Keyword Research for Travel & Tourism - How to Find the Best Keywords for SEO | SEO Travel (2023)

Finding the Best Travel Keywords

We recently launched our Live Case Study with The Travel Aisle and we’ll be using this as a vehicle to share our best SEO tips and knowledge in a live environment that you can follow along.

The first stop for any website should be keyword research. Travel is a highly competitive industry and it’s important that you identify which areas to target before you build your site (and even launch your business) so you know what is achievable and realistic in attracting customers from search.

This post aims to give you the lowdown on which travel SEO keywords are best for companies in this industry, and how to go about finding them so you can leave with an actionable plan to go and put in place.


    • 1.1 Finding the Best Travel Keywords
    • 1.2 What is Keyword Research?
    • 1.3 The Impact of the Longtail
    • 1.4 Topics vs Phrases
    • 1.5 The Keyword Research Tools You Need
    • 1.6 Finding Keywords and Topics Using Ahrefs
    • 1.7 How to Judge Keyword Difficulty
    • 1.8 Summary
    • 1.9 Latest from the Blog
    • 1.10 Get In Touch

What is Keyword Research?

Keyword research is all about identifying how your target audience search for your product or service and then using that information to inform your on-page targeting for SEO purposes.

If you design and build a website without this information it’s highly likely you won’t target the right areas and won’t get found by the right people as a result. This means less of your target market find you and you sell less stuff. That’s bad.

Keyword research is strongly associated with SEO, but it is also a fantastic way of gaining insight into your audience and your market that you may not otherwise know.

In travel this might be that more people search for ‘burma holidays’ than ‘myanmar holidays’ or hostels are more popular than boutique hotels. It’s not just about updating your title tag and the text on your site, it’s much more valuable on that for wider business insights too.

Overlook it at your peril.

Keyword Research for Travel & Tourism - How to Find the Best Keywords for SEO | SEO Travel (1)

The Impact of the Longtail

One of the key areas people go wrong when choosing keywords is exactly that. They choose a small set of phrases that they see as the be-all and end-all. Rank for those or bust.

You should discard this mentality right now. Or stop reading, because you’re not going to like what’s coming.

Keyword Research is about finding all the phrases (or topic areas at least) your audience is searching for, and then mapping those findings onto your site. It will inform your site architecture, the pages you have on your site, the text you use: everything!

People are always drawn to the phrases that have the highest search volume which is a natural reaction. You want to target the phrases that people search for the most right? Well, kind of, but it’s not as simple as that.

Keyword Research for Travel & Tourism - How to Find the Best Keywords for SEO | SEO Travel (2)

You definitely want to have pages on your site that target the most-searched-for terms, but those phrases will often be extremely competitive and difficult to rank on page 1 for. The real wins, particularly for new or smaller sites, are in the longtail phrases that your audience is searching for. SEO for travel blogs often focuses on this.

The longtail is made up of a huge variety of different phrases, but when added together these phrases usually result in a much larger volume of traffic than the headline phrases that most people focus on.

For example, consider the hypothetical scenario below:

  • The phrase ‘spain holidays’ gets 22,000 searches per month.
  • There are 22,000 phrases which include ‘spain’ that are about travel (e.g. ‘best time to visit spain’)

Even if the phrases in the second option only have 1 search per month each, it adds up to the same amount of searches. Guess what? Usually, they have more than one so they add up to much more.

You can also rank for the majority of these phrases much more easily than the headline phrases like ‘spain holidays’. Would you rather try and rank for 22,000 different phrases that are less competitive and each brings one visit to your site, or put all your eggs in the basket of the one phrase which is the most competitive out there?

I know which I’d go for.

Google has also recently shared that 15% of the phrases they see every day are completely new, so you can see that the longtail is constantly growing, and the opportunity is huge if you set your site up to capture that traffic.

So how do you do that?

Topics vs Phrases

The best way to target the longtail is to do keyword research that identifies all the different topics that are relevant to your site. Start by finding individual phrases, but then build that list out so you can see all the different phrases that exist which are relevant to you.

