How To Do Local Keyword Research To Attract Nearby Travelers

May 30, 2020
Lucas Ennis (he/him)
4 min read

If you have read our recent blog post on the outlook and predictions for the travel industry, you will know that travel is expected to pick up close to home at first. As restrictions ease to allow more movement, experts say that travelers will look to travel locally before international becomes an option again.

There are several reasons for this:

1. Governments will allow movement internally before they open up borders to other countries.
2. Travelers will be wary of their safety and possibly reluctant to venture too far from home once they’re allowed to do so.
3. They may also be watching their budget closely, looking for shorter and more inexpensive options to fulfill their travel needs.

Crisis Management Playbook For Travel Companies

In considering these factors, if you are planning on focusing on local travel, it’s important to know how to do local keyword research to attract nearby travelers. There will be a new set of keywords they are using to search for adventures close to home, and you will have to find and incorporate these into your website and marketing material if you’re to get in on the action.

Local Keywords and Travel Marketing

Local keyword research forms part of your local SEO strategy. It’s a lot like normal keyword research, but you are targeting people who show interest in traveling to areas or undertaking specific activities nearby to you.

Before we go further, keep in mind that timing and how you approach your marketing is critical at this point. Getting this wrong can result in low interest or even poor brand perception for your travel business. At first, you might be better off providing more informative and inspirational marketing geared towards your local destinations than going in for the hard sell.

When you begin marketing, you can share your inspirational and informative content with your existing or previous clients via email and social media.

But, there will also be travelers who you haven’t previously dealt with looking for inspiration, information, or adventure close to home. To help them find you, you need to include the right keywords on your website and online listings so that Google knows to display these in related searches.

Google Travel Search

How To Do Local Keyword Research To Attract Nearby Travelers

Quite simply, to do local keyword research, you need to think about what words and terms travelers are entering into the search bar to find a local travel offering like yours.

Local keywords typically indicate navigational or transactional intent, and may look like this:

Product/Service + Geographical modifier

For example: bike tours San Francisco

Product/Service + Transactional word + Geographical modifier

For example: bike tours group pricing San Francisco

Often, the words best and near me are used in local search.

For example: best bike tours San Francisco, bike tours near me

And the order of the words can also be rearranged.

For example: San Francisco bike tours, San Francisco best bike tours

Factoring in these pointers should help you to start brainstorming keywords related to your travel product and location.

Once you have some ideas written down, you need to verify if these are correct and then write them into your online content.

There is search volume, competition, and intent to consider, which will determine whether you are on the right track with research and where your listings will appear compared to your competitors. You can learn more about this in this post.

Travel Keyword Research

Verifying Local Keywords Through Research

Aside from your common sense which tells you how people search for your product, there are several channels to perform local keyword research.

Google Autocomplete – this provides predictive suggestions as a person types a search query into the search bar. The suggestions are based on the words typed in, the person’s browsing history, and internet trending searches, meaning it can offer you insights into related terms that travelers close by are currently searching for.

Keyword Explorer Tools – specialized keyword explorer tools from Ahrefs, Surfer SEO, Moz, SemRush, or Long Tail Pro provide in-depth insights and suggestions based on keywords you enter. They provide search volume and keyword difficulty indicators, as well as provide related suggestions you can rank for.

 Social Media – to get an idea of what’s currently trending with regards to travel in your location and particular niche, research hashtags on Instagram and Facebook. This will give you an idea of what travelers are talking about and interested in at the moment. It can help you shape your offering and target keywords accordingly.

Verify Keywords

Where Should Local Keywords Appear In Your Online Content?

You should place the local keywords optimally within your related blog posts and booking pages on your website. This includes in the:

Page title and headers – the relevant H1, H2, and H3 headers for the related pages.

URL slug – the section of the URL that identifies your page after your main domain name.

SEO title and meta description – the snippets that display in search engine results pages (SERPS) to describe what a page is about.

Body text – this is the content on your blog post or booking page. Be careful not to stuff your text with the keyword, as this can result in Google penalizing your site.

Image alt tag – the image description that allows Google to classify it for image search results.

Other Important Factors For Local SEO

Local SEO Strategy

Two other very important components of local SEO are topics that we have covered previously in the blog. These are optimizing your travel company’s Google My Business listing, as well as for Google Maps marketing.

Google analyzes your name, address, and phone number (NAP) details on these and compares them with your website and other online listings for consistency.

From there, the search engine uses this information to establish your proximity to the person performing a local search.

It’s therefore important that you add in these details across all of your online listings, and check that they are up to date and consistent. If Google is satisfied that your listings match and you are close by to the searcher, it will know to display them in the results it shows to users with local search intent.

Final Thoughts

If you are eager to attract travelers to your local travel product, then local keyword research is key to ensure you shape your content accordingly, allowing potential clients to find you online.

In doing this, you can drive traffic to your website where you can nurture the relationships and possibly eventually convert to a sale.