The tourism industry is one of the industries that can benefit the most from search engine optimization – provided it is applied correctly. Because whether it’s the destination, activities, hotels or restaurants, the search for the perfect vacation destination is increasingly starting online these days.

To build a good SEO for your company and thus generate customers in the long term, it is necessary to understand the behavior of users. What processes take place before the user makes his final booking? This is important because all the processes and moments that the user goes through in the course of his research have an impact on the subsequent decision.

We show you how to adapt your SEO measures and the search for the appropriate keywords to your company and potential customers.

Challenges for the tourism industry

The tourism industry is one of the most competitive industries on the Internet. But no matter which offer it is about, whether hotel, gastronomy or activities, all these providers have to face the same challenge in terms of SEO: Their offer relates exclusively to the region in which they are located. SEO is thus constrained by geographic location.

However, the biggest problem for tourism businesses is to market themselves. Many companies are not aware of which aspects of their offering are really important to customers. Instead, they focus on what they themselves find most salient. As a result, customers are often disappointed because their expectations are not met.

To solve this problem, the tourism company must ask itself an important question: At what moment does a potential customer need my offer? Because: Users rarely orient themselves to specific companies when researching travel. You dream of lying on the beach of the Gulf of Mexico or discovering the ruins of the Mayan culture. Only then do they deal with which companies have these experiences on offer; planning, booking and finally the experience follow.

If a tourism company is able to recognize these needs at the right moment and use them for its own benefit by having a well-developed SEO strategy, it will be found much better on the Internet. And more visitors also mean more potential customers. In this blog post, we’ll show you how to overcome SEO challenges in the tourism industry and how to leverage customer behavior to your advantage.

Understanding user behavior and using it for tourism SEO

According to Google, a trip goes through four phases: Dreaming, Planning, Booking, Experiencing. These phases can also be called moments. They influence both research and any decision-making processes, and they all now take place on the Internet.


In the first phase, a user dreams of a trip. This can be concrete, but also very vague: The dream of a beach vacation in Mexico or the perfect wave while surfing. In both cases, users are looking for inspiration and information. He is primarily concerned with the question of where: Where do I want to go? or: Where can I experience this?


In the second phase, the dream slowly takes shape. The destination is set and now the user is looking for a suitable itinerary and local accommodation. In addition, he may already be looking around for possible activities in this context.


The plan is in place and it’s time for the decisive phase: booking. Here, the user is primarily looking for the best price-performance ratio.


Now the customer is actually on the journey. In this last phase, local suppliers are in demand, i.e. gastronomy, sightseeing and so on. It is equally important for these companies to be visible on the Internet, because travelers also find out about their options on the Internet when they are on site.

SEO strategy for tourism companies

If you want to design your offer on the Internet in such a way that it is easy to find and attractive for potential customers, you should first understand how they behave during the research process. This also includes knowing what users value: Their own needs are more important than those of a specific company. This means that companies in the tourism industry must attract the attention of every user at every moment or phase described above.

This is the only way to turn many visitors to your website into many customers. You achieve this goal with the help of two factors: presence and relevance.


In the multitude of providers, your offer must particularly stand out. Think about what dreams and moments customers can experience with your business and adjust your SEO and keywords accordingly.


Users interested in travel are not interested in companies that merely have a presence. There must also be something “behind it”. It is essential to be able to provide them with ideas and answers they are looking for in a concrete moment. This is how you can build trust and do business.

To understand how these processes work in practice, we present a case study. It shows the importance of well-crafted SEO and innovative content marketing to make you visible as a business on the internet.

Content is king

A well-known hotel chain shows how to use the “I want to leave” moments, i.e. the dreams of potential customers for themselves and ideally combine SEO with content marketing. As one of the world’s leading travel companies, the company recognizes that travel-loving users today see advertising as a necessity. They particularly appreciate entertaining and inspiring content that radiates authenticity. To attract customers with the “I want to leave” moments in a structured way, the hotel chain appointed a VP of Content Creation. This department, created specifically for content marketing, creates multimedia content that introduces users to the travel company’s offerings in an entertaining and inspiring way.

Part of this content represents an online magazine. Here, interested users can read up on a wide variety of travel topics. The hotel chain also relies on documentary-style videos showcasing cities around the world. These are produced by the company itself and in collaboration with well-known YouTubers.

These YouTube videos enjoy great popularity.This is partly due to the entertainment character of the video, but mainly because the choice of destination in the video is not accidental.

For their short films, the company chooses places that, according to Google data, are among the most searched destinations and at the same time only a few videos exist about them. This allows them to market their travel company in a unique and fun way, despite the huge competition, and turns an “I want to go” moment into an “I want to go right there” moment.

SEO Basics: From Self-Analysis …

Before you can move into specific search engine optimization of your website and your other online activities, you need to intensively analyze your own travel business. So you have a good basis to work out a strategy for your SEO and can make the most of it. Find your own strengths, highlight them and make it clear to customers why they should book with you in particular. You should go through the following steps before you start search engine optimization.

  1. Take time for a comprehensive self-analysis. To do this, make a list of all the points that make you stand out and that distinguish you from others.
  2. Think about which target group you want to address? What products and services do you offer?
  3. Then, think about how you can best communicate your specialties. Which channels are best suited for this? How can you package your message so that it resonates with potential customers?

