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SEO for Travel Companies in 2018


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SEO for Travel Companies in 2018. What's changed, what you need to know and do. These slides cover landscape changes and the current state of SEO for Travel Companies in 2018. It covers aspects of technical SEO for travel companies, content creation specific to the travel sector, as well as how to boost authority signals and link building for travel companies in 2018.

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SEO for Travel Companies in 2018

  1. 1. How to do SEO for Travel in 2018
  2. 2. ABOUT FREDDY MD @ In Marketing We Trust Geek hidden in a suit Analytics & Search background 9 years of looking through Google Goggles Charity rally driver 2
  3. 3. 3 OUR CAPABILITIES Insert sub-text here insert sub-text here CRM Content Marketing Analytics & Reporting Marketing Cloud Campaign Management Digital Optimisation Marketing Automation Data & Intelligence Lead Generation
  4. 4. What we’ll cover ● Landscape changes ● What matters ● Things you need to do ○ Technical ○ Content ○ Authority signals 4
  5. 5. A new landscape for SEO 5
  6. 6. ” Is SEO Dead Yet? IS SEO DEAD YET? Everyone in Digital Marketing
  7. 7. Qualitative user research by Google shows how users interact the most with other key entities in the travel space GOOGLE AND TRIPADVISOR REMAIN THE GATEKEEPERS OF TRAVEL RESEARCH
  8. 8. MOVING FROM RESULTS TO ANSWERS Landscape What matters To do: analytics To do: technical To do: content To do: authority 😭 No more sites for basic answers Publisher must move to complex answers to survive Article Credit: Martin McDonald
  10. 10. ADWORDS IS GETTING MORE PIXELS Landscape What matters To do: analytics To do: technical To do: content To do: authority 😭 AdWords is getting more visibility across SERPS. Whether classic AdWords or tools like Google Flights, Hotel Ads
  12. 12. GOOGLE FEATURES GETTING GREATER SHARE OF CLICKS Attention is drawn away from results and onto pics and tools
  13. 13. FAST TRACKING PART OF THE JOURNEY WHERE THEY DON’T MAKE MONEY... Not much spend here Lot of mulla!! $$$$$$
  14. 14. Removing the need of SERPs for high volume, low commercial queries … WHILE MAXING OUT COMMERCIAL TERMS While increasing competition on commercial terms Bypassing result pages altogether
  15. 15. Sample from 500k travel keywords Only 2.7k have no features Only 30k with only AdWords This is an opportunity for businesses to build more engaging content from the time of search RARE TO FIND RESULTS WITHOUT SOME FEATURES
  16. 16. 2017/2018: THE ALGO STORM For many publishers and brands SEO, 2018 has been a tough year. Google algorithm updates have been more frequent and targeted publishers and affiliates Those who weather the storm had better content & UX Many algo updates are now rolling updates which means no jump or drop overnight for most sites December January
  17. 17. No more massive jumps or drops Either some pages penalised or whole site progressively fade Link quality is now a constant MAJOR ALGORITHM UPDATES ARE NOW PART OF THE MAIN ALGO
  18. 18. AI can process a whole new set of signals Changing the DNA of ranking factors Situational Awareness Context & Intent UX Graph ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE BRINGS FULL CONTEXT TO QUERIES
  19. 19. ▹ Google remains the main source of traffic for most sites. Source ▸ You get this traffic for free. ▸ It could be worse, think about Facebook organic... ▹ Algo update tend to clean spam rather than punish good sites ▹ Featured snippets rewards best source, including niche sites ▹ Rank Brain rewards better UX and answers ▹ Voice search opens up a new era of long tail ▹ A ranking function on any site is an opportunity to optimise ▸ Think beyond Google ▸ Most algos are simpler than Google BUT IT’S NOT ALL DARK
  20. 20. ➢ SEO in 2018 is a new discipline compared to 2016 ○ Voice Search will be a game changer ➢ AI based rankings means you won’t be able to ‘cheat your way to high rankings/traffic ○ SEO is a by product of your overall optimisation efforts ➢ Big brands dominate the top terms. Go niche, really niche: ▹ Adventure Travel (2012) ▸ Motorsport adventure travel (2015) ⬩ Motor sport adventure travel off the beaten path (2018) SUMMARY
  21. 21. What we’ll cover ● Landscape changes ● What matters & things you need to do ○ Technical ○ Content ○ Authority signals 21
  22. 22. And how to maximise WHAT MATTERS
  23. 23. The new tech stack requires an adapted approach TECHNICAL
  24. 24. Source: think with Google MOBILE MATTERS MORE THAN EVER
  25. 25. ” Over 60% of Google Search AMP clicks now go to non-news related sites Dave Besbris at the 2018 AMP Conference
  27. 27. Mobile Responsive Site AMP AMP Page
  28. 28. Use either plugins or GTM to implement valid tracking MAKE SURE YOU ADJUST YOUR TRACKING FOR AMP
  29. 29. One of the key factors leading to a technical SEO renaissance A bit of a learning curve on both sides + some test + dev resources AMP + PROGRESSIVE WEB APP = Lighting fast loading focused on delivering main content rather than loading ads Rich user experience using mobile hardware
  30. 30. WHAT ARE PROGRESSIVE WEB APPS ● No need to maintain multiple code base. All connect to same content and user DB ● They Simplify App Development and Maintenance ● Create rich experience as if you were in a native app● Except They Are Also Your Regular Web Pages Too ● Making use of phone hardware (location, gyro, etc)● PWAs are “Apps” Just Like Your Smartphone Apps
  31. 31. Native Apps enable site designers to access phone Hardware Normal Web Sites cannot access these resources Credit : @ericenge PROGRESSIVE WEB APPS ENABLE ACCESS TO PHONE HARDWARE
  32. 32. Must read article by Elephate PLATFORM - CONSIDERING JS FRAMEWORK FOR YOUR FRONT END?
