Local SEO Setup and Maintenance for an Online Travel Agent (OTA)

Being an online travel agent, it’s essential to have a solid local SEO setup with a proper strategy to draw in customers from your area. With 93% of online experiences starting with a search engine, and 46% of Google searches being locally focused, not appearing in local search results means missing out on a chance to reach potential clients. Partnering with an SEO agency can be of great help to bring your travel business to the spotlight.

Discover the must-know steps to enhance your travel agency’s visibility online through effective local SEO tactics. Let’s explore!

  • List it on Google My Business: Increase your visibility and credibility by claiming and optimizing your Google My Business profile
  • Separate Landing Pages for Local Regions: Developing customized landing pages for different regions can boost engagement and sales
  • Promote Landing Pages via Local Ad Campaigns: Utilize focused local advertisements to increase visitors to your landing pages tailored to specific regions and draw in customers with strong intentions

By the end, you’ll know how to enhance your travel agency’s online presence and attract more customers. Since 81% of consumers research online before buying, having strong local SEO is essential for boosting bookings and revenue. Let’s discover how to improve your local SEO.

Did You Know?

58% of people search for a local business on their smartphone daily

Reimagining the Online Travel Agency in the ‘Next Normal’

Leisure Travelers are expected to explore more and more destinations within their region of residence. Thereby, making it clear for the tour operators to focus more on local destinations in the immediate future.

One particular case of tour operators is the Online Travel Agent (OTA).

OTA is a third party digital platform that arranges and sells accommodations, tours, transportation and trips on behalf of partner companies. (e.g. Booking.com, Airbnb, Trivago)

And the best way to revive demand for OTAs among leisure travelers is through digital marketing – one focusing on lead generation through local SEO.

Local SEO for Travel Websites

Local Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a technique to show up your OTA website whenever “places to visit near me” searches are performed on Google, Bing, etc.

A travel-related search on Google will typically show up PPC ads on top, Google Maps/Answer box/Features Snippets (Local SEO) results, followed by Organic results (SEO) and few more PPC ads at the bottom.

Websites are optimized for local SEO within their region of operation for reliable lead conversions. And that is how local SEO techniques differ from traditional, organic SEO methods.

Local SEO Setup and Maintenance for an Online Travel Agent (Local SEO for Travel Websites) - ColorWhistle

In order to rank better in the results page, we recommend OTAs to begin with:

#1 List it on Google My Business

Google is without doubt the market leader in “near me” searches. It is only wise to optimize business listings first on Google, and then move to Bing/Yahoo or even Alexa “voice search” results. You may follow our setup guide on GMB for general information.

Did You Know?

Businesses with more than 100 images on Google My Business get 520% more calls than the average business

#2 Separate Landing Pages for Local Regions

We would recommend any OTA website to have:

  • A dedicated landing page for each City / State the properties are located.
  • A dedicated landing page for each specific area in the city.
  • Each listed property page to be optimized for high quality images, genuine user reviews, live chat, CTAs, etc.

#3 Promote Landing Pages via Local Ad Campaigns

Now is also a good time to make use of Pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns. You look to promote the landing pages for local regions with a special price package to incentivise people to travel via these PPC campaigns.

OTA websites can be also optimized for local “near me” search as follows:

  • Add schema markups to your homepage. It is an entry step to feature in Google’s featured snippets, which is a part of Local SEO strategy.
  • Optimize page titles, H1 tags and Descriptions according to “local places”. It is also a good practice to use 301 redirects to the most relevant page of your website whenever you remove a listing or destination page. Take reference from the screenshot below:
Local SEO Setup and Maintenance for an Online Travel Agent ( Promote Landing Pages via Local Ad Campaigns) - ColorWhistle
  • Enrich your website content with good quality links from local websites and other highly trusted sites.
  • Content marketing in the form of daily blogs on local places for better outreach.
  • Build a mobile-responsive user interface and reduce page load time for better user experience.

All the above steps are not complete but it’s good for starters. For an in-depth guidance on SEO for travel websites, follow this link.

Also, if you have enough patience, here is a one-hour long video on YouTube discussing SEO audit for Travel Websites.

Importance of SEO Maintenance Services

What is more interesting is that despite the fact that there are big brand websites like booking.com, airbnb.com, tripadvisor.com (to name a few), user’s still turn to search engines to start their trip planning/booking process.

“As latest as in 2019, Google noted only 9% of U.S travelers know which brand they want to book with prior to doing a purchase.”

Local SEO attracts search engine leads from a targeted geography and offers a cheaper alternative to online ad campaigns. It seems to be the most economic lead generation method for online bookings. And times when international travel seems less likely for leisure travelers, OTAs can make use of local SEO to divert more traffic to domestic destinations.

“SEO is an on-going process, i.e. SEO maintenance is complementary to SEO implementation.“

However, the buck doesn’t stop with just the implementation of local SEO as discussed above. As rankings in search results aren’t permanent and so are not the search engine algorithms, SEO strategies need to be constantly adjustmented to achieve the satisfactory results.

SEO Maintenance for OTA websites will now need to focus on traditional SEO, say On-page SEO including system elements, content & HTML elements, CSS elements and Technical SEO including Link Building, Trust elements, Social Media elements.

“Where Local SEO focusses on traffic generation from a particular geography, traditional SEO strengthens search relevance of your services…”

Essentially, local SEO and traditional SEO are two sides of the same coin and its maintenance requires dedicated time and effort. If your team is not experienced enough for the challenge, there are convenient outsourcing options available for the same.

Drive Conversions and Boost your Business with Expert Travel Website Development.

Choosing a Trusted Digital Partner for SEO services – ColorWhistle

COVID-19 is likely to accelerate the shift to digital as travelers look for flexibility and booking lead times shorten. Smaller accommodation businesses would want to gain from the online exposure that they are likely to get through OTAs. Plus, a huge segment of today’s generation prefer OTAs over individual accommodation/activity websites.

We have created some amazing websites with dynamic content such as live rates and special offers. If you need any help to design, develop, market or maintain an OTA website, you can refer to our resource library for travel operators, travel agents and travel businesses.

Alternatively, our travel web design and development experts at ColorWhistle are here to offer complimentary business analysis and consultation. Fill-in contact webform here for further engagement or comment down below to share your thoughts.

Our Useful Travel Industry Resources

In quest of the Perfect Travel Tech Solutions Buddy?

Be unrestricted to click the other trendy writes under this title that suits your needs the best!

CW Content Marketing Team
About the Author - CW Content Marketing Team

ColorWhistle's content team is a group of rockstar writers and curators who create killer content for clients across industries. From blog posts to social media campaigns, ColorWhistle's content team creates content that captivates audience with content that educates, entertains, and inspires. With a passion for creativity and expertise in digital marketing, the team has what it takes to make your brand stand out in a crowded online space. In short, they're the wordsmith wizards that you want on your side for content that on-brand and on-trend.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Ready to get started?

Let’s craft your next digital story

Our Expertise Certifications - ColorWhistle
Go to top
Close Popup

Let's Talk

    Sure thing, leave us your details and one of our representatives will be happy to call you back!

    Eg: John Doe

    Eg: United States

    More the details, speeder the process :)