The Keys to Travel Marketing

The Keys to Travel Marketing

keys 2 travel Marketing - chapter 3 website

Keywords as Vital Today as a Decade Ago

The first book in the series Marketing Hotels and Tourism is the award-winning WEBSITE. It’s an illustrated guide to the WEBSITE process and marketing strategy. The book starts by evaluating the dramatic changes in hotel and tourism marketing in the digital age. Like everything in the digital age, The Keys to Travel (Chapter 3) are not immune to change. Keywords have been and still are a vital component of marketing.

Chapter 3 provides you with core technology, resources, tools and guides related to keywords for hotels and tourism travel marketing.

Keys to Travel – A How-To Guide

keyword research

Chapter 3: The Keys to Travel is about how to find the correct keywords for your niche market, how to do keyword research and how to optimize your page so that it can get listed in search results. It is on-site (Webpage) specific. Off-site marketing is covered in Book 2: Digital Media Marketing.

This article reviews what has changed in the past few years. Google has made several changes to the way it evaluates sites and content. Keywords are still the main criteria and all strategies of the book are as valid today as they were at the time of publishing.

The search engine changes have all been about understanding the implied meaning of users’ searches and displaying content that is the best match in terms of quality, meaning and comprehensiveness. Search has become more intelligent and now it looks for more that keywords alone.  For example you have to show Expertise, Authority and Trust (EAT) or keywords will fail.

Matching Search with Artificial Intelligence

keyswords and AIToday, Google rewards sites that display Expertise, Authority and Trust (EAT). It’s not new and all these are inherent in the Book WEBSITE. What is new is the degree to which EAT features  and the level of intelligence now used in determining the match.

Google’s Semantic Search is now based on Artificial Intelligence that uses psychology to understand and interpret meaning from users’ searches and from internet content. It extracts meaningful information from the intent of the search and matches that with website content.

Google’s RankBrain, discussed in Book 2: Digital Media, was the first step in Artificial Intelligence-powered SEO (Search Engine Optimization). This has expanded the focus of Search to include keywords with a deeper understanding of meaning, expertise, authority and trust.

All this lends to creating credibility for today’s search. The final test of credibility and match is what travellers do when they are on your site. If they hit the Back button and go back to Search, it will indicate that it’s not a credible match. It does not fit the buyers’ intent.

Connecting Content with Intent

The importance of keywords is vital to today’s search results but many digital marketers fail to connect intent to their content. To do this, we need to understand our market. It is never the case that one single keyword will capture this. Your content should contain a comprehensive set of keywords that helps Search to understand the intent and clarity of your content.

This is why Long Tail Content has become more important today. Long Tail Content is very specific to your target market. Chapter 3 of WEBSITE does refer to this with specific examples.

Say, for example, ‘Family Holidays’ is a very common term. A lot of people may be searching for this term but it’s really not specific to a booking. By comparison, terms like “Adventure Family Holidays in the Caribbean” or “Luxury Family Holidays in the Caribbean” are more precise. Still

Hotel Website Optimization

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, the wording is a good indication of booking intent.

Understanding Buyer Intent in Travel

A traveller who is ready to book may have already settled on an exact location and also have a few places at which to stay in mind. They will be looking for experiences that fill their needs for comfort, adventure, romance, budget, escape, privacy, safety, community and character. When you know who they are and what they really enjoy, you can craft a message that connects. This is discussed at length in Chapter 10 on Hot Buttons and Messaging.

2 A Website Has Many Functions

  1. For the buyer, it needs to provide messaging that confirms that the offer fits the character. It should have a simple tool to get a quote and booking. Email is not going to get quick quotes and bookings so you need a booking engine. You can use your favorite OTA engine but it is not going to help you market your direct bookings. There are many 3rd-party engines that you can consider. Book 3: Technology will delve into this in detail. For starters, check out Triptease and SiteMinder.
  2. Long before they are ready to book, travellers will start by looking to be inspired. They are not going to search for brand names at this stage and will likely check meta search engines and destination authority sites and directories. WEBSITE suggests that your Blogging (Chapter 7) can help you to reach out with helpful tips and user experiences that are destination-centered. Some websites go even further and offer alternative accommodation and comparisons. Travellers looking for inspiration will visit Social Media sites and see what other travellers recommend. Hotels and tourism destination sites need to sell the destination experience at this stage. The website messaging should be generic and wide enough to send them to pages that extol the destination experience and range of products.
  3. All other travellers are somewhere in between. Social Media is important as it is a place where they share. Here is where reviews take center stage. Be sure to promote your reviews across all Social Media Platforms. Chapter 8: Building and Marketing Reviews will be helpful.