  33. 33. Tagged, structured content enables multi use Difficulty: med/hard Resourcing: need tech SEO person + dev support Biz case: future proofing + extra channel + chat + sales recommendation 33 PRODUCT - CONTENT MANAGEMENT PLATFORM
  34. 34. 34 PRODUCT - CONTENT MGMT PLATFORM Messenger
  35. 35. This is going to be Huge: Rankings based on DB data. HTML Crawl, indexing, ranking is a resource intensive and inefficient process. Structured markup is a way to speed things up but still depends upon relevant content DB often hold the freshest, most accurate dataset [patent] Resource identification from organic and structured content Kudos to SEObyTheSea for finding it 35 PLATFORM - RANKING BASED ON DB DATA
  36. 36. Personalised search will increase. Making ranking results blurrier. Google is also doing strides in app indexing and deep linking. Providing individual experience. 36 PLATFORM - PERSONALISED SEARCH
  37. 37. is a vocabulary (of many), but really is more comparable to a dictionary. Credit : @AlexisKSanders USE SCHEMA.ORG MARKUP
  38. 38. ” “I want to live in a world where schema is not that important, but currently, we need it. If a team at Google recommends it, you probably should make use of it, as schema helps us understand the content on the page, and it is used in certain search features (but not in rankings algorithms).” Gary Illyes @ Google - Webmaster Trends Analyst
  39. 39. USE MARKUP TO HELP VOICE SEARCH 1 Feature Snippets used for voice answers Google voice uses Google answers to produce short sharp and trusted answers 3 Better CTR = Valid/Trusted answer Google is always looking 5 Schema create rich SERP results Schema markup simplifies content classification and help Google showcase richer info on SERPs 2 Trusted answers/sources used for feature snippets Most featured snippet answers come from reliable sites with deep knowledge expertise and good user engagement 4 Rich results get better CTR By providing more information upfront and a visually appealing results, sites with rich snippets receive a greater share of clicks
  40. 40. SERP Feature Type Video units “People Also Ask” Featured Snippet Maps Box Knowledge Panel Top Stories (News) Images Apps FEATURE SNIPPETS WORTH CONSIDERING How to Get In Create & optimise on YouTube Branding –get searched for with/after the query Phrasing & position of short answer in content Claim GMB, get links, earn citations, be nearby Earn brand association, use structured markup Get in Google News, earn links, title w/ KWs Relevant images, alt attributes, & direct embeds KWs in title/description, get popular in app store List by @Moz
  41. 41. SERP Feature Type Books Related Searches Tweets Search Suggest Sitelinks Section Sitelinks In-Depth Articles Carousels/List Results FEATURE SNIPPETS WORTH CONSIDERING How to Get In Write a book, use KWs in the title, have an ISBN Be searched+found commonly w/ the KWs Verified accounts help, use KWs in tweets As w/ related searches, also geo-sensitive Get links & visits to several pop pgs; use markup Grow popular subsections w/ popular subpages Author longer pieces that receive attention/links Be listed alongside common sets on the webList by @Moz
  42. 42. This is going to be sweeeet: n SCHEMA SOON TO INCLUDE SPEAKABLE
  43. 43. Similar to featured snippets, short sharp answers is what Google and users are looking for. More info: Guidelines by Google WHAT MAKES A GOOD VOICE ANSWER
  44. 44. Try tools like Answer the public WHAT TO WRITE FOR VOICE SEARCH?
