Using SEO Keywords To Grow Your Business

If you own a travel or bookings website, SEO keywords are a phrase that you will have heard many times before.

Although we hear lots about how SEO keywords can boost our website rankings, what we don’t often uncover is how you can use keywords to actually grow your online bookings.

Using keywords in the same way as everyone else, won’t increase your bookings.

Turning your website visitors into paying customers requires the expert use of keywords so that the right audience will find your website.

Furthermore, any keyword strategy must be reinforced with top-quality content displayed on your website when your visitors arrive.

With the right types of keywords, website content and web design it is possible to gain more bookings for your online business.

Let’s take a look at how SEO keywords can be used to grow your online bookings.

Top tips to grow your online bookings with SEO keywords:

  1. Layman’s terms:

If you have never used a keyword tool such as Google Keyword Planner, you may be surprised to learn the discrepancies between industry jargon and the words that people actually type into search engines.

Without using a good SEO keyword tool or employing the services of an SEO specialist, it is possible to use keywords that are never searched by your customers.

If this happens, visitors to your website will have found your content through more general searches or marketing strategies, so are much less likely to stay on your site for very long, let alone find the information that they need to convert into paying customers.

By using keywords with the exact phrases and language that ordinary people and more specifically your target market use, you will find that the visitors who land on your website are able to locate useful content that matches the information that they desire.

Thus, providing you have high-quality and well-planned website content available, you can begin to lead your website visitors through their customer journey which should hopefully end in a booking.

Image credit: pumpkinwebdesign.com

For maximum effect, use the types of words that people search in the keywords that appear across your: website content, meta data (including your image tags) and your snippets that are listed in the search results for each page.

  1. Relevant choices:

Selecting the keywords that you use in your website content and website meta data takes much longer than you think.

In addition to using the types of words that your audience search, you also need to select the most relevant keywords for the information on each page.

Your web pages will be listed in search results according to the keywords that you use.

So, if you ensure that you choose the most appropriate range of keywords that specifically relate to the information on the page, you will appear in the search results for keywords relevant to the specific content on your web page.

Therefore, every web page and piece of meta data needs its own carefully researched group of keywords.

This information will also help to inform you about the type of information that your target audience want to find on each web page.

A set of the most relevant keywords is necessary for each individual web page to both avoid keyword stuffing and demonstrate that the content on the web page is rich in detail.

The aim is to convince Google that the web page is the best option to be returned in search results for the keyword you’re targeting.

  1. Less popular options:

We all know that competition for rankings in search is tough, so thinking outside the box when it comes to your keyword choices is essential.

Instead of using lots of single or two-word keywords, opt for longer phrases that your competition are less likely to target.

These longer phrases are known as long-tail keywords.

Long-tail keywords are groups of words, in a longer phrase, that are searched by your user.

For example, ‘a quiet wellness spa in Bali’

Image credit: nichesiteproject.com

Your competition are much less likely to use the same long-tail keywords as you because the increased number of words in each phrase makes the likelihood of other sites putting together the same combination of words more limited, therefore your chances of ranking well are increased.

Using long-tail keywords also means that your website content is now even more tailored to match your listings in search so your chances of gaining visitors who have already done some research and know exactly what they want are greatly increased.

Thus, users who use long-tail keywords have already begun to commit themselves to purchasing the booking and are now searching for the booking that matches what their wishes.

Therefore, providing you have the answers that your visitors are looking for within your content, visitors who use long-tail keywords are much more likely to turn into paying customers once they arrive on your website.

Another benefit of using unique sets of keywords for each individual page is that you avoid the dangers of search engines assuming that your web pages are simply duplications of each other.

If search engines interpret multiple use of the same keywords across numerous pages on your website as duplicated content, they will only list one of the web pages in search and count the others as inferior duplicates.

As a result, allocating plenty of time to develop and implement a solid keyword strategy that builds your conversion rate has many benefits for your online business.

Once again, if you don’t have excellent content on your travel or bookings website when visitors arrive your use of long-tail keywords or in fact, any other keyword strategy will go to waste.

The use of powerful keyword strategies to increase your bookings has to be executed alongside a review of your website content and web design.

Keywords are only the first step in your sales journey.

You won’t increase your bookings with SEO keywords if your website content and web design isn’t up to scratch.

Image credit: epsilontheory.com

SEO keywords will create awareness of your website, to take your visitor on through the sales funnel and finally make that booking you need to have compelling snippets in your search listings and superior content and web design ready on your website when your target market arrive.

Online competition is high, so whatever your marketing strategy, even with the powerful force that SEO keywords are, you still need top-quality content and web design to secure those bookings.

  1. Think differently:

It is really tempting to see the big numbers that accompany the top keywords and want to use them.

However, to get results from keywords you have to think differently and that means not trying to rank for all of the top keywords.

Most people don’t make enough time to develop a successful keyword strategy so clearly the top-ranking keywords can be found with the least keyword research and will be used by the majority of your competitors.

Therefore it makes sense to use the keywords that most people don’t get to see because they won’t spend enough time looking through the full range of options.

