The travel industry has been experiencing a steady growth for a number of years now and this has had a positive effect on travel agencies. While this is certainly a positive trend, it has also led to an increase in the number of travel agencies around, making the market more competitive.
As the ever-growing number of people turn to the internet to find the best travel agency for their needs, good old-fashioned SEO becomes more and more important. Of course, an inseparable part of doing good SEO for a travel agency is building links and, just like with any other industry, the travel industry also requires a specific approach to doing this.
Step up Your Content
Believe it or not, some people still try to make the old 500-word, Top 5 Things to do in X thing work when building links for a travel agency, completely missing the point and ending up with an avalanche of rejections and unanswered outreach emails.
Travel is a beautiful niche and there is really no excuse for not taking it up a notch. There is always a way to put a novel spin on a travel destination or to make it super-targeted for the blog you are reaching out to. It goes without saying you will try to find the type of audience who is interested in your type of destination and the best thing is that there is an audience and a blog for everything nowadays.
Moreover, you can find out incredible stuff about the most obscure of travel destinations with so many personal blogs and locally-focused websites. With a bit of research, you can turn yourself into a connoisseur of the most remote place somewhere in Kamchatka.
For example, if you are trying to promote a walking holiday like the Camino de Santiago, you are naturally going to target people who might be interested in that kind of trip, in other words, those looking for an active holiday. And even if you yourself have never done a walking holiday in your life, you will find enough online resources on the subject that all that will be missing from your experience is a photo at Compostela. On the other hand, if you are promoting a relaxed holiday in the Algarve, you might want to appeal to a different crowd: those looking to get away from the stresses and anxieties of the day to day.
Another thing to keep in mind is that no self-respecting travel blog will feature a 1,200-word article without any pictures. You need to go visual with your articles and feature as many images as you can. Instagram has become a truly great source for images as people are Instagramming from the bottom of the Mariana Trench these days, but please make sure to ask the person before you use their photo.
Go outside the Niche
Often times, when we are building links for a business in a certain industry, we get a bit myopic and we tend to stick to the industry itself. While this has some merit (links from the same industry sites being more valuable), you should never limit yourself to just one.
When building links for a travel agency, there is a whole array of niches you can turn to for some interesting and valuable links:
- Business – best places for company retreats/remote staff meet-ups/business meetings
- Health and fitness – best spas/best hikes/best places to engage in all kinds of sports
- Fashion – what to wear at X/most fashionable places at X
- Technology – best cameras to take photos of wildlife (you just happen to be building links for a safari destination)
These are just a few examples to get you going. The important thing is not to limit yourself to the travel niche. Bear in mind that travel bloggers often require sponsorships, and will be a tougher nut to crack, while people who are not working in the travel industry itself also need to go on holiday sometimes.
Do some Broken Link Building
There are certain industries that are better suited for broken link building than others and the travel industry is definitely at the very top. Namely, people build links for travel agencies all the time, often linking to time-limited options or travel packages that do not exist after a few months. Moreover, travel agency websites get updated and migrated all the time, often without proper redirections.
In short, there are a lot of links leading to 404 pages out there.
This is where you come in with your custom-tailored pages that can earn you quite a few links without spending too much time on producing unique content for every single link. All you have to do is find the broken links, which often takes less time than it does to write a single article.
If you need a refresher on broken link building, this guide from Ahrefs is quite a read.
Check out some Forums and Communities
No, you have not somehow travelled back to 2008 and no, we are not losing it. Forum and community links have become so devalued that they are not worth a penny in SEO terms and can only get you in trouble if you overdo it.
However, they can still bring you serious direct, converting traffic when in the right niche and when put in front of the right people.
When we are talking niches, travel is just perfect as everyone talks about travel, regardless of the nature of the community and the forum (and this is ignoring travel and travel-adjacent ones).
It may take some research and some time, but when we are talking forum links, travel is among those very few industries where such links can still be valuable.
Especially if you are actually trying to help someone out and recommend the type of destination they are already looking for. Any valuable advice you can give (even just mentioning a brand, and not directly linking to them) can help someone make their choice and chose your client or agency as their agent.
The advice shared in this article was specifically written for building links for travel agencies. Besides these, you will also want to keep in mind niche-agnostic best practices for link building. Whatever you do, keep it natural and remember: it is almost 2019, don’t for a second believe that spammy links still work.