Google’s algorithms are always evolving but the importance of keywords and backlinks has remained constant. While keywords are discussed at length, it’s backlinks that form the other key ingredient for your company’s SEO strategy. The tourism industry is highly competitive and quality links will give your website the ‘juice’ needed to stay ahead of rivals.
In this article I’ll explain what backlinks are, why they matter and how you can build the best links for your tourism business.
What Are Backlinks?
Backlinks are created when another website links to yours. Google and other search engines count each ‘quality’ link as a ‘vote’ or referral for your site. The more ‘quality votes’ your website has, the higher its search engine ranking. While quantity is important, quality is critical. When a highly authoritative website links to yours, this gives you a lot more ‘juice’ than a backlink from a less respected site.
Websites are ranked by Google according to their Domain Authority (DA). Scores range from zero to one hundred. Links from authoritative sites are valued more highly because these ‘votes’ come from experts, signalling that your website is a source of quality information. Google also looks at the relevance of backlinks to your brand, so it’s vital to get referrals from authorities in the travel industry. Visit https://ahrefs.com/website-authority-checker to check your DA Score.
Why Do Links Matter?
To put it simply, if you’re not ranking on the first page of Google, your chances of being found by customers fall dramatically. Three out ever four clicks go to links on page one of Google’s search results and 33 percent of clicks go to the first URL on the page.
Backlinks help Google determine how your site will rank for keywords.
Building Quality Backlinks
You can build quality backlinks to your website in the following ways:
1. Cultivate Industry Connections
Industry connections allow you to exchange links with related businesses, benefiting you both. It’s a good idea to become involved with your local business community, attend events and join forums. Tourism Australia’s Industry Event’s Calendar will help you stay up to date with what’s happening. If you’re a paying member of an industry association, make sure your business is listed on the website with a backlink.
2. Join Business Directories
There are many online directors with high search engine rankings which tourism operators can list their website on. These include TripAdvisor, TrueLocal, Google My Business and Australian Tourism Data Warehouse.
3· Promote Your Content
Google rewards every click which comes through social media because this is considered an authentic and natural connection. Engaging content which is easy to share is essential for SEO. Hubspot’s Blog Topic Generator and Portent’s Content Ideas Generator are just two of the tools available to help you come up with fresh ideas.
4· Write Guest Posts
Guest blogging is still an effective way of gaining backlinks with authoritative sites. At the end of each post include an author bio linking to your site. The easiest way to find opportunities is by doing a google search for blogs that accept guest posts and include the word tourism. Moz has a free online tool for checking a website’s Domain Authority and backlink profile.
5· Request Blogger Reviews
An excellent way to gain quality backlinks is to seek reviewers from influencers in the tourism industry. First, you’ll need to identify bloggers who will be interested in writing about what you have to offer and whose marketing strategy and target audience meshes with yours. Then you just need to contact them and offer to give them a free taste of your services, with the understanding that they will backlink to your website in their review.
6· Use Press Releases
A press release about your business or a related event, distributed through online channels such as prwire.com.au or prweb.com, can be found and picked up by journalists and other interested parties. Hubspot offers a free template to take the hassle out of writing press releases.
7· Provide Related Testimonials
Writing testimonials or reviews for other brands in your field is a simple way to get backlinks to your website. Make sure the site is relevant and authoritative and include your name and website link at the bottom of the testimonial.
8· Find Unlinked Mentions
Unlinked brand mentions offer a great opportunity for well-established companies to gain some backlinks. You can find these using a free tool like Unlinked Brand Mentions Finder or Mention.com to scan for mentions then contact the site explaining how they will benefit by adding a link.
9· Monitor Your Competitors
Check your competitors backlinks to find out what’s working for them. There are a range of tools available that allow you to identify backlinks on a rival’s website so you can emulate their successful SEO strategy. Free options include Backlink Watch, and MoonSearch. Ahref’s is one of the best and it has a free version available for monitoring two domains.
10· Reverse Image Search
This is an excellent one for the tourism industry as operators tend to generate a lot of original visual content. To find out if anyone is using your images or infographics without credit all you need to do is run a reverse image search through Google Images. Reach out to anyone who is using your content and ask them to add a link.
Link building takes time, effort and patience but the results will pay off.