OUR FAQ FOR A LUXURY TRAVEL BLOG
Is there a question about SEO you were always too afraid to ask?
Well, I wanted to help out the readers of A Luxury Travel Blog so asked them last month what one question they had about SEO that I could answer for them.
Here’s the result…
ARE LINKS STILL IMPORTANT?
In short, yes. But quality is the most important thing to focus on with links and not get sucked into the trap of just chasing lots of links on any site out there.
You can see some great posts below on link building which include really solid tactics for getting links which bring sustainable results:
HOW OFTEN SHOULD YOU PUBLISH BLOG POSTS?
There is no perfect answer for this question as it completely depends on what time and resource you have available.
However, I would change the question slightly to focus on what kind of post you publish. It’s far better to post once a month with a really fantastic, well-researched post than once a week with a quick 300 words that you threw together.
I’d recommend making an editorial calendar based on how much time you can spend on high quality, in-depth posts and then sticking to that. Whether it’s a post a day or a post a month, that is the best approach.
IS IT POSSIBLE TO TAILOR SEO TO RAISE VISIBILITY IN THE MOBILE SEARCH RESULTS?
Google has recently moved to the mobile first index so having your site optimised for mobile devices is more important than ever.
You don’t need to do anything specifically different for mobile/desktop SEO, the main thing is to make sure that the user experience on all devices is seamless and lets them engage with the site in an effective way.
IS IT BETTER TO HAVE LOTS OF PAGES ON YOUR WEBSITE?
Having lots of pages on your site is good, with the caveat that they need to be good quality pages. Having lots of pages that are of a low quality will actually harm the performance of your whole site.
So if you can publish lots of high-quality, useful pages for your visitors then more is definitely better. But don’t just publish anything purely to increase the number of pages you have, as that will actually have the opposite effect.
WHAT ARE THE BEST SEO TOOLS?
If you are on a budget and want one tool to do lots of things for you then I would highly recommend Ahrefs.
This allows you to check technical issues, do keyword research, analyse competitors and do link building. Essentially everything you need to improve your SEO performance.
There are lots of fantastic SEO tools out there and lots of posts listing them, so I’ll stick with that as my recommendation if you need just one.
IS IT GOOD TO HAVE LOTS OF IMAGES?
Images are naturally very important for travel websites as you want to entice users to dream of visiting the places you are selling.
However, it’s important to find the right balance of great images and good website performance. Too many images will slow your site speed down so that you don’t rank as well and nobody finds you or sees the images in the first place.
We recommend avoiding large image sliders as they weigh heavily on site speed and users don’t sit and watch them. The main thing then is to make sure that all images on your pages are optimised for the place they are being used – there’s no point having a 3MB image for a tiny thumbnail
DO YOU HAVE ANY TRICKS FOR GETTING LINKS ON BIG SITES?
By big sites, I am assuming we mean places like national newspapers and publications like Lonely Planet and National Geographic.
These are incredibly influential on SEO performance and certainly worth doing everything you can do get coverage on them.
You can also read a case study I wrote here on how we get featured on lots of big sites in one fell swoop with our content marketing activity that allows smaller sites to gain coverage on top-tier publications without needing to break the bank.
HOW MANY TIMES SHOULD I USE MY KEYWORD ON A PAGE?
The true answer to this is that you shouldn’t just have one keyword per page.
The best approach is to establish a topic and create a really in-depth page that covers multiple phrases within that topic.
For example, you might have a page about safaris in Kenya. This wouldn’t just be targeting ‘’safaris in Kenya’, it would also target lots of variations of it like ‘Kenya safaris’, ‘luxury safari in Kenya’ etc.
If you build out a good quality page that is tailored to the information the user wants, then you don’t necessarily need a keyword to appear lots of times. Google is now very intelligent at knowing what phrases and synonyms are related, so it’s more important to get lots of those different variations on the page rather than the same phrase over and over again.
IF YOU ONLY HAD 1 HOUR PER WEEK TO DO SEO WHAT WOULD YOU DO?
If I have an established site with some good links already pointing at it then I’d spend it writing really good content.
If I was a brand new site then I’d spend the first few months writing great content, then move on to focus more on promotion and getting some great links, before going back to content.
All that assumes you’ve got your technical aspects in order, but you may need someone with more specialist expertise to help with that, and it’s less of an ongoing activity and more of something to get right at the start.
HOW DO YOU TRACK SEO SUCCESS?
There are lots of metrics you can use, and the more things you track the better picture you will have of how your site’s performance if changing (and hopefully improving).
I would always track rankings for a selection of key phrases. Don’t get bogged down with just one or two, follow at least 20 or 30 that are spread over different pages of your site so you can see how things change at page level as well. You might have an issue with one page in particular and the rest of your site stays the same which you wouldn’t know if you only tracked the biggest phrases that your homepage is targeting.
Organic traffic is also an important thing to monitor so you can see how much traffic is coming to your site from search engines. You might no improve your rankings much for competitive headline phrases, but if you write lots of great content around other topics you could still see some strong improvement in traffic from good quality visitors.
Finally, bookings and enquiries are the most important one. Better rankings and more traffic is only good for you if it results in more business and profit for you. You can set up goals in Google Analytics so you can see where conversions are coming from and analyse what the most profitable traffic sources are for you. Once you have that information you know where your marketing spend is best placed to keep you growing.
If you have any more questions you would like answering or things that need clarifying from this post let me know and I’ll run a follow up if people find it useful!
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