What is the best way to promote a travel website? It’s not an easy question to answer. The sales generated through online travel bookings was 693.9 billion U.S. dollars in 2018, this figure was forecasted to grow to 817.5 billion U.S. dollars by 2020 (according to Statista).
If you have a travel website, you probably know that getting traffic and enquires on your website is not easy. There is no way to get potential customers land on your site on a continuous basis without having the key ingredients in your digital strategy.
Helping people with valuable information is something that you have to take into consideration when trying to sell or promote your travel website. However, many travel websites on the internet don’t have enough sources and presence for people to notice their existence.
When we talk about travel website promotion many people think about paid advertisements.
Well, that can work, but let me take this opportunity to share some other strategies with you where you don’t need to pay Google or Facebook to get traffic on your site.
In this article, you will learn how to promote your travel website and at the same time providing valuable information to your potential clients.
Let’s start with a very simple question.
Why your travel website does not have traffic?
It is very easy… you are not applying the correct promotion tactics to position your content or you don’t have enough keyword optimized content on your website for Google to see your pages.
But wait, what is keyword optimized content?
I will cover that later in this post… so keep reading.
More and more people are using the Internet to research and book their dream travel or tour. Therefore, it is important that your travel website has a strong presence online, especially on social media networks and search engines like Google, Yahoo or Bing.
So, to be effective let’s start learning a couple of tips and tricks on how to get more traffic on your travel website without spending thousands of dollars on advertisements.
1. SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
According to Forbes SEO is a must for small businesses and it is true for any travel business as well.
SEO is basically driving targeted organic website traffic to your website from search engines.
In my opinion, SEO is one of the best ways to promote a travel website and this is the strategy I recommend for everyone who is in the travel business.
Because there are lots of topics to cover related to travel, like destinations, tips, how to’s and lots of informative articles. You can provide valuable information to your potential customers on your website.
Of course, it has to be done right, which I will share with you in a second.
But that’s just part of the story because SEO has two types.
The so-called On-page and Off-page SEO.
Let’s learn a little more about these two optimization types.
On-Page is the optimization that you can do on your page to improve your organic positioning in Google search engine.
This directly depends on you (or your website developer), because you are the one who controls the website and able to update or upload the content.
Using the right keywords on your service pages and blog posts can bring potential customers to your website who are looking for information about a destination, specific tour or any informative content which can be related to your services.
Your website can reach the top of the Google ranking if you’ve used the right keyword strategy.
Otherwise, if you are just writing blog posts on your website without keywords and SEO strategy you won’t be able to generate free traffic from Google search engine.
So using the right words on your landing pages, service pages, and blog posts is something that you need to take into consideration when writing and building your pages.
There are additional On-page SEO strategies which are more technical, but I will not cover those in this article.
Once you’ve nailed your On-page SEO, then you need to build quality do-follow backlinks to be able to generate organic traffic from Google. Off-page, SEO is commonly called “Link Building” which is a very important factor when you want to rank your travel website in Google.
A backlink is basically when a page or posts links to an external website.
Generally, the more quality backlinks you have the higher rankings your page or blog post will receive in Google search result page.
What is a high-quality backlink?
A backlink from high authority sites, for example, Forbes magazine or National Geographic. Sites that have 35+ Domain Authority can be considered as good quality website. There are several tools that can help you identify high-quality websites in Google’s eye, for this I recommend you to try MOZ bar.
SEO takes time and this is why many people give up before they see any results. This is a great opportunity for you to start writing those keyword optimized content and to build those quality backlinks.
Be patient and the results will come.
2. Write to travel blog
Blogs are one of the best ways to increase your search engine rankings and to use it as a main source to promote your travel business.
Without content, you don’t have too much things to promote about your travel business right?
Only your homepage or service pages.
Just imagine if you have hundreds of informative articles on your website, covering topics that are interesting for your potential clients. You are not just going to have content for your social media profiles, but you have many articles to rank in Google or other search engines like Bing or Yahoo.
Let’s see an article headline like “ Top Ten Things to Do in Paris in Summer”.
According to Google’s Keyword Planner Tool, the keyword “top ten things to do in Paris” has an average 100-1K search per month in Google. It means that if your website or blog posts appear on first page of Google search results then you are going to get free traffic to your website.
It also means that you are writing articles about topics that people are searching for.
When someone is searching for the top ten things to do in Paris, they are definitely in the stage of going to visit Paris, because they are looking for tips on what to do there.
