Digital Marketing

Which Ranking Features Matter Most For Travel SEO?

Things are changing quickly in the world of online travel marketing. 60% of leisure travellers now put their own itineraries together, whether that’s booking flights and hotels or even adding in tickets to attractions. While this is great news for travellers and those who have found their sweet spot in this part of the travel industry, it can be a confusing time for those who are not used to the shifting landscape.

SearchMetrics has compiled a new infographic and whitepaper to help those struggling with digital hotel marketing. The research shows the most important ranking factors when it comes to travel SEO. It’s a popular subject, so SearchMetrics meticulously used Google data to find what people were really searching for.

Perhaps unsurprisingly for travel, such a popular subject, one of the more popular items that ranked highly within travel over other benchmark factors was the number of images on each page. Happily, overall content relevance was there too—proving that travel customers and clients plus the search engines are good at separating the wheat from the chaff in a place of perhaps oversaturated content.

Word count was over 50% more important than the average, non-travel related page, meaning that this can make or break your page if you’re jostling for a plum ranking with Google. Google has stringent algorithms that locate and quantify various pages and woe betide your webpage if it should break or bend its best practise rules.

The perennial Buzzfeed favourite tactic of the bullet pointed list was also prevalent within all types of travel sites and startegies—making it a key digital hotel marketing tactic. Travel sites also working hard to improve their rankings should give careful consideration to the use and of number of internal links, URL length, interactive elements and the presence of H1 and H2 tags. All of these metrics were found to be important ranking factors for travel sites.

However, due possibly in part to travel’s particular niche, several elements of travel pages fell well below the average benchmark. Despite travel being an integrally social experience, links to social media such as Google, Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest were much lower than in other sites. Of these, Pinterest fared the best, possibly because travel is a type of experience given to plenty of visuals.

What can travel marketers learn from this? Those focusing on digital hotel marketing need to know their particular ranking rules well, since their competitors ultimately will. Keep the content relevant, remember that numbered bullet lists and word counts matter more in travel than in many other fields, and pay attention to things like URLs and H1 and H2 tags.

It can be difficult to parse this kind of research if you’re trying out a new kind of campaign or even dipping a toe into the waters of digital hotel marketing for the first time. Digital Hotelier can help.

Digital Hotelier is committed to helping hotels enhance their digital marketing skills and manage their revenues. In a world where Google seems to come out with new rules and different algorithms with alarming regularity, driving direct conversions can be tough if you’re managing it alone. Get in touch to see how we can help.