The tourism sector is undoubtedly at the helm of technological advances. From leveraging various technologies such as virtual reality, posting on various social networking sites, and of course, utilizing search engine optimization (SEO) and more, it cannot be denied that the travel industry thrives with using technology to its advantage.
With the travel and tourism sector banking mainly on exploration and building professional networks, it comes as no surprise that it has taken a huge hit when the global health crisis came. As a matter of fact, the virus pandemic has moved businesses in the field towards a more confused landscape than ever.
Given that it has suffered, perhaps more than any other industry, reevaluating many aspects of their digital marketing campaigns and financial plans is a must. With people around the globe still hesitant to travel, getting search engine optimization at the forefront of such strategies makes sense, especially to help the industry make a 360-degree turn even in such tumultuous times.
Digital marketing efforts and strategies that employ SEO as its main lifeforce seems to be the necessary approach towards keeping the tourism industry alive and well even through a global health scare. After all, to survive and even thrive in this sector means pivoting and adapting with the new normal.
With SEO being a key player in staying alive and remaining at the top, utilizing these strategies and learning to find opportunities to improve and grow is but essential. Below are some ways to employ this approach and helping the overall tourism industry be the shining beacon of what it once was.
The Current Travel and Tourism Landscape
Tourism markets around the world have definitely felt the impact of the pandemic. While typically being one of the key economies to help raise employment around the globe and bring investment and revenue opportunities, 2020 has brought on significant changes.
Many companies and renowned hotels have shut down their doors and have let of go employees. Airlines have also reeled from the sudden changes, especially as travelers have grown warier of moving from one place to another. It goes without saying that the local and national tourist sites have also suffered, with livelihoods depleting as fewer tourists and visitors come in light of the global health crisis.
All of these can be chalked up to various factors. These include the travel restrictions in place, as well as the level of virus containment in each country or region. The lack of flights or the slow flight resumption, as well as the overall economic environment, are also key factors to the decline of the tourism industry and the overall consumer confidence, leading to lack of travel for the past year.
With many countries and even regions observing lockdowns and sheltering-in-place initiatives, travel has essentially stopped. Not only has it halted the once burgeoning tourism sector, but it has also affected many communities who mainly rely on cultural tourism to live on a day-to-day basis.
Although the loss for the tourism and travel industry has been of massive proportions, and negative impacts will still be felt by those most dependent on it, experts in the field, such as the United Nations World Tourism Organization, believe that most regions are expected to rebound by the third quarter of 2021. Meanwhile, the remaining regions and countries, are slated to make a turn come 2022.
Role of SEO
Technology plays a central role in boosting tourism and paving the way towards travel recovery throughout various parts of the globe. Besides employing strict protocols such as mobility or contact tracing in the industry, technological advances and developments can help the sector pivot and rebuild what it once lost.
While the global health crisis has certainly disrupted the lives of many individuals and industries, it has no doubt enhanced the role of digital marketing strategies and technologies to aid in the recovery of tourism. Moreover, it has also helped in the reimagination and the cultivation of tourism from the ground up.
One of the most resilient strategies that have proved its worth time and time again is no other than search engine optimization. It is a type of process that banks on gradually improving a website’s visibility and driving more organic traffic, thereby helping a website rank higher.
While most companies are reassessing the need towards allocating their budget towards paid searches, especially given that travel is still not on the horizon for many individuals, this article makes the case to continue enhancing SEO campaigns and efforts to help stay relevant.
Since SEO campaigns are not a one-time deal and take some time to improve, businesses and companies alike in the tourism sector who invest in such approaches can already see results in just a few months’ time, just in time to see the tourism economy gaining momentum once again.
One of the reasons why companies should continue with their digital marketing operations is that they maintain a strong visible online presence. More than this, it also helps make more customer conversions in the long run.
Even though the industry is still struggling to regain its footing, online tourism marketing proves time and again that not only is it resilient, it is also highly adaptable to the needs of the times.
Shifting the Focus Towards Digital Marketing and SEO
Search engine optimization is a process that remains effective even years down the road. Not only does it help increase web traffic, but it also helps generate leads. Make a pivot and take a chance on this approach even through the pandemic by maintaining an online presence and building on the trends of today. This will allow businesses to remain competitive and cater to the needs of customers.
Giving More Informative Content Than Promotional Materials
One of the ways SEO can help companies in the tourism sector is providing more educational and informative content. Although the industry once banked on promoting particular features and offerings in their website, more and more people are now looking for newer information that pertains to virus prevention, and even those that fall within health and wellness categories.
By providing a steady stream of information and using keywords that are regularly being searched by consumers, websites such as hotels and even cultural sectors, can help provide much-needed information and peace of mind to people looking to be in a safe environment.
In taking advantage of keywords and backlinks, websites belonging to the tourism sector can help rank high despite the volume of competition in the industry.
Providing Clear Updates on Changes
As mentioned, many people are looking for answers regarding the virus pandemic. While establishments and places of business may already have a FAQs page, it is of vital importance to regularly update this page every few days or weeks to keep up with the news or the evolution of the virus.
Most organizations think of having a FAQs page simply as an afterthought. What they fail to remember, however, is that this is a great way to market content and usher in organic views and conversions. It is, after all, a catchall of everything people want to know and what they wish to be informed of upfront.
By making updates and answers visible on your website, interested customers and travelers can allay their fears towards traveling in the near future. What’s more, this will also reflect an organization’s commitment towards staying connected and engaging with their customers through this difficult period.
Highlight Unique Offerings via SEO Content
Adapting and innovating offerings and services is not viable for every sector, but for the tourism industry, it might just work, even with some health and travel restrictions in place.
To make this overhaul work, businesses should first look for some key experiences that people are looking to have over the internet. These keywords or search rankings should be included not just on the website, but also in promoting content.
For example, now that most countries or even states are opening doors to revive their economy, more individuals might be interested in exploring outdoor dining. Make sure to use relevant keywords when making content for your website to draw in more visitors not just on your site, but also for your place of business.
Private tours and services have also become increasingly popular as more individuals are exploring more intimate trips with their loved ones. Businesses or tourism agencies that specialize in this type of offerings may do well by leveraging SEO strategies to their advantage.
Driving Customer Engagement Through Visuals
Most travelers or consumers feasts with their eyes first before deciding to continue with their travel plans. They are likely to watch videos and look at pictures as a way to survey the destination. Businesses can use this to their advantage by providing such content on their website and blogs. SEO enters the picture when you provide written contents along with your visual ones. Plus, you should use relevant keywords for the file names and titles of your videos and images.
The Bottom Line
The current travel landscape is still in uncharted territories. Investing in tourism SEO even through a crisis can help cement your position in the industry as you embrace the changes that come with it. With the digital market not going anywhere soon, it is wise to consider these methodologies and applying these to your own business.