Keep writing and uploading keyword optimized articles, create authority in your domain and provide useful content that your potential clients will love and share.
Traveling is a very visual subject, and a blog is an excellent way to tell the story of your brand through a combination of beautiful images, videos, and text. The best way to promote a travel website is to blog about a wide range of topics, such as travel guides, tips, and tricks, how to’s, activities… anything which you think that can be interesting for your customers.
Using the right keywords in your blog posts and using the On-page SEO strategies mentioned earlier will help you to get organic traffic from Google.
You see, blogging is a fantastic promotional tool that can help you grab readers’ attention during the research and planning phase to generate quality leads.
People are looking for valuable information and they make lots of searches before they visit a destination. If you keep providing high-quality content your potential clients will find you.
3. Email Marketing
Having someone’s email address is like having access to their phone number. So email marketing is a great way to promote a travel website.
To be able to grow your email list first you need to have the traffic of course.
Without traffic, it is very hard to collect email addresses from potential customers right?
Once you have the traffic, then you can collect email addresses by giving the visitors something in exchange for their email address.
This can be an advanced guide in a PDF format or anything that is valuable for your potential clients. Hosting a giveaway can be a great start for growing your email address which I will talk about later on.
The perfect email marketing has a defined funnel and a goal.
Ask yourself, what is my goal with the email addresses that I collected?
Here is a funnel example:
The personalization of email messages should go beyond calling customers by name.
If you use any email marketing automation platforms (like Aweber), you can send personalized emails to your potential customers based on their behavior. Customers consider that this type of email is much more valuable and the returns they offer are much higher.
EasyJet created one of the most innovative and outstanding campaigns for their 20th year birthday using personalization using the data they have about their customers.
Each customer received a unique and personalized email highlighting the places they had traveled with easyJet in the last 20 years.
Social media promotion
Using various social media channels with the right strategy is still a very strong way to promote a website online.
What is the right strategy?
Having a clear goal and using quality content. Creating a posting plan and measuring everything you do.
It sounds simple, but many people are failing at this.
They either post low-quality content or they just don’t have a posting plan and they post three times a day and they stop for two weeks.
This shouldn’t only be with posts with images, it should be video content as well.
When we talk about travel the type of content you can promote and create is basically endless. On the other hand, there are many tools and services which can help you automate your posting and optimizing your posting plans.
Using social media to promote a travel website is a must!
Let’s see a couple of examples on how to do that.
Pinterest is a great platform to start promoting your travel website. First, because it is a visual planning tool, and second, because it has a great search engine. Besides that, it has around 250 million active users and out of that 81 % are female which is worth to consider when you start being active on Pinterest.
How to use Pinterest to promote travel website?
Pinterest is a visual tool so you should always aim for posting or “pinning” high-quality content. There are many image editing tool on the internet which can help you create stunning images which will fit Pinterest, but one of my favorites is a tool called Canva and Pablo by Buffer.
It is free (you can buy a premium subscription as well) and it is very easy to use, so check it out.
You can also find free stock photos using Pexel if you don’t have your own images.
Create your Pinterest account, define your boards and start pinning your optimized, quality images.
As a rule of thumb the more posts you have on Pinterest the better your chances to receive traffic. Be an active member of the Pinterest community and you will be rewarded with quality traffic.
Check out a few successful Pinterest pages, get some inspiration and start replicating what is working for them by using your style and brand.
One more thing…
Be patient with Pinterest, it takes time to start seeing good results from it, but it is totally worth it.
Instagram is huge for travel businesses, but it is a lot harder to stand out nowadays. Personally, I think it is the network which is built for travel agencies or people who are in the travel business.
In other words, Instagram is great for promoting your travel agency.
Because there are many amazing photos you can share about travel and people just love them.
Now you can post images, videos, stories and live which gives you a great opportunity to cover different topics related to your travel business. Sharing behind scenes, tour experiences, customer feedback will definitely attract potential clients.
Just like on any other social media platform, having a strategy is crucial.
It is not enough to post one or two images or videos anymore…
In order to grow your account, you need to be a valuable member of this great community.
Use the right hashtags, post at the right time, add geolocation tags and collaborate with influencers can help you reach more people on this platform.
There are more advanced strategies like follow/unfollow or liking competitors followers images, but I will not cover these tactics in this article.
Twitter can be another great platform to promote your travel website. The user base is different than Instagram or Facebook so you have to take that into consideration when you start using Twitter for promotion.
