Highlighting the benefits of your product or service is no longer enough for today’s travel industry. In addition to your social media presence, which empowers your customers to be advocates for your company, it’s important to stay on top of the latest digital marketing trends to develop innovative tourism ideas.
But what additional steps can you take to achieve an optimised marketing strategy? Here are a few steps to keep in mind, including those extremely important micro-moments, a mobile-friendly website, and the rise of voice SEO for the travel industry.
1. Micro-moments for Innovative Tourism Ideas
Modern tourism is no longer about being a simple service industry; a new trend is rising, and it’s called the ‘experience economy’. Travelling is now about feeling fulfilled, rejuvenated, learning new cultures, and truly experiencing the countries. When a decade ago all-inclusive resorts would have been more desirable, the modern tourist is increasingly interested in exploring local cities, whale watching, mountain biking, and more.
According to Google, there are four main micro-moments for customers, in which brands who deliver their needs have an edge. You need to anticipate the micro-moments before they happen and be there for customers when they occur, offer a digital experience that relates to customers’ needs and quickly delivers a solution, and have a seamless experience from start to finish while measuring your channels’ impact.
- “I want to know.” Someone is looking but might not be in a purchase mode.
- “I want to go.” Searching for a local product, service, or business.
- “I want to do.” When prospects want help to complete a task or to try something new.
- “I want to buy.” Someone is ready to purchase and might require help to know what or how to buy.
For the travel and tourism sector, these micro-moments translate to:
- Dreaming moment, “I want to get away”.
- Planning moment, “I want to plan.”
- Booking moment, “I want to book the trip.”
- Experience moment, “I want to explore.”
Your SEO practices can work together with PPC extremely well; you’ll be able to mine AdWords and Bing Ads search query reports to discover your long-tail queries. The latter are vital for conversions and can be incorporated into your SEO on-page strategy. You can also have PPC landing pages for expert campaigns focusing on long-tail keywords, so you can reach queries on the ‘I want to know’ and ‘I want to go’ stages.
2. Is Your Website Global-Friendly?
Expanding your business to attract customers from various countries and catering to a multicultural audience requires a global-friendly website. Make sure that your content is optimised for multiple languages and that it doesn’t change when it’s translated to other languages. This prevents you from accidentally conveying the wrong message.
Should your website have many versions of a specific page for both different regions and languages, you will need to tell Google so they can direct visitors to appropriate website versions by either language or region. You can, however, allow all visitors to visit a main page and then make their selection so that physical location doesn’t limit their browsing experience.
Your subdomains and subdirectories don’t separate websites for specific countries completely should you choose a rigid local setting. This is why meta tags are so important in the following syntax:
<link rel=”alternate” hreflang=”lang_code” href=url_of_page” />
Google recommends multilingual SEO meta tags, however, specifying a country code by itself won’t automatically help Google to derive the language you want. The ‘lang_code’ for GB visitors with English content is, for example:
<link rel=”alternate” hreflang=”en-GB” href=url_of_page” />
Additionally, keep in mind that this differs from a country code top-level domain (ccTLD), such as the .ca for a specific Canadian domain. Making use of locale-specific URLs can help you geotarget your website for different regions, however, this venture can prove to be expensive. It’s often recommended that these are used more if visitors favour them in a meaningful and impactful way in website clickthroughs.
3. Is Your Website Mobile-Friendly?
Having a responsive mobile-friendly website is just as important as a global-friendly website – and just one of those important innovative tourism ideas your business might need. Make sure that your website is ready for Google’s focus on mobile-first indexing and optimise your content, your page design, your page speed, and all other elements that provide website visitors with a great experience.
Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test allows you to quickly and easily test how your website’s visitors can utilise your page on their mobile devices. A website that isn’t adaptable to mobile devices translates to less website traffic and fewer direct bookings.
Additionally, your website needs to be action-driven so that you address all visitors’ needs. Make sure that you provide easy navigation with your booking engine clearly visible and accessible. Have menus for information that is sought-after, including photos and all other relevant information. Some visitors are already considering booking while others will compare you to competitors.
