A Guide to Content Writing for Travel Websites in 2020

Content writing for a travel website is a lot more then just selecting the right keywords and arranging them effectively. Some of the biggest travel and tourism websites trust the quality content written by outsourced travel writers. 
 
But not all of them have the budget to hire a professional travel writer. Framing the right content strategy is an important part of setting up a successful travel website.
 
This post is a must-read for every serious web content writer who wants their content to rank higher search engines than their competitors in 2020.
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Source: gillandrews.com

1. Do your research

Create an outline

Before you even start doing your research, it is extremely important to always make an outline for the entire article. Making a list of ideas or topics is necessary if you want your content to have a good flow and without clutter.

Doing research as an expert

You can write your content as an expert in the travel niche. However, if you present yourself as an expert, you have to prove yourself and explain why you know all those information you’re providing. You have to include data and statistics in your content to prove your point.

Using data and statistics throughout your content has a dual-purpose.

First, you are providing information from reliable sources. You will gain the trust of your readers because you are presenting a piece of content that is accurate.

Second, when you are using data and statistics from other sources, you are of course ‘linking out’ to those sources. This will have a positive impact on your content in terms of SEO in the long run.

Doing research as someone looking for answers

Another way to approach your research is to come off as a regular person looking for a solution to a problem. You could think of yourself as someone who wants to help a friend finds the best hotels in Hawaii or Budapest. Doing research this way is quick and simple. Answers are usually spread across the internet through forum posts and YouTube videos.

2. Write an amazing headline

Why do you need headlines that grab peoples attention?

A headline that turns heads or sparks someone’s interest is as important as the content itself. If no one clicks on your headline, then your just wasting time creating content.

Cosmopolitan magazine uses sexy headlines that entice people to read their content. If you’re an email marketer, the phrase you use in the subject line makes a big difference as to whether people will open your emails or not.

Likewise, you need to write catchy headlines so people will click on your webpage on Google’s search results. The point here is to get people to take that next step and read your content.

So how do you write headlines that are so appealing that people not only want to click through but read the rest of your content?

Tips on writing amazing headlines 

1. Headlines with 6 to 7 words perform better

According to Neil Patel, blog post titles that are too short or too long won’t do justice to your precious content.

Titles that are too short won’t be able to tell your readers upfront what your content is all about. On the same note, titles that are too long tend to be overwhelming to your readers. No one wants to click on a headline that looks like a long sentence.

2. Use adjectives within your headline

Adjectives can make your headline more attractive to your readers. Some of the adjectives you can use are “unbelievable”, “incredible”, “top”, “best”, etc. With adjectives, there’s a huge chance more people will want to click on your headline.

3. Add the current year within your headline

Although this may not be applicable to all of your posts, adding the current year within your headline will tell your readers that your content is updated or “fresh.” This strategy works better if your content is about “guides” or if it’s a “how to” article.

Surely you have read some of these in the search results, “updated 2020” or “best travel sites in 2020”. People will most likely click on a headline because it’s fresh. Who would want to read on outdated content?

4. Get to know your readers

You can start on getting to know your readers at the comments section on your post. There would always be someone who will leave a comment after reading a post. You can start on getting connections from there.

Once you get to know who your readers are, you’ll have an idea on how to create headlines that relates to them. You’ll have an idea of finding the best travel topics for your content.

If you’re a travel writer, you can ask your readers about the problems they encounter when they are traveling.

Content that provides a solution to a problem especially on a specific niche tends to get more clicks. Not only that, your readers might share your content on social media. This means more exposure for your content and more leads for your business.

3. Focus on the topic only 

When writing content for your travel business, it is best to focus on one topic or message. Considering that you already have the topic, the next step is to write the first sentence and your ‘answer paragraph’.

The first sentence

Your first sentence should contain the keywords that you want to rank for. You should cleverly insert those keywords in your first sentence where it fits naturally. Don’t insert keywords just for the sake of putting them in the first sentence.

