Does your travel agency use SEM for its website? If the answer is no, the chances are it ranks low in the search engines. A low ranking means a lot of wasted money on that sleek website. Think about it. If your customers can’t find you, how can they purchase your services?
Not to worry. You just need a little knowledge about SEM. Once you understand it, you can begin to use it in your online marketing campaign.
I know terms like SEM and SEO sound like a foreign language. But I would argue you know more about them than you think. For one, you probably already know more money is spent on travel than any other online service. You also probably know two thirds of people book their travel arrangements online. I mean why else did you create a website for your travel agency?
What you may not know is your travel agency’s website fights a battle every day on the search engines. The entire travel agency industry is battling their way to the top of Mount Google. And as the saying goes, to the victor goes the spoils. The coveted prize is more traffic and more sales. What gives these other websites an edge is a secret weapon called search engine marketing, better known as SEM. The more you know about how SEM works, the better chance you will have to increase your online revenues.
To understand SEM you first need to know a little bit about pay-per-click or PPC campaigns. PPC is how you pay the search engines for the ability for people to click on your travel agency’s website. Travel agencies with websites bid and pay for keywords or adword promotion banners. The trick to making a good PPC campaign is choosing the right keywords to include on your website’s content and ad texts. These keywords will attract higher quality traffic to your website. As you know, more traffic means more sales! Choosing the right keywords is only one of a number of SEM tactics to generate more traffic.
Long tail is a strategy used in PPC campaigns. Instead of targeting the most sought after keywords like “travel” or “travel agency” you can target longer phrases that include the same words. For example, “travel agency in Baltimore” is an example of a long tail phrase. It is less used, but more specific to the searcher. As a result, long tail is cheaper and can help your travel agency target a specific audience.
The Baltimore Travel Center is a travel agency that uses SEM effectively. Do a search on Google for “travel agencies in Baltimore” and you are guaranteed to find them in the top five. This is not an accident. They use SEM in their website’s online marketing campaign. Imagine the traffic they receive because of this!
The great news is Google and the other search engines make it possible for small travel agencies to compete for a high ranking. The key is having an SEM strategy in place. Get SEM for your website, and watch its ranking travel to the top!