Fashionable holiday destinations and trends for 2015 are identified at the beginning of a marketing campaign and an approach to travel SEO should be no different. Analysing search trends and user intent based on destinations is integral to segmenting an SEO campaign for the best results.
What Destinations are People Searching For?
Long term search data, paired with buying trends is the first step in understanding searches based on user intent.
Travel data specialist Sojern recently released data suggesting European destinations favoured travel-based searches, highlighting a drop in the value of the Euro as a key driver of this search traffic.
According to Sojern’s study, 45% of searches for summer travel to Europe came from the Middle East and Africa, 33% from Asia Pacific and 22% from North America.
Adapting a website to capture a global search market is an obvious start, but one often overlooked by UK (or country specific) travel agents. Website owners thinking about users globally should consider the emphasis an SEO strategy has on each region in general.
Hreflang tags are the start of targeting a website regionally and guiding the right users to the right pages.
Of course, there is a need to map further within searches. Are users searching with an intent to buy, to browse or both? How do these searches impact your product offering?
Webmaster Search Console, or PPC statistics if on offer, provide insight to search trends related to your website in particular.
Using this data against industry predictions creates a three dimensional map of what users are searching compared with what is expected, and what they’re buying compared to what is expected.
Mapping the Future
Using the data gathered allows for an understanding of the market from a search point of view and how this will aid in mapping your future growth.
Using trends historically allows for opening of doors where you may not have seen them before.
For example, the previously mentioned study highlights that the lifting of a US embargo on Cuba led to an increase of searches of 184% increase in US searches to Cuba.
Looking at this historically, if your website ranks in the top 5 pages for Cuba related terms there is already a platform to build upon within an emerging tourism market. The data suggests an uptake in tourism and structured SEO campaign aimed at intent can aid in getting this targeted traffic.
Polaris provides travel SEO and consultancy to a global travel clients.