Your first sentence should be either a single message or a question that needs an answer.

Answer paragraph

The ‘answer paragraph’ is just a quick summary that answers the question raised from your first sentence. Or it could be the solution to a specific problem. You only need three to four sentences for your ‘answer paragraph’ when you’re 

From there, you need to create a list of subheadings or subtopics to further expand your content while focusing on one single topic.

4. Grab reader’s attention

First impressions last

As the saying goes, “you only have one opportunity to make a great first impression.” Well, this is also true when it comes to writing content. Your introduction is that one opportunity.

If your introduction doesn’t capture all of your reader’s attention, then this will not motivate them to continue reading your content.

Luckily, there are some tactics you can use to captivate your readers using your opening sentence.

Hooks

Opening sentences that grab the reader’s attention are often called ‘hooks’. There are several ways you to use this in content writing for travel websites.

One way is to ask a series of intriguing questions.

Notice the word ‘intriguing’ here. Don’t just ask random questions that don’t have a purpose. Likewise, do not ask your readers if they want to learn something. Also, don’t ask them if they want to hear a story.

Make your opening sentence so intriguing that leaves your readers wondering what in the world are you talking about.

Data and statistics

In addition, you could also share statistics involving numbers. Such as “57% of internet users talk to more people online than they do in real life.”

Other ways of creating a great ‘hook’ are using:

  • a surprising fact,
  • a super descriptive setting,
  • some catchy dialog,
  • a flashback, or
  • just diving right into the action.

Diving right into the action means giving your readers a short summary of your message.

Or a short paragraph with the first sentence that raises a question. And then two succeeding sentences that directly answer that question.

Of course, no matter how direct the answers are, two sentences aren’t enough to satisfy your reader’s curiosity. They will eventually continue reading the rest of your content.

An effective strategy in content writing for travel websites is trying to grab your reader’s attention. This will keep visitors reading until the end of your post, which is good for SEO. This will tell the search engines that your website’s content is helpful to internet users.

The longer your readers will stay on your website is one of the new ranking factors in SEO.

5. Write an engaging content that people are willing to share

Here’s why engagement is also an effective strategy when it comes to content writing for travel websites.

Do you spend time on Instagram? Facebook?

Well, you might have been clicking ‘LIKE’ on those photos, right?

But you don’t just ‘like’ those photos because they look nice. It’s also because you admire the people who uploaded them. You think you have a personal connection with them. You feel as if you are involved in their lives.

‘Liking’ their photos is like sending them a message that you like what they’re doing. You feel you’re rooting for them and you wish them to do well. You want them to keep going because you think they’re doing a great job. And you can’t wait to see what they’ll upload next.

On the other hand, you may follow a couple of professional photographers on Instagram but you don’t always like their photos. No matter how stunning those photos look, you seldom hit that ‘LIKE’ button.

Why?

It’s because you don’t know who they are and where they’re from. You don’t know what they want to do with their lives. You just know that they take good photos. But you have no reason to engage. Their photos aren’t giving you any value at all. Why would you give something back?

So try to have your content writing for travel websites on a more personal level. Something that makes your readers feel they are connected with you. Tell them a little about your life, your struggles as a travel writer, and what you’re doing at this point.

Here are the travel content ideas you can use.

When writing content, always try to develop a connection with your readers.

How?

Here’s a sample sentence.

“I’m sitting here at the airport and thinking, why do other people’s luggage gets delayed or lost?”

And.

“I did some research and here’s what I’ve found.”

This is like telling your readers that you’re also a traveler and you’re creating this content for them. You’re looking for a solution to a problem that many travellers face every day.

Again, the idea here is that you’re not coming as generic like the rest. You’re coming instead as somebody who has wondered the same thing. Somebody who looked around the internet to find the answers. You then put those answers together into one useful post.

But how do you create content that people are willing to share?

