If you have found this page, then in all probability you already have a travel blog and now looking forward towards growing your blog. The most important aspect of growing your website and attracting traffic is Search Engine Optimization or SEO. Whether you are a newbie or a seasoned blogger, the concept of SEO is quite vital. In this article, we have put together the ultimate travel blog SEO tips, tricks and a few strategies that will help increase your website traffic. These practices are something that we have learnt over time and have applied to our blog with success. So if you want to know more about travel blog SEO tips, then read on!
If you are yet to start your travel blog, we recommend you reading our step by step guide on how to start a travel blog.
To be honest, the world of SEO is huge and is always evolving. And travel blog SEO is not quite the same as SEO of e-commerce sites or tech or finance websites. While researching for SEO tips for blogs, we came across great content and advice. However, mostly these contents were related to general blogging. There was hardly anything specific for travel blog SEO. So we read, researched and put our learning into practice. This blog is specifically targeted towards travel blogs, so that you do not have the problems we faced. All these travel blog SEO tips given below are tried and tested by us.
- What is Search Engine Optimization?
- Travel Blog SEO Tips for 2021
- A few more Quick Travel Blog SEO Tips
What is Search Engine Optimization?
As per Moz, SEO is the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results.
There are actually two sides of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – the technical component and ‘on-site’ component. Technical component is more about control in the backend of your blog. Onsite SEO is related to the content you are writing and how you are writing it.
Technical SEO is quite important and plays a very important part in when building your website as well as increasing traffic to your site. Here, we have covered the most important travel SEO trends and practices this year in 2021.
Travel Blog SEO Tips for 2021
1. User and Search Intent
2021 is the time to focus on user and search intent.
Search Intent or User Intent is the main goal a user has while typing a query in Google or any other search engine. And satisfying the search intent is Google’s primary goal. Content that does not match search intent will not rank.
To match Search Intent, you have to do Keyword research. Each keyword you use has search intent.
It is imperative that keyword research is one of the most important aspects of travel blog SEO. The keyword can be one word, a phrase or multiple words.
For travel blogs, a search is usually related to a travel guide or things to do in Place X or an Itinerary of Place X. It can also be a packing list or activities to do or even a city tour guide.
The better your content can match the search intent, the better chance it has to rank in Google. So the first step is to recognize the search intent of your target keyword.
Let me give you an example.
Let’s say you have returned from a trip from Myanmar, and you want to write about it. And you take the keyword as “Myanmar”.
It is obvious that “Myanmar” is quite a common keyword and the intent of the user is not clear with this keyword. Even if you use a keyword such as “Myanmar Travel” or “travel to Myanmar”, you will have a tough time ranking it to the first page of Google.
What you need to do is create content that gives the searcher’s exactly what they are looking for.
For travel blogs, it is a tad bit difficult for exact search intent. But keywords such as “One week Myanmar Itinerary” or “Myanmar Budget Travel Guide” definitely have a better chance to rank.
Re-optimize old content for search intent
Search intent is not only for new content. You can tweak and change your old contents to make it better. This will also boost your on-page SEO.
For example, we tweaked one of our old content keeping search intent in mind. And it ranks on the first page in Google.
2. Core Web Vitals
Core Web Vitals are a set of factors that Google considers important in a webpage’s overall user experience. According to Google, Core Web Vitals are going to be one of the most important ranking factors in 2021. Core Web Vitals includes the following:
- How quickly and smoothly your web pages load?
- How quickly the webpage becomes responsive to users?
- Is your website mobile friendly?
- How safe is your website?
Technically Core Web Vitals consists of 3 parts.
Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) : This is how long a page takes to load from the point of view of an actual user.
First Input Delay (FID): This measures the time taken for a user to actually interact with your web page.
Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS): This is the measure of how stable is your page as it loads.
How to improve your Core Web Vitals?
The steps to improve your Core Web Vitals depend on your website and platform. To find Core Web Vitals, go to Google Search Console and click on “Core Web Vitals”.
See how your pages perform and try to remove the poor URLS. In short, you have to make your poor URLs zero. Google penalizes poor URLs much more than it actually rewards the good ones.
One of the steps to improve Core Web Vitals is to improve website speed and load time. You can do that by using a light weight theme and by compressing the image size on your pages.
However, page speed is not the only factor to improve Core Web Vitals, user experience (UX) is equally important.
3. Google Passage Ranking
This is an interesting feature from Google. In October 2020, Google had announced the concept of this new search technology. In this feature, Google ranks specific sections from a page (passage) independently.
As per Google, this feature will affect almost 7 percent of search queries. This is quite a huge number!
How does Google Passage Work?
As you understand, Passages will allow Google to rank specific parts of a Page, and not the entire page.
Google will now consider the relevancy of a specific section of the page instead of the relevancy of the entire page.
