Being in a world where Google processes 63,000 search queries per second, investing in a company blog is a smart strategy.
From all those queries, a small percentage is from people looking for things to do at your destination. If you regularly write blogs using the right keywords, chances are your business will be visible to this audience.
With the right strategy, organic traffic equals more bookings for your business.
And do you know the best part?
All you need is your time to make this marketing strategy work.
In this article, we will teach how tour operators can use business blogging to drive traffic to their websites and increase sales.
Someone planning a trip needs different touchpoints with a company prior to booking a hotel, a flight, or an experience.
The reason is simple, travel isn’t cheap, and travelers need information to make a decision. From choosing a destination to making a reservation, they will use Google at different stages of the buying journey.
And how will they find your business during this process?
As a result of their queries, which are made through keywords.
Let me give you an example. Someone interested in a safari could search for the “best safari destinations”. If you have a blog containing this exact keyword, your business can be found by the person who made the search. If you run a safari business, this visitor is a potential customer.
Business blogging has many advantages such as:
There are many reasons to blog. If you have a team, everyone can contribute with their knowledge to create valuable content to increase your chances to be found on Google.
If you are reading this article, chances are your business already has a website. In case you don’t have one, check out this article with the reasons why you should create a website for your travel company.
Having a website is the first step towards a solid online presence, and it is the place where your blog will be nested.
I’m also counting that your website is integrated with an online booking solution. Being able to receive direct bookings is crucial to increasing your ROI with a business blogging strategy.
There are several blogging platforms on the internet, WordPress is the most popular and I would recommend you to use it to start blogging.
WordPress can be easily integrated with other websites, regardless of the platform they were built. Also, it has thousands of plugins and templates available for download, including some great plugins for SEO.
If you are not using WordPress, you can follow this guide to learn how to add it to an existing or a new website. If you have someone taking care of your IT, just tell them that you will start blogging and need a WordPress installation on your website.
Once you have it ready to use and are familiar with the platform, it is time to start writing blogs.
The first thing you need to do is to study the terms your customers are searching online on Google. Based on it you will plan the topics you will write about.
But how can you do that?
This is what we will discuss right now. There are two types of tools you can use for this task.
This is a free tool that uses real-time search data from Google users and makes it available for anyone to consult.
Use it to find out how often a particular term is searched for, and where it is most popular.
Google Trends will give you an idea about the terms people from your target market are searching for. This is a valuable source of insights to think of keywords people might be using on their queries.
If you wanna know in detail how to use this tool, check out this article.
Google Trends is a great tool for you to understand which travel terms are being searched by your target audience, but it will not tell you exactly the keywords people are using on their queries.
For this purpose you will need to use a keyword research tool.
Again, there are several keyword research tools available online, I would recommend you to try SEMrush.
It has a free plan that allows you to research 10 keywords per day. Which is more than enough if you are starting out with blogging.
SEMrush also has other interesting features, such as the Domain Overview. You can use it to check for which keywords other websites are ranking for.
When analyzing a potential keyword for your blog, pay attention to the number of monthly searches and the difficulty to rank on top of Google.
Don’t worry, SEMrush will give you all this information.
For more details on this topic, read our guide on how to find the best keywords for travel websites.
Once you find all the keywords that are interesting for your business, write them down and it’s time to create a publishing calendar.
Blogging needs time to pay off, and consistent blogging is key to having your website ranking at the top of Google.
In Orioly we post every two weeks, but you can post more or less depending on your available time. But keep your rhythm if you want results.
The best way to keep track of the articles you want to publish is by creating a content calendar.
So far you have a list of keywords your customers are searching on Google. They will be the starting point for the articles you will write.
Let’s go back to our previous example. The term “best safari destinations” could be the base for the article “Top 10 Best Safari Destinations in Africa”.
Another example is the keyword “best hotels in Tanzania”. In this example, who is searching for this keyword has already chosen to travel to Tanzania and is one step closer to booking something to do at this destination.
It’s a good idea to check what competitors and other travel companies are writing on their blogs. This will give you an idea of which type of content your target audience likes to consume.
Once you have enough topics, you should set dates to publish your articles. Remember, consistent blogging is key to good results.
Tools I like to use when planning my blogging tasks are Trello and Google Calendar. Both are free to use.
The first is a popular visual work management tool. Use it to keep track of all the steps of your content creation, from research to publishing your blog.
To access Google Calendar, all you need to do is to log in to your Google account. If you don’t have one, you can create your account here. Use Google Calendar to organize your deadlines and publishing dates.
“The publishing calendar is ready, now all I need to do is start writing, right?” Wrong.
If you want your articles to feature in top positions you will need to please Google’s algorithm.
SEO writing could be tricky if you have never done it before. One tool that helps me a lot when writing my blogs is a plugin called Yoast SEO.
With it, you don’t need to learn all the SEO rules, especially when they are constantly changing.
As you write your blog, Yoast SEO analyzes the page’s content and provides suggestions on how to improve it according to the best practices.
“I published my blog, what is next?”
As important as publishing is to measure the performance of your blog over time.
For this purpose, you will need Google Search Console and Google Analytics connected to your website.
Use GSC to track your site’s performance on Google. With it, you can check the number of impressions, clicks, and the average position of your pages on Google’s organic search results.
It also gives you an overview of the top terms people search to find your pages. That is great to check if your blogs are ranking organically for the keywords you have previously optimized.
In addition, it will show you if your site is fully functional and working according to Google’s best practices.
This tool is the blogger’s best friend. With Google Analytics you will be able to track page views, bounce rate, new users, number of conversions and many other metrics of your website.
Try to check Google Analytics reports at least once a week to understand the behavior of your visitors. If your bounce rate is high you might be targeting the wrong audience. If the time people are spending on a certain page is low, probably you will need to change the approach on your blogs.
Spend extra time analyzing the articles and keywords that are driving the most valuable traffic to your website. You can do that by checking the landing pages that are generating the most conversions for your business.
TIP: Integrate your Google Analytics account with your online booking software in order to generate important data on direct sales from your website. Check out how is easy to do that with Orioly.
Blogging is a great strategy to complement your marketing efforts. As more blogs you write, the better you will be at it.
In this article, we discussed the basic steps tour operators can follow to implement a blog for their business.
If you don’t have an online booking solution integrated into your website, I highly recommend you to read our ebook Advantages of Using Online Booking Software. It will open your mind to start with direct sales online.
on April 13, 2022
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