Guest Post: SEO strategies and top tips for travel

Guest Post: SEO strategies and top tips for travel

Andy Headington, CEO of digital marketing agency Adido, shared his thoughts on the changing dynamics of SEO

Last month, ABTA welcomed guests from across the travel industry to learn about the latest updates within the world of SEO.

It was clear that SEO sits in a landscape where the goalposts are constantly shifting - and with the rise of automated content, Google has a big job on its hands to ensure the best websites earn their top rankings.

Useful, authentic content is still what Google likes to prioritise on its platform. However, as Google itself starts to fend off competition from other technologies - or at least prevent them from gaining traction - travel marketers also have to adapt to the search engine taking a larger share of traffic than its competitors.

With this in mind, a wealth of advice and insight was on offer to delegates, with the top tips for travel businesses as follows:

  • Get your technical house in order. Undertake a comprehensive technical audit to ensure aspects such as site structure, core web vitals and crawlability are all ship shape.
  • Improve page speed where you can to minimise bounce rate, but don’t expect to jump rankings. Page speed is a deciding factor, not a big ranking signal.
  • Content is still king. Original, well-written expert content is what the game is all about. Keep it fresh and relevant to your audience.
  • EEAT (Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness) may not be an official ranking factor, but it’s still a big deal to your readers and helps to send more ‘human’ signals to Google.
  • AI is a major focus for Google this year – both in terms of staying one step ahead of the competition and also ‘improving’ the user experience. Google will be rolling out Search Generative Experience (SGE) in some shape or form this year which will affect how SEO is measured and analysed. Early studies suggest the results returned are generated from content across the web rather than the top-ranking sites, so getting ‘listed’ will be very hard to control. One thing businesses can expect to see is more imagery and snippet-like content on the SERPs - so ensure your site has great visuals and focus on optimising for long-tail queries, providing concise responses at the top of your page to enhance visibility and engagement.

Overall, the fundamental foundations of SEO have changed very little over the decades. A website needs to be built on sound SEO principles, have great content and be refreshed over time. However, for those in travel, be sure to keep a close eye on AI and, in particular, how you use it. The likes of ChatpGPT can churn out generic content quickly but its output will always need to be thoroughly edited to maintain the travel-friendly human element.

It’s also worth bearing in mind that Google might start taking your traffic away when it feels it can create better answers to long-tail queries. This might not be the end of the world if that traffic failed to bring you bookings, but it's something to keep an eye on this year, particularly as snippets are expected to gain prominence. Whilst you have always needed to stay vigilant and adjust your strategy accordingly to maintain visibility and relevance, this year is really going to test everyone in the travel sector.