With less competition for the keywords that don’t show up first during your research, you are more likely to rank better and be found more easily by your target market.

However, of course you must also use all of the aforementioned strategies, such as long-tail keywords and unique sets of keywords, if you want to use less popular keywords with any success.

  1. Audience specific:

Now that you have devoted a large proportion of time to your keyword research, you can also ensure that you only select keywords that apply to your specific target market.

For example, if you are looking for keywords for a web page that relates to an adults-only health and wellness resort in Kerala in Southern India, you can eliminate any keywords to do with children and families from your selection, as well as any keywords that relate to other parts of the world.

Similarly if you spot SEO keywords that match the interests, needs and priorities of your target market, you know that they are the best ones to choose.

Image credit: rankwatch.com

In the diagram above, if your web page was about luxury hotels in Paris, you would clearly choose 5 star hotels in Paris from the list of results.

However, if your web page was about luxury hotels in Florida, you would select 5 star hotels in Miami and 5 star hotels in Orlando.

As with any other marketing strategy it is crucial that you have a thorough knowledge of your target market and a clear understanding of your content strategy, before you begin your keyword research so that you can tailor your keyword strategy to fit your target audience.

  1. Analytics:

Keywords are quantifiable data so it is easy to track their success and adapt your keyword strategy accordingly.

Evaluating the performance of every element of your website is essential if you want to grow your bookings and that includes the performance of your keyword strategy across the pages of your website.

You can gain a huge amount of valuable information about the success of your keyword strategy from your website analytics.

Using your website CMS and your keyword tools, it is possible to track and adapt your use of keywords to increase your bookings across your website pages.

In the same way that you would test and re-test a marketing campaign, it is necessary to implement, review and evaluate your use of keywords if you want them to operate at an optimum level.

Similarly, you will need to give your keywords some time to take effect so don’t be too hasty in making changes if you don’t see the results you want.

Remember too, to keep the keyword sets for each page unique. Copying successful keywords across multiple pages will devalue your hard work. Like any other marketing strategy, keyword use needs time, knowledge and expertise, as well as excellent content.

Finding the time to:

  • Research the best SEO keywords for your website and target market
  • Create a comprehensive keyword strategy in line with your website content strategy
  • Analyse and review the results of your keyword strategy

…is beyond the time constraints of most business owners.

There are many keyword tools available on the market to assist business owners to develop a successful keyword strategy, however they also require time and expertise to be used to good effect.

Furthermore, having a keyword strategy without good website content and website design is useless, so the development of any keyword strategy must be accompanied by a review of your website.

It may sound like a lot to do but here at Apollo we deliver a complete range of digital marketing services to increase your bookings, that includes developing your use of: SEO keywords, web content, web design and much more.

Working solely for the travel and leisure industry, we have a deep knowledge of how to utilise online marketing for travel and leisure brands.

Whether you need support to develop your use of SEO keywords, website development,  marketing support, video marketing, online advertising or something else, give us a call on: 01730 239858 or contact us to have a chat about how we can help you.

The Best SEO Tools for Travel in 2019

Today’s marketplace is governed by a ruler with two faces.

One of infinite prospects for business growth, and another resembling an ocean of competition which threatens any and all businesses.

And the name of this unpredictable tyrant? Google!

Whilst the internet offers a vast horizon of opportunities for businesses of all industries, especially travel, to reach more customers than ever before; the fact that is so open and accessible poses a challenge.

How can any business succeed in standing out in this competitive landscape, where almost anyone has at least a professional website?

That’s where SEO comes in.

Search Engine Optimization is a series of practices that help a business to improve their position within the results pages of the search engines (such as Google) and take a bigger share of the potential traffic which is available within the relevant market niche.

Whether you manage SEO yourself, have an in-house team, or employ an agency to manage on your behalf, understanding the importance of SEO to your business, and how the actions you take affect your website’s rank, is essential for any business owner or marketing head.

That’s why SEO tools are so important. They allow you access to the data. To identify, understand and rectify any issues.

But where do you start?

Keyword Research Tools

Identifying the most relevant and valuable keywords for your business is the first thing you need to do in order to achieve strong SEO results.

This translates into a thorough keyword research process and identification of any related keywords with significant traffic volumes.

That is, find the keywords users are searching for which best relate to your product or service; and which have a decent number of searches per-month.

Where do you start to do that? Using some SEO tools.

These tools offer what most professional SEO marketers use everyday. Below are a selection of our favourites…

FREE Keyword Research Tools

Google Keyword Planner

Google hosts an arsenal of tools that can help you with your keyword research.

Google’s Keyword Planner maintained inside the AdWords platform (adwords.google.com) is probably the best place to begin; particularly if you already have experience in using AdWords.

If you haven’t used it before, its structure will be relatively easy to grasp for first-timers. All you need to do is set up an AdWords account (with some level of spend) using a Google account, and the tool is then free to use. So it’s paid-for, but not officially.

