How To do Proper Travel Keyword Research For SEO Marketing Strategy(2023)

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

Last Updated on August 18, 2023 by The Digital Travel Expert

Are you a digital marketing professional or business owner wondering how to do keyword research for travel SEO strategy? In the digital era where competition is fierce, visibility is crucial for any business to thrive. This is particularly true in the travel industry, where potential customers are constantly searching for destinations, experiences, accommodations, and more. In this context, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) becomes an indispensable tool for digital marketers. SEO involves optimizing a website’s content and design to rank higher in search engine results, thereby increasing its visibility and attracting more organic traffic.

At the heart of any successful SEO strategy lies keyword research and analysis. Keywords are phrases or terms that users enter into search engines when looking for information. The right keywords can bring your webpage in front of the right audience at the right time. However, finding these ‘right’ keywords is no easy task. It requires careful research, meticulous analysis, and, more importantly, an understanding of your industry and target audience.

How to Do Proper Travel Keyword Research and Analysis for Your SEO Strategy
How to Do Proper Travel Keyword Research and Analysis for Your SEO Strategy

In the travel industry, effective keyword research is even more critical due to the high competition and the seasonal nature of demand. Identifying the most relevant and profitable keywords can make a substantial difference in the traffic your travel website attracts and its conversion rates.

This article aims to guide you through the process of conducting thorough keyword research and analysis for your travel SEO strategy. We’ll start by understanding the basics of SEO and keywords, discuss the importance of keyword research, walk you through some of the most effective tools for this purpose, and provide a step-by-step guide on conducting keyword research specifically for the travel industry. We’ll also cover how to analyze these keywords for SEO, explore advanced keyword strategies, and, finally, show you how to create an SEO strategy using your keyword research.

Whether you’re a luxury travel blogger, a hotel marketer, or a tour operator looking to enhance your online presence, this guide will provide you with the tools you need to improve your website’s visibility, attract more organic traffic, and increase bookings. So, without further ado, let’s dive into the exciting world of SEO and keyword research!

Understanding the Basics of SEO and Keywords

Before we delve into the specifics of keyword research and analysis for the travel industry, it’s crucial to understand the basics of SEO and keywords. Both are integral to any successful online marketing strategy and having a clear understanding of these will give you a solid foundation to build on. How to do keyword research for SEO is the starting point of every search engine optimization strategy.

In-depth Explanation of SEO, How It Works, and Its Benefits

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It’s a digital marketing strategy aimed at improving a website’s visibility in the organic search results of search engines, such as Google or Bing. SEO involves optimizing a site’s design, content, and overall structure to make it more attractive to these search engines.

But why is this important? Search engines use complex algorithms to crawl, index, and rank web pages based on various factors, such as relevance, quality of content, site speed, and many others. If your website is optimized well for these factors, it stands a better chance of appearing in the top results when users search for relevant terms. This leads to increased traffic to your site, and ultimately, more potential customers.

Detailed Discussion on Keywords, Including Their Types and Uses

Keywords are the crux of any SEO strategy. These are the words or phrases that people enter into search engines when they’re looking for information, products, or services. When your webpage is optimized with the right keywords, it can rank higher for those terms and get more visibility.

There are different types of keywords, each with their unique uses. Some common types include:

  • Short-tail keywords: These are broad, general terms, usually one to two words long. For instance, “flights” or “hotels” are short-tail keywords. They have a high search volume but also high competition.
  • Long-tail keywords: These are more specific phrases, usually three or more words long. An example would be “cheap flights to New York” or “luxury hotels in Paris”. They have a lower search volume but typically less competition and higher conversion rates.
  • Branded keywords: These are keywords that include a brand or company name, such as “Marriott hotels” or “Delta flights”.
  • Non-branded keywords: These are general keywords that do not include a brand name, like “beach resorts” or “best airlines”.

Explanation of the Travel Industry’s Unique SEO Challenges and Opportunities

The travel industry presents unique challenges and opportunities when it comes to SEO. On one hand, competition is fierce, with countless travel agencies, booking sites, airlines, and hotels all vying for top rankings. On the other hand, the industry is incredibly dynamic, with shifting consumer trends and seasonal demands offering the potential for targeted SEO strategies.

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Moreover, customers in the travel industry typically go through a prolonged decision-making process, from initial inspiration to final booking. They’ll use different keywords at different stages, offering opportunities for websites to capture them at multiple touchpoints. Understanding these nuances can help you effectively strategize your SEO efforts and make the most of your keyword research.

