How To Build a Travel Website

In the last issue of The Wanderlust Report: Building A Destination Website - Part 1, we shared best practices on how to choose the right web platform and how to define a content strategy. In this issue, we discuss how to keep your site fresh, how to open up a two-way dialog using social media and blogging, and conversion tools to help move prospects closer to making a purchase decision.

Keywords, check. Content Strategy, check. Now what?

Now that you have your initial keyword list of, say five hundred terms and phrases ranked by monthly searches and attainability, and have a web content strategy outlined, it’s almost time to start creating content. Before we jump into the different kinds of content a great travel website can offer, let’s go into a bit more detail on a topic we touched on in the last issue of The Wanderlust Report: how websites must offer content that is compelling – not just to humans seeking travel information at all stages of the buying process, but also to search engines on a quest for relevance.

Unlike print and broadcast communications, created for and served to a very specific group of people, web content must serve two audiences – people and search engines. Fortunately for us, both audiences are looking for the same thing: relevant content. Robotic search engines sift through content to identify, index and rank the relevance of content so inquiring humans can find exactly what they’re looking for. By identifying the common ground shared by your audience and your brand – where their interests overlap your offerings – content can be delivered to anticipate their requests and optimized for search engines using the right keywords. Suddenly, your travel and destination brand appears at the top of their search results, and your well-crafted content begins to draw consumers to your site.

Remember, Google is king.

At Wanderlust, we base our search engine optimization decisions on Google’s search algorithms because Google is number one and many other search engines follow Google’s lead. The position of Google as the de facto search engine of choice rests squarely on the company’s ability to deliver the most relevant search results. They go to great lengths to evaluate every page on every website, indexing and ranking each based on its relevance to a particular search term. Google has expectations of every web page it considers ranking. How well a page meets Google’s expectations has an impact on what search terms and phrases it will rank for, if any. Let’s take a look at a web page to see what Google sees.