SEO for the travel industry is now more important than ever. The reason I am saying this is because tourists and travellers from all over the world are now using the internet to book hotels, cars, villas, trips, insurance, flights, basically anything travel related will be in the first instance, researched online and then booked online.
Gone are the days of phoning up a travel agent and getting them to do all the hard yards, research, checking availabilities for you. They are long gone. Essentially, Google has seen to this. People all over the world now use their laptop and mobile phone to make travel plans and they use Google to facilitate this. There is no other search engine in the world they use other than Google and this is why SEO is so very important when it comes to driving potential tourists to your website. If your travel related website is not present and very high up on Google then you are basically out of business.
The whole premise behind SEO merges wonderfully with the travel industry. I can’t think of any marriage that is better suited to each other. The convenience, the information, the wealth of images and videos is right at your finger tips and you can do as much research as you like before making any travel plans or bookings.
Think about it, how many times do you Google anything to do with your destination before you actually make the booking. Let’s say you are looking for a hotel in Bali, how many times would you go to sites like Trip Advisor to check the reviews before making a booking. Or, how often have you gone from airline to airline online to check for the lowest prices. Perhaps you have even Googled the words: ‘cheap air fares’ and seeing what comes up.
The research now in the travel industry is all online and all booking no matter how large or small are all done with the power of the search engines. People have becomes so used to booking online that it is now considered normal. I cannot imaging going anywhere in the world, or staying in any hotel without firstly doing my research online and booking online.
I would like to highlight the power of Google, SEO and the internet with a real case study that goes to show you how SEO has intrinsically become so important in building online businesses and at the same time helping consumers. This is a real case study and you are most welcome to contact me for further information about this as the results are seriously unbelievable. Essentially, with 1 website and a powerful SEO campaign this business over the last 24 months has grown into probably Australia’s largest villa booking website for Aussies heading over to Bali.
Let me explain further. In March 2014 the business Bali Villa Escapes was started as the owners saw a gap in the market for Australian tourists wanting to rent hand picked quality villas in Seminyak, Bali. Sure, there were existing companies already doing this, but there was only a handful and there was room for another company to get in there and offer better quality villas geared 100% for the Aust market.
Most other villa booking agencies were trying to capture the world market and this meant that the poor Australian tourists had to pay everything in US dollars. With the state of the AUD v’s the $US this meant that local were paying a premium. The big difference with Bali Villa Escapes is that the Australians could pay in local AUD and this meant huge savings.
So how does SEO fit into the picture?
The owners of BVE, contacted us to help them with their digital marketing. From UX design, with a heavy focus on customer conversion rates, copywriting, social media and lastly search engine optimisation or SEO, we did everything we could to get as many people to visit the website. Admittedly, the process started off slowly and it was only after the 4 month mark that things started to really happen and pick up tempo.
Now I know all you people reading this are thinking that 4 months is a long time before seeing any type of results, but this is how it works in the digital space, especially when you are implementing and SEO campaign. Time lines here are extended and one must think medium to long term. Short term gains are simply an illusion and a dream, especially when it comes to Google ranking your site.
The owners of BVE where made aware of this and were totally happy to let organic, natural rankings take their course and allow us to do our SEO job. Well, the end results are absolutely outstanding, even if we do say so ourselves and I have taken 2 screenshots to show you exactly the type of results that we can achieve with our SEO strategies in a seriously competitive space; travel. Although I said previously that there was an opening in this space for another player, this does not mean that the niche was not seriously competitive. You still had the likes of other travel booking sites like Trip Advisor, booking.com, hotels combined, Trivago…the list is endless and it was an uphill battle. But we go there and the following results will prove this.
If you look at the the Analytics which we got from Google you can see the results for the last month, 1st-30th April 2016. Note in particular the number of page views and the number of sessions. This is a huge number. Also, look at the number of users coming to the site over the past month, over 16 000 people. These kinds of results can only be achieved by doing SEO slowly, methodically and with a strategy in place designed to outperform and out rank the competition. It succeeded.
I’d also like to draw you attention to another screen shot and that’s the one showing the rankings as of today on Google on 30/4/16 for the ultimate keyword ‘bali villas’. As you can see it’s at position number 1 and has been sitting there for well over 12 months. This is the core keyword and we know that once we had hit this prime position we knew the website traffic would start increasing the we know they leads and inquiries would start flowing. The site is also ranking extremely well for a number of other keywords that are driving huge amounts of potential holiday makers to the site. These results due to our SEO efforts are absolutely remarkable.
This was our aim from the very beginning. We know out target market and we know the keywords that we wanted to dominate online for and we went about doing this in a very aggressive yet totally Google compliant manner. We were very cognisant of never over optimising certain keywords but to go about this in a very tactical manner that is extremely organic.
I might add that we were also responsible for the social media and content marketing (blogging) for this site as well as ensuring everything we did was consistent with their over all brand strategy. The publishing of articles and blogs was done on a fortnightly basis and the social media was implemented weekly. We particularly focused on the 2 platforms Instagram and Facebook. We basically had all our bases covered here and felt that the combined strategies of SEO and digital marketing could make Bali Villa Escapes a very serious competitor in the industry.