Posted to Ben Finklea's blog on June 9th, 2009

SEO For Travel-Based Websites

It is almost officially summertime and it feels like it here in Austin. The travel bug has already been biting for weeks now in Volacci’s home base and I know I can’t help but check out a few travel-based websites to dream of a getaway. Unfortunately, it isn’t a good year to set any tourism records abroad, as stay-cations rise in popularity and giving any travel person the shivers just to think about. That is why having the right foundation for SEO on their website is even more important than ever before.

Various financial experts agree that a recession is an opportune time to implement new and forward-thinking initiatives within a business to tighten up and recalibrate their overall marketing model. If search engine optimization isn’t involved yet, then you may not see too much business even after this recession dwindles into the past tense. It is time to step up and make sure that your SEO efforts are ready for take-off.

Creative Keywords

This is the tail that wags the dog of your SEO campaign. You need the right chemistry of keywords to be successful. This means getting creative with a mix of brow sweat and elbow grease. Use Google’s Keyword Tool and focus on competitive keywords within the travel industry. If they have a high search volume, chances are the pool is crowded. Everyone is fighting to optimize these terms. It’s easier to find your kid in a swimming pool that has less screaming kids than not. Look for the keywords that have a decent volume, more than 500 per month and where the Google Adwords competition bar isn’t completely full, but is green. Find keywords around phrases such as “best time to visit X”, “things to do in X”, where “X” is a city or country.

Use Keywords in Content

So you have just finished a thorough research initiative for keywords, and you are satisfied in the investment. Now you need to use those keywords in the all the written content you create for the site. Every web page on your web site should be rich with keywords. But don’t keyword “stuff” the content. Be very careful to retain the integrity of your copy so that it sounds natural. You are still talking to humans, afterall. You should also inject them into the external articles you will may have written in your link building campaign (which I address later). These articles will be informative resources for people interested in your specialty. The article will lead them right to your site.

SEO-Friendly Website

Now that you have your keywords picked out, and used throughout your site, make sure your site is SEO-friendly. If you are still using frames, javascript/AJAX or flash without any HTML version added, then your website is considered an ancient wonder of the internet. A SEO-friendly website consists of clean HTML. Build your website in a content management system, such as Drupal, which is very user-friendly and allows you to customize your site like you have never done before. The more professional it looks, the more people will book.

Link Building

You now have quality content, both on- and off-page, and your site is SEO-friendly. You can promote your business and blog through social networking sites, like Facebook and Twitter, forums, and commenting on other people in your professional community. This should jump-start a link building campaign that will help your online presence gain relevancy with people and search engines, boosting your site’s rankings and online traffic.

Travel websites are highly competitive in these frugal times. Making sure your website is found and closes the deal with consumers is more important than ever before. If you ensure that your website is SEO-friendly and is implementing a quality SEO campaign, then you will ensure your business will make it through the global popularity boom of stay-cations.

Volacci is the leading Drupal SEO company and very passionate about your online success. By the end of your contract you will have at least as much additional business from your web site as you spend on our services... or we'll work for free until you do.

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