SEO For Travel Websites in South Africa: The Definitive Guide

SEO for travel websites in South Africa has become the main tactic through which tourists both nationally and around the world is attracted to travel and tourism based websites and businesses.

For these travel websites, building a digital presence becomes increasingly vital over time. The travel business is booming, and more and more people are booking their vacations online.

According to Statista, tourism contributed more than $22 Billion to the South African economy in 2019 before the Covid Pandemic.

importance of seo for travel websites

This is a substantial contribution in anyone’s view. Getting a share of this income is a key motivation for why SEO for travel websites in South Africa is just such an competitive practice.

In terms of planning travel journeys, accommodation and related activities online, search engines are among the most popular, especially among leisure travellers.

Despite seeing the increase in influence from social media platforms and websites such as Tripadvisor,, Airbnb and even the local Lekker Slapp  , using Google to search and plan journeys before holidays, are still the by far the most commonly used source.

Some of the largest names in the travel business rely heavily on seo services for their online success. For websites that have a successful strategy for SEO in South Africa, organic search generates more traffic than any other digital channel, with the possible exception of direct visitors.

How Do I rank on page one for  travel websites in South Africa

Ranking in the top 10 results on search engines is essential to online success in an increasingly competitive environment.

In order to achieve this, your SEO must be flawless. This is where SEO for travel websites in South Africa comes in. If you’re not sure what SEO is, make sure you finish reading this article. For those of you in the travel sector, we’ve put up a detailed SEO guide.

Exactly what is search engine optimisation, and how does it actually work?

The goal of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is to have your company’s website appear at the top of search engine results pages (SERPs) for relevant keywords. So if someone searches for “things to do in Sicily,” the top result will be a website optimised specifically for that search term. As a result, it will be the most heavily trafficked page on the site.

Nearly every business may benefit from good SEO. Here are a few main reasons why SEO is so critical in today’s digital marketing landscape:

Search engines are used by 81% of internet users to discover products and services.

As a consequence of a local search, 72% of individuals will go to a physical location as a result of that search.

Local searches on search engines result in purchases performed offline for 78% of the queries conducted.
34.36 percent of all clicks for a certain query go to websites near the top of Google’s search results.

Assume you’re a tour guide at Stonehenge. Customers are likely to use search engines to find your product or service if the figures above are accurate. To get found by customers, you must use an SEO approach that places you towards the top of search results.

If you want to be on top, here’s how you do it. In the meanwhile, here’s the gist of what we’ll be discussing:

To begin, choose a term for which you’d like to rank highly. You need to do keyword research in order to achieve this. For example, “tours to Knysna” might be a good keyword to use.

Your website or landing page must then be optimised in order to compete for that term. This is known as on-site optimisation in the SEO field. You’re informing search engines about the content of your website or webpage this way.

Search engines must believe that your site is the most authoritative source of information for a certain term. Off-site optimisation is how you do this. These off-site optimizations are, as the name implies, done away from your website.

For what reasons is it critical to rank well in SERPs?

Simply put, the more visitors you get, the better your ranking will be. In addition, if you don’t appear in the first 10 search results, you’re unlikely to be seen at all. The graph below shows the average proportion of clicks a website receives across various sectors and keywords.

Search engine optimization (SEO) is an essential component of any successful digital marketing plan.

Because SEO is an inbound marketing strategy, here is why. In order to provide consumers with the most relevant results, search engines like Google and others make an effort to filter out irrelevant results. Search engines like Google have seen an increase in usage as a result.

What is the role of SEO for travel websites in south africa?

In plublications such as Google’s “The Traveller’s Road to Decision” and the more recently published report from Expedia on what travels look for, One of the most important findings in Google’s analysis was that search engines play a significant part in the decision-making process of travellers.

Google also publishes a very useful Travel Insights with Google resource which helps travel websites in South Africa with understandigng how travelers might think and plan

Google claims that leisure travellers begin their vacation planning via search engines more than any other online marketing channel.

Search engines are the second most important source of information for online trip planning for business travellers. Below is a chart that provides further information.

mage source:

For both pleasure and business travellers, maps websites and apps are a go-to source of information. In the early stages of planning a trip, more than half of all travellers utilise location-specific search phrases.

In addition, more and more people are using search engines rather than branded websites and apps to arrange their vacations online. This is due to the fact that search engines have worked hard to earn the confidence of consumers by only delivering results that are truthful. As you’ll see in the chart below, most leisure travellers begin their internet vacation planning here.

Branded websites and apps were the most popular in 2021, according to a Google survey. There has been a huge increase in search engine traffic across websites for car rental, air travel, lodging, and cruises since 2022.

When it comes to travelling, the vast majority of people utilise desktop computers. Despite this, cellphones play an ever-increasing part in the trip process, including inspiration, research, purchase, travel, and post-travel.

In other words, websites must now cater to the needs of users on their mobile devices as well. As a result of Google’s mobile-first indexing, it has become imperative to optimise your site for smartphones and tablets as well.

Devices used by travelers for planning

As a result of the shift to mobile-first indexing, SEO practitioners must pay particular attention to the mobile user experience of their websites. Your website’s rating will improve if it is mobile-friendly since responsive design is a ranking criteria.

SEO for Travel Websites – Key Players

The following are some of the most popular travel-related websites of 2019. There is a noticeable difference in the quantity of traffic that comes from organic sources for each website.

seo for tranvel websites - key players

According to

The vast majority of these websites supply you with useful information or direct you to other resources.