Clear and concise information with a good design could be the difference between conversions or your visitors choosing your competition. Add relevant names, phone number, and a correct address linked to Google Maps. Make sure that all information, including social media platforms, is accurate.
4. Text Search Vs Voice Search
The main difference between text search and voice search is question phrases. The fact that voice search is more conversational and more personal makes it more natural to ask a question. When typing, your customers are likely to search with terms like “best summer holidays”. With voice commands, searches are typically with terms such as “what is the best summer holiday destination?”.
This is why it’s so important to adapt your content and your SEO to account for voice search and to think about how your customers would verbalise searches. Question words like “What”, “Who”, “How”, “When”, and “Where” are important to use.
- Go to your Google Analytics account and search under Behaviour > Site Search > Search Terms. Find the longer search terms, with around three words or more, and write content that answers those questions.
- Find natural language searches.
- Use long-tail keywords instead of short keywords.
With the rise in voice search, users tend to use either several words or complete sentences. Long-tail keywords, more than three words, are increasingly more important. Researching how your customers speak and how they ask about what you offer. Make sure you know what problems your services or products help to solve and what question phrases are used.
Optimising for long-tail keywords and conversational searches will help you to reach highly qualified and specific searchers. And it never hurts to know how to adequately target customers and develop innovative tourism ideas!
Specialised Strategies for Better Competitiveness
Investing in specialised strategies will help you to become more competitive in the market, and voice SEO studies inherent patterns of voice search of main search engines. Optimise your website by editing and reviewing phrases and keywords used in common voice searches, such as ‘OK Google, what are the best hotels in Paris?’.
Additionally, analyse keywords for local searches and perform local search optimisation on main search engines, such as Google, as it maps and powers directions instructions to businesses. What are guests searching and asking for in hotels in your area? And about your hotel in particular, such as how to travel to where your hotel is?
- Voice searches tend to be local, and your Google My Business page is vital for your hotel to feature in Google’s local listings.
- Use long-tail keywords in question form, including writing FAQ pages.
- Have a mobile and global-friendly website.
- Prepare for future Google Algorithm updates.
- Include traditional search into your strategy.
5. How Voice Assistants are Helping the Travel Industry
Alexa for Hospitality has been designed as a voice assistant in hotels, letting guests ask for housekeeping, order room service, or make a request for a concierge’s dinner recommendations. This feature uses the Amazon Echo in rooms to improve guest engagement by providing new and seamless voice-first access to amenities and services.
Select brands such as the Marriott Hotels, St Regis Hotels & Resorts, Westin Hotels & Resorts, Autograph Collection Hotels, and Aloft Hotels will be the first properties to take advantage of this invitation-only service.
In addition, Alexa Skills are downloadable so that businesses can customise their own Alexa versions with new capabilities. These allow you to reach customers in a new way through in-skill purchasing. Alexa account linking between your service and the customer’s’ account, and sell physical goods or services easily.
The Heathrow Skill provides travellers with flight updates arriving or departing from London Heathrow Airport. All you need is to have the Amazon Alexa app on your smartphone, enable the Heathrow Skill, and say ‘flight’ and your flight number for updated status reports.
Digital voice assistants are increasingly being used for travel industry-related voice searches. We can expect three main business models to become popular:
- Cost Per Acquisition (CPA). This can relate to commission fees charged by Amazon Alexa or other digital voice assistants, payable by hotels for voice search booking.
- Licensing Fees. Hotels may have to pay licensing use of digital voice assistants in hotel rooms.
- Cost Per Voice Request. This can be a referral fee charged to hotels to be included in voice search results.
With the travel industry constantly evolving, it makes sense that voice SEO and website optimisation for a global audience are part of your strategy. Reaching your audience in crucial decision points will help to increase your traffic and your conversions.
With the obvious need for great SEO practices, why not get in touch with our friendly team today? Give us a call on 03333 447778 to start improving your marketing strategy today.