How are SEO and paid search progressing in the travel sector?

travel searchThe travel industry believes that overall search marketing is basically going to become more complex and will require a better integration across all the disciplines, be it PR, social media, display, PPC and SEO to be truly effective.

In order to know more, EyeforTravel’s Ritesh Gupta spoke to two executives from search marketing specialist and technology firm Greenlight. This is what Adam Bunn, Director of SEO and Hannah Kimuyu, director of paid search had to say:

Which according to you has been the most striking or potentially path-breaking development in the search engine marketing, especially from the travel sector perspective, in the last six months or so?

Adam Bunn – In terms of SEO and travel specifically, (it would be) the dual algorithm updates in January (unnamed) and February (“Panda” or “Farmer”) focusing on downgrading sites with duplicate and/or low value content.

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Acquisition Marketers And The SEO ROI Dilemma

SEO ROIAfter over 12 years practicing the art of SEO, and selling SEO services to clients, I thought the industry had reached a stage of “acceptance”.

But there is still a very smart group of people out there that are doubters – The Acquisition Marketers.

SEO Personality Types

Company executives and owners have varying degrees of sophistication when it comes to understanding why SEO is important, or why it should be an important part of the marketing mix. I would break down the most common personality types as follows:

  • Me Too – My competitors are doing it, I will too.
  • The Rank Hound – I want to be #1 for my favorite keyword because I know it’s important (without any proof to back it up).
  • The Small Portfolio Ranker – I understand that there are a number of relevant keywords that appear to drive business for us, let’s attack them as a group.
  • The More, The Merrier – Capturing the long-tail is an important part of driving relevant visitors to our site, and they are more likely to be buyers.
  • Doing Great, Just Need A Bit More – Our SEO is performing well for us.  It would be nice to push it up a notch or two, what’s the latest and greatest?
  • Been There, Done That – I’ve hired consultants before, and we just haven’t see the results we needed.

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SEO Remains A Viable Marketing Strategy For Anyone

Ah, another SEO is dead post from a non-SEO to get the blood rushing on an otherwise calm weekend. I’ve been ignoring these more and more lately, but in the wake of Google’s Farmer Update, it looks like everyone could use some history lessons. Don’t depend solely on SEO, but don’t neglect it, either.

SEO Is Not The Only Way

Let me quote someone I know really well, some sage words about SEO, from 1996. That’s 15 years ago, from before anyone was even saying “search engine optimization” widely.

This person had written one of the first guides on how webmasters and site owners should ensure their content was friendly to both search engines and human beings:

Search engines are a primary way people look for web sites, but they are not the only way.

People also find sites through word-of-mouth, traditional advertising, the traditional media, newsgroup postings, web directories and links from other sites. Many times, these alternative forms are far more effective draws than are search engines. The audience you want may be visiting to a site that you can partner with, or reading a magazine that you’ve never informed of your site.

Do the simple things to best make your site relevant to search engines, then concentrate on the other areas.
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