It’s all about the headline. Great content does affect how many social shares you’re getting. But it’s the headlines that drive people to share your content.

Neil Patel did some tests about headlines. He learned that 8 out of 10 people will read your headline. But only 2 out of 10 people will read the rest of your content.

How do you write headlines that get a ton of social shares?

You already know the tips to make an amazing headline. But here’s one last tip to make your headlines go viral.

Go to forum sites like Reddit and Quora and type in the keywords related to travel. They will show you some popular articles. This will give you travel content ideas for your next post.

Look for an article that has a list such as an article that breaks down 7 ways to do X, Y, Z within the travel niche. You can take that list and expand those 7 ways or topics through research. You can make those topics as subheadings for your new content.

6. Target keywords using Google Keyword Planner

Your content must always drive traffic to your website every time people do a search. This is where your keywords come in. But be sure to base those keywords from topics that can really target them.

Secondary keywords or long-tail keywords are as important as your primary ones. They give your content an even higher chance of getting found with every search.

You can use the Google Keywords Planner not just to help you find the keywords you can target. You can also do a ‘mix-and-match’ with your keywords as well. This is another way of looking for keywords variations you can use with your topic.

7. Optimize the content

Here are some quick tips on optimizing your content.

Optimize your title

Insert your keywords not just on your headline but also in the ‘title tag’. They should always be present in the ‘meta tags’ (or meta description) and the header tags as well. Header tags are the subheadings or subtopics of your content.

Remember to always use a title that grabs the attention of your readers. The title is the first thing they will see and if it’s enticing enough — they will keep reading.

Optimize your images

The one thing that would deter your customers the most is a slow-loading webpage. There are a lot of things you can do to increase the page speed with plugins but the biggest killer are images.

So resize your images and compress them. There are online tools for compressing and re-sizing such as TinyPNG and befunky.com.

Be direct with your writing

People don’t have to read fluff content to find what they want to find. Be clear and direct. Remember to tell them why they need your product or service and how it will benefit them.

Distribute your keywords to every part of your content; from the headline to your summary.

Put your primary keywords in the:

  • Headline (Heading 1)
  • Heading 2 and so on…
  • first paragraph
  • Body, and
  • Summary

8. Use Yoast plugin for WordPress to improve SEO and readability

The readability for posts is a key factor for holistic SEO strategy. You probably already know about holistic SEO and how important it is to write quality content. Quality content needs to be original and relevant to your readers but it should also be easy to read.

What is content that is easy to read?  

A readable text is a text that is well structured. It should have an introduction, a body that conveys your message, and the conclusion. Within this bigger structure, the text needs to be divided up further into paragraphs that reflect your ideas and arguments.

These paragraphs need to precede with subheadings. That clearly states the content of each paragraph.

Furthermore, make sure to start each paragraph with a topic sentence. The topic sentence is the most important sentence of that paragraph. It will give the reader an idea of what the whole paragraph is about. The following sentences on that paragraph will then elaborate on that topic sentence.

In addition to these structural elements of your texts:

Structural elements

  1. Subheading 1
  2. Paragraph

You also should consider stylistic elements:

Stylistic elements

  1. Go for short and sentences
  2. Use transition words
  3. Use simple words

Your texts should be pleasant to read. So whether it comes to your choice of words or sentence structures, go for short and clear ones, rather than long and convoluted.

Transition words

Write sentences that are not too long and that are clearly marked by transition words. Examples of transition words are “in contrast”, “In addition”, and “therefore”. Transition words give your readers direction when reading your content.

Finally, don’t go overboard with complicated terminology. Don’t stuff your sentences with long, hard-to-read words. Instead, use simpler words to achieve the same effect.

Why is readability extremely important for SEO?

Most importantly, you really want to focus on your audience, especially their reading experience. You want to write an article that is well-structured and pleasant to read. You want your readers to understand the message of your post quickly and without too much effort.