Enter a keyword in the search field (single or multiple), or even your website address and Google will present you a long list of relevant keywords, as well as basic information that will help you to identify the level of competition for each keyword.

A look at Google’s keyword planner

For every keyword you select, the tool will identify the total number of searches Google has counted within a standard month, both worldwide and locally (your national market); as well as the level of competition for the specific keyword.

Google Trends

Google Trends (trends.google.com) is yet another amazing – and free – Google tool.

The search starts by inserting the target keywords you wish to research and then select and specific parameters regarding location, search history, search volume, search volume change and category.

Google Trends will provide you with insights that describe the volume of interest a certain keyword attracts on the web, what triggers this volume of searches, what type of pages initiate the searches (web, images, news, videos, products, etc), as well as similar keywords, queries or topics.

KeywordTool.io

Another free and well-structured tool, KeywordTool (keywordtool.io) utilises Google Suggest, a search technology developed by Google to accelerate display of search results even when you have not finished writing your query.

The dominant feature of this tool is that it can deliver a list of long-tail keyword suggestions (more specific search queries) that in Google’s opinion are related to the target keyword you inserted for research.

Professional (Paid) Keyword Tools

Apart from free tools, there are many task-specific, professional tools you can acquire and use for your site.

These are often part of a wider suite of packages, with pricing levels tailored to businesses of different sizes.

Moz’s Keyword Difficulty Tool (moz.com/tools/keyword-difficulty)

Part of the paid MozPro suite, the keyword difficulty tool is one of the most useful, and despite the name, easy-to-use tools in the SEO game.

Among its capabilities, it helps you factor out keywords that are hard to rank for and thus saves you time and money.

It helps you to identify the biggest keyword opportunities by combining keyword difficulty score with projected search volume.

SEMrush (semrush.com)

A fully-fledged analytics platform with all sorts of tools.

Worth utilising when you need to analyse the keywords your competitors use or when you want a head-to-head comparison of your domain versus another domain in terms of overall competition.

Also useful for reviewing keyword usage and ranking positions in Google’s organic, paid, and shopping search results.

Term Explorer (termexplorer.com)

Term Explorer delivers very clean and informative research reports for the keywords in scope.

It provides the highest volume of relevant keywords and most actionable competitive data available online.

Ahrefs Position Explorer (ahrefs.com)

Provides the same framework of services as SEMrush, but it goes a step further in the direction of social metrics.

It lets you assess the rating of a specific URL or its parent domain, investigate and get clues for the backlinks number and quality and the referring domains, including the references drafted from mainstream social networks such as Google+, Facebook, and Twitter.

Accuranker (accuranker.com)

This tool will you assess the ranking of your existing keywords and provide you a long list of related keywords utilising an automatic keyword differentiator.

This is extremely useful as it saves you lots of time in monitoring the rank progression through each of your keywords.

HubSpot’s Keywords Tool (hubspot.com)

Last but not least on our list is the Keywords Tool provided by Hubspot.

Hubspot is mainly an in-bound marketing platform with developed branches towards CRM and sales. The keywords tool is integrated to the marketing portion of the pie and it will greatly assist you in researching and identifying the best keywords, helping you understand exactly which keywords generate traffic and leads.

Additionally, HubSpot’s keyword tool communicates with your content pages (if they’re hosted on/linked to HubSpot).


How To Find The BEST Keywords

In order to create a basic mass of keywords for your site you need to take into account your audience.

You need to consider:

  1. What is my target audience? Why will they search using this keyword?
  2. What is my audience is looking for now? How is this related to my keywords?
  3. What are other terms that I could use instead?
  4. How well do I rank for my target keywords?
  5. What are the keywords my competitors use? What is their target audience and how well do they rank with these keywords?

This will ensure that you end up with a set of keywords which are attainable, relevant to your specific target audience, and of value to your business.

Your Current Search Ranking

Once your target keywords have been determined, you need to assess your site’s current search ranking.

You are interested in the traffic that each keyword currently brings into your site.

Use Serps.com tool to input your site and a specific keyword to get an estimation on how well your site ranks for specific target keywords.

Select Winnable Topics

Keywords come to expand, differentiate and eventually identify to Google the main topic of the site.

Your keywords highlights to search engines that you have high-quality content which is focused around a specific subject matter.

Your task is to highlight that your business/website/writers are more skilled in a specific field of expertise than your competitors.

Your plan for the website will be affected by the age of your domain.

…for a new website

As a new website, your goal is to estimate how much time, effort and, ultimately, money it may take you to achieve strong ranking in search engines for relevant keywords and surpass your competitors.

This is closely related to how many competitors you have and how well-established they are on the market for particular keywords.

To assess these factors you will have to thoroughly analyse each of your competitors for a few key metrics:

  1. Site age
  2. How many links they‘ve got and from what sites (check Domain Authority)
  3. The traffic and traction the site has
  4. The time people stay on the site
  5. The strength of the brand

…for an established website

An established website is able to shift the keyword focus through creating new pages targeting additional keywords.

Examining the ranking progression of the new content will indicate the amount of work involved.