Here are some best practices from Twitter:
- Keep it short
- Use visuals in your Tweets
- Incorporate relevant hashtags
- Ask questions and run polls
- Curate and connect with Retweets and replies.
The idea is the same… have a strategy, measure your posts and find the best possible setup which will give you great results.
Using the right content, image and hashtags are very important on Twitter.
Because people post 500 million times per day on this platform so you need to stand out somehow if you don’t want your posts to be always ignored.
Being a valuable member of this community is important, so feel free to repost other’s tweets, add comments and follow Twitter accounts that are related to your business.
If you want to set Twitter on autopilot you can use a free tool called Hootsuite which helps you schedule tweets for weeks or months.
Of course, if you don’t have enough content on your website, then you can promote other’s posts or tweets that are relevant to your business.
Remember, do not try to sell always… help people out with information and every once in a while you can promote your services.
When we talk about Facebook promotion we have to take into consideration the fact that if you post something on your feed it will only reach around 3% – 5% of the followers due to Facebook’s recent algorithm update.
Besides that the engagement on Facebook became very low.
It seems that in some cases it is better to have one or two email subscribers then 1,000 followers on Facebook.
So what should you do?
First of all focus on quality, not quantity.
Second, there are many active groups on Facebook where people are sharing information, best practices, tips and tricks related to anything that you can name.
Finding the one which suits your business takes a bit of time, but it is worth it.
Be careful, I’m not saying that you should spam the hell out of these groups! If you have the right the content and the knowledge about a specific question posted into this group feel free to reply.
Remember, these groups are created to help each other… not for selling travel-related services.
Third, consider your timing.
And last, but not least stop selling on Facebook.
Focusing on brand awareness will help you get more organic reach so posting valuable information to your followers is a better strategy than just posting your services pages with a call to action.
The basic function of Quora is very simple. Users ask questions and other users respond to them.
The topics on the site vary; it could be anything that comes to your mind.
In that sense, the users who answer these questions are generally experts in the subject.
It means that if you are an expert in your field then you can use Quora to promote your travel website.
As a result, this site has become the site to go to users to clarify their doubts with the help of experts. You must take advantage of this and answer questions related to your business.
Be careful with the links inside your answers, because sometimes it is marked as spam and Quora will remove it which you don’t want.
So my suggestion here is exactly the same as on the platforms.
Provide value to the people and the platform and the community will reward you.
Just be patient!
It has be reported how travelers increasingly searching for travel related topics on social media. For travel brands and agencies, this means a great opportunity to engage and capture potential client interest.
Videos are one of the easiest ways to connect with, inspire and engage travelers. And YouTube is one of the easiest ways to get your videos in front of the right travelers for your travel business.
Recently, the YouTube official blog stated that 1.5 billion logged in viewers visit YouTube every single month. That’s the equivalent of one in every five people around the world!
What does this mean for you?
YouTube allows you to upload videos which can include the experience that your client will receive if they purchase your service for instance.
With a 59% increase in referral traffic year-on-year, Skyscanner has been one of the brands to best capitalize on YouTube interest.
Based on my experience many small companies, travel agencies are scared about producing travel related videos because they have no experience in video production. The thing is that you don’t have to create a cinematic video, so don’t let the lack of video editing skills stop you from creating a YouTube video for your business.
10. Travel Influencers
Influencer marketing became very popular in the last years, especially among travel bloggers and vloggers.
According to Statista in 2016, there were 9.7 million brand sponsored influencer posts on the social platform. The volume of sponsored content is projected to amount to 32.3 million posts in 2019.
This promotion tactic is very simple. You just have to find an “influencer” in your niche who is willing to promote your business or website.
If you would like to find influencers yourself, I suggest you to check out Heepsy. You can filter the users by location, engagement rate, and many other factors.
Once you find the ideal candidate for the collaboration, then send them a direct message.
When we talk about travel influencers they usually offer Instagram promotion or they can include your service in one of their YouTube videos or even share your travel website with their huge email list.
It doesn’t matter which one you choose, the most important thing here is to measure everything. Because it might sound amazing to use influencers to promote your travel agency, but if nobody will book your tour or use your service at the end of the day it does not worth a penny.
Besides that, it can be a great idea to link it with your remarketing.
Let’s see how to do that.
Remarketing is another great way to get those paying customers landing on your travel website.
According to Hotjar 94% of website visitors leave before completing a transaction.
Did you know that?
So now you understand why remarketing can play an important role in your digital marketing strategy.
As I mentioned several times earlier, first you need to have traffic.
Once you have the traffic then you can think about remarketing.
