adding alluring photos of beautiful destinations with descriptive information helps attract more customers. In the end, it results in increased travel bookings and the overall status of your business.

As we mentioned earlier, while adding photos on your website, make sure to define a proper alt tag. You need to tell Google what your photos are about by giving them unique and descriptive names.

Alt tags or alt text not just impact SEO but also make sure your website is easily accessible to visually impaired people.

Similarly, you can help your website’s SEO by trimming the file size of your images. This helps to boost the speed of your website so that your users can access it quickly. 

You can easily find the best royalty-free travel images to use on your website. Some of the sources for free stock images include:

In case you are wondering for more, check out this thorough guide on 20+ best stock photo sites for royalty-free travel images.

Off-Page SEO Checklist

1. Focus on Link Building

Link building is proven and one of the most effective off-page SEO practices out there. It helps attain high rankings on search engine result pages.

Inbound links for high-authority and reputable websites help you improve your travel website’s rankings on search engines. You should always make sure that the backlinks you get are from sites relevant to your industry. 

There are many top-ranked travel websites where you can get valuable links for your website. These include TripAdvisor, Lonely Planet, Yahoo Travel, The Guardian Travel, and so on. 

Here are the ways through which you can get authoritative links for your travel website:

  • If you have good travel offers, focus on press releases so that travel industry influencers and bloggers are more likely to recommend your website to a mass audience. If you can make your business reputable, your website might even get listed with the biggest travel portals. 
  • Similarly, you can mention links from travel review websites and portals. You can also make connections with travel bloggers on social media networks and offer them incentives to visit your website. 
  • Once you make connections, try to establish a conversation with them and then invite them to visit your website. Besides, you can even send exclusive offers for their readers. 

2. Use Social Media Channels

Social media is the place where people gather around and speak up about their travel plans. So, if you can promote your website and optimize it through different social networking channels, you are sure to be found by those travel enthusiasts. 

You can use different social networks like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to share your travel services. Creating compelling visual content about your travel website and sharing them on different social channels helps you attract more visitors to your website. 

For instance, you can join a few travel-related groups on Facebook and promote your services to increase your website traffic. Likewise, you can check for travel-related Twitter chats and use their hashtags while sharing your travel content on Twitter.

3. Analyze Your Competitors

Travel is the most competitive niche when it comes to the online market. Therefore, you should know what you are getting into when you open your travel website. In order to succeed in this particular niche, you need to spy on your competitors and try to turn them from your rivals to allies. 

You can use a paid SEO tool like Ahrefs to analyze your competitor’s websites. For instance, you can check on how they rank for keywords that you are using. If they are doing well, you need to pick new ones that they forget to optimize their landing pages for. 

Once you check how your competitors are doing for the keywords you have chosen, use the tool to find major keywords you can dominate with. 

Another thing that you can do is spy on the source of backlinks on their websites. The analytics SEO tools show you the various industry-specific forums, articles, and publications your competitors are mentioned in. You may then figure out what you need to do to compete with them.

4. Create Destination Landing Pages

If you provide tours at multiple travel destinations, you can help search engine results by creating dedicated website pages for the locales where you offer your services. This is the process of creating destination landing pages.

Creating destination landing pages gives you an opportunity to use more target keywords and build more in-depth content around those keywords. If Google believes your website delivers more value to your users, you are sure to achieve better search rankings.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are the best SEO techniques to drive organic traffic on your travel website?

SEO becomes an essential factor in attracting more visitors to your website. Here are the best SEO techniques that you can use to drive organic traffic on your travel website:

● Improve the user experience across your website
● Optimize your website for voice search
● Make your website mobile-friendly and fully responsive
● Target main keywords, including long-tail keywords
● Write longer content most of the time
● Create a diverse backlink portfolio
● Don’t overlook technical SEO
● Target local searches using landing pages and listing
● Measure your SEO performance

How long does it take to grow organic traffic to your travel website?

Once you’ve done all the hard work, published optimized content on your travel website, and marked off your SEO checklist, it is time to wait for traffic to start rolling to your travel website.

Well, there is no real answer to the question of when exactly you start gaining traffic on your website. It could happen immediately, within a week, or it could take a couple of months before you see a large number of organic traffic.

The thing is that you should keep up the hard work, maintain consistency, and adapt to the changing SEO dynamics to attract traffic quickly to your website.

How to incorporate keywords on my travel content to make it SEO-friendly?

According to the research, about 95% of people only look at the first page of search engine results, and almost half of the clicks on that page go to the first three search results. This means that if you don’t use your keywords properly, you will fail to create SEO-friendly content. As a result, you’re likely to hurt your travel business in terms of traffic.

Thus, you should incorporate your keywords properly to get the best out of your travel content. The following are some places where you need to add your primary keywords to craft SEO-friendly content:

● Page Titles
● Meta Descriptions
● Subheadings
● Images
● URLs
● Link Anchor Text
● Social Media
● Directories and External Listings

Our Verdict

There you go! The afore-mentioned SEO checklist includes both on-page and off-page SEO practices. If you want to build a solid travel website with high potential visitors and maximum traffic, you need to follow all of these SEO tips properly. 

Building a travel website is not enough! You should create high-level content and optimize it with proper keyword research and other on-page SEO principles. Besides, you should focus on link-building and outreach tasks to scale your website and overall travel business. 

Now that you know some of the best SEO checklists for a better travel website, implement them yourselves and track the progress.

Published by Nabin Jaiswal

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