We have launched The Travel Aisle site with our initial pages focused around where to travel throughout the year. We did our keyword research and found there was a good amount of interest for phrases like ‘where to go in November’ and ‘where to go in March’.

Keyword Research for Travel & Tourism - How to Find the Best Keywords for SEO | SEO Travel (3)

But we didn’t stop there, we kept digging, and found a huge variety of phrases in those same topic areas that we could target:

  • where to go in march – 900 searches/month
  • best places to visit in march – 500 searches/month
  • where to go on holiday in march – 600 searches/month
  • best holiday destinations in march – 300 searches/month

There’s plenty more where that came from.

Your task is to look at your particular niche, whether it is a particular destination, type of travel or informational topic and build out a comprehensive list of phrases and topics that are relevant to your site.

Only then can you map it on to your site with the content you produce in the most effective way when you have the full picture laid in front of you.

The Keyword Research Tools You Need

There are lots of useful free and paid keyword research tools out there which you can use to find travel keywords for SEO.

If you really have no budget to work with then check out:

Soovle – Add a phrase and let this tool throw loads of suggestions at you based on a variety of sites.

Answer the Public– nicely presented information based primarily on the questions around the topics you search for.

Keywords Everywhere – A plugin for Google Chrome that highlights lots of options when you search in Google (and other places).

Keyword Research for Travel & Tourism - How to Find the Best Keywords for SEO | SEO Travel (4)

These tools can give you a good start if you’re prepared to put in a lot of hours, trawl through a lot of data and truly have no budget to work with (here are some other free SEO tools you might find useful).

However, I’d suggest that for a job this important it is worth investing some budget. There are lots of good paid keyword research tools out there, but having used many of them my recommendation would be Ahrefs.

The great news is that you can use this incredible tool for just $7. That’s just for a 7-day trial, but if you really are strapped for cash then you can spend $7 and do all your keyword research in those 7 days and give yourself a fantastic action plan and set of data to work from.

The even better news? It’s not just a keyword research tool. So as well as getting your keyword research data in those 7 days you could also get loads of link data, do competitor analysis and much more.

I expect you’ll end up wanting to use it for longer, but the option is there to just get all this information for the handsome sum of $7 (£5.34 in real money) if you dedicate a week to it.

And whilst I’m not getting paid anything to say this, I’d highly recommend it. And if you want to follow the tips and advice in the rest of this post, you’ll need access to it.

If you’d prefer to go the free route, here are a few excellent posts that show you how to do that without paid tools:

Free Keyword Research Tools
Step by Step Keyword Research Guide with Free Tools
How to Research Keywords

Finding Keywords and Topics Using Ahrefs

Ahrefs has a number of fantastic ways of finding good target keywords for travel that you can then incorporate into your site structure and content.

TheKeywords Explorer Tool.

This allows you to put in ‘seed’ words and surfaces all the top searched travel keywords that include those words. My favourite approach with this is to use the most pared-back set of words to start with, then filter on the ‘Having same terms’ report.

This highlights all phrases that include that combination of words, in any order:

Keyword Research for Travel & Tourism - How to Find the Best Keywords for SEO | SEO Travel (5)

Another interesting thing you can gain from this report is in the ‘Parent topic’ column. This tells you the topic Ahrefs perceives this phrase to be part of. Click it and it will lead you to another treasure trove of keyword options to add to your list.

You can then take these new phrases and feed them back into the ‘Having same terms’ report and rinse and repeat.

Doing this process on its own can leave you with more than enough information to make an excellent go of the keyword research process and develop a site into a really strong position.

But if you’re the kind of person who just won’t quit, then you’re going to want to have a sniff around some competitors too.

