Link Building Strategies in the Travel Industry

Some travel companies have a lot of trouble building quality links to their site. If you take a deeper look at the big brands you’ll be amazed at what shitty links they use – we not going to do that.

For the last 8 years I’ve worked mostly on travel websites, so I’ve tested tons of methods – some worked, some didn’t.

I’m going to tell you the best ways I found you can get some really high-quality links to your travel websites

The thought process you need to understand

To understand good link building you need to ask yourself the following question:

What group of people will find this useful? What websites do they hang out on?

Sounds simple hey?

– But most people do it wrong.

Most people focus on relevancy in terms of content, what you need to look for is relevancy in terms of context.

You need to find websites that speak about complementary topics, not similar ones. Most websites are themed (backpacking, luxury, adventure, etc etc) so you can still work with them, and this is why I recommend that you niche down on one topic or niche.

You need to find websites that are not trying to solve the same problem your post, but ones that can compliment them. If you reach out to a post that talks about the same thing, they not gonna link to you, your post is their competition.

Who helps the competition?

This is the typical way that bloggers and people build links, but there are better methods that can take your link building and traffic to the next level. Plus these bring in REAL TRAFFIC and LEADS, which is way more important than just building links to increase your rankings.

Travel link building technique #1: Local events

Keep in mind the main questions about link building:

  • What group of people will find this useful?
  • What websites do they hang out on?

Now, let’s apply these to local events, whether it’s a summit, festivals, business events, conferences, workshops, anything really. It doesn’t matter if you’re a global tour operator or a local independent hotel owner you can use this technique.

Pick a local spot and find all local events.

People travel to go to these events. So there is an opportunity there: your site is useful to those people.

Look for these events in Google you’ll find they have information on accommodation and transport on their site. They often actually list the hotels or accommodation nearby. They list B&Bs, hostels, car rental services, holiday homes, restaurants etc. Tons of stuff, so this is not only for those in the travel niche but can apply to all of those in hospitality too.

Even if you’re a bigger site with thousands of accommodations you can create a dedicated page with the best accommodations near “Event X” and add in some information on price, accessibility and public transport options. Then contact those events and ask to be mentioned.

You are solving a problem of the target audience of the events’ site.

You give them no option but to link to your website 🙂

Some examples:

String Summit – They list a bunch of hotels at the bottom of the page. No links though, so convince them to link to your site.

Summit point motorsport park – This is actually a motorsport park listing lodging options nearby.

The summit at Snowqualmie – Another great example, a wintersport spot providing a list of lodging options.

Travel link building technique #2: Niched down content

Somebody really clever once told me to choose a niche down – I obviously agreed with him and here is why…

He explained this in the following way: let’s say you want to get a nose job. You don’t know who to use or where the best doctor is.

You turn to the internet or yellow pages: you find one general plastic surgeon and one rhinoplasty (fancy word for nose job) surgeon. The general plastic surgeon costs $400, the Rhinoplasty surgeon costs $800.

Which one do you choose?

The Rhinoplasty surgeon ofcourse! (Even though it costs twice as much)

But how do I apply this to link building?

Well, in link building this principle gets even better!

What if you would write a piece of content on your site that would only benefit a really small percentage of your userbase.

Again, think: “What group of people will find this useful?”.

The reason why is because these groups of people might be small, but, the number of sites they hang out on might be big. And, the competition might not have targeted these groups yet, because they’re so small. So your content will be the only content in that small niche.

Maybe this is getting vague. Here are some examples to clear things up:

Holiday homes/hotels for people with physical disabilities

There is a small group of people who have a physical disability, but if you’re a hotel which provides an accessible room, make sure to promote that fact to the sites they go to. The number of sites for people with physical disabilities is very large.

Think of support groups, hospitals, organizations and nonprofits, etc. There are a lot of sites out there to help them, they want to provide the best help possible, if you provide rooms that are accessible, you are that help, and they are happy to link to you.

Birding holidays

Birding, or any other hobby, are great opportunities for sites in the travel niche. There are literally hundreds of birding groups, forums, clubs and fan sites. These people go on holiday too, if you can provide a list of hotels/holiday homes that provide birding holidays, near a forest, or with the facilities needed, they are happy to link to you.

These are just 2  examples that all have the same thing in common:

These groups of people are a small subset of people you provide a service for. But, there is a large group of sites they hang out on.

Create some type of content for these small groups and get links from all those sites. You’ll end up with: 1. high quality links, 2. a lot of them, and 3. your competition doesn’t have them.

Although it’s a small market segment, and they don’t bring in a lot of conversions, they do bring in a lot of links, and those links help rank your entire site.

Travel link building technique #3: Local authorities

Again; What group of people will find this useful? What websites do they hang out on?

Well, let’s say you provide lodging for people in Cape Town, where I currently live.

What people is your site useful?

People traveling to Cape Town!

That was easy. But, there’s more. Because they’re traveling to Cape Town and you provide accommodation, who else are you benefiting that way? In other words: who else benefits if people travel to Cape Town and stay in that city?

Answer: the entire tourism industry in Leiden!

So, tourists are basically the general audience in the tourist industry, no shit Sherlock, no news here. But who also benefits from tourism?

The local authorities.

They actually often have tourism promotion programs running.

So, again: What group of people will find this useful? What websites do they hang out on?

Well, the group of people is tourists, and they hang out on the sites of local authorities and governments promoting tourism in that area. These are great opportunities because they are such authorities and have a lot of link power.

Check out the sites of local governments and see if they promote tourism in the area, most of them do. They’ll list lodging options, tours, car rental, events and activities. If you provide such a service, find a way to be listed on their site.

Again, these are government sites, getting listed is probably free, and a link from these site can help your rankings a lot! They are extremely high quailty links.

Using the two questions, possibilities are infinite

The main idea behind these link building techniques are the same. You answer the same questions over and over and think of new ways to get links to your site. Of course, I used the travel industry as an example but these questions can be applied to all industries.

 

Some more Travel Link building opportunities

Link building bullet #1: Berkeley.edu

The University of Berkeley has a page on their site containing hotels near the university. All hotels are linked as well. If you’re an accommodation near Berkeley, or list them on your site, drop them a line and ask to be included.

Link building bullet #2: Outbounding.org

This link building bullet is an easy one. Outbounding.org is a social bookmarking site related to the travel industry. If you, or your client, have some interesting news or content published on their site you can submit it to Outbounding. The links become dofollow when your content reaches 10 or more upvotes.

This site may also benefit you in getting more links indirectly as other webmasters discover your content and link to it.

Link building bullet #3: Euraxess

If you own a rental accommodation or a listing of accommodations in Luxembourg you can suggest to be added to this page.

This opportunity doesn’t only apply to Luxembourg though. If you search Google for “Euraxess accommodation” you’ll find a lot of Euraxess sites listing links to accommodations in the country, some of them link to permanent rental housing, but some also list short stay accommodations.

For example, Euraxess Latvia has also listed a hotel here.

If you own an accommodation in that country, just send them an email and suggest them to list your accommodation.

Also note that Euraxess is an international European research portal and is a huge authority organization.

Link building bullet #4: Tourism board of Belize

The official tourism site of Belize provides a free option to add your accommodation to their directory. You’ll receive a fully dedicated profile page on your accommodation including photos, a description, contact information and a link to your site.

You can add your business here.

Or course this link building bullet only applies to accommodations in Belize.

 

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