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Travel Agent Seo


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Presentation on Travel Agent SEO to Global Travel Conference on 8th March 2011.

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Travel Agent Seo

  1. 1. An independent travel agent search marketing strategy David Burdon Agent SEO
  2. 2. Experience• Stena Line, Cosmos• Created the brand• 8+ years specialist involvement in search• 300+ search engine marketing projects• Travel SEO for hotels and niche tour operators• SEO & PPC training for SMEs to Multinationals• Working in highly aggressive search categories Agent SEO
  3. 3. Approach• Theory• Practical observations• Recommendations• Discussion Agent SEO
  4. 4. Search Practicalities• No silver bullets. – If it sounds to good to be true….• Google organic search is getting much tougher• No.1 for a small term beats No.11 for a big term• Relevance more important than quantity• Good search practise is incremental• Wide range of free resources• Almost everything is trackable and measurable Agent SEO
  5. 5. SEM Over-Site Agent SEO
  6. 6. Theory: SEM Over-SiteFive Stages• Pre-Site – Planning stage• On-Site – Website content• Off-Site – Link building• Post-Site – Results,feedback• Plus – Maintenance, corrective actions, competitor response, tuning. Agent SEO
  7. 7. Search Strategy Objectives• Assert influence over the value chain• Reduce reliance on individual supplier, destination, package or mode• Maximise unit booking margin• Minimise unit booking costs• Minimise unit customer acquisition costs• Outrank both inter-type and intra-type competitors for selected terms.• Become the dominant local agent website Agent SEO
  8. 8. Search Strategy Planning• Campaign structure – Organic Search – Paid search – Referrals – Direct• Clear understanding of search types – Brand vs generic – Destination, accommodation, activities – Local vs national – Seasonal and temporal – Informational and transactional• Each treated differently from search perspective Agent SEO
  9. 9. Play to your strengths• “Own” your Location – County – City or Town – District – Location may be ambiguous – Postcode – Local airport Agent SEO
  10. 10. Play to your strengths• Find your speciality – Destination • Country, region, resort, accommodation type, specific property – Lifestage • Singles, couples, families, post kids, retireds – Lifestyle and activity • Ski, diving, golf, walking, camping, exploring, cultural – Events • Weddings, honeymoons, stag parties, sports – Price point • Luxury, upmarket, mid-market, budget – Accommodation type • Hotels, apartments, villas, all-inclusive, gites – Package type • Packaged, bespoke, component, ancillaries Agent SEO
  11. 11. Google’s Search Flavours• Google comes in many flavours: – Web – Places – Map – Image – Shopping – Blog – Real-time• Each has a role to play Agent SEO
  12. 12. Google Local Search Agent SEO
  13. 13. Google Map Search Agent SEO
  14. 14. Google Shopping Search Agent SEO
  15. 15. Google Web Search Agent SEO
  16. 16. Google Place Page - 1 Agent SEO
  17. 17. Google Place Page - 2 Agent SEO
  18. 18. Outsmart your competition• Define who they are – They are probably nearby – Search for them• Work out how they compete with you – Strengths – Weaknesses• Avoid head-on competition• Find ways to do things better Agent SEO
  19. 19. Keyword Research• Get a baseline – Establish existing traffic levels and sources• Use a good (Free) analytics package• Track actual keyword activity – WYPFISNNWYG – Beware broad match (Semantics)• Google, Yahoo, Word Tracker data• Check out competition• Trade volume for relevance and quality• Synthesise all components Agent SEO
  20. 20. Top Travel Agent Terms Keyword UK Searches 1 travel agent 60,500 2 travel agency 40,500 3 travel agency UK 1,600 4 travel agency London 1,000 5 online travel agent 720 6 travel agent UK 720 7 travel agency in London 720 8 travel agent London 720 9 UK travel agency 480 10 independent travel agent 480 Agent SEO
  21. 21. Organic (Free) Search Agent SEO
  22. 22. Organic (Free) Search• Prioritise Google – 88% market share – You will need off page activity e.g. inbound links• Learn lessons from other engines – Yahoo most “on-page” – Bing a predictor of future Google ranking• Be patient with Google – Do the right things and monitor progress – May take two to three months – Check indexing and long tail terms – Solid long term rankings is the priority – Avoid all “spammy” techniques – otherwise you will pay in the long run. Agent SEO
  23. 23. Organic Search – Key Elements• Keywords – Keyword selection – Less is more• Alignment – URLs – Meta tags – Copy – Images• Inbound Linking – Anchor text – Relevance – Indexing Agent SEO
  24. 24. The Agency Website• CMS template driven system – SEO limitations• Website aesthetics• Location• Destination• Fares• Package vs. Seat only• Accommodation type• Holiday types• Off page has few constraints Agent SEO
  25. 25. Pay Per Click• Clear Campaign Structure – Campaign settings – Display network? – Segmentation • Build campaign around customer types and needs • Generic versus “activities” and “seasonal” • Resort and property specific – Ad groups – Tailored copy Agent SEO
  26. 26. Improving Conversion Rate• Match types – Exact match preferred but used in conjunction with phrase and broad match.• Negative keywords• Beware low click through rates• Quality score – aim for 7/10• Specific landing pages• Variable Geographic Focus – By town or city – The Polygon Agent SEO
  27. 27. Geographic Targeting Used for non-destination specific terms. Agent SEO
  28. 28. Feedback• Dynamics of enquiries, bookings etc?• Track conversions, traffic and rankings – Look for blockages – Look for winners• Distinguish between seasonal variations and ranking variations.• Distinguish between paid, organic and referrals• Never forget you’re a travel agent – put commercial pragmatism over search perfection. Agent SEO
  29. 29. Integrated Search• Integrate paid and organic search• Integrate search with other tools in the marketing mix: – Advertising – Directories – CRM – Local promotion• PR – Especially on-line• E-Mail – Data collection • Newsletters• Branding – Capture the destination and accommodation positioning as part of the brand. Agent SEO
  30. 30. Return on expenditure• Total website marketing costs• Search marketing costs• Total revenue• Total revenue from search• Cost/Revenue per visitor• Cost/Revenue per search engine visitor• Cost/Revenue per paid visitor Agent SEO
  31. 31. No Cost Recommendations• Register your website with DMOZ - £0• Secure your Google Place page - £0• Optimise it - £0• Generate reviews - £0• Create a Blogspot blog - £0• Create a Wordpress blog - £0• Put analytics in place - £0• Join a link exchange scheme - £0• Join LinkedIn - £0• Set-up a Facebook wall page - £0• Join Twitter - £0 Agent SEO
  32. 32. Parting thought• Turn search engines into revenue engines David Burdon – Simply Clicks Agent SEO