 Travel Sales Funnel

Google refers to the phase of the travel customers journey as moments. They count 5 moments:  dreaming (1 above), Planning (3), Booking (2), and Post Booking journey- Experiencing and Sharing.  All of these are part of the sales funnel which is discussed in book series 2 and 3.  The sales funnel is as much about what you do off site (Digital Media Marketing Book 2 and 3) as on Site (Website Optimization Book 1).

For more, see Travel Shopping

Voice Search Growing

It’s not all that new but today’s Voice Search is dominating Search.  Over 1 billion voice searches are made monthly – that’s over 33 million voice searches every day. And it’s expected that 50% of all search queries will be by voice by 2020. It saves time, is mobile-friendly and much easier to use than typing in a long question. It’s also more versatile and will handle long complex questions far better that text search. It’s also more forgiving on bad grammar and spelling.

With new tools like Siri, Alexa, Google Assistant or Cortana, the traditional search methods are going to see a slide in their dominance.

To take full advantage of this trend, you can optimise your profiles and website so that Google finds you for voice searches. Check out this video for a better understanding of this at The Deep End. They recommend that you have all your Internet profiles optimised well. They suggest you claim and optimise your Google My Business page to start. All these profiles must be fully synced with your website. The video goes further and talks about getting your site listed in Position Zero. This is an off-site strategy that is featured in Book 2: Digital Media. See more about Position Zero with Google News.

Voice Recognition on Your Website

Voice Recognition and Response will not be limited to Internet Search Engines. The technology exists for you to add voice to your website. It is a bit technical and tricky to implement right now but that will change. To find out more about this, see How to add voice to your website by PAYMILL. Unless you are technically inclined, I don’t suggest you do this now. It will get better in the future.

In the future, websites may have voice search technology to help guests navigate the site. It may help in finding answers to “Frequently Asked Questions”, House Rules, etc. A bit further off, it may answer questions about packages and cost, as well as help with bookings. But that is for the future. It may be featured in Book 3: Technology.

How SEO Changes Affect Website Strategy

Chapter 3 in Book 1: WEBSITE gives you a firm grounding in the Keys to Travel. You will learn about keywords and get reviews and suggestion on tools and resources that will help you plan a keyword research and strategy. The lessons from this article are:

  1. Add semantic words to your mix of keywords
  2.  Demonstrate Expertise, Authority and Trust (EAT). Do this by showing your expert knowledge of the destination. People will then consider you an Authority. Add to this with your credentials, awards and notations.
  3. Demonstrate trust by being totally honest. Don’t oversell. Let people know your limitations and expertise. Let guests know what other guests liked and what sort of people were not the best fit. The Crane in Barbados says: “Don’t Come Here to be Seen, Come Here to Disappear.” It captures the spirit and respect of privacy and not being part of a crowd.
  4. Create a Personal Website so that people know who you are – this is helpful in establishing your Authority and Trust. Also use it to show your area of expertise.
  5. Understand your Guest Intent and focus on it with appropriate messaging.
  6. Don’t overdo keyword optimisation – Focus on expert content that is helpful
  7.  Optimise your website and profiles for Voice Search.


Power Marketing WEBSITE Strategies

Buy Website on Amazon



Buy WEBSITE on Amazon. Available in Digital and Paperback


Stay tuned – Coming soon how snippets and featured snippets and structured markup can help you rank on top of search.

Book Buyers’ Bonus

Book buyers are offered several bonuses that include access to membership, updates and newsworthy items related to technology change and trends in Hotel & Tourism Marketing.

This article is a complementary bonus for book buyers that is now shared in this public blog. See Book Series

Marketing Hotels Tourism Book – Website Marketing Strategies on Page from RealHolidays on Vimeo.

More about The Author – Ian R. Clayton

© 2019  Ian R. Clayton

Website Marketing Today – Trends and Fatal Mistakes

Website Marketing Today – Trends and Fatal Mistakes

How Travel has Changed

New Review of WEBSITE

A new review has been added to the information about the book WEBSITE Marketing Today – Trends and Fatal Mistakes. This is the first book in the series on Marketing Hotels and Tourism. The new page starts with a summary of the first chapter, “Travel Then and Now”. It goes on to provide an overview of what you can expect to learn from the Book, including reviews of leading apps as well as technology and detailed strategies that you can implement right away. It demonstrates what works and what does not and looks at critical and fatal mistakes many owners make.