If you differentiate your site’s topic, you may quickly become an authority in a new field, depending upon your history and the competition.

Good practice is to catch the low-hanging fruit by identifying landing pages that already rank relatively high for specific keywords, and invest in high-quality external links to give these ranks a push.

It is essential to study and analyse thoroughly the strength of your competitors, the relevancy of the keywords they use against yours and against each other.

This process should be carried out at least for the competitor sites displayed on the first page of Google’s relevant search results.

Based on the results of the analysis, you will come to draw a strategy on how you will deal with several SEO aspects of your site to overcome any higher authority of your competitors.

Picking the Right SEO Tool

If you perform a quick search on how many tools there exist for SEO, you’ll be quite surprised at the abundance of sites, books, papers, plugins (and much more) available.

Most of the platforms provide a basic set of tools along with task-orientated functions that differ from provider to provider.

Some the features you should note include

  • Ranking check depth (i.e. the number of links to count before stop ranking assessment. This can vary from 10 to 200 links)
  • Rank update frequency (from once per month to once per day)
  • Ability to compare keyword positions by dates
  • Google Webmaster Tools integration
  • Marketing plan (SEO checklist)
  • Social media marketing integration
  • Provide human help for fixing errors
  • Provide multilingual customer support (if required)

Reviewing SEO tools with these features will help you find better opportunities to get high quality services, tools and tips.

Remember also that you’ll want time to get familiar with the platform, so do they:

  • Offer a free trial (how many days?)
  • Provide a demo (not just a video)

No matter what you decide, you need to give yourself  time to get acquainted with the features, the capabilities, the work cycle, and the idiosyncrasies of each platform.

What are SEO Tools Used for?

It’s great finding a useful SEO tool, but what’s your objective?

  • Find Broken Links

Use a spider to crawl a website and detect broken links (404s) and server misconfiguration errors such as redirect loops. Save the crawl results to fix them one by one or to forward them to a developer.

  • Analyse Page Titles & Meta Data

Identify page titles and meta descriptions during a crawl that are too long, too short, missing, or repeat across several locations on your site.

  • Extract Data

Gather any data from the HTML of a web page using CSS Path, XPath or regex.

You may be focusing on social meta tags, secondary headings, prices, SKUs or more. Use filters to keep data manageable and contained.

  • Generate Sitemaps

Generate your XML sitemap along with specific categories sitemaps, such as products, reviews, comments etc, with advanced configuration over URLs to include, last modified, priority and change frequency.

  • Check and Resolve Unwanted Re-directs

Find temporary and permanent redirects, identify redirect chains and loops.

  • Discover Duplicate Content

Use your SEO tools to detect pages with exactly the same contents using hash check (i.e. md5 correlation algorithm), partially duplicated fragments or elements such as page titles, descriptions or headings and find low quality content pages.

  • Review Robots & Directives

Find out URLs blocked by robots.txt, meta robots or X-Robots-Tag directives such as ‘noindex’ or ‘nofollow’, as well as canonicals rel=”canonical”, and rel=“next” and rel=“prev”.

  • Integrate with Google Analytics

No SEO assessment is complete without the insights of Google Analytics. Connect your site and tools the API and fetch user data, such as sessions or bounce rate and conversions, goals, transactions and revenue for landing pages against the crawl.

  • Use Google Search Console

Look for pages that have stopped ranking and non-indexed pages. Search Console may identify the reasons for this. This is discussed further later in this post.

Tools to Check your SEO Vital Signs

Any good webmaster or business owner needs to be aware of the response speed and the health of their site. 

If you have experienced a sudden drop in organic traffic, Google may have penalised or de-indexed your site; hence you need to be aware of key metrics Google uses to rank your site.

The first step is to start monitoring the vital metrics for your site.

You can easily get lost in the abundance of data that one or many SEO tools can provide.

Therefore, you have to select and focus on the most important ones to get clues about factors you need to improve, and what may be causing you problems.

Check for Red Cards and Penalties

Check your site with PixelGroove’s Google penalty checker tool or the Barracude SEO tool against active de-indexing or penalties.

Identifying such health issues is crucial because if your site is not healthy, then building up content, promoting keywords, or building links could bring limited success.

PageSpeed Insights

Site speed tells how fast your site loads. If your site takes a few seconds to load, chances are that most people won’t wait around for it to load.

Use Google’s PageSpeed Insights to get a rank for your website’s performance and get a breakdown of things you need to improve.

 

Google Search Console

Google Search Console is ideal for an on-site optimisation audit.

Search Console can help you locate page index errors, re-submit a page for indexing, rectify sitemap errors as well as check the existence of the robots.txt file and create where necessary.

If you have had any manual penalties from Google (which would be severely affecting your websites rank in SERPs), this is where you will be able to learn more about the reason for the penalty.

In order to use the Google Search Console, you will have to verify your website(s). Verifying your site in Google’s Search Console proves that you either own the site or are an authorised user.