In the next section, we’ll discuss the importance of keyword research in travel SEO and explore how to uncover the best keywords to target. Stay tuned!

Importance of Keyword Research in Travel SEO

As we’ve established earlier, keywords serve as the connective tissue between what people are searching for and the content you’re providing to fill that need. In the travel industry, where consumers’ decisions are heavily influenced by online research, keyword research becomes paramount.

Discussion on Why Keyword Research is Crucial in Travel SEO

Keyword research is crucial in travel SEO for several reasons:

  • Understanding your audience: Keyword research helps you understand what your target audience is looking for. What destinations are they interested in? What kind of accommodations do they prefer? Are they looking for budget travel options or luxury experiences? The answers to these questions lie in the keywords they use.
  • Improving your website’s visibility: By optimizing your website for the keywords your audience uses, you can improve your rankings in search engine results. This increases your website’s visibility, leading to more traffic and potentially more bookings.
  • Staying ahead of the competition: The travel industry is highly competitive but lucrative. Understanding the keywords that your competitors are targeting can provide you with insights to create a more robust SEO strategy.
Discussion on Why Keyword Research is Crucial in Travel SEO
Discussion on Why Keyword Research is Crucial in Travel SEO

Illustration of Some Successful Case Studies that Used Effective Keyword Research

Many travel businesses have leveraged keyword research to boost their SEO efforts. For example, TripAdvisor, a leading travel guidance platform, employs an effective SEO strategy that includes extensive keyword research. They optimize their site for a wide range of keywords, from generic terms like “hotels” to more specific long-tail keywords like “best beach resorts in Bali”. This approach helps them capture a vast audience, from people in the early stages of planning a trip to those ready to book.

ahrefs showing-keyword research for best beach resorts in Bali
ahrefs showing-keyword research for best beach resorts in Bali

Similarly, Airbnb uses local and long-tail keywords to optimize its listings. For instance, listings might be optimized for keywords like “cozy cabin in Lake Tahoe” or “studio apartment in downtown Manhattan”. This helps them attract users who are looking for specific types of accommodations in particular locations.

Importance of Understanding the Customer’s Travel Booking Journey and How Keywords Play a Role

The travel booking journey is a multi-stage process, from the initial inspiration and research phase to the final booking. At each stage, potential travelers use different keywords. For instance, in the early stages, they might use broad terms like “best travel destinations”. As they move closer to making a booking, their searches will become more specific, like “affordable hotels in Barcelona city center”.

Understanding this journey is crucial for your SEO strategy. It can help you target keywords that capture potential customers at each stage, guiding them along the path to booking with your company. This approach, known as the ‘sales funnel’ or ‘customer journey mapping’, is a powerful way to maximize the effectiveness of your SEO efforts.

In the next section, we’ll delve into the practical aspects of conducting keyword research, including a look at some of the most effective tools available. So, keep reading to learn more about how you can build a successful travel SEO strategy.

Tools for Keyword Research

Having understood the significance of keyword research in SEO, especially in the travel sector, it’s crucial to have the right tools to perform this research effectively. There are numerous keyword research tools available that can help you uncover the terms your audience is searching for. Here, we’ll explore some of the most popular ones:

Tools for Keyword Research
Tools for Keyword Research

Explanation of Popular Keyword Research Tools

  • Google Keyword Planner: This is a free tool provided by Google that allows you to find keywords related to your business or industry. It provides data on search volume, and competition level, and even suggests new keywords that you might not have considered.
  • Ahrefs: is a comprehensive SEO tool that includes a powerful keyword research feature. It can provide keyword ideas, keyword difficulty scores, search volume data, and more.
  • SEMrush: SEMrush is another all-in-one SEO tool that offers detailed keyword analysis. It also allows you to see the keywords your competitors are ranking for, providing valuable insights for your own strategy.
  • Moz Keyword Explorer: Moz is a popular SEO tool that offers a feature-rich keyword explorer. It provides keyword suggestions, and SERP analysis, and allows you to create keyword lists.