How remarketing works?
Let’s say you have hundreds of visitors on your website from Google Search (thanks to SEO) on a daily basis, but those people are just looking around and not purchasing anything from you.
With Facebook or Google remarketing you can show ads to those people who did not take actions on your page.
For example, show remarketing ads for only those people who spent at least one minute on your landing page or the person visited a specific page on your website.
Knowing this information that person probably interested in your service, but did not make their choice yet.
You can help them to make a decision by offering them a 10% discount or a customized offer.
So the next time when they read an article online or browse their Facebook feed, they will see a nice advertisement from you which is actually talking to them to make an action.
If you would like to increase your conversion rate, remarketing is something you should definitely consider.
12. Tripadvisor listing
If you want to promote your travel business for free on TripAdvistor, register yourself as a business representative and claim your TripAdvisor listing.
Upload photos, set a hero shot, reply to reviews and collect as many reviews as possible to move up in your organic traveler ranking.
TripAdvisor also provides a suite of free marketing tools that help you encourage more customer reviews, create photo slideshows, promote your area by showing local points of interest, and more.
Downloadable badges and widgets are available to display on your website, which you can add by inserting a snippet of HTML code. You can also request window stickers for use at your business location.
How cool is that?
Most business consultants understand that online reputation management is not a maybe, it’s a must. It’s a fact that online reviews have the power to increase your revenue and TripAdvisor is great for that.
13. Host a giveaway
If you are planning to use email marketing and to build your email list to promote your travel website, I highly recommend you to start it with a giveaway.
It is also a great way to get some hype on social media.
Giveaway is probably the best way to collect email addresses if you are just starting.
Because everyone loves free stuff and if you use the right strategy your email list will be filled with potential clients.
Let me share one example with you which worked for many businesses.
You can offer your service for free as a price (or anything which is valuable for your clients) to your target audience in exchange for their email address. Using their email address they can participate in the contest.
Then you just need to start promoting that page which you’ve created for this offer, using paid advertisements or your social media channels.
Once the promotion is over then you will draw the winner.
If you are not familiar with how to build such a page, I suggest you try KingSumo which will give you a full mechanism.
Besides that, the strategy provided by KingSumo is even better, because once if someone gives you their email address the tool give the option to the user to share it with their audience in order to increase their chance to win your service.
In this way, the users will do additional promotion, which will create a win-win situation.
If your offer and promotion were successful, then your email database will be full with potential clients because if someone wanted to win the price you offered, probably they are going to be interested in your products and services.
Before you start hosting a giveaway, I suggest you have a clear goal on what you are going to do with those email addresses. It is not enough just to collect those emails, you should use them for your future campaigns and strategies.
Just remember that.
14. Signature branding
A true email marketer has a call-to-action to every single one of their emails. And I’m not talking about email marketing here. What I have in mind is the individual, personal email messages you send on an everyday basis.
Yes, your personal email signature can provide a serious marketing opportunity for your travel business.
You are most likely already using your own email signature to provide information about who you are and what you do. But you can take this practice to the next level by updating your signature to reflect the different types of travel services you are running today.
I know it sounds simple, but believe me, many people skip this.
15. Leave insightful Comments
Most of the blogs on the internet allow you to leave a comment after the posts. This way you can join the conversation and create a link to your website.
These comments should add value to the overall conversion, so don’t write something like “great article, thank you for sharing” because that is not something we are aiming for.
It is also important that you don’t spam these comment sections, so be careful with that.
If you are just writing really bad quality comments, then the website owner either not going to approve your comment or just delete it.
With this strategy, you can promote your website by adding your link so people might want to read more about the things that you have to say.
Chose a website in your niche and start the conversation!
While there are plenty of options and networks where travelers can share comments, photos or reviews, allowing for interactions between travel brands and consumers, one social media clearly stands out when it’s time to focus on business-to-business is LinkedIn.
- Create a company page
- Post company updates and useful information
- Follow and engage with clients
- Join groups
You can easily discover groups by searching in the search bar at the top of the LinkedIn page, or browse groups that may interest you by going to the Interests tab > Groups > Discover. There are many travel-and travel agent-related groups out there, so choose several to commit to, and be active in the conversations.
If you want, you can even start your own group!
Having interviews is a very effective way to promote your travel business.
Reach out to travel bloggers who already have a large following on social media, and even those who don’t, to participate in an interview.
When you feature someone in an interview they can promote their interview on their end bringing visitors to your travel website. If you run interviews enough (let’s say weekly or monthly) people will start contacting you to participate.