The Site Explorer Tool

If we search for ‘best places to go in March’ the top result currently is CN Traveller. I can take that URL and put it into the Site Explorer and then view the ‘Organic Keywords’ section:

Keyword Research for Travel & Tourism - How to Find the Best Keywords for SEO | SEO Travel (6)

This page alone ranks for more than 1,000 phrases in And Ahrefs is estimating it gets nearly 11,000 visits/month! Remember what I was saying about the longtail…

The main thing you can take from this report at page level is that if this page ranks for one of the big competitive phrases, it will probably rank for a lot of the longtail variations too. So all you have to do is sift through the list and add those phrases to your list.

You can also do this for lots of people on page 1 for your target phrases, which will only increase the pool of phrases you have even further.

The example above is doing this at page level, but you can also do this for an entire site to see where your competitors are getting the most traffic and which phrases that traffic is coming through.

You can do this with the ‘Organic Keywords’ report shown above for an entire domain, but I also like using the ‘Top Pages’ report, which shows the pages on the domain which Ahrefs estimates are getting the most traffic from search:

Keyword Research for Travel & Tourism - How to Find the Best Keywords for SEO | SEO Travel (7)

You can then click through to each one for the more specific breakdown of each page and the phrases it is ranking for.

As you can see, we’ve chosen a nice easy set of initial target pages to go after with the case study ;)

How to Judge Keyword Difficulty

Many people will ask how hard it is to rank for certain phrases or how long it will take to reach page 1.

The honest answer is you will never know for sure. The keyword tools can give you an estimate, but I don’t really trust these figures. You see small sites ranking on page 1 for phrases with high difficulty scores and then phrases with low difficulty scores that appear almost impossible to break when you look at who’s on page 1.

My advice is always that if the topic is relevant for you, you should create great content for it that matches up to the people ranking on page 1, and ideally is even better. If you do that consistently you will start to see success with some of those posts and your traffic will grow through longtail phrases.

Here’s what happened with our client Roma Experience when we started putting this approach into practice:

Keyword Research for Travel & Tourism - How to Find the Best Keywords for SEO | SEO Travel (8)

And I’ve only done this in a minor way with the SEO Travel site, but we’ve still seen solid growth as a result:

Keyword Research for Travel & Tourism - How to Find the Best Keywords for SEO | SEO Travel (9)


If you only take one thing away from this post, it should be that keyword research is crucial to the success of your website, and potentially your business too.

My advice would be to spend $7, dedicate a week to this process, and come out the other side with a proper action plan in place that you can use to shape your site’s growth for years to come.

Keyword Research for Travel & Tourism - How to Find the Best Keywords for SEO | SEO Travel (10)

I’ll be following this post up with a guide on how to take the findings from your keyword research and truly maximise them with the structure of your site as a whole and at individual page level.

Stay tuned!


Keyword Research for Travel & Tourism - How to Find the Best Keywords for SEO | SEO Travel? ›

Long tail keywords are long (usually 4+ word) terms that searchers use in Google and other search engines. And they tend to have a lower keyword difficulty compared to 1-3 word “head terms”. So for people that are new to SEO, long tails are usually the best keywords to start with.

How do I find the perfect keyword for SEO? ›

How to Find and Choose Keywords for Your Website
  1. Use Google Keyword Planner to cut down your keyword list. ...
  2. Step 2: Prioritize low-hanging fruit. ...
  3. Step 3: Check the monthly search volume (MSV) for keywords you've chosen. ...
  4. Step 4: Factor in SERP features as you choose keywords.
Jan 7, 2022

How do I SEO my travel website? ›

First, I'll provide some tips on how to use travel SEO keywords to improve the performance of your travel industry website.
  1. Know Your Keywords. ...
  2. Use Your Keywords Strategically. ...
  3. Build Local Landing Pages. ...
  4. Use Structured Data. ...
  5. Update Your Google Business Profile. ...
  6. Use Event Schema. ...
  7. Audit Your Existing Presence.

Which keywords are best to target in SEO? ›

Long tail keywords are long (usually 4+ word) terms that searchers use in Google and other search engines. And they tend to have a lower keyword difficulty compared to 1-3 word “head terms”. So for people that are new to SEO, long tails are usually the best keywords to start with.