  45. 45. User intent > Topical/semantic depth > Keywords CONTENT
  46. 46. ➢ Analyse user behaviour to answers query intent ➢ Understand hard to answer queries ➢ Dwell time matters for RankBrain ➢ Google secret sauce - need to approach audience + optimisation as whole Article RANKBRAIN INCREASES PERFORMANCE FOR QUALITY CONTENT
  47. 47. RankBrain cares for dwell time => Visual, videos and tools help engage users but can also help answer queries RankBrain sometimes ranks pages higher up than they “should” rank => Good CTR can bump up your rankings as Google sees your results as a better answer WHAT RANK BRAIN CARES ABOUT
  48. 48. INCREASE TIME ONSITE Too many sessions are bouncing/ not engaged Driving greater on-site engagement and attention will lead to better conversion. Test layout + Increase page speed
  49. 49. BUILD REASONS TO COME BACK Sticky engagement beyond on-page CRO tactics Having a user centre and developing an integrated solution to bring data and automation into the system
  50. 50. It’s rare for a piece of content to achieve both goals successfully. Pick your objective for each piece. CONTENT FOR RELEVANCE VS REACH 1 CONTENT FOR RELEVANCE (PROVIDE AND ANSWER QUERIES) 2 CONTENT FOR REACH (MAXIMISE BRAND RECOGNITION AND ENGAGEMENT)
  52. 52. BUILD CONTENT WHERE YOU CAN STILL CAPTURE USER INTEREST Capture attention here So you spend less
  53. 53. Unique value refers to the usefulness and takeaways derived by visitors to the page. Many pages can be "valuable," but few provide a truly unique kind of value Answer the question: Does the Internet need another page on [topic]? CREATE SOMETHING UNIQUELY VALUABLE
  54. 54. Win the SERPs over by creating in-depth, detailed answers. Credit: Backlinko IN-DEPTH CONTENT RANKS BETTER
  55. 55. Create semantic relevance - Good for rank brain Help you become a trusted source Get more visibility via featured snippets and voice search BUILD AUTHORITY AND DEPTH OF CONTENT IN YOUR NICHE
  56. 56. 56 Related keywords = semantically connected. Google is going to view this as critical to proving that your content is relevant to the searcher's query. ex. which Apple are you talking about? Tool: CREATE A SEMANTIC KEYWORD FOOTPRINT ACROSS A WHOLE TOPIC
  57. 57. RANK WITH IN- DEPTH REVIEWS OTAs and booking sites are transactional in nature. They don’t do a great job with detailed reviews. Partner with unique hotels/tours needing more visibility. 57
  59. 59. PICS CAN DRIVE MORE TRAFFIC Recent change in Google layout will drive more traffic to your pages/posts Less likely to get your image ‘borrowed’ 59
  60. 60. 1. Descriptive image filename: gracery-tokyo-14.jpg 2. Descriptive image alt tag: alt="godzilla hotel tokyo japan" 3. Detailed image caption (visible on the page): N/A 4. Relevant copy close the image: Did you know you can stay at a Godzilla monster themed hotel: Hotel Gracery Shinjuku? 5. Keyword-rich page title: 6. SEO-friendly page URL: shinjuku/ 7. Regular image aspect ratios: classic 4x3 8. Medium image dimensions: This pic: 81.3kb (688x459 px) Harder to optimize small images (<500px), Google doesn’t favor those of course. (There are exceptions). Larger images (>2500px) should be OK. In fact. Google has the tools to filter by image dimensions: 10. Descriptive anchor texts: N/A TIPS FOR IMAGE SEO
  61. 61. a) Submit an image sitemap to Google b) EXIF data It’s not yet clear if Google users image EXIF data in their algorithm. c) Watermarks don’t matter Google’s webmaster guidelines state: “[…] Some people add copyright text, watermarks, or other information to their images. This kind of information won’t impact your image’s performance in search results, and does help photographers claim credit for their work and deter unknown usage. However, if a feature such as watermarking reduces the user-perceived quality of your image or your image’s thumbnail, users may click it less often in search results.” d) Unique metadata If you copy-paste keywords/phrases for multiple images, they’ll matter less in Google’s eyes. As with regular web searches, Google wants to show unique images that are relevant with the user’s query. e) Time and effort Working on all this image SEO is not easy. Do it manually a few times, and then try to work out a routine for whenever you add more images to the site. Try to cover as many of the image SEO factors above as OTHER TIPS FOR IMAGE SEO
  65. 65. Not your grandma’s recipe for links AUTHORITY SIGNALS
  66. 66. With more signals coming in, multi points of authority become necessary SEO IS A BYPRODUCT… WHAT ELSE SHOULD WE DO? Image credit: @randfish
  67. 67. Getting links to your site still matters. Make sure you strive for quality > quantity. Credit: backlinko AAANND YES… LINKS STILL MATTER, A LOT
  68. 68. SEARCH ENGINES JUDGE YOU BY YOUR LINKS YOU Supplier Friend Blog Competitor Forum Partner Related ?
