Keyword research forms the basis of any website, and in a hyper-competitive industry like travel, it’s even more important. You don’t want to fall into the trap of launching a website and not knowing the search terms you are targeting – it’ll be a long uphill battle if you do. In this post, we uncover the tips that will help you identify the best keyword opportunities.
What is keyword research?
Keyword research is about understanding a user’s intent when they conduct a search and what they’re looking for in a site. It’s the process of understanding the motivations behind your potential customers then applying that knowledge to your site for SEO benefits.
For example, you wouldn’t launch a product to market without doing your consumer research beforehand. Keyword research is consumer research within the search-engine context. The benefits of continuous, thorough keyword research have positive impacts throughout your business and can provide insights to your customer base you wouldn’t have found otherwise.
Keyword research also has a large impact on the type of content you publish, your URL structure, title tags, meta descriptions and much more. Just look at the example above and see how these two similar keywords could alter your content strategy.
An easy pitfall is to target fat-head keywords that have extremely high search volume and just stop your research there. Although these search terms look attractive, they will most likely be targeted by large, brand-heavy websites, making it nigh-on impossible for you to rank on page 1.
As you can see above, the fat-head keyword dubai holidays has only large, recognised brands at the top of the search engine results page (SERP). And while it’s possible to rank for this term, it would take heavy investment and wouldn’t be advised for smaller websites.
Smaller businesses looking to improve their travel SEO can thrive on targeting long-tail travel keywords that are more specific and used by a smaller number of users. To do this, compile a list of phrases or topics that your target market is searching for and then map out other phrases that can come from these root keywords. This will leave you with a selection of long-tail travel keywords for which you have a higher chance of ranking on page 1.
Taking the dubai holidays (90,500 searches/month) keyword, there are plenty of long-tail phrases that can stem from this. Some examples are things to do in dubai (14,800 searches/month) best restaurants in dubai (2,400 searches/month) and best places to eat in dubai (320 searches/month). If you continue this process of generating related phrases, you’ll find that all these long-tail keywords can easily add up to the number of searches conducted with the fat-head keyword dubai holidays.
Keyword planner is your friend
After compiling your list of long-tail phrases to target, the best, most user-friendly tool to gather search volumes is Google Adwords’ Keyword Planner – get started here. The Keyword Planner works much like a search engine, in that you search for your keywords and you’ll be given a set of results.
Not only will the tool return the search volumes of your already discovered long-tail keywords, but it will also generate similar keywords you may want to target. As you can see below, there are hundreds of ideas that you can add to your master list of keywords – all just from the keyword dubai holidays.
There are other tools and software great for conducting keyword research, like ahrefs and SEMRush, which have their own versions/methods of generating search volumes and keyword ideas. Regardless of which tool you use or are most comfortable with, the process of finding the keyword you want to target and therefore the best ones for your site remains the same.
The keyword process in short
- Identify what your target searcher’s intent is
- Generate a list of long-tail keywords that you are interested in, using Answer the Public and Soovle
- Put them through the Google’s Keyword Planner/ahrefs or SEMRush to evaluate difficulty and search volume
- Take note of new keyword ideas generated by your chosen tool and repeat the third step.
Keyword research is incredibly important to websites because it’s the basis of the content you will produce and the direction your site will take. Furthermore, robust keyword research can have a positive impact on your business as a whole, as it provides you with more information about your target market. Lastly, it’s important to remember that good keyword research will be continuously undertaken, as searchers’ behaviour online changes and so will a website’s targeted keywords.