What is the keywords of Travelling? ›

Keywords To Describe Tours & Types Of Travel
KeywordSearch Volume
Trip packages2.4K
Travel company tours480
Escorted tour320
Honeymoon trip720
27 more rows
Nov 26, 2021

What are the 4 types of keywords? ›

The four types of keywords to classify search intent are informational, navigational, commercial, and transactional.

Which are the 3 main factors that go into choosing a keyword? ›

While conducting your SEO keyword research, there are three factors you must consider: the individual keyword's relevancy, search volume and user intent. This will help you answer the simple yet imperative question of whether you want someone who is entering a particular phrase into Google to engage with your brand.

How do I get backlinks for my travel website? ›

Here are some tips and tactics on how to build quality backlinks for your tourism website:
  1. Use HARO to contact reporters. ...
  2. Guest posting. ...
  3. Get on listicles. ...
  4. Partner with travel influencers. ...
  5. Partner with travel publications. ...
  6. Create link-worthy content. ...
  7. Find unlinked mentions.
Mar 10, 2023

What is SEO tourism? ›

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results.

What is the most used travel website? ›

Most Visited Travel and Tourism Websites
RankWebsitePages / Visit
46 more rows

What SEO keywords should I choose first? ›

Choosing keywords for SEO isn't a complicated process but requires that you consider the potential benefits to your business and inbound marketing while keeping an eye on the competition. Ideally, you should prioritize keywords that translate to customers and not just inflate your Google Analytics traffic.

What is SEO keywords example? ›

Keywords are the words and phrases that people type into search engines to find what they're looking for. For example, if you were looking to buy a new jacket, you might type something like mens leather jacket into Google. Even though that phrase consists of more than one word, it's still a keyword.

What are the three elements of travel? ›

The four basic elements of travel are air, land, sea, and water. Wildlife requires food, water, shelter, and a place where it can raise its young. The four elements of travel are used to categorize different kinds of travelers. The first three elements are important to all of us.

How do I find keywords for my travel blog? ›

Keyword Research For Travel Bloggers
  1. Focus on problem-oriented keywords. ...
  2. Be specific with travel product keywords. ...
  3. Try broad travel terms that are easy to rank for. ...
  4. Borrow keywords from top travel blogs. ...
  5. Use unique travel keywords that competitors overlook.
Jan 6, 2023

What are words for people who like travelling? ›

  • globetrotter.
  • sightseer.
  • tourer.
  • traveler.
  • vacationer.
  • voyager.
  • wayfarer.

How do I choose keywords? ›

Here's how to do it in four simple steps:
  1. Find keywords with search traffic potential.
  2. Make sure you create content that aligns with search intent.
  3. Make sure the keyword has “business potential”
  4. Make sure you can rank for the keyword.
Nov 4, 2021

What types of words make the best keywords? ›

So try to think of the best words to search that will find what you need. Pick words that have some meat to them. A good bet is to use the nouns, descriptive adjectives, or rarely verbs in your thesis. Avoid prepositions (of, with, in, etc.), articles (a, an, the), or most question words (who, how, what).

How to do proper keyword research? ›

How to conduct keyword research
  1. Make a list of broad topics relevant to your topic. ...
  2. Expand each topic with a list of phrases you think your customers use. ...
  3. Find related search terms. ...
  4. Analyze the strength of your keywords. ...
  5. Determine how you rank in your industry. ...
  6. Verify search intent.

What is a good keyword strategy? ›

Your keyword strategy should involve selecting high-performing keywords that drive relevant traffic to your business. Choosing the right keywords for advertising can make all the difference in your campaigns, determining how well your advertisements rank on Google and other search engine platforms.

What is the most popular keyword? ›

Top 100 Google Searches In the US
RankingKeywordUS Search Volume
96 more rows
Mar 31, 2023

What are the 4 criteria for selecting keywords? ›

Your target keywords need to meet four criteria — significant search volume, high relevance, strong conversion value, and reasonable competition.

