How to Choose the Best SEO Agency for Your Travel Business in 2024?

How to Choose a digital marketing agency or the Best SEO Agency for Your Travel Business?

Last Updated on January 18, 2024 by The Digital Travel Expert

If you ever want to hire an SEO but don’t know the due steps to choose the right one, this article is for you. SEO is a cost-effective method to attract new customers for your travel business, hotel, or safari company. However, many travel businesses don’t have an in-house marketing team working on their SEO projects. It is fine to outsource to SEO experts on a freelancing and agency basis. While outsourcing to SEO agencies can be beneficial for businesses without in-house expertise, it is important to consider the potential drawbacks, such as a lack of control over strategy, dependency on external resources, and the possibility of receiving generic or ineffective SEO services. 

How do you hire a professional SEO agency for your travel business niche if you don’t have any clue about SEO skills yourself? We will explore 10 steps to help you make an informed decision when outsourcing your SEO needs. 

Here is a snapshot of what you will learn:

  • What do SEO services mean for your travel business?
  • Tips for choosing an SEO company that aligns with your specific goals and requirements.
  • Dos and don’ts when looking for an agency.
  • The questions to be asked when hiring a new agency are to ensure they have the necessary expertise and experience in your industry: their previous clients and success stories in similar industries.

Set clear goals.

The first step to finding the right SEO agency is to determine your specific SEO goals for your travel business. Every business has different goals. Common SEO goals can include beating your competitors for specific travel keywords, creating SEO-optimized content, improving your travel brand’s reputation, improving your website load speed, and obtaining high-quality travel backlinks from relevant sources. Effective segmentation targeting and positioning for your travel brand requires an understanding of the client’s needs and challenges.

Your business goals pave the way for your expectations, which will play a crucial role in the choice of an agency for travel SEO services. You shouldn’t even think about searching for an SEO services agency until you have determined the specific and measurable goal you want to achieve. Why? Because it will help you vet the right agency. On the other hand, the SEO company will assess if it can meet your expectations or if they match your travel business needs. You need to have a clear understanding of what you need. The SEO experts will build their plan and proposition based on your wants.  

Audience Understanding in your SEO Content Marketing

Here is an example: You have perfect travel content that is high quality and relevant for better search engine rankings, but you lack high-authority travel backlinks.  Link-building is probably what you need.

Determining your goals can also help you save money. You will decide if you need travel SEO services or a freelancer to assist you in building those high-authority travel backlinks. Either choice will depend on your budget and specific requirements.

Use Recommendations from your network

If you are in business, chances are you have a network of other travel professionals who can provide insights and recommendations on agencies they have worked with.  Honest recommendations are incredibly valuable when deciding on which agency to commit to your SEO project. Of course, if they are not your competitors, they can provide insights into their goals and how the agency helped them achieve them.

Get a clear picture of what the agency customer experience, SEO strategies, and overall satisfaction were like, as well as communication, reporting, and punctuality. A client-SEO relationship can reveal a lot about the effectiveness and impact of the agency’s services.

A recommendation from your peers or SEO partners is not a convincing enough reason to go for an agency’s services. The recommendation may not accurately reflect the agency’s true capabilities or success rate. You need to do your due diligence by vetting the agency yourself. There are lots of SEO referral programs out there where people share their experiences to receive a commission. Side note: You know what affiliate marketing is. SEO affiliate programs exist too.  It’s in your best interest to do thorough research to find a good SEO company that meets your needs. You value your travel business and money.

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Request the results of previous projects.

A good SEO agency will be happy to provide concrete evidence of their past successes and the results they have achieved for previous clients. Case studies and testimonials are the equivalent of social proof.  When you find a travel SEO company that seems to be a great fit for your SEO project, ask them for examples of previous travel websites they have worked on. Not necessarily travel companies, but a similar SEO tourism project can suffice.

Request the results of the previous SEO projects

Preferably, you should ask them for an example of a website in the travel industry or niche. They should explain to you how they achieved the results. This reflects their SEO expertise in your business field. If they can’t provide details for privacy reasons, they should at least show screenshots from Google Analytics, Google Search Console, and their favorite SEO tool. You need this information to see the progress and compare the results before and after the work is done. 

It’s a straightforward route to understand the results if you have SEO experience or skills; otherwise, ask them to explain the different graphs and dig into metrics and results. 

“If you can’t explain to a six-year-old, you probably don’t understand it yourself.”

Don’t be intimidated by the complicated portfolios some SEO agencies build to showcase their work, hoping to persuade potential clients. Your main concern as a business owner is the result, not the elaborate presentations.

Accept(reasonable)guarantees

Accept guarantees but be cautious of a travel digital marketing agency that promises guaranteed travel keyword rankings. It’s important to remember that SEO is a complex and ever-changing field, and no agency can guarantee specific keyword rankings. Walk away instead. Those are false promises. 