Having said that, google will keep on evaluating entire pages. So on-page SEO, UX signals, backlinks and other ranking factors. The difference being that a single page now has more chances to rank, provided the page is properly optimized and organized.
So what you need to do is to divide your pages into distinct sections. And each section should relate to a specific topic.
Because Google might now take each section as a mini web page. Why miss out?
4. Optimize for Featured Snippets
Have you seen the short snippets of texts that appear at the top of Google search results? Yes, that is the featured snippets. And it gets a lot of clicks.
In short, featured snippets are important to drive traffic to your website and thus important for your travel blog SEO.
How to optimize for featured snippets?
1. Find opportunities for featured snippets
Keyword research is the first step here as well. Find keywords that you already rank for. And then find out keywords that have Featured Snippets.
You might think why find keywords that I already rank for? According to Ahrefs, 99.58% of all Featured Snippets are from pages that rank on the first page for that term. So if you are not on the top 10, you might as well forget about ranking in the featured snippet.
2. Add Snippet Bait
Snippet Bait is a block or paragraph of 40-60 words that usually provides answers to the questions asked in the search engine.
3. Type of Featured Snippet
There are different types of featured snippets that Google shows for a search query. The various forms of featured snippets are:
- Numbered list
- Bullet list
Select your keyword and find out what type of snippet will work the best for you.
Once upon a time, we used to work a lot on getting backlinks. While link building is still important for Domain Authority, today Google evaluates a website based on Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness, E-A-T in short.
E-A-T had always been a part of guideline, but of late, it has become an important ranking factor.
In short, you have to be an expert and have authority in your field.
As travellers, we are quite sure you have the authority in certain places or types of travel. It is better to write about what you have confidence in. If you are a backpacker, then most of your content probably should focus on backpacking and tips related to it. I personally think this part is easier for travel bloggers.
Finally, it is a great boost to your E-A-T if you get cited by other trusted websites.
6. Work on your Mobile SEO
In 2021, the focus is more on mobile SEO. According to the latest data, the percentage of global mobile traffic in the first quarter of 2021 is 55% as opposed to 42% in desktop devices. And mobile usage is expected to grow.
So, ensure that your content and website performs well from a mobile perspective. The use experience (UX) in mobile sites is a big travel blog SEO factor in 2021.
The key is in simplicity. Keep your focus on improving the mobile site experience of your users.
7. Video Content for Travel Blog SEO
Video content is surging now. You might have noticed more video snippets in your search queries. With a travel blog, visual representation is definitely a big boost.
We recommend embedding video content in your blog posts. Generally, video content significantly improves the bounce rate of your page.
We also could not resist the lure of the advantages of a YouTube Channel.
We have recently started our channel and it would mean a world to us if you subscribe to our channel for travel and lifestyle contents.
A few more Quick Travel Blog SEO Tips
Long Form Content
Gone are the days of 500 word articles. Today longer content appeals to Google’s E-A-T Guidelines. Travel blog content of 2000-2500 words is the standard today and the trend is now towards 2500-3000 words.
Having said that, do not fill your content with junk just to have a 2000 word article. If your content deserves fewer words and you can express your authority and expertise in less than 2000 words, it is all good.
Use Emotions in Titles
Emotional Titles have a relatively higher chance of CTR. But too much use of “Power Words” in titles can also reduce clicks. In short, searchers like to click on compelling Titles, but they are also wary of Click baits.
Write a Meta Description on every page
Meta description is one of the major factors that compel users to click on your travel content. Make sure your Meta description tags are original and to the point. Just imagine yourself to be the one searching for the topic. Would you click on the web page after reading the meta description? If yes, then you are good to go.
This simple step can increase your CTR by 6%.
Include your keyword in the Travel Blog URL and Title
This is a simple step. Use your keyword in the URL of your page and also in the Title Tag. Research has shown that Keyword rich URLs get more clicks than URLs that do not contain the keyword. Also keep the URL short.
Focus on LSI Keyword
LSI Keywords or Latent Semantic Indexing Keywords are related terms that Google and other search engines use to understand the content on a webpage.
There was a time when you had to use your keyword a number of times in your entire content to make Google understand that your page was about that.
But today, Google has become much smarter. Today, Google’s objective is to find out the overall topic of the page. Google expects other related keywords to appear in your article that are relevant to your main keyword.
For example if you are writing about a Nepal itinerary, Google also expects to find words like Kathmandu, Pokhara, trekking in Nepal, Everest Base Camp Trek, Durbar Square, Nepal Travel Guide, places to stay etc also to pop up in the article.
So these are our travel blog SEO tips in 2021 for you. We have tried and tested these methods and this has increased our website traffic considerably.
Our organic traffic has grown over 110% over a year.
We have done it. And now we are sharing this with you. Which of these techniques are you going to use first? Let us know by leaving a comment below.