To prove the ownership of the site you will be asked to do one of the following:

  • Add and html tag inside a webpage

Perfect for static sites where you can open, edit and close a single html page. Difficult for dynamic content, especially if a cache mechanism is used.

  • Upload an HTML file

You must have access to your root directory. This solves the problem of dynamic content posed from modern CMS systems and cache mechanisms.

  • Verify via domain name provider

This requires the (virtual) handshake of your domain provider directly with Google. It is the best option for large websites as it proves that you are the owner of the main domain and all of the resident sub-domains associated with it.

  • Add the Google Analytics code

This code is added to the template of every page on your site to help track important metrics.

Use Tag Manager to add the appropriate tag needed for verification.

In Summary

SEO is an on-going process, requiring an understanding of how both on and off-site elements affect your website’s ability to rank.

Ensuring that pages are correctly optimised for your target keywords is the first step towards strong rankings in SERPs, and the range of tools identified can help you to ensure that you are focusing on the most relevant and valuable keywords for your business.

Reviewing keyword opportunities and the link profile of your website (and your competitors) represents actions which are essential for any successful SEO campaign.

Other tools enable you to check your site’s vital signs to confirm you’ve done everything possible to give your site a good chance of ranking.

Choosing the right tools can save you a lot of time and can make the difference to your website’s rank potential.

Choose wisely.

Top Tips for Improving your SEO in 2020

Business are ever more reliant on the internet to reach their target audience, from a sole trader to a large business, SEO is vitally important for any website to succeed.

Here is a bite-size breakdown of the key elements necessary to make SEO work for you:

Study Your Competitors Thoroughly to Understand the Niche

The first important step before you start creating content in a new niche, is to spend some time researching your active or potential competitors.

Identify the most prominent blogs, study the writing style and look at the most popular posts available and see if there’s jargon/style specific to the niche.

Select a Narrow Topic to Simplify Research

To build authority in any niche, you need to be specific and create well-researched and valuable content. The best thing to do is to select topics within your niche, analyse them, break them into further categories and create separate and unique posts on each.

Remember to ensure you focus on high search-volume keywords with in your page title and header.

Utilise Snapshots, Images, Videos and Infographics

To make your content look professional and trustworthy it’s a good idea to use snapshots and visuals throughout.

It will make your content more appealing and will help your readers have a better understanding of what you’re writing about.

Quote Experts to Develop Trust and Authority

To establish credibility, it can be useful to use quotes from respected people within your niche. This in turn will make your content trustworthy, by utilising their authority to enhance your content

There are several ways you can do this.

  • Locate popular blogs in your chosen niche using Google search
  • Find a quote from any popular and credible blog and refer to it in your own content
  • Search Amazon, Google Scholar, or look for the most popular books on the Kindle store related to your topic and use quotes with a credit to the author

Add Numbers, Data and Useful Information

Use numbers and dates in your content.

A study by Conductor concluded that headlines with numbers were significantly more eye-catching for social media users as compared to simple text headlines.

Write in a Friendly, but Authoritative Tone

If you speak with confidence and an authoritative tone, chances are people will take notice.

If you’re prepared to spend some time on research, to really understand the niche and grasp its potentials, you will soon be considered to be an authority within your niche.

The challenge is to deliver information in a confident manner to ensure that your readers trust your authority.

Team up With the Top Influencers of your Niche on Twitter

Use Twitter to your advantage, discover in real time about a new niche, connect with the people who set the trends and learn from them.

Engage with influencers within your field and use their knowledge to create high-quality content. Your audience will see your social relationships and the link with influential users on Twitter adds credibility to your brand.

Organise a Virtual Summit

Organise and host a virtual summit.

If you’re not familiar with the concept, virtual summits are online events where 10 to 20 or more experts share knowledge and tips on a very specific field using video calls on Skype, Facebook Messenger, Google Hangouts or one of many communication platforms.

The summit is free for anyone to attend while it’s live. Once it’s over, people can pay to access the complete event.

This is one of the smartest way to gain authority in your field. It will allow you gather ideas that can be translated into high-quality blog content.

This well-established strategy has proven to be one of the most effective ways to boost your personal or brand image and offer you more knowledge than you can acquire from most other means.

They can send your email lists and connect you with potentially hundreds of experts and establish you as an authority.

Create Round Up Posts

Consider taking a specific problem and ask for feedback from as many experts as possible.

Your aim is to crowd-source quality content from other experts in that niche.

This may be answering a question, or their opinion on a specific topic. Check out a good example at www.igoski.co.uk/blog/archive/best-ski-blog

Make Your Site Attractive to Professional Bloggers

Bloggers are in constant search of ways to develop their online presence, either through building high-quality articles on authority sites that direct people to their blog, or through gaining exposure within a specific niche.

This is a win-win situation. Professional bloggers seek to create backlinks to their site to generate authority and traffic and your site becomes more recognised as a host of credible and authority content.

Ensuring that you invest in high-quality posts frequently is a sure-fire way to see positive results in your search results.