How to get 100 backlinks? ›

  1. Become a Source For Reporters and Bloggers.
  2. Publish “Skyscraper” Content.
  3. Build Links From Outdated Resources.
  4. Use Content Formats Proven To Generate Links.
  5. Publish Ultimate Guides.
  6. Use Branded Strategies and Techniques.
  7. Authority Resource Pages.
  8. Bonus Strategy #1: Turn Brand Mentions Into Quality Backlinks.
Oct 11, 2021

How do I get good backlinks for SEO? ›

12 Ways To Get Quality Backlinks (That Really Work)
  1. Ask To Guest Blog. ...
  2. Ask Your Partners/Distributors/Suppliers. ...
  3. Ask For Credit Where Credit Is Due. ...
  4. Leverage Brands And Influencers To Share Your Products Or Services. ...
  5. Create Engaging Visual Content. ...
  6. Publish Original Research. ...
  7. Build A Useful Free Tool.
Aug 18, 2022

How do I create local SEO backlinks? ›

How Do You Find Local Backlinks?
  1. Get links from authoritative websites.
  2. Win links that your competitors are using.
  3. Create local content.
  4. Nail those localized citations.
  5. Find as many link opportunities as you can.
  6. Claim unlinked brand mentions.
  7. Buy quality links.
  8. Add relevant internal links to your content.

Why is SEO important in travel industry? ›

SEO is the process of proving the relevance and value of our product/service/website for a particular search term, with a view to moving up the search engine rankings. With an online focus being so prevalent in the travel industry, travel SEO should be of high priority for any travel business seeking to succeed online.

What is the importance of SEO in the travel industry? ›

The importance of SEO in travel marketing

The role of SEO in the travel industry is to aid promotion, provide value and increase brand visibility. However, the online journey of consumers will vary and so will their paths to conversion.

What is an SEO roadmap? ›

An SEO roadmap is a strategic plan of action used to formalize and track key tasks within an SEO campaign. This document is typically created within the first three months of an SEO campaign and will often set out the plan for a period of six to 12 months.

What makes a good tourism website? ›

But in general, the ideal travel website should include a mix of the following: High-quality photography. A brief summary of the area, with highlights of important places. Hotel recommendations with web links to hotel and booking sites.

What is the most searched travel destination? ›

The most-searched-for solo travel destinations include Japan, New Orleans, Iceland, Mexico City, and Italy.

What is the most popular type of travel? ›

The nearly 80 percent of travelers that said that they were going to take a road trip make up approximately 206 million Americans.

What are the 3 core must haves of SEO? ›

Focusing on these three pillars of SEO – authority, relevance, and experience – will increase the opportunities for your content and make link-earning easier. You now have everything you need to know for SEO success, so get to work!

What is your SEO #1 priority? ›

At the top of SEO priority list is page speed. However, speed can also indirectly affect rankings based on bounce rates and dwell time. Google's PageSpeed Insights tool is a powerful ally in this regard, and should be closely monitored.

How many SEO keywords should I have? ›

Once you have SEO keywords to work with, here's how often they should be used in your content. SEO experts suggest a keyword density of around 1-2%. This means one or two keywords for every 100 words.

How do I find the most searched keywords? ›

Google Trends is one of the most reliable tools for up-to-date information on what the world is searching for. You can use several tools on the site to find popular keywords. Click the ☰ menu and select Explore. The menu is at the top-left corner of the page.

What is meta keywords? ›

Meta Keywords are a specific type of meta tag that appear in the HTML code of a Web page and help tell search engines what the topic of the page is.

What are the 4 P's of travel tourism? ›

The 4Ps in tourism are “product,” “price,” “place,” and “promotion.” They are intangible factors for enthusiasts, planners, and adventurers and are categorically streamlined as follows.

