How To Choose Keywords: SEO For Travel Bloggers
There is not a particular type of SEO for travel bloggers that sets it apart from other niches, atleast at the beginner level. Travel bloggers however should make an effort to learn some beginner SEO when starting their blogs to help it gain traffic.
While there are many on-page and off-page factors that increase a websites chance to rank higher in the search engines, basic SEO for travel bloggers is often focused on keyword optimization. Keywords are one of the most important things that every travel blogger who hopes to rank in the search engines should think about.
What Is SEO?
SEO is the common abbreviation for the term Search Engine Optimisation. In the simplest sense SEO is about increasing the visibility of your blog posts in Googles search engine. The better the SEO of your travel blog posts, the more likely it is that they will appear on the first page of Googles search results. An article or blog post containing properly optimized keywords and ranking highly will most likely bring you more traffic than an article with no thought of keywords for SEO purposes at all.
What Are Keywords For SEO Purposes?
Keywords are certain phrases that are written throughout your blog and you blog posts. They are the phrases that you wish to rank highly for in the search engines. For example if you wanted a particular post to rank highly for “Best holiday destinations in May” you would sprinkle the keyword throughout your post where it sounded natural to increase your keyword density (the amount of time the keyword is mentioned in your blog post).
Now the problem with search engine optimized keywords is that if you aim for too high of a density it begins to look unnatural and it while you may rank high temporarily, reading the post will be difficult for anyone unlucky enough to come across it.
Therefore it is important to strike a balance when writing, try to find middle ground between writing for search engines and writing for your readers. Travel blogs are mean’t to inspire, so don’t overdo it with the keywords and “inspire” your readers to go elsewhere instead.
How To Find Keywords To Bring Traffic To Your Travel Blog?
While there are many tools out there that can help you pick keywords for your travel blog, some paid and some free. I used to recommend Google Keyword Tool but they have made changes which renders it useless in my opinion. Regardless, if you can’t afford a keyword tool you can still use it to get keyword variation ideas. It won’t be able to help you too much if you want to know the exact searches a keyword gets though.
If you can afford a paid tool I recommend Keysearch – which can be used to see the competition and searches per month for both Google and YouTube.
How To Pick Keywords For Your Travel Blog?
Remember to have your audience in mind when brainstorming keywords and try to use long tail keywords which will direct more relevant traffic towards your blog.
For example, if you write a post about hotels in Toronto try to rank for keywords like ‘the best hotels in (insert suburb), Toronto’ as opposed to simply ‘Toronto hotels’. This way your traffic will be more targeted, you’ll have a lower bounce rate and will be more likely to convert if you have affiliates on the page. Sure you may have more traffic if you somehow manage to rank for plain old ‘Toronto hotels’ (good luck with that) but it’s unlikely you will.
How Long Do Keywords Take To Rank In Google
Keywords can take between four to six months to rank in the search engines, although this process can be speed up depending on a few things happening. You can rank for particular keywords much faster if you have a high Domain Authority (similar to Page Rank), an older domain, a large amount of social shares or if you have built links to the particular article.
As a beginner, you’ll have very little of the above in your arsenal to increase the speed of your SEO keywords ranking higher faster. Due to this if you have the time, your best option to speed the process up is to guest post and include a link back to that particular post. Another less intimidating (and consequently less effective) way to build links back to the article is through commenting and leaving a link back to your article. You can also simply submit the link of your article to Google.
Is It Worth Learning SEO?
SEO is one of those gifts that keep on giving, a passive traffic referrer if you will. It will take time in the beginner to master SEO, write the articles and optimize them properly for the search engines. However, if done correctly articles effectively optimized with keywords will bring a steady stream of traffic with them almost indefinitely (bar any penalties or drops in rankings).
SEO traffic is essentially passively after the initial stage, which means it’s less effort than social traffic for beginner travel bloggers with small social followings. The traffic may not be instantaneous but will pay off in the long run.
Your Step By Step Guide For Keywords and SEO
So follow these steps each time you write a blog post
- After deciding what to write about, think of a couple of keywords that describe your post. If you are writing and article on visiting Ireland these could be ‘visiting Ireland’, ‘what to see in Ireland’, ‘7 days in Ireland’ etc.
- Then think about what your potential reader would be typing into google when searching for your information. If they were instead searching for information on visiting Ireland, the appropriate keyword could be any of the above or some variation on those phrases. Don’t forget that keywords with three to five words are best as they better describe your article and are more likely to be used when searching for something online.
- So now that you’ve got your keyword (or key phrase as its otherwise known) you can go to Keysearch (or the google adsense tool) and type it in. This tool should also show you some variations on the keyword so you can pick the most relevant one from here. I can’t stress enough to aim for relevance instead of a one worded keyword with a million searches per month. Not only will it be harder to rank for, the traffic you receive may be full of ‘bounces’. Something under 3000 searches per month, or 300-1000 if you’re newer to blogging would be a good start. If you’re using the Google keyword tool you’ll have to guess here.
- So now you have your main keyword, but dont stop here. Select 3+ other similar keywords to act as your secondary keywords that complement the theme of your article. For “what to see in Ireland” these may be “what to do in ireland”, “things to see in Ireland” etc.
- Now write your article while being conscious of the key phrases while writing naturally for your readers.
- After you have written your article go through and see where you can add in the keyword to increase your keyword density. You’ll want to put it in the title and also in a sub heading or two, as well as ensuring your keyword is used atleast once near the top of the page. Add as many as your secondary keywords once in the article if possible. After doing this read through your article again and make sure it still sounds natural and that the keywords appear to occur organically, you don’t want it to sound like it’s been stuffed full of keywords.
- Consider installing the WordPress SEO by Yoast plugin which is a free seo tool which can tell you the keyword density among other helpful seo tips.
Why Some Keywords May Never Reach The Front Page
- Your keyword may be too competitive. If your keyword is highly sought after and you’re up against blogs and websites with seo geniuses and a high site authority or age on their side it can be incredibly difficult to rank well. Suck it up and move on.
- You’ve chosen too general of a keyword: You may have chosen ‘blogs’ as your keyword. Well do you know how often that term is used in every other blog on the planet? Chances are, its been used a lot and will be almost impossible to rank highly for without un-natural keyword stuffing which will turn off your readers.
- You’ve chosen too specific of a keyword: While it’s great to be specific e.g. “travel bloggers from Australia”, trying to rank for a key phrase that is too specific like “female travel bloggers in Adelaide” will mean that too little searches will be made looking for this key phrase and you’ll unlikely get many visitors each month.