Ideas for interesting posts:

  • A DIY instruction post or step-by-step guide
  • A top ten list related to your niche
  • An interview with a successful person within your sector or an article about a success story

Remember: Frequent uploading of articles gives evidence to your visitors that your site is active. Quality articles with catchy titles may just make them stay a bit longer on your landing page or leave a comment. All of which doesn’t go un-noticed by search engines.

Check Your Site and E-mails Often

Another clue that your site is active is answering your visitors’ inquiries or comment with a “thank you” message or similar.

Something nice that shows you have seen the comments posted to your articles. That might seem a bit of a chore at first, but it’s essential as it gives your visitors a motive to return to your site as they feel part of your community.

Find the Balance in Keyword Density

There is no secret recipe for the ideal number of times a keyword should be used. The days of pages heavy packed with keywords showing up at the first pages of the results are long gone.

The internet has come on a long way since then and algorithms for relevancy are much more complicated.

Search engines compare documents with each other and understand which words form a natural and common combination and which don’t.

High repetition of keywords usually gets a red card, unless your site is highly trusted with strong a link profile and lots of reviews. In that scenario the situation might be a little more flexible.

Still, there are some general rules and tips you can follow when it comes to keyword density:

  • For searches inside the site, higher density is preferable
  • For searches on the web, for example, through a search engine, the general rule is less is more
  • High repetition of keywords in an aggressive way may increase the possibility of getting filtered
  • Use of variation with low repetition of the same keywords is ideal for boosting your rank, since your content will include different possible terms of a search. The possibility of getting filtered decreases.

SEO is NOT Only About Keywords

Domain age, site security and authority, anchor texts, usage data and locality are all factors that are taken into consideration by search engines.

How important are they? It depends on the search engine. It seems that each of the best-known search engines have developed their own unique algorithms. More specifically:

  • Search engines use a custom language system that allows them to ‘read’ the words and ‘understand’ them.
  • Some engines give more value to onsite factors whereas others give the most to offsite factors.
  • As a general rule, the title of the page is more important than the other content of the page.
  • The meta keyword tag seems to become less important for the majority of search engines.

EXTRA TIP:

Algorithms determine the relevancy, not only of your keywords, but also of the supporting text.

In order to obtain a stable ranking and be linked to a family of keywords, opt for a supporting text that keeps in line with the keywords and give your overall text a fine structure.

(Pictures sourced from searchenginesherpas.com, brandignity.com, itsfoss.com, wilennewyork.com and traveltripper.com)

The Definitive Guide to Link Building For Travel Companies in 2020

In this article you will learn:

  • How to optimise your website for search engines
  • How to find and fix broken links
  • What to do if Google penalises your website
  • How best to use internal and external links
  • Why you should have good quality links
  • Benefits of guest blogs
  • Learn how social media can work for you

What types of links are there…

Links are one of the most important factors in your overall ranking.

There are three types of links:

Internal links

Links from part of your site to another page within your domain

Outbound links

Links that point to other sites around the web

Inbound links

Links from other sites that point users (and search engines) towards your site.

The existence of all types are required but as for the latter type, with inbound links, things can be a little more complicated.

Having quality in-bound links will help search engines find, classify and rank your site.

But how many links should you have towards other sites?

Usually you’ll find yourself with just a few hand-picked hyperlinks on each page. Unless you own Wikipedia, or a major directory, don’t think that you’ll ever go over 10 or 20 links in a single page.

On the other hand, if you expect to have more than 100 links in a single page, why not use two or more pages with smaller content fragments and lesser link numbers?

Inbound links are a more complicated environment, you could even get a penalty from Google if you have links from low quality sites, or links that follow an unnatural pattern.

Anchor Text Types

Anchor text is the visible characters and words that hyperlinks display when linking to another document or location on the web. It usually appears as blue underlined text.

There are six main types of anchor text at your disposal:

Exact-match

If the keywords used mirror exactly the page they’re linking to. i.e. “types of anchor text” linking to a page about types of anchor text.

Partial-match

This is when the anchor text includes the keyword as part of a longer anchortext . i.e. “advantages of different anchor text”  linking to a page about anchor text.

Branded

When the brand name is used as the anchor text. i.e. “apollo” which links to an article on apollo’s website.

Naked Link

This is when the url (web address) is used rather than an anchor text. i.e. www.apollo.agency

Generic

This is when no relevant anchor text is used, instead a generic “click this” or “here” is used.

Images

Images used within websites are capable of being embedded with a web address so that when you click on the image it takes to to a website the same as a normal hyperlink.

What sort of inbound link to look for…

Don’t look for paid links. Paid links coming from link farms or reciprocal links are a curse not a blessing.

That’s because Google detects that these links are coming from a page or a set of pages that usually display an unnatural link pattern.

These linking domains are marked by Google to be not trustworthy and their links are considered the same.

As you may understand, if your site gains links from a wide variety of domains that have a clear correlation to your page, and these sites are considered trustworthy, then Google will get confident that your website is trusted by a number of different organizations.

Domain Authority

How much Google trusts a domain already is denoted by a magnitude called Domain Authority.

