Did you know that 40% of millennials prioritize “Instagrammability’ when choosing their next travel destination?
No wonder travel influencing is on the rise. The good news is that more and more people start relying on social media and blogs for travel planning, meaning that travel as a blogging niche will keep growing in numbers. The less positive trend—more and more online publishers are now branching out into travel.
Starting a successful travel blog today is much harder than it was two/three years ago. To build your audience, you will need to focus on SEO and create a comprehensive social media strategy. And here are your essential tips for that.
The Basics: Make Sure Your On-Page SEO is Spot On
When deciding how to rank a blog, search engines rely on both the external factors (links, social media engagement, press mentions) and the on-page parameters of your website—aka how delightful and efficient the user experience is and how well your content is optimized.
Some of the essential on-page SEO best practices for travel bloggers are as follows:
Optimize your permalink structure. The default WordPress permalink structure isn’t very search engine friendly. It contains a lot of unnecessary elements (e.g. post data) that don’t bring any value to your blog.
Hence, go to Settings –> Permalinks and change your URL structure from whatever you now have to Post Name:
Next, you will need to individually optimize every blog post URL for relevant keywords. (We’ll dwell further on keyword research in a minute!).
Check your page/website loading speed. Lightening fast page loading is another positive SEO signal for Google. So make sure that your blog loads without a hitch. There are several ways to speed up your website and all of them are not that techy.
Optimize your images. Clearly, you’ll want to share a lot of wanderlusty travel photos on your blog. But you will need to make sure that they are of proper size and do not slow down your website. Also, it’s worth optimizing individual images for relevant keywords to have them ranked in Google Image Search results. Image SEO isn’t difficult and is simple enough to do consistently.
Make sure that your bounce rate is OK. High bounce rate does not contribute to better rankings. So you’ll need to keep a close eye on that parameter in your Google Analytics. Periodically compare your numbers with the industry average benchmarks and test different tricks for increasing readers’ time on page.
Keyword Research Tips for Travel Bloggers
You have probably noticed that a lot of travel bloggers publish similar blog posts e.g.
- Free things to do in X
- Best hotels to stay in Y
- The ultimate travel guide to Z
Do they lack creativity to come up with something original? Of course not! They are just focusing on creating content around topics people are actively searching for. That’s what keyword research is all about—finding keywords/questions that people are searching for and creating epic content around them.
Yes, you may want to be creative from time to time and publish personal or photo essays, but you will also need to create several pillar posts that will drive traffic from search engines.
So how do travel bloggers find those keywords? By pulling data from keyword research tools. The popular options are:
- Google Keyword Planner (free)
- Keywordtool.io (free)
- LSI Graph (freemium)
- Ahrefs (Premium)
- SemRush (Premium)
Once you have selected several keywords (preferably with low competition and high search volume) you will need to organically incorporate them in your blog post, add the main one to your blog post URL, title and meta description. Use Yoast plugin to receive prompts for keyword optimization.
Social Media Best Practices for Travel Bloggers
Pinterest is another great platform for promoting your blog. Check our Insider Guide to Pinterest for more strategy tips and tricks.
Finally, Facebook and Twitter are good avenues for sharing your latest blog posts. So be sure to schedule them for publishing there as well.
Travel may be a crowded blogging niche. But with the right tactics and digital marketing knowledge, you can grow your readership and eventually claim your spot among the recognized influencers in the space!