No professional digital marketing or SEO firm can guarantee a travel website’s search engine ranking within a specific timeframe.

No serious SEO company can guarantee a travel website's search engine ranking within a specific timeframe.

It is a good sign when the agency gives a timeline, for example, of 3-6 months for the first results.  The expected time to see the first SEO results depends on a few factors, like competition in your travel niche, destination, and overall website structure. 

On average, it can take anywhere from several weeks to a few months to start seeing noticeable improvements in search engine rankings.

Transparency is key in the SEO project. It is a good practice to build trust and ensure that both the client and SEO agency are on the same page regarding goals, expectations, and progress.  Businesses shouldn’t expect guaranteed results from SEO companies, regardless of their claims or abilities. 

As a travel business owner, it’s essential to be patient and understand that there is no way to get guaranteed results from most SEO companies. 

Trust the SEO strategy and commitment of the agency to reach your goals.

Understand their SEO strategy.

There is nothing wrong with questioning the SEO travel strategy the agency plans to use. When choosing an SEO company for your travel business, it is crucial to understand their approach and strategy. If the company isn’t comfortable answering questions or is withholding information, it makes sense to be cautious.

You need to understand their SEO strategy for your travel business and the process for building backlinks, optimizing content, and increasing website authority. 

Asking these questions will provide insights into how they approach SEO and whether they have a clear understanding of your field too.

The best SEO company will practice white-hat SEO techniques and ensure transparency in every move they make.

There is nothing wrong with questioning the SEO travel strategy the agency plans to use

By all means, they should avoid black-hat practices, such as getting links from PBNs, writing AI travel content, or attacking competitors with malicious links.  

Some SEO agencies take shortcuts by relying on PBNs, AI content, or malicious links. However, these practices can result in severe penalties from search engines and harm the website’s credibility and organic rankings. The misery of other travel businesses won’t take you anywhere.

Analyze their pricing.

Together with your goals and expectations, you will need to ensure that their pricing matches your budget. Any SEO pricing strategy is believed to consider factors such as the scope of work, deliverables, and any additional costs that may arise throughout the project.

The truth is that there is no cheap or expensive SEO company, regardless of where they outsource their services. Even if they outsource their services to countries with lower labor costs, the price won’t necessarily be lowered.  Believe it or not, a good SEO company costs a significant amount of money.

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Let’s look at the figures:

Imagine you need on-page SEO services for your website, which will include 20 backlinks and 2 articles per month. The cost of such services can range from several hundred to several thousand dollars per month.

One agency charges you $500 per month.

The second does require $1500.

The cost of the third agency’s services is $3000 per month.

The choice may seem clear based on the SEO budget.

However, it is important to consider the quality and range of services offered by each agency before making a decision. It’s not because they charge a lot that their work quality will reflect the price. Don’t make the SEO cost a deciding factor.  

Instead, keep shopping around. Don’t be tired of checking other options.  Do some more extra homework, research, and compare different agencies’ portfolios, client reviews, and success stories.

If you are not confident enough about your choice, don’t sign a long-term contract. It’s better to test the waters with a shorter commitment. This way, you can assess the agency’s performance and decide whether to continue working with them.

Review the website SEO of the agency

This one is usually ignored, yet it is an important source of information about the agency’s expertise and credibility. If an SEO company’s website looks and performs poorly, it is a red flag that should be taken into consideration.

Ignoring these warning signs can lead to hiring an unreliable and ineffective SEO company. Imagine you are looking for an architect to design your dream home, yet he lives in a crappy house. Wouldn’t you be cautious?  It may be a clear indication that their skills and expertise are questionable.

A poor SEO company’s website without ranking for any keywords is not a good sign. You should imagine why. If you can, use some SEO tools to analyze their website and see if they are implementing basic optimization techniques. Specifically, check their content copy and the quality of their backlinks, as these are key factors in determining the effectiveness of their SEO strategy.

Ask questions

If you are meeting with an SEO agency, you will need to have key questions to ask.

Understand the Agency Team

A good SEO Agency team consists of highly skilled professionals with expertise in all aspects of search engine optimization. It also has technical SEO experts, web developers, content writers, backlink builders, graphic designers, and project managers. The diversity of expertise ensures the agency can provide a solution that meets the needs of your small or large travel businesses. One thing worth noting is deadlines. 

You should ask if there will be a point of contact for your SEO project. The proposal from the agency needs to indicate the necessary team members to run your project. If the agency can’t assign a team for your project, like backlink builders or copywriters, among others, it’s a red flag to question their capabilities and limitations. 

Request a written contract.

Now that you have chosen the right SEO company for your project, it is important to protect yourself and your investment by getting a written contract. You should avoid relying on vague promises.  An SEO project contract should outline the terms and conditions of the project, including the scope of work, timeline, and payment details. The contract will protect both parties and ensure that goals are clear and agreed upon. Monthly reports are common practices among top SEO companies. 

