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The Ultimate Guide on How Your Travel Company Can Get on Google's First Page in 2021

The travel industry is COMPETITIVE! Lots of competition also means many companies creating content for high intent keywords. Though travel companies aspire to appear on Google´s first page, many don´t succeed since they try to rank for keywords that are "conquered" by the industry behemoths. In order to help you beat your competitors, we just published the ultimate guide on how your travel company can get on Google´s first page for high-intent search terms that convert into paying customers!

Ranking for the most competitive keywords is extremely tough

Wouldn´t it be great if your company could rank on the first page for this term

search results may vary based on your geo location

Or maybe this term.

search results may vary based on your geo location

Even it we do searches that are not as generic, but still not too specific, chances your travel company to get on the first page of Google are slightly better (as long as you produce great content) but don´t improve too much if you are trying to outrank sites like Booking.com or Trivago and attract high-intent "ready to purchase" customers.

In the example above, when searching for "best hotel booking site", we get mixed results of ads, featured snippets, "People also ask" boxes, most well-known hotel booking sites in the industry and blog articles from high domain authority sites like Frommers and Nomadic Matt.

Though I don´t want to sound pessimistic, it´s highly unlikely that you will manage to get on Google´s first page for these types of broad terms. One of the main reasons is that these search terms have all possible types of competitors fighting for the same search space. Think of elementary school children playing 5 on 5 basketball with the 2021 NBA All Star Team. It´s THAT tough to rank for these terms.

Not only that, but these keywords very generic and are "investigational", which don´t necessarily attract users with a high intent of purchasing.

Why is it important to rank on Google´s first page?

Well, a picture is worth 1000 words.

credits: backlinko.com

So in other words, anything past the first page is non existent.

2 important tips in order to appear on Google´s first page

There is a popular phrase in Spanish, "it´s better to be the head of a mouse instead of being the tail of a lion" (in Spanish it rhymes😀). Though as an overall business strategy this analogy is debatable, when trying to appear on Google's first page, this analogy is right on.

The two most important tips for being "the head of a mouse" of search terms are:

  1. Focus on a niche

  2. Focus on high intent, long tail keywords

Focus on a niche

Let´s take a look at how smaller travel companies suddenly appear on Google´s first page when conducting a search for a niche.

search results may vary based on geo location

Although LGBT travel is considered a niche, it is a HUGE travel niche. The LGBT tourism industry represents an estimated annual US$65 billion on gay travel in the USA alone. This search revealed a few interesting conclusions

  1. No competition with Google -notice in the first example we shared with searching for "hotels", Google takes up quite a large portion of the page with their booking widget. In this example, Google Hotel´s widget does not appear.

  2. 2 niche OTAs rank above Expedia - Google´s algorithm recognizes that niche focused sites World Rainbow Hotels and Gay Hotels will probably provide the user with more relevant results.

Let´s take a look at another travel niche, disability travel.

search results may vary based on geo location

Within the first 10 results on Google´s first page, there are 3 listings (disabledholidays.com appeared twice) of niche focused OTAs, and one of them even appears above Booking.com.

So how can you apply this strategy? Look at your business and identify a certain niche that you tailor to. Create a lot of high quality content for keywords for that niche and optimize your on-page SEO to ensure it´s focused on that niche´s keywords.

Focus on high intent, long tail keywords

If your travel company is not focused on a certain travel niche, then you need to try to rank for high-intent, long-tail keywords. Long-tail keywords are “unpopular” (i.e., low volume) and highly-focused search queries that tend to convert exceptionally well. Long-tail keywords usually contain at least 4 words. You can enhance your keyword search even more by including "transactional words" in your key-phrase, such as: buy, coupon, purchase, pricing, cheap, order and price.

Let´s take an example from our B2C service Pruvo.com, a service that helps travelers save money on hotels they already booked.

If we would try to rank for the broad search term of hotel booking apps...well..good luck!

search results may vary due to geo location

We preferred to focus on what makes us different, helping travelers re-book existing hotel reservations when the price drops.

search results may vary due to geo location

Pruvo appears twice within the top 5 results. What´s funny is that the #1 result is an article written about a service that no longer exists. Contrary to the example above of the search term "best hotel booking sites", notice how there are no ads, Google Hotel Ads, featured snippets or "People also ask box" for these search terms. That is a lot less competition to beat.

Let´s take another example of a high intent long-tail key-phrase

search results may vary due to geo location

Expedia who? Shout-out to the OTAs in the top 5 positions, pushing the only billion dollar travel company on the 1st page of Google (Tripadvisor) all the way to the 10th spot.

How to find long-tail keywords to rank for?

So far, I believe it´s clear that in order for your travel company to get on Google's first page in 2021, you need to focus on a certain niche, focus on long-tail high intent keywords, or both.

Now, let´s see how we can find these long-tail keywords that will drive us high intent traffic of visitors ready to purchase our products or services.

The quick way to find long-tail keywords

The quickest way to find popular long-tail keywords is to ask Google..sort of.

Google autocomplete suggestions is a quick way to find what are the most popular long-tail keywords searches for a broad key-phrase.

search results may vary due to geo location

search results may vary due to geo location

Another way Google tells you what are some of the popular search terms related to the key-phrase you used is the "People also ask" box.

Lastly, you can also look at the "Searches related to" section at the bottom of the page.

The more professional way to find long-tail keywords

In order to check the search volume of potential long-tail keywords that you would like to rank for, it´s necessary to use services like Ahrefs, Moz or Ubersuggest. In this example, I will show you how to use Ubersuggest, which will guide you on how your travel company can get on Google´s first page for long-tail keywords. Plus, Ubersuggest is free.

First, go to Ubersuggest and type in a broad search term for a topic you would like to rank for.

It´s important that the desktop search volume (yellow line in the image above) is high, since desktop searches tend to convert into customers more than mobile search volume (due to Covid-19, it´s clear that this search term has lost it´s popularity between April till June).

You also want to pay attention to the SEO Difficulty Score at the top of the page. The lower the score, the easier it is to rank for the term. A score around 40 is pretty good.

Here is a short video on how to continue the keyword research using Ubersuggest

What to do once you have found the right keywords to rank for?

Once you have made a list of the keywords you believe will drive you the most amount of high-intent free search traffic, it´s time to focus on ranking for those keywords. Or in other words, make sure your pages include the keywords you are trying to rank for, and create a lot of high quality content for those keywords.


There are many more tips on how to get on Google´s first page, such as getting backlinks, alt text in images etc, but this article is not meant to be a complete SEO guide. We wanted to show you that it is possible for your travel company to get on Google´s first page and attract a lot of free traffic that will convert into paying customers. Now, it´s time you put your marketing team to work to apply these tips and drive boatloads of free traffic to your site!

Just remember, driving traffic will potentially help you increase sales, but don´t neglect profitability! For that, we can help you increase your hotel booking profitability by 36%. Just click on request demo and shoot us an email