Comparison of These Tools’ Features, Uses, Pros, and Cons

All these tools provide excellent features for keyword research. However, they have unique pros and cons:

  • Google Keyword Planner is free and directly integrated with Google Ads, making it easy for businesses to plan their ad campaigns. However, it does lack some advanced features like competitor keyword analysis.
  • Ahrefs is praised for its user-friendly interface and in-depth keyword metrics. But it’s a premium tool, and its extensive features might overwhelm beginners.
  • SEMrush excels in competitor analysis and also offers a wealth of keyword data. But its full suite of features comes with a steep learning curve.
  • Moz Keyword Explorer has a simple interface and provides unique metrics like “Organic CTR” and “Priority”. However, some users might find its keyword suggestions limited compared to other tools.
  • Answer the public: this is also another keyword research tool that gives an idea of what people are searching for based on a specific topic and country.
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Guided Walkthrough on How to Use These Tools Specifically for Travel Keyword Research

Regardless of the tool you choose, the process of keyword research remains similar. Here’s a simplified walkthrough:

  1. Start with a seed keyword related to your travel business, like “flights”, “hotels”, or “travel destinations”.
  2. Enter this keyword into the tool’s search bar to get a list of related keyword ideas.
  3. Analyze these keywords for search volume and competition level. Typically, you want to find high-volume, low-competition keywords.
  4. Look for long-tail variations of these keywords, which can often provide better conversion rates.
  5. Create a list of keywords that are most relevant to your business and audience.

Remember, in the travel industry, consider both general and local keywords. Also, account for seasonal trends, like increased searches for “ski resorts” in the winter or “beach vacations” in the summer.

Now that we’ve discussed the tools and the process of conducting keyword research, let’s move on to how to use these keywords to build a robust SEO strategy.

Conducting Keyword Research for Travel SEO: A Step-By-Step Guide

Having discussed the tools for keyword research, let’s now guide you through a comprehensive, step-by-step process to execute this research effectively for your travel business.

  • Defining Your Niche and Identifying Your Target Audience

The first step in keyword research is to clearly define your niche and identify your target audience. Are you a luxury resort catering to high-end customers, or a budget travel blog providing tips for affordable travel? Knowing your niche and understanding your audience will help you focus on the most relevant keywords.

  • Creating a List of Seed Keywords

Seed keywords are the foundation of your keyword research. They are broad terms that describe your products or services. For instance, if you run a hotel in Paris, your seed keywords could be “hotels in Paris”, “Paris accommodations”, or “luxury Paris hotel”.

  • Using Keyword Research Tools to Expand Your Keyword List

Next, use your seed keywords in your chosen keyword research tool to generate a list of related keyword ideas. These could include long-tail keywords, synonyms, or related phrases. Look for keywords that have a high search volume but relatively low competition.

  • Analyzing Keyword Competitiveness and Search Volume

It’s essential to analyze your potential keywords for competitiveness and search volume. High-volume, low-competition keywords are ideal, but these can be hard to find, especially in the travel industry. A good strategy can be to target lower-volume, low-competition keywords that are highly relevant to your business.

  • Identifying and Understanding User Intent

Understanding user intent is crucial in keyword research. The intent behind a search query can be informational (looking for information), navigational (seeking a particular website), transactional (ready to purchase), or commercial (in the consideration phase before purchase). Align your keywords with the right user intent to attract the most relevant traffic.

  • Prioritizing Your Keyword List

After analyzing your keywords, prioritize them based on their relevance, search volume, competition level, and alignment with user intent. This will give you a focused list of keywords to target in your SEO strategy.

  • Implementing Your Keywords into Your Website

Lastly, it’s time to implement these keywords into your website. They should be naturally integrated into your content, metadata, URLs, and even image descriptions. Remember, the goal is not to stuff your content with keywords but to create valuable content that naturally incorporates these terms.

By following this step-by-step guide, you’ll be able to conduct effective keyword research for your travel SEO strategy. In the next section, we’ll discuss how to analyze these keywords to further optimize your SEO efforts.

Analyzing Your Keywords: Tracking Success and Making Adjustments

The work does not end with identifying the right keywords and implementing them in your content. To truly maximize the benefits of your SEO strategy, ongoing analysis of your keywords is essential.

Importance of Ongoing Keyword Analysis
Importance of Ongoing Keyword Analysis

Importance of Ongoing Keyword Analysis

Ongoing keyword analysis is the process of continuously monitoring and analyzing the performance of your keywords. It’s important for several reasons:

  • Spotting trends: User behavior changes over time and so do keyword trends. Regular analysis can help you spot these changes and adjust your strategy accordingly.
  • Evaluating performance: Not all keywords will perform equally well. By analyzing your keywords, you can see which ones are driving traffic and which aren’t, and refocus your efforts on the most effective keywords.
  • Identifying opportunities: Ongoing analysis can also help you identify new keyword opportunities. For instance, you might discover that a certain long-tail keyword is bringing in a lot of traffic, indicating a potential niche to explore further.
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Tools and Metrics for Keyword Analysis

Several tools can help you with keyword analysis. Google Analytics and Google Search Console are two free tools that provide valuable insights into your keywords’ performance. Tools like SEMrush and Ahrefs also offer advanced tracking and analysis features.