In the next chapter we will explain how you can implement the now created basics concretely in your search engine optimization and thus optimize it. Remember that once is not enough. SEO is a very dynamic topic. So you should regularly check your content and update it. You can also periodically revisit your basics and go through the steps described – after all, your travel business is dynamic and evolving, too.

… for implementation in SEO

Now that you have analyzed your company in detail, it goes into the concrete implementation of the necessary SEO measures. You should consider the following points when implementing your SEO strategy:

  1. Find the right keywords to use on your website and in all online marketing activities. The keywords should describe the company and the specifics of the region. Some common keywords for travel companies are: “travel”, “vacation”, “tour operator”, “bookings”, “online bookings”, “package tours”, “last minute travel”, “flights”, “hotels”, “accommodations”, “vacation rentals”, “rental cars”. If you don’t know which keywords work best, you can hire a professional SEO consultant to identify them for you.
  1. Create high-quality content. Content is king when it comes to SEO. Before you start optimizing your website, make sure all the content on your site is relevant and high quality. Update or optimize as necessary… While you’re at it, use keywords effectively to draw search engine attention to your website. Make sure your content is updated regularly to keep it fresh and interesting.
  1. Use social media. Social media plays a crucial role in the visibility of companies on the Internet. The images on platforms like Instagram and the like present places of longing, especially when it comes to travel. They often serve as inspiration for a destination. By creating a presence on social media, you can visually showcase your travel business. Combined with the appropriate keywords, you attract the attention of search engines and reach more people. However, social media are extremely fast-moving. So make sure you are regularly sharing content and interacting with other users.
  1. Add backlinks. Backlinks are links from other websites to your website. The more backlinks you have, the better you rank in search engine results. To get backlinks, you can write guest articles for other websites. Or you can ask other travel companies in your city to use links to your website in their own online activities. For example, as a hotel, you can link to a nearby restaurant on your website – and vice versa…. Make sure that the websites you want to get backlinks from are relevant to your business and have a good reputation.
  1. Use local search engine results. If you have a local travel business, it is important that you show up in local search results. This can be achieved by using local keywords in your website and in all your online activities, such as the name of your city or region. Also, make sure all the information on your website is accurate and up-to-date so customers can easily find and contact you.

10 tips for your SEO in tourism

  • Meta tags
    By including a meta title and meta description, you can significantly improve how search engines represent your website. You don’t need a lot of programming knowledge for this. The correct length of the two entries can be determined online via editors. So you can describe your travel company in clear words.
  • The right URL
    Choosing the right URL is an essential step in search engine optimization. You can score points here with meaningful terms like “hotel” or “tourism”, as well as with the name of your city or travel region. If you already have a URL that is not so optimal for search, secure more and point to your existing website.

  • Short loading times
    Users like it when they arrive at a website and it loads instantly. In order for you to get ahead in search engine optimization for your travel business, it is important to consider what content you publish on it. It is advisable to use as few individual elements as possible and a compact source code. In this way, you actively contribute to your website loading faster and climbing further up the rankings.

  • Clear headlines
    If you have a lot of texts about your travel company on your website, you should structure them with clear and understandable headings. This will not only organize your website better, but it will also allow you to use relevant keywords as keywords around your business. For headings, several levels can be defined from very important to subordinate.

  • Convincing texts
    Make your website an attraction that excites and informs the viewer. Do not use standard generic texts around tourism and the beauty of the region for your travel company. Be specific for a good SEO and convince readers with arguments and promotional messages.

  • Include enumerations
    Bulleted lists are an important part of search engine optimization and can help you better showcase your hotel or tourism business. This not only provides better tourism SEO, but also loosens up the look and feel of your website.

  • High quality images
    When you put your travel company on the web, it’s hard to imagine a website without images. The quality of the images contributes significantly to the fact that you will be found on the Internet and at the same time shows that you attach importance to an upscale presentation. Individual images with wisely chosen signatures boost your business and are an indispensable part of modern search engine optimization.

  • Image sizes for websites
    Images are important for the tourism industry – but large resolutions and formats are not always the best choice in terms of SEO. They often cause unnecessarily long loading times. The longer the loading time, the higher the bounce rate. Your website should not be overloaded with many and large images, but focus on the important things.

  • Use of social media
    Tourism thrives on satisfied guests and good reviews. You can give your guests a voice on your website or social media to encourage customer engagement. Your search engine optimization will also benefit.

  • Contact details
    It is important that your site visitors always have the opportunity to ask you questions directly. This can be done via live chat, phone number or even email. This way, your travel company is always available to users and you can build a bond with the customer through personal contact.

Conclusion on tourism SEO

The right SEO strategy is crucial for any business in the tourism industry. Because without targeted search engine optimization, you will hardly be able to attract new customers or increase your sales. At the same time, SEO in the tourism industry faces some challenges and must be treated very individually.

When developing your SEO strategy, you should always consider two things: The behavior of your users and the offer and specifics of your travel company.

They form the basis on which you can work out your strategy and find the appropriate keywords. By combining good SEO with innovative content marketing, you can increase your reach and sales.

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