18. Google my business
Google My Business is one of the platforms that Google makes available to companies. For any travel website and business on the internet, this is something that I highly recommend. Google My Business allows you to be present for free in the searches carried out both in the Google search engine and in Google maps.
Why is this useful for your travel business?
You can manage the direct relationship with your customers by showing reviews and images about your office or your tours that you offer. Thanks to the review option, you can learn what people think about your service or product that you are selling online. Besides that, you can respond to all of these and build a great customer relationship.
As mentioned earlier reviews are really important if you are serious about your business and your customers.
Paid advertisement (PPC)
The first source of traffic for most websites and travel companies are done through paid advertising. It is the easiest way to start getting traffic to your travel website. If you are just a small business trying to compete with the big players then probably this is not the best way to start.
The reason why because it has to be done right which will take lots of try and error to find the perfect ad copy, targeting and additional setups which will result in a great ROI.
To tell you truth, it’s not easy to create ads which will generate profit at the end of the day.
But let’s see a couple of paid solutions which you can use to start promoting your travel website.
19. Google Adwords
Google Adwords is the largest (and most used) and one of the best-paid advertisement service for your travel business.
Your ads can appear on first page of Google just by paying for a specific keyword. For example, if you have a service that sells private tours in Paris, then you can set up a keyword based Adwords ad within Google ad platform.
As you will start receiving clicks to your ads and your website, you pay for Google based on the number of clicks your ad generated.
Let’s use the example “top ten things to do in Paris”.
If you want to get clicks by using this exact keyword you will pay around 1-2 dollars per click for this specific keyword. But this is an informative keyword, which means that people who are typing this keyword into Google search they are just at the research phase… they are not planning to purchase anything.
Not like a keyword “private tours in Paris” which is more expensive to run ads, because it has a buying intent.
Of course, you have to play with the keywords, landing pages, ad copy, targeting and so on to find a profitable ad because if you pay 1,000 dollars for one conversion, but your service cost 100 dollars… well, that’s not a very good investment, right?
Let’s see the next promotion strategy for your travel website.
20. Facebook PPC
Facebook PPC is another great source to generate targeted traffic to your travel business. Just like with Google ads you have to pay for Facebook based on clicks, views and reach.
You must have your own Facebook business page to be able to run advertisements.
There are three types of ads you can run on Facebook:
Each ad type serves a different goal and it is priced differently.
Since Facebook reduced the organic reach of a business page feed, running ads on Facebook is crucial if you would like to get your service in front of your target audience or potential clients.
Unfortunately, if you are not running ads on Facebook and you are just posting content on a regular basis, then not too many people will see your posts anymore.
For example, if you have 1,000 followers on Facebook and you post an interesting article or an image, it will reach around 5% of your followers only as mentioned before.
You can start using Facebook ads by only spending a dollar day to see how it works and later on you can increase your daily spendings.
There is no right or wrong way to start advertising on Facebook if you know the basics. You can experiment for yourself to see what is working for you.
Last but not least let me share a couple of additional tips which has to be considered when thinking about website promotion.
These are important for SEO and Social Media as well.
Optimize page titles and descriptions
The titles and descriptions of the pages are one of the most underrated things to set up. The search engines take into account these two key factors when evaluating the relevance of the page, so it must be optimized.
They also have a big impact on click-through rates.
The title and description are all search results and users make a quick decision about whether to click on a link or continue browsing.
Another aspect that many people ignore is URLs.
Setting up the right URL structure is just as important as the title and description. The use of easy-to-search URLs with relevant keywords and a consistent structure throughout the site can definitely help you in your SEO effort.
And of course, it looks much better.
Minimize page loading time
Page load time is an extremely important ranking signal for Google, this means that if your site takes too long in loading your visitors will leave your website and your organic traffic will suffer that.
Besides that, the user experience will be lower if your visitors have to wait for 30 seconds for your website to fully load.
Optimize for mobile devices
Ten years ago, companies could have run without having a website optimized for mobile devices. A large number of people now use mobile devices for their travel needs and the design of a mobile device guarantees an excellent user experience on phones and tablets.
An interesting fact is that 52.2% of all website traffic worldwide was generated through mobile phones in 2018.
In other words, having a mobile optimized, a responsive website is a must!
By now you should have a couple of ideas on how to start promoting your travel website on the various channels I’ve mentioned above.
What did you think about these strategies? Did it motivate you to start promoting your site?
Let me know in the comment section below!