  69. 69. WHY DO PEOPLE LINK TO YOU ❏ They Know You and/or owe you a favour ❏ Your website Is unique, interesting, engaging, etc. ❏ You link to their website In return (genuinely) ❏ Provide content to publish on their website ❏ Financial incentive (careful here) ❏ You improve their profile/ego/product ❏ You offer most relevant resource (Data, tools, tips) ❏ You offer a different perspective ❏ You are the only/first one to talk about it (in depth) ❏ You are famous/trusted source of information
  71. 71. LINKBUILDING IS AN ONGOING WORK 7 1 Launch PR campaign Build base links Get industry links Use content to get links Get PR type links
  72. 72. ▹ Get target sites user involved in content creation ▹ Gather and share data (great for PR) ▹ Build tools ▹ Reach out to unlinked mention ▹ Reach out to linkerati ▹ Get local links (school, sport centre, meetup) GOOD OL’ CLASSIC METHODS THAT STILL WORK TO GET LINKS
  73. 73. THE MAKING OF A LINKWORTHY STORY Time Authority New & Unique Relevancy Reasons to cover; seasonality/days/ events Are we experts in this field and offering something we have an opinion on? Is this information available anywhere else and are we dispelling a common truth? Is it relevant to the target audience where we’re looking to secure coverage? Purpose What’s the purpose/ reason to make the news?
  74. 74. WHAT ARE YOU ASKING THEM TO LINK TO? DO’S ➔ Offer something that makes sense to link to ➔ Respond to topics in the news agenda you can offer content/commentary on ➔ Get in touch, be personable and find out the kinds of content they want to receive ➔ Work with experts in a related field for greater exposure DONT’S ➔ Offer content that already exists and ask for a link with no further builds ➔ Offer content that an expert writer can source themselves ➔ Ask for a link from something that was covered months ago ➔ Lead with the brand rather than the story you’re trying to sell
  75. 75. Bing uses it and a patent by Google (along with observations from many SEO experts) indicates that Google may be doing this as well. So get out and build your brand name, even if you don’t get a link back AUTHORITY SIGNALS - LINKLESS MENTIONS
  76. 76. CHANNELS ORGANIC SEARCH PAID SOCIAL DISPLAY VIDEO CONTENT AGGREGATORS SOCIAL CHANNEL DIVERSIFICATIO N By opening up additional mediums and channels we can exponentially increase audience reach and user acquisition. We see the biggest opportunities in (priority order): 1. Video content; social channels 2. Optimised content aggregation 3. Display (awareness over acq.)
  78. 78. 78 ADVERTS INSTREAM ONLINE LEARNING YOUTUBE ORGANIC Creating a strong instream video presence on Youtube and Facebook can open up a new channel of consumers for your brand Like standard SEO, start with a niche target. Build strong set around closely knit set of kwds Ensure copy, title and Test & learn for what works best for duration Leverage video across all medium (site, email, etc) to rack up views and engagement USERS 15,000,000 UAV 14,800,000
  79. 79. 79 ADVERTS INSTREAM ONLINE LEARNING A successful strategy will blend the discoverability of Youtube, with the engagement of Facebook. As a search engine, Youtube exposes users to new content based on search intent. 55% of consumers watch branded content at an engagement rate of 32%. Facebook exposes users to a greater volume of branded video (60%), at a higher engagement rate (49%). Facebook leads exposure Facebook leads engagement
  80. 80. Go where the world’s best content publishers and creators are.
  81. 81. While Australia is a small market, presence continues to grow.
  82. 82. Go where the world’s smallest publishers are competing with media giants.
  83. 83. ▹ With 74 million Global users, is rapidly growing. ▹ Online publishers and independent content creators are moving content to
  84. 84. Go native on Android and iOS.
  85. 85. Optimise for native news aggregators
  86. 86. What we’ll cover ● Landscape changes ● What matters & things you need to do ○ Technical ○ Content ○ Authority signals 86
  87. 87. 87 KEEP IN TOUCH @freddychanut