Requiring a written contract is not a sign that you don’t trust the SEO company. It’s simply a professional way of doing business that no SEO expert is expected to oppose. 

Protip: If you don’t trust the agency enough, start with a short-term retainer. If you are satisfied with the results, you can consider a long-term partnership.

Understand their reports and ask for clarification if necessary.

An SEO report is an important sign of the client-agency relationship. It shows how the agency is performing and provides insights into the progress made toward achieving the client’s goals.  The reports and SEO accomplishments provide a list of key metrics, a backstory, questions, and answers about past successes or failures, competitors’ strategies, and future outcomes.

Understand their reports and ask for clarification if necessary.

The reports also include recommendations for further improvements and strategies. The best agencies execute SEO strategies well and communicate using concise reports, avoiding the unnecessary need for calls or emails. The use of concise reports helps streamline communication.

FAQs About SEO agencies

  1. What is the agency’s experience working specifically in the travel industry? 

    The SEO agency’s experience working specifically in the travel industry is crucial, as it demonstrates its understanding of the unique challenges and opportunities within this sector.

  2. Can they provide examples of successful SEO campaigns they have implemented for other travel businesses? 

    Being able to provide examples of successful SEO campaigns implemented for other travel businesses is important because it shows the agency’s track record and ability to deliver results in the specific industry.

  3. How will the agency determine and measure success in terms of SEO performance?

    how to optimize SEO: Harnessing the Power of Travel Content Marketing Strategy and last-minute holidays

    The agency will determine and measure success in terms of SEO performance by using key performance indicators (KPIs) such as organic search rankings, website traffic, conversion rates, and engagement metrics.

  4. Are there any specific strategies or tactics that the agency uses to improve search engine rankings for travel websites? 

    Discussion on Why Keyword Research is Crucial in Travel SEO when you start a business

    Yes, an SEO agency should utilize a variety of strategies and tactics to improve search engine rankings for travel websites. These may include conducting thorough keyword research, optimizing website content and meta tags, building high-quality backlinks, improving website speed and mobile responsiveness, and staying up-to-date with the latest SEO best practices in the travel industry.

  5. How do SEO agencies stay up-to-date with the constantly changing algorithms and best practices of search engines like Google? 

    To stay up-to-date with the constantly changing algorithms and best practices of search engines like Google, SEO professionals can regularly attend industry conferences and workshops, join online communities and forums dedicated to SEO, subscribe to reputable SEO blogs and newsletters, and actively participate in webinars and training sessions offered by industry experts.

  6. What are some common mistakes to avoid when incorporating travel SEO keywords into my website’s content? 

    Some common mistakes to avoid when incorporating travel SEO keywords into your website’s content include keyword stuffing, which is the excessive use of keywords that can make your content appear unnatural and spammy. 

  7. How often should I update and optimize my travel SEO keywords to stay relevant and competitive in the industry? 

    10 Best Tips for Digital Marketing Jobs and Travel Businesses

    To stay relevant and competitive in the industry, it is recommended to update and optimize your travel SEO keywords regularly. The frequency of updates will depend on various factors such as changes in search trends, updates in search engine algorithms, and the competitiveness of your target keywords. It is advisable to monitor your website’s performance and keyword rankings regularly to identify opportunities for improvement and make necessary adjustments to your SEO strategy. In most cases, the help of an SEO agency software is needed.
     

  8. How much does an agency charge for SEO?

    The cost of SEO services can vary greatly depending on the agency and the scope of work required. Factors that can influence pricing include the size and complexity of your website, the competitiveness of your industry, and the specific goals you want to achieve with your SEO strategy.
     

  9. How can travel SEO strategies be effectively tailored to target luxury travelers specifically?

    To effectively tailor travel SEO strategies to target luxury travelers specifically, it is important to focus on creating high-quality, visually appealing content that showcases luxurious destinations and experiences. This can include highlighting luxury accommodations, exclusive amenities, and personalized services. Additionally, targeting specific keywords and phrases that are commonly used by luxury travelers can help attract the right audience to your website. Travel influencer Marketing is usually included in their strategy.

  10. Does SEO differ between luxury marketing and traditional travel businesses? 

    Yes, SEO strategies can differ between luxury marketing and traditional travel businesses. While both types of businesses aim to improve their search engine rankings, luxury travel marketing may require a more tailored approach. Luxury travelers often have higher expectations and are willing to pay a premium for exceptional experiences. Therefore, SEO for luxury travel marketing may involve optimizing for more niche keywords, creating unique and captivating content, and focusing on building a strong online reputation to attract discerning luxury travelers. 

  11. What is an SEO agency?

    An SEO services agency is a digital marketing company that specializes in improving the visibility and ranking of websites on search engine results pages. They employ various strategies and techniques, such as keyword research, on-page optimization, and link building, to help businesses increase their online presence and attract qualified leads through organic traffic.

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