The online travel industry is growing by the second with new websites popping up left, right and centre. These might be new travel startups, affiliate sites or travel blogs who are all looking to get a piece of the action in an industry which has an incredible reach on the web.
Travel marketing is crucial for these kind of sites to get their name out there and to turn their idea from a passion into a business. This marketing might take many forms, but is more than likely to include either offline advertising, social media or SEO.
For those that choose to focus on SEO, link building will undoubtedly be one of the activities on the cards, though it is surprising how much the approach will vary from site to site. Some people choose to flood their site with as many links as possible, buying links for the quickest and easiest route to success, though quickly discovering this puts you at risk of a penalty. Others go for the natural approach, crossing their fingers and hoping great links come their way. But this often results in slow progress…
A successful link building campaign combines many elements and can be daunting for a newcomer, so I’ve put together my 5 top tips for new travel websites to make a flying start to a link building campaign:
Whilst you may be manually promoting your site and submitting it to different places on the web, it’s important to do so in a natural way and not one which will flag up potential spammy approaches to Google and the other search engines. Submit to directories, but don’t do it with auto submission software. Try and get links from genuine blogs, but don’t pay for links on hundreds of sites created just for SEO. Whenever you are considering whether a link is worth it, ask yourself if it would be useful for a user. If the answer is Yes, then you’re good to go.
BUILD YOUR BRAND
Google’s ‘Vince Update’ put more emphasis on brands than ever, moving the focus of search results onto those sites which had established themselves as an authority in their niche, not just those that had the most links pointing them with a particular anchor text.
A natural anchor text profile will also feature a very brand heavy selection, as this is naturally how people link to your site. Ensure you build links using your brand name (SEO Travel) or your web address (e.g. seotravel.co.uk) as this will form the foundation of a strong, trusted link profile. Once this is in place you can then start to use ‘optimised’ anchor text to give you the final push.
TAKE CARE WITH ANCHOR TEXT
Whilst anchor text still plays an important part in rankings, it is no longer as simple as creating 100 links with ‘adventure travel’ as the anchor text to rank for that phrase. Once you have established a good foundation of branded links, you can start to incorporate some optimised anchor text. However, use different variations of the phrases you are targeting and include the brand within that sometimes too.
For example, if you are trying to rank for ‘travel insurance’ build some links with travel insurance as the anchor text, some with backpacker travel insurance/gap year travel insurance/holiday travel insurance and some with brand + travel insurance as the anchor text.
A recent study by SEOMoz showed that partial match anchor text actually has a higher correlation than exact match, and this approach will keep your profile looking natural whilst still providing the relevancy needed to rank for your target phrases.
VARY THE TYPES OF LINKS YOU GET
As well as varying the anchor text you use, you need to vary the types of links you get. Again, this will create a natural link profile which the search engines will trust. Write guest posts, submit to relevant directories, do link exchanges with people in your community. All of this will contribute to a rounded profile and great rankings!
CREATE GREAT CONTENT
No matter what any SEO cynic tells you, great content can get you fantastic links. The key is to promote that content once you’ve created it so people know about it and can link to it. This can be blog posts, infographics, ebooks or anything your creative brain can think of! As long as it is on your site it can attract links. And whilst every piece of linkbait you produce might not be as successful as you’d like, when something works you will end up with loads of great promotion and dripping in more links than you can handle!
Hopefully these tips will help you get started on a successful link building campaign and heading towards great results with your new website.
If you would like a little help along the way then feel free to get in touch and SEO Travel would be more than happy to get you started on the road to link building success.