This is score from 1 to 100 points in a logarithmic scale. This in turn means that it’s significantly easier to grow your score from 20 to 30 than it is to grow from 70 to 80.

Look for links coming from high Domain Authority websites. Such sites have a very large number of high-quality external links.

Reversely, small businesses and personal websites with fewer inbound linksmay have a much lower Domain Authority score.

Brand new websites will always start with a Domain Authority score of one.

Because of the way Domain Authority is estimated, it is better to be used for comparison between sites that may have more prospective link profiles than others.

Both will help you gain the trust of Search Engines. The question is: How to represent your site as an Authority in you niche? Follow the steps:

  • Make research. Learn about your topic.
  • Start a blog and add content. Not just any content. Add in-depth, useful content.
  • Present yourself as an authority and the niche as your field of expertise.
  • Promote your content in the social media.
  • Ask people for their opinion.
  • Stay active. Develop more content.

This way you‘ll persuade people that you understand the topic, that they can count on what they read.

You can’t succeed in any niche unless your audience values your advice. When your users start viewing you as an authority you’ll get more followers.

Up to this point, we have discussed the importance of the selection of topic, the keyword and the content. Now let the links come into play.

Once again, you will need tools to analyze references to and form your site. Open Link Profiler (openlinkprofiler.org) and SEO Profiler (seoprofiler.com) are two great options. Pick one, input your site and study the results.

How to generate quality inbound links…

Guest Blogging

If you want to create high quality links to your site, perhaps the best way to do it is to create content on another site with the freedom to link back on your site.

Guest blogging is a great way to communicate with fellow bloggers and similar niche enthusiast, as well as your potential customers in a fruitful way.

 

  • Kissmetrics – They will positively help you submit a high quality post. Check the topic list that interest them and get in contact with them. They surely welcome fresh, well-written article.
  • HubSpot – HubSpot Inbound Marketing Blog has thousands of subscribers and attracts more than 800,000 monthly visits. If you have the confidence and experience, consider becoming a guest blogger.
  • ProBlogger – ProBlogger helps a lot by providing useful guidelines and suggestions regarding your writing. This increases the chances of producing a high standards article that can be useful to the blog audience and get positive feedback.
  • Copyblogger – Now that’s a tough blog. Writing content for Copyblogger is not a joke. But Copyblogger will support you and guide you to successfully submit a great guest article post.

DoFollow and NoFollow Links…

The difference between a DoFollow and NoFollow link is solely there for the use of the google crawlers, as an end user you wont see any difference in the hyperlink visually unless you look into the website code.

The purpose of having a NoFollow link is that the link is no longer indexed by Google and no longer considered part of your link profile.

This is beneficial as it removes the risk of links to your site that you cannot control or have removed.

All hyperlinks are DoFollow by default, the only time you need to make a change to the code is if you wish to make the link a NoFollow.

DoFollow Link Example

An example of a DoFollow link:

<a href=”http://www.google.com/”>Google</a>

NoFollow Link Example

The same example as a NoFollow link:

<a href=”http://www.google.com/” rel=”nofollow”>Google</a>

Create Good Quality Content

Creating good quality content is key to a successful website.

  • Make pages primarily for users, not for search engines.
  • Don’t deceive your users.
  • Avoid tricks intended to improve search engine rankings.
  • Think about what makes your website unique, valuable, or engaging. Make your website stand out from others in your field.

Also consider whats called evergreen content, evergreen content is content that is always relevant—much like the way evergreen trees retain their leaves all year around.

Follow the link below for an example:

www.skifamille.co.uk/blog/la-plagne-family-skiing

Attend Industry Events

Try to develop contacts, share ideas, socialize and be watchful.

The more you learn the more knowledgeable you become in your niche.

Broken Link Building

This technique is a very nice way to provide social work and gain high quality links.

Over the years, old sites, especially before the PHP era where sites where static in their vast majority, had their links hardcoded inside the HTML.

For this reason URLs where not dynamically produced. There wasn’t even a need for sitemap existence. This rigid situation led to a phenomenon called linkrot by some. The changes that occurred in a site didn’t reflect in the link URLs of other sites pointing to that site.

The result was that the number of links pointing to a non-existing webpage started to increase exponentially.

Broken link building is the procedure to offer new content and request that old forgotten link to be rerouted to your article. There are some prerequisites in order for this method to make sense.

First, you have to find a way to scan and locate broken links. Not any broken link. Instead, links that once pointed to content relevant with what you have to offer.

Special tools for that, such as www.brokenlinkcheck.com can help you find dead links fast.

Observe the site and the URL itself to distinguish if the link correlates with your niche.Second, you have to offer content that is at least better than the initial.

WayBack Machine (web.archive.org) can give you a clue of how outdated the lost article that corresponds to the broken link would seem today. Your article should not just be a bit better than the previous.

You always need to offer high quality valuable resources to earn the link and the reputation.

