Tour and activity operators invest in Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to increase long-term organic traffic to their company websites.
This increased focus on building online traffic comes as a result of the growth in online bookings, which, according to Phocuswright, currently sits at 21%.
SEO proves that it’s worth your time and money, because the more viewers you get to land on your site, the more leads you create and opportunities to convert those viewers into buyers.
So, how do you get started with SEO as a tour or activity business?
There are on-site and off-site SEO strategies that are available for you to consider. From researching relevant keywords and redesigning your site for mobile devices, to building quality backlinks and optimizing various web contents.
In this article, we’ll describe these SEO strategies in detail, but first, let’s take a look at the definition of SEO and go through its importance for tour and activity providers.
What is SEO?
Search Engine Optimization, as the name suggests, is the process of optimizing your website in order to rank on Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).
While this is one of the most effective ways of increasing web traffic, it does not offer quick results. So unlike paid advertising like Pay Per Click (PPC), SEO’s rewards will not be seen overnight. It is therefore important to be patient and consistent, so you can reap the benefits of your successful SEO, which include increased and consistent organic traffic.
If you’re serious about SEO, you should take the time to learn various tactics and implement them on your site.
Why is SEO essential for tours and activities?
1. Increasing visibility and improving site ranking
The results of effective SEO marketing is evidenced by raised ranking and higher visibility to potential clients.
This way, as travelers search for various products and services, they can come across your company in search results. This is helpful for building awareness for your business. Once they click on your web page, that view becomes a potential new sales opportunity.
2. Generate more leads
As SEO enables you to rank higher in search engines like Google, the likeliness of getting more organic clicks to your site increases. This creates lead generation opportunities for your business. Now let’s look at how this comes about.
First, travelers love using Search Engines to plan their trips. Among leisure travelers, search engines make up 60% of the online information gathered, while for business travelers, it’s 55%. That’s much higher than any other resource, such as dedicated travel websites like TripAdvisor.
Source: Think with google
In addition, the top five listings on SERPs claim over 75% of all clicks. This goes to show just how many opportunities you get by investing in SEO and ranking on search engines.
3. SEO is cost-effective
SEO costs money and time but compared to other alternative sources of traffic, e.g. PPC, it’s often cheaper and more effective in the long run.
If, for example, you run a paid advertising campaign using Google Ads, traffic increases immediately depending on your budget. Once you stop paying for the adverts, there will be a decrease in traffic.
With SEO, once you’ve successfully optimized your website and are ranking on SERPs, you will continue getting traffic at no additional cost.
4. Consistent business growth
If your company website has a constant flow of targeted traffic, this makes business growth smoother.
For example, when you invest in growing organic traffic, you will not have to rely on one-time miracles, influencer campaigns, or advertising. Instead, you will get a consistent flow of relevant traffic, assuming you produce regular content that’s adapted to your target audience.
4 SEO tips for tours and activities
1. Effective keyword research and use
Keyword research is one of the fundamental steps when carrying out SEO for tour operators and activity providers. Choosing the right keyword will significantly boost your success.
So what is a keyword? This is the text or phrase someone types into Google or any other search engine when looking for particular information.
To target the right keywords on your website, first ensure the keywords are relevant to your industry. Put together a number of potential phrases and compare their relevance, difficulty, and search volume, along with other parameters.
After deciding on a keyword, create a blog post or page around it, making sure to include it in the following places:
- In the page URL
- Once in your page title and meta description
- In at least one subheading.
- In the body copy: within the first 100 words and 2-3 times within the body.
As you research and use keywords and phrases, keep in mind the searcher’s intent: why the user typed that search query, and what information they expect to find. This will help you make better keyword choices and create more relevant content on your website.
2. Optimization of different types of content
When adding any piece of information to your website, consider how to optimize it for the search engines. Here are a few examples to get you started:
Local Web Page – These pages are targeted at the locals or people near your business location. How it works is: when searchers key in location-specific key phrases (e.g. “escape room in Berlin), they can find your tour or activity business. Position yourself by creating a Google My Business account. Verify your business address and optimize the page by filling in your profile details.
Images – If someone only wants to view images related to a certain keyword phrase or text, they can select the “images” tab on the Google search engine for this. This is another opportunity to market your site through your images. Before posting images online, you should optimize them by adding an ALT tag and naming the image using the target keyword.
Videos – Optimizing videos is another way to take advantage of SEO. To begin, ensure your videos are clear, well-edited, and most of all, eye-catching. These could be videos of you and your clients during one of your tours or activities. For optimization, edit the file name to include search queries.
Whether you post on YouTube or Vimeo, remember to make the video public. Write a detailed keyword-rich description, add relevant keyword tags, and include your target keyword in the title.
3. Site optimization for mobile
Today, SEO for tour operators and activity providers should include site optimization for mobile. Did you know that Google has implemented mobile-first indexing for over 50% of websites?
This means that Google prioritizes the mobile version of your website before the desktop one when ranking it for a given keyword. This move has occurred right in tandem with the rise in internet usage on mobile phones. Surveys reveal that 62% of travelers research their upcoming tours on smartphones.
This statistic is proof that optimizing the mobile user experience can attract even more leads and mobile bookings.
Some of the important elements to note when it comes to optimizing your site for mobile are:
- Ensure your web page is mobile-friendly.
- Have easy navigation.
- Good speed on mobile.
4. Building quality backlinks
So far, we’ve looked at “on-page optimization” strategies, which are methods of boosting SEO by directly addressing the issues on your website.
Furthermore, tour and activities companies need to work on “off-page optimization” as well. One of the best ways of doing this is building quality backlinks.
Backlinking is by far one of the best strategies with the greatest impact on your website’s competitiveness. It involves getting other websites to link back to your site, in order to boost credibility and increase authority.
Here are some methods of acquiring quality backlinks to your tour or activities website:
- Guest posting – This method involves writing a blog post for another website/blog for free. In exchange, most companies will offer you one or two links back to your website.
- Link roundups – You can write a roundup blog of different companies and link out to each of their websites. If you later request a backlink from them, they are usually more willing to do so.
- Writing great content – As you create amazing content for your blog, other authority websites and blogs may want to link to you to quote some of that information.
- Using great images – If you have catchy images on your website, e.g. of happy clients on tour with your company, other bloggers may want to use those images. The truth is, most will not ask for your permission but will likely link back to your site.
- Broken link building – For outdated articles online, it’s no surprise to find them leading you to pages that no longer exist. You can look for such opportunities and write an article on the topic that the link was originally pointing to. Approach the webmaster and inform them of the broken link and offer your post. There’s a chance it will be accepted, and some backlinks may follow.
By following and implementing these SEO tips for tour operators and activity providers, your business is bound to get increased visibility, generate more leads, and raise its bottom line. Although this does not occur overnight, it’s worth the effort as it will get you organic traffic for an indefinite period of time.
To recap, these are the SEO tips we mentioned above that will help grow your website traffic:
- Doing proper keyword research.
- Optimizing different types of content.
- Setting up mobile-friendly websites.
- Building quality backlinks.
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