When analyzing your keywords, focus on metrics such as:

  • Search Volume: The number of searches that a keyword gets during a certain time period.
  • Click-Through Rate (CTR): The percentage of users who click on your website after it appears in search results.
  • Conversion Rate: The percentage of users who take a desired action (like making a booking) after visiting your site.
  • Ranking: The position of your website in the search results for a specific keyword.

Making Adjustments to Your Keyword Strategy Based on Analysis

Based on your analysis, you may need to make adjustments to your keyword strategy. This could involve targeting new keywords, re-optimizing content for certain keywords, or even removing underperforming keywords.

Making Adjustments to Your Keyword Strategy Based on Analysis
Making Adjustments to Your Keyword Strategy Based on Analysis

In some cases, you might need to revisit your content strategy entirely. For instance, if you find that informational keywords are driving most of your traffic, you might want to create more informational content to attract these users.

Remember, SEO is not a one-time effort but a continuous process. By regularly analyzing and adjusting your keyword strategy, you can ensure that your SEO efforts are always optimized for success.

In the final section of this article, we’ll discuss some best practices to keep in mind when implementing your travel SEO strategy. So, stay tuned for some more invaluable tips and tricks.

Best Practices and Tips for Travel SEO

Effective keyword research and analysis only are parts of a comprehensive SEO strategy. The following are some best practices and tips to remember as you implement your travel SEO plan:

Ensure High-Quality Content

Creating high-quality content is paramount. Your content should provide value to your audience and naturally incorporate your target keywords. Remember, while keywords can help search engines understand your content, it’s the content quality that retains your audience and leads to conversions.

Optimize for Local SEO

If your travel business caters to specific locations, don’t forget to optimize for local SEO. Use location-specific keywords and ensure your business is listed in online directories and on Google My Business.

Use Keywords in the Right Places

While you should avoid keyword stuffing, you should aim to include your target keywords in key areas such as your page title, meta description, headers, and throughout the body content.

Keep User Experience (UX) in Mind

Good UX is a significant ranking factor. Ensure your site is user-friendly, easy to navigate, and mobile-optimized.

Leverage Social Media

A Travel Social media Strategy can indirectly impact your SEO by driving traffic to your site and increasing your online visibility. Sharing your content on social media platforms can also help it gain more visibility and backlinks.

Keep Up with SEO Trends and Algorithm Changes

SEO is a rapidly changing field. Search engine algorithms are constantly updated, and user behavior trends evolve over time. Regularly keeping up with these changes will ensure your SEO strategy remains effective.

Be Patient

SEO is a long-term strategy. It can take months to start seeing results, but the wait is often worth it. Be patient and consistent in your efforts.

FAQs on Keyword Research

How to do Google keyword search?

To perform a Google keyword search, start by opening the Google Keyword Planner tool. This tool allows you to find relevant keywords for your website or blog. Once the tool is open, enter a few seed keywords that are related to your niche or topic. The tool will then generate a list of keyword ideas based on those seeds. Take time to analyze the results and choose keywords with high search volume and low competition. 

How can I research keywords for free?

For those seeking a free option, Ubersuggest offers a range of keyword suggestions and competitive analysis.

Which keyword research tool is best?

When it comes to determining the best keyword research tool, several options stand out like ahrefs, SEMrush, and Moz Keyword Explorer. Ultimately, the best keyword research tool depends on individual needs and preferences, so it’s essential to explore these options and determine which aligns best with your specific goals and budget

Why is an SEO strategy important for a travel company?

The travel industry is lucrative yet highly competitive. An SEO strategy is crucial for a travel company as it helps enhance online visibility and attract potential customers. With the increasing competition in the travel industry, having a strong online presence is essential to stand out from the crowd.


By following these best practices and tips, you can create a robust travel SEO strategy that drives organic traffic, boosts your search engine rankings, and improves your overall online presence. As with any marketing strategy, continual learning, testing, and optimizing are key to success. Happy optimizing!

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