Thirdly, the owner of the broken link has to agree to change the reference. Usually, they have no reason to refuse. But be warned, some people are so busy or just don’t care. The majority though responds positively and that way you gain a very appreciated, high quality link.

Links are considered an intrinsic part of the site’s content. They connect your content with other content and, thus, form a chain of relationships.

The text and the media of the content form another type of relationship, they are descriptive of the topic and the keywords. What are the rules for successful SEO content writing, and what are the pitfalls that lurk in your way? Read on to find out!

Influencer Outreach

Influencers are people who are active on social media and blogs and, as the terms implies, they have the skills, talent and means to influence others in their field.

How do they do it? Nowadays, they use the internet mostly and blogs to be more precise.

Why is this important? Not only to learn from them, but then replicate the process and become a good blogger and potentially an influence to others in your own rite.

To become an influencer would certainly be a good thing, but let’s be honest, very few achieve that overnight. It requires significant time and dedication.

What you can do is put aside the influencers that don’t relate to your niche and focus on those that do.

You will find them easily from their blogs. Or use your existing network of contacts to identify link and guest blog opportunities.

Then your scope is to attract them in a way that the will influence positively the crowds in your favour. How will they do that? By writing articles, you may think. Well, perhaps they could do that. But no, they can influence the crowds by inviting you on their blog as a guest blogger.

Prior to achieving this, you’ll need to have a certain level of authority gained. If they think you have the skills and the quality, they’ll be more than happy to give you the opportunity of offering fresh, high quality, content.

The potential gain you have from this is huge: You establish yourself further as an authority, you gain links to your site, an audience that wasn’t initially yours, and even more you learn new things. The ultimate goal is that you become an influencer too.

Internal Links

Internal links help users, and Google, navigate from one page to another within the same domain. They are commonly used in main navigation.

Such hyperlinks are used in order to:

  • Allow users to navigate through a website
  • Maintain information structure for the website<
  • Route link traffic and ranking power around several places of the website (from blog to shop and vice versa)

However, what about the links from other sites to yours? That’s the real goal. You need to bring links from the outside world to yours, on to your website.

Again, quantity is not the key, it’s all about the quality.

Quality links come from sites with authority. “Authority” is not just another term in the SEO jargon. It is your ultimate goal.

Your aim is to get a reference to your site from another high authority site. In order to do this, you have to be convincing in that linking to your site will benefit your target by providing good content.

Don’t think of link exchange, “I’ll link to your site if you link to mine”. This kind of trade died long ago. Actually, this is a good way to get your site de-indexed and send your ranking into decline!

It’s not necessarily good to buy links either, potentially you could waste your money with no SEO compensation at all.

Though, working with the right companies and high quality links and sites can be very beneficial.

How to fix a Google Penalty…

So you finally managed to get a full scan of your site metrics, a detailed SEO assessment and the results speak for themselves. Google has penalized your site.

The symptoms were there for the past few months but due to the rather sustained traffic you somewhat didn’t want to believe it is actually happening. You may have seen symptoms like:

  • You don’t rank well for your own brand name any more. You find other sites rank better than yours. Think about it, you should have the first position when it come to your brand.
  • Your pages that appeared on the first page of results have shift to the second or third without any action on your part.
  • Your site rank has dropped from a decent two or three to zero or one and you cannot explain why.
  • Google suddenly stopped revering cached search results from your site.
  • A simple site search like “site:yourdomain.com” suddenly yields no results.
  • You discover that your reference in Google’s results is other than your homepage.

How to Deal With a Penalty

The first step is to identify the problem.

Usually it is some sort of change, either on your side or with Google’s algorithms. If it’s the first case, undo the changes if possible to eliminate the problem.

For example if your site was hacked and Google scanned some malware, it wise to put on a clean back up as soon as possible.

On the latter, you need to go over the entire site and make sure that it conforms to the rules and best practices proposed by Google.

Here’s what you can do when the problem comes from inbound links that Google now considers as of poor quality:

Disclaim low ranking links

Place a request to Google not to count bad links that are harming your reputation. Click here to visit the disavow tool.

Get some links removed

A harder measure is to place a request or put in some legwork towards the site you get the bad links from, to get some of the remote links removed.

Request reconsideration

Especially if your penalty was human error. Usually, that will come after you have taken some actions on your side.

Be patient

It will take some time for Google to realize and act on your changes and disavow requests. Moreover, it could take a bit longer to re-crawl your site.

It is worth noting that in a few cases, the damage is so significant that there is no coming back from it.

If your domain has been denigrated you may want cease and drop the whole project.

Most penalties are rectifiable though, if you are willing to put the time and effort in and follow the SEO standards as your rebuild your site and reputation.

Don’t listen to voices that can erase penalties with a magic wand–unless, of course, you want to lose money while making things even worse.

Tourist Office Websites

There are plenty of ways to get recognition and website referrals for travel businesses.

Using local tourist offices are a great way of getting links back to your site as its also in their benefit to promote the companies who offer holidays to the destinations they promote.

Photos:

cearsinfotech.com

axelblog.com

justperfect.co.za

moz.com