That way, you will not only entice readers to click-through from the search results to your website, but they will also be more likely to stay on your website.

Making your text more readable is not about dumbing down your content. It’s about making your posts as accessible as possible. It’s about avoiding unnecessary complexity in your writing.

You can still tackle complex issues on your post. But it’s the part of the writer’s job to breakdown complex ideas and make them clear and easy to understand.

And then there’s also Google’s ranking algorithms to consider.

Google is becoming smarter and smarter in how it evaluates websites. To determine the topic of the page, it will make use of the same factors that human readers use. For example, it will pay attention to the headings and subheadings to determine the topic of the page.

Another effective strategy in content writing for travel websites is readability. This can really help rank websites as well as provide a good reading experience. This is why Team Yoast added the readability analysis in the plugin. 

This analysis consists of various assessments that will check the structure of your content, as well as the various elements of your writing style.

Your content will get feedback with green, red, and orange bullet points. The colored bullet points will lead you to the areas of your content that still need improvement. That way, you can be sure you’ve got all the important points covered when it comes to the readability of your content.

9. Content length 

So, how long is the average length of a page or content should be?

Keep in mind that longer content always wins. The average Google first page result contains 1,890 words.

Gone are the days when we could rank for 300 words. At present, we need to have longer content. And by longer content doesn’t mean filling our them with random text.

You need to explore a topic with more depth so you can elongate that piece of content. That way you are thoroughly covering the topic at hand to make your piece of information better than your competitors.

Also, there should be no fluff. You should produce meat with a purpose so Google can say, “without a doubt, this is the best piece of content on the internet!”

10. Aim to convert

You’re working hard to get your website rank higher than your competitors. Your creating amazing content using the targeted keywords you want to rank for.

But sometimes, you’re too busy with SEO that you forgot why you’re here for in the first place — to convert visitors to become customers for your business.

What is a conversion?

Conversion can be in many forms such as call-to-action (CTA), landing pages, forms, pop-ups, and even live messaging. Your conversion process is how you can turn an anonymous visitor into a customer.

How to make your content help in conversion?

It is typically by offering something that visitors want. This offer should be something that is helpful to them.

‘Helpful’ as in helping them solve their problems. ‘Helpful’ in a way that they can better determine a solution. Usually, content offers are used for this exchange.

Your content should encourage visitors to take your offer. If someone is on your website and sees an option to download a free guide, they may be willing to give their information, like their email address. As long as they see value in it.

In conclusion, you don’t have to create content that does well in the search results. You just need to create content that teaches people to do well in their everyday lives. And this is by far — the best way to sell.

11. Edit your final content

When you think you’re done with all the research and you have put the pieces of your content in their proper arrangement, it is now time to proofread. You need to proofread and edit your content so you can be sure it is of high quality when it published.

Here are tips on proofreading:

  • Try to speak out loud about what you’re reading. This is a good way to spot errors in your writing.
  • Two heads are better than one. Try to have somebody read your draft. He or she might spot errors you have overlooked.
  • After proofreading your draft, try to walk away for a while and then go back and look again for errors.
  • When you think your draft is ready to go, run it on plagiarism checkers to make sure it doesn’t get any Copyscape hits.

Conclusion

Nowadays, travel websites with 500 word-content that are no longer dominating page 1 of Google’s search results.   For your content to perform better than your competitors, you need to create content that is in-depth.  Content that visitors find useful and that they are willing to share with their friends and families. That right there is the product of effective content writing for travel websites.

Do you have any other content writing tips? 

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David Kovacs

David Kovacs

Hello I am David, the guy behind Travel SEO. I help growing travel businesses profit from online marketing with #1 page rankings. If you want to know more about me, check out the about page.

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6 thoughts on “A Guide to Content Writing for Travel Websites in 2020”

  1. Amit Manglani

    Amazing content writing strategy on Travel Websites. It really helped me in creating my client’s website. Thank you so much.

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