As a travel professional, you provide a valued service for customers who are looking to take that perfect trip. But, you also compete with many other travel professionals to stand out from the crowd. There are plenty of resources that make it fairly easy for a person to call himself or herself a travel agent, or a travel planner. So, it’s the fine details that will ultimately win you today’s travelers, such as exemplary customer service and innovative technology-based travel services.
This is why we present to you some great SEO tips for travel agents and travel planners. Before you get that client to book a vacation or business trip with you, you have to let them know you’re there and that you’re an expert on where they’re traveling (or the region they’re thinking of visiting). How do you do that? You implement SEO (search engine optimization) techniques that make your website or blog pop up when travelers are researching their desired destinations. Don’t have a website or a blog? We suggest you create one because it’s a simple action that can position you as the go-to person for a specific type of travel or a travel location.
To stand out as an expert and preferred travel professional in the industry today, you need to offer something that goes beyond what the rest are offering. And, you need to make sure your services are noticed amidst the sea of Internet travel providers’ services. The travel professional that will succeed and gain more customers, in an ever-changing industry, needs to present travel information in a way that makes travelers want to reach out instantly. And, they need to show up when travelers are searching for someone to help them with their trips.
Have Your Own Blog
If you’re an independent travel agent or travel planner, you can set up a blog for free (or for very little cost) with WordPress or a number of other blog hosting companies. Work for a travel agency? You can have your own blog separate from your agency, or your agency might give you a page on its website to publish regular blog posts.
Having a blog is a great way to put SEO to use so that you appear in search engine results based on keywords you incorporate into your content. Once you’re on the radar of people looking for hotels in Toronto, or flights to Austin, or whatever they’re searching for, you can wow them with fantastic stories and descriptions of travel that they’ll be dying to take. A blog can help you with search ranking, and it can establish you as an authority in your niche.
Become a Travel Authority
When you create your blog, you’ll want to focus on travel stories. Which means, don’t create content simply to sell your services. Write about destinations, hotels, activities and events in an area, and offer tips for travelers. Key in on topics that will make traveling easier for your clients. Give them valuable information that they can’t easily find online or anywhere else. As an example, check out Kimpton’s blog, The Suite Life, and notice how it does a perfect job of offering little-known tidbits of information, such as where the top art exhibits in Washington DC are located.
Consider Hyperlocal Content
Travel agents and travel professionals that regularly book national, and international travel, might be fine writing blog posts on the best shopping in San Francisco or Los Angeles – even if they’re located in Canada. But, if you’re a travel professional that focuses on local business and clients, consider posting hyper-local content that is specific to your city. For instance, a New York City travel professional who markets himself or herself as a regional expert might want to focus most of a blog’s posts on events in NYC, things to do in New York City, and restaurants in New York.
Build a Brand
When you establish your blog, you’ll absolutely want to be relevant and focus on SEO. But, you should think about your blog in terms of building your brand. As you create your posts, make sure you infuse your personality into your writing so that customers will get a sense of the person behind the content. Part of gaining clients is gaining their trust, which is easier to do if they see you as someone who genuinely wants to help make their travel better. Standard Hotels, a luxury hotel collection with an offbeat and artistic personality, does this wonderfully as it publishes quirky posts about the Los Angeles coffee culture and the Frieze art fair.
A blog that helps improve search visibility for a travel professional, and reflects the agent or planner’s personality, is a perfect marketing companion to tools like social media accounts and beautifully created itineraries. Thoughtful and optimized blog post content can be a useful part of custom itineraries that serve to establish the travel professional as an expert and trusted source of information.
About the Author
Galileo Tech Media specializes in Travel SEO generating thousands of pages of SEO Keywords and Content for Marriott and Ritz-Carlton hotels and resorts each month. They know how people search for travel, and how important it is to be VISIBLE and HELPFUL in order to convert the curious into customers. In this blog post, they share tips for maximizing SEO strategies for the travel professional. Galileo specializes in Keyword Science, SEO Content Creation, Hyper-Local content [perfect for blogs and local area/events pages], and more. Check out their Travel SEO blog for more tips, and they’d love to hear from you with questions!