At the most recent brightonSEO we were lucky enough to gather together some of the brightest in-house search marketers at Travel and Leisure businesses for a chat, a rant and sharing some knowledge.
We’ve run these roundtables for a few years and they’re a great opportunity to really feel the pulse of the industry. The roundtable itself is held under Chatham House Rules, which means we can’t share precisely who said what but we did want to share some general notes and findings from the event.
If you’re interested in attending future travel SEO roundtable events just email firstname.lastname@example.org
Mobile changes 21 April
Some ready, some not. No-one too sure on impact. Bigger companies e.g corporates very aware of the possible negative impact on this critical touchpoint in the consumer travel market. In bigger businesses might be higher levels of panic as realisation dawns it has to.
Questions around Smaller companies e.g using WordPress already covered for responsive. Some sites only partially ready – prioritising important pages.
Bigger companies have to work hard to educate internal stakeholders on why it’s needed – a lot of effort!
Prioritising changes is a challenge. Many bigger players are outsourcing
Broadly agreed important but not utilised to the full. Bigger companies see insights for new content and missed opps but winding up to present to senior players in a deck with business case an obstacle.
Also pipeline of projects is often full, so adding new becomes an issue – especially at short notice.
Mobile site search – good for smaller sites – one client problem with Google site search not working with Universal Analytics
Bigger players wary of link building – doing link earning – but only for relevant content pages mapped to audience needs.
Bigger players aware of multi channel (omnichannel) marketing – SEO not a silo but increasingly part of a joined up journey. Social Big disappointment with Google+ and authorship pull. Trust diminished. Google_and Google account too complicated to use and manage, only used to support SEO.
Pinterest, Facebook & Twitter main channels. Social signals benefit not widely seen (or perhaps understood). Feeling google missed a trick with Google+ which could have been massive for travel.
Travel Industry still use it for business place, local and YouTube tie up.
Bigger companies value social for link earning – being seen and increasingly dealing with customer service issues (Twitter as default)
This was seen as crucial to organic search strategy for long tail and a tactic to bring in customers to the main website by many.
Some weren’t sure on its usefulness.
Timing is everything – Seasonal factors. repurposing old content (evergreen).
Numerous bad experiences with loss of traffic with two attendees reporting 50% drops in analytics (and reverting back to http)
Bigger companies outsourcing development tasks due to bulging pipelines – too much work in the pipeline to cope internally. Especially when red alert Google changes require a fast turnaround.