Why link building still matters for Travel SEO
The online travel industry is a highly competitive one. For that reason, some online travel companies think that link building for travel websites is a waste of time, because it is not possible to compete. However, link building for travel and tourism websites can be incredibly effective in improving your site’s visibility and credibility, which in turn will drive traffic. This is because, although search engines use a range of ever-changing algorithms and factors when ranking sites, high-quality backlinks and hard links remain central to achieving online visibility.
Top link building tactics
Our link building services can help you to boost your website’s authority and drive traffic. At Bravr, we tailor our approach for each client based on their current and aspirational performance, as well as industry norms and what their key competitors are doing.
An effective link building strategy will deploy a range of travel-specific activities, which may include:
Guest post and blogger outreach
Guest post and blogger outreach is one of the most common link building activities. It involves reaching out to relevant, trusted travel organisations such as a travel bloggers, travel websites, travel-related websites, and online magazines, and offering to provide them with unique, high-quality guest posts. This guest post will contain one or more links – one of which will lead back to your own website.
Creating quality links within the travel niche may sound simple, but it is more complicated, time-consuming, and expensive than it sounds. Payment is usually expected for content placement and in order to reap results, the content has to be good quality. It is, therefore, best left to the professionals who rely on tried and tested techniques and their reputation within the industry to obtain good value agreements.
RESOURCE PAGES AND DIRECTORIES
A great way to attract traffic and improve visibility is to ensure that your website is listed in relevant resource pages, directories and approved supplier lists, and travel blogs such as "top five travel websites".
As with guest posting opportunities, networking and industry know-how allow link builders to secure a presence on high authority sites; a tailored approach is applied to create a list of target sites, directories and resources, before reaching out to website owners and negotiating the terms under which a site can be added to their list.
Once strong relationships have been developed within the industry, it is possible to collaborate with other content creators to co-author guides or articles that contain natural links to both of your websites. This approach is cost effective as associated costs are split between collaborators, meaning that you can invest in high quality content and placements.
Content isn’t just about the written word. Most high quality online content will have some kind of imagery with it; look closely and you might see that these infographics often credit a website as the image source.
Visually compelling content, such as infographics or visual guides on relevant topics such as packing guides, airport hacks, destination comparisons, and travel tips can be shared across different travel websites and resources, which will then cite your website as the image source.
Strong links with other sites will improve your domain authority and make it more likely to rank highly in search engines, while broken links can do the opposite. Link building is often a game of give and take and while often, website owners will want financial reward for posting your content, it is sometimes possible to pay for link placement in different ways. With the ability to identify broken links on other websites, it is possible to contact the owners and suggest that your create quality content to occupy their broken link. It’s a win-win: they lose a broken link, and you gain a new backlink.
MUTUALLY BENEFICIAL LOCAL PARTNERSHIPS
While it pays to think big when creating links, it is equally valuable to build links a little closer to home. By considering specific destinations or niche organisations that are particularly relevant to an organisation, it is possible to curate a strong partnership with other institutions and organisations, for example, local businesses, tourism boards, or experience providers.
These mutually beneficial arrangements will see you offering each other backlinks while supporting industry colleagues. The same can be applied to local events: festivals, fairs, business events, theatres or competitions all offer you an opportunity to build authoritative links relatively easily. You don't have to focus exclusively on travel websites and travel blogs either; for example, you could partner with a local dog show and create content that leverages relevant keywords around dog friendly accommodation.
USER-GENERATED CONTENT AND CONTESTS
People love sharing their own content – and the really love a competition! Contests that invite users to share stories, photos or videos can gain huge traction, particularly if the public are invited to vote for their winner. Other incentives (such as links to social media or personal websites, or having their content featured on higher profile travel websites) can also be useful.
Don’t underestimate the power of the media – especially on a slow news day. It can be beneficial to issue press releases to travel-related media outlets about anything remotely newsworthy; if the timing is right, the story may get picked up and result in valuable backlinks. It is possible to leverage competitions or user experiences and stories, turning them into a story that could tick human interest boxes while being shareable to, and by, your own audience.
Love them or hate them, podcasts are becoming increasingly popular. Offering valuable information from trusted resources, podcasts allow the busy person to disseminate information that interests them while they are on the go. On the way to work, on a run, while doing housework, podcasts allow us to multitask efficiently. Appearing in a podcast is, therefore, an easy way to reach new customers and gain valuable backlinks. A skilled link building specialist will always be on the lookout for travel-related podcast or interview opportunities, which can provide backlinks and shout outs.
FORUM AND COMMUNITY PARTICIPATION
You don’t just want to build links on other sites to boost search engine ranking; you want your target audience to see your link, click on it, and engage with the content that you are providing.
An experienced link builder can participate in travel forums and relevant online communities and discussions; as a valued part of these communities, relevant links and resources will be welcomed and trusted.
REACHING A NICHE AUDIENCE
By tailoring content to a specific group of people, it is possible to demonstrate expertise in the area and engage people who are looking for – and willing to pay for – something specific. From adults only holidays to family retreats, pet friendly accommodation to accessible action holidays, where there is a niche requirement, there is an opportunity, and forums and community groups are a great way to access them.
Most people love the escapism of a travel blog, which is why a travel blogger has the potential to reach large audiences. By nurturing relationships with handpicked site owners and influencers, it is possible to be featured in a travel blog as well as on Facebook groups and social media platforms and sites, leading to excellent exposure and high value link placement.
The link building process is about relationships. The key to successful link building for travel is to focus on providing value and creating genuine associations; featuring on one quality travel site or travel blogger will yield better results than several poorly placed internal links or nofollow links. While spammy tactics may yield quick wins, they won’t be beneficial in the long term. A skilled travel SEO specialist will aim for quality over quantity when it comes to link acquisition. They will focus on creating valuable content via reputable sources such as respected travel blogs and other relevant websites.
Link building for travel is not as easy as building links with relevant travel websites and authoritative sites; it requires knowledge, skill and subtlety. One way to benchmark the success of your current SEO strategy, as well as to identify what you can achieve is to measure the performance of your travel website against that of your competitors. Bravr's SEO team will look at data on a range of elements including organic traffic, organic backlinks and potential ROI on paid links for other websites within the travel niche.