Tourism Dominated by New Media

The book WEBSITE explores how hotel & tourism marketing has changed and studies the evolution of the WEBSITE. Once considered just an online brochure, it is now a major marketing and communication channel owned by hotels. The hotel and destination Website is a vital resource today in a market that has become dominated by Online Travel Agents, Meta-search Engines, Google Search, Google Travel, Social Media Channels, Apps, New Media and Technology.

Website – More Than a Brochure

Today’s Website is a marketing resource that gives hotel and tourism professionals, business owners and marketers a vehicle to communicate directly with their clients and prospective guests. Since the beginning of the digital age, the industry has seen a shift to distribution, with sites like Expedia and taking a growing share of business. Their marketing practices can undermine independent hotels that can get listed in the wrong category, be featured incorrectly and, in some cases, not get featured at all. Getting featured and booked on the OTAs has become difficult for small brands who have little control over the OTA policies. The reliance on OTAs has, to a large extent, eroded brand integrity.

Direct Communication

The Website is the one thing that hotel and tourism marketers own. It can enhance the brand and speak directly to travellers and guests. With advances in technology, the website can be a powerful tool in competing with other alternatives and amplify the shopping experience. Hotels and tourism owners have an advantage in the offering of personalization, personal service and expert knowledge of the destination. They can offer perks and benefits that might not be available to OTAs and other sites.

Technology Available to All

Leading technology in bookings, meta-search, artificial intelligence, bots and personalization is now available to every hotel and tourism owner. There are tools, resources and apps that can plug in to a hotel website to automate the communications, sales and booking process. Messaging strategies that talk direct to prospects and help them make informed choices are available to everyone. There are resources, services and outsources that hotels can hire to do the work that is needed.

What is needed is a simple guide that shows the way. That is this Book, WEBSITE. Chapter 1 sets the stage and the book flows through several chapters that offer practical advice and actionable strategies; all in simple language with easy-to-use examples and case studies.


Avoid Fatal Mistakes That Will Destroy a Website

Chapter 1 – Past & Future in Website Marketing: See the 7 Reason Why you should buy the book. Learn about trends that will affect website marketing. See how to avoid common mistakes that most business owners make! >>>


Learn more about Chapter 1 here>>>

Buy Website on Amazon




Power Marketing – Fatal Mistakes


Facebook says websites are a dying business

Facebook says websites are a dying business

Source: Facebook’s director of product design on why websites may be a dying business

App. Bots and Mobile Web Will Dominate Information Distribution

In an age of apps, bots and platforms, Jon Lax, head of product design at Facebook thinks websites are a dying business. Designers who focus on website may be loosing out and becoming less reliant to what the market wants. It seem to him that they are the prerogative of Brands and are becoming less relevant in a world moving to a more utilitarian approach to communications. As he says “I think the trend of mobile has fundamentally changed the dynamics of how information is distributed. It turns out that people like feeds and it  does a good job for them. That’s just what we’re experiencing right now.”


Website Design for Brands
Lax  draws a line between Branding and product design saying that Websites are dominated by marketing and brands, where it is important to stand out and be different. Products, however, are  designed to solves a problem. “You can do that aesthetically in different ways, but if you’re not solving a problem, especially in digital design, you’re really just creating art. ”

He feels a nervous that so many of his designer friends are “still focused building websites and I’m not sure that’s a growth business anymore.”

Mobile the new Frontier

On a more positive note for website designers he adds “The one thing about the web is that it is such a large system that it will take a long time for that energy to unwind”

Still one has to be aware of what is happening and its clear that its all moving to mobile. He says that in the future a smartphone may be the only computer that many consumers ever have and the movement is looking at designs that are simple, consistent and utilitarian. In this environment art tends to be more brutal.

Mobile Design CheckList


Keep an Open Mind

Facebook will naturally believe in its platform and for some time has wanted business to use its pages and build business services and solution within the Facebook environment. At AXSES we have always supported Facebook and suggest all our clients have a strong Facebook presence.


AXSES created the first Facebook booking Engine for small independent hotels and have a strong commitment to Facebook. We do believe in websites and think it is important that very business have one. It’s good for branding but it is also important to control your own destiny, to be independent and build direct bookings.