What are the 6 A's of tourism? ›

A tourist destination is composed of a multitude of characteristics that can contribute to the success of a dynamic co-creation process that will increase the destination's competitiveness in the tourism sector such as Attractions, Accessibility, Amenities, Available Packages, Activities, and Ancillary Services.

What are the 5 A's of tourism? ›

The five vital components of tourism system are Attraction, Accessibility, Accommodation, Amenities and Activities. a) Attraction: Tourism activity starts with the attractions.

How many words should a travel blog be? ›

Travel – 1,500 – 1,850 words.

How do I succeed in travel blogging? ›

Travel Blogging Tips
  1. Create Useful Travel Content.
  2. Do Interesting Stuff!
  3. Guest Posting On Other Blogs.
  4. Keep Active On Social Media.
  5. Get Yourself Some Free Press.
  6. SEO Tips For Blogging.
  7. Build An Email List.
  8. Advertising Your Blog.
Apr 13, 2022

What are 10 synonyms for travel? ›

Synonyms of travel
  • journey.
  • trek.
  • trip.
  • tour.
  • voyage.
  • pilgrimage.
  • roam.
  • wander.

What does Hodophile mean? ›

Hodophile (adj.) Origin: Greek. Definition: “Lover of roads”, or better “love of travel.”

How do I find the right keywords to rank #1 on Google? ›

In general, you want to choose keywords with high search volume since this means the keyword is popular and will get you more traffic from Google if you rank for it. That said, you also want to ensure the keywords are relevant to your business niche and attract searches in your desired location.

How do I find the right keywords for SEO for free? ›

Free keyword research tools
  1. Keyword Surfer.
  2. AnswerThePublic.
  3. Keyword Sheeter.
  4. Keyworddit.
  5. QuestionDB.
  6. Ahrefs Keyword Generator.
  7. SEMrush Keyword Magic Tool.
  8. Ubersuggest.

How do I check SEO difficulty of a keyword? ›

To calculate a keyword's difficulty, Semrush looks at the authority of the pages currently ranking, the amount and quality of their backlinks (including their follow/nofollow ratio), as well as other keyword-specific data.

How do I find popular keywords? ›

One of the easiest ways to find trending keywords is to use Google's search autocomplete feature on their website. To come up with the best keywords, look at the auto-suggest feature in Google.

What are high ranking keywords? ›

Search engines usually show about 10 results per page, and higher keyword rankings mean being closer to the top of the page (toward spot #1), lower keyword rankings mean being closer to the bottom (spot #10).

What are the top 10 searched topics on Google? ›

  • Cruise Line News.
  • Cryptocurrency News.
  • Ecommerce News.
  • Jobs & Career News.
  • Media & Entertainment News.
  • Social Media News.
  • Software & Technology News.
  • Travel News.
Jan 24, 2023

How many keywords is enough for SEO? ›

It's easier for pages to rank if they focus on one topic, so you should focus on two or three primary keywords per page that are reworded variations. Targeting four or more keywords is difficult because there is limited space in the title and meta description tags to target them.

What are SEO keywords examples? ›

Keywords are the words and phrases that people type into search engines to find what they're looking for. For example, if you were looking to buy a new jacket, you might type something like “mens leather jacket” into Google. Even though that phrase consists of more than one word, it's still a keyword.

What is the most accurate keyword difficulty tool? ›

KWFinder keyword difficulty is (one of) the most accurate on the market. Many case studies prove the fact that by using it, your keyword research will be based on relevant data you can trust.

What's the most important aspect of a keyword? ›

Keywords are important because they help you understand what users are searching for and the content you need to provide to meet their needs. The keywords you choose help define your content strategy and what topics to include on your website.

How do I know if my keywords are working? ›

To know if your SEO is working there are a few key SEO performance metrics that you must track.
  • Impressions. ...
  • Traffic from Organic Searches. ...
  • Number of Pages Ranking. ...
  • Number of Backlinks. ...
  • Referrals from other websites. ...
  • Domain & Page Authority. ...
  • Brand Mentions. ...
  • Conversions.


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