Restaurants and cafés, local walking tours, and airport transfer services are all examples of companies that might benefit from search engine optimization (SEO).

Search engine optimization (SEO) is a long-term inbound marketing technique in the tourism sector. As a result, unlike with PPC, you won’t notice results right away. However, there are a number of significant advantages that come with a strong SEO plan.

SEO is a powerful tool for generating qualified leads since it helps you to attract visitors to your website who are interested in what you have to say. As a consequence, your website will attract more quality leads.

Let’s pretend for a moment that your business does visitor Tours in Knysna. No one who is not actively looking for your service is likely to find your website.

A user’s searcher intent — what they’re looking for when they type a query into a search engine—is to blame for this.

Compared to other digital marketing channels, this one is less expensive:

Pay Per Click, the second most successful digital marketing method, is more expensive than SEO (PPC). Google AdWords and other PPC services like them may be used as a viable choice for marketing.

Keywords and user intent will be used in the same way as in SEO to help you draw in the right kind of traffic. Long-term, on the other hand, is a far more cost-effective strategy in the long run.

You can only spend so much money on AdWords or PPC. If you run out, your traffic and conversions will suffer. You will no longer appear in search results as soon as you cease paying for advertising.

However, as long as search engines consider your website to be one of the ten most trustworthy sources of information for the phrase you’re competing for, you will continue to gain visitors.

Growth is a given.
Finally, a well-executed SEO plan may assure the success of a firm. For the sake of argument, let’s pretend your website has 4500+ unique users every month. Because of the way SEO works, you never know which of your site’s visitors will turn out to be a hot lead. A steady stream of prospective customers is bound to bring in a large number of bookings.

SEO for travel websites in south africa is a time-consuming process, which is the main drawback.

Even if your rating drops, it’s unlikely to drop considerably in the short term if you reach the top. In the eyes of the search engines, you’re the finest source of information for a certain term. There is little chance that your rating will change much in the near future.

Your SEO for travel websites strategy

Search engine optimization (SEO) for travel websites in South Africa

Any SEO campaign that has a chance of becoming a success must begin with thorough keyword research.

You need a tool like KW Finder or SEMrush in order to identify keywords that you can really compete for.. When conducting your research, be sure that the keywords you select have a strong connection to your business.

To illustrate, let’s use the term “Bed and Breakfast in Knysna”

seo for trave websites in knysna
This snapshot from KW Finder shows you how many times our chosen term has been searched. As a starting point, let’s look at the facts concerning this keyword.

Every month, 3,600 individuals look for “Bed and Breakfast in Knysna”
Competitiveness for this term is 73/100 based on Cost Per Click (CPC).

This phrase’s keyword difficulty is rated as medium difficulty.

In addition, KW Finder has provided you with a list of related keywords. You must do keyword research for SEO reasons by finding relevant terms with low competition, such as “Thing to do in Knysna”. Compared to other keywords, this one has significantly less traffic and is therefore more difficult to rank for. It’s also referred to as a “long-tail” term because of its specificity.

These are highly detailed search queries known as long-tail keywords. The volume of searches for these terms is often substantially lower. The person searching for long-tail keywords, on the other hand, is more likely to be ready to make a buy. Generally speaking, long-tail keywords are more valuable.

What’s the point of the search?
As previously said, it’s critical that the keywords you’re targeting align with the nature of your business. Think about why a user may enter a specific keyword into a search engine. This will aid you in making better keyword selections.

The importance of seasonality in the tourism business cannot be overstated. Simply said, some seasons of the year see an increase in the number of tourists. Trends can also be gleaned using keyword research tools. This is a year-round search volume chart for our chosen term.

You can see from the graph above that knysna tours are more popular in the summer months than in the winter. On and off-seasons exist in the travel sector, so this is just part of the job description.

Content is king when it comes to SEO for travel Website

You must use the best, high-quality, relevant, and interesting content marketing services you can afford in order for search engines to trust you and rank you highly.

Additionally, your content must be optimised for conversions. If you want to turn visitors into clients, there are a few things you must do before you can do it.

Following rigorous keyword research, you may begin to think about the structure of your website. As you were conducting keyword research, keep in mind how your business strategy would affect the structure of your website.

Everything you do has to be connected to your work.

What if you exclusively provide trips around Knysna as a part of your business? For a tiny website, you may use your homepage to target that term. What if you own a tour company that travels to various destinations?

Using your homepage to target more generic keywords, such as “Garden Route tours,” might be a smart option. Finally, using subpages to target certain destinations, such as “trips to the Garden Route” or “South Africa Tours” you may improve your search engine visibility.

Optimising the content you develop for the keywords you want to compete with and the user experience is an important part of SEO. It’s called “on-site optimization” (OOO). As a first step, familiarise yourself with on-site optimising aspects such as:

  • Titles, meta tags, URL slugs, and alt tags are all examples of meta data.
  • Detailed and understandable content
  • Intensity of search terms
  • A website’s ability to load quickly
  • Structure of a web page
  • There’s also a lot more…

Always aim to provide information that is both interesting and useful.

This is the kind of information that will pique the interest of users and motivate them to take some sort of action.

Optimising your page around a keyword is less crucial than creating massive amounts of material. In order to generate leads and eventually transform visitors into customers, you need focus on the user experience.

It’s a terrific strategy to get traffic that’s relevant to your topic by writing blog posts: You may also demonstrate your expertise and instil trust in your website visitors by writing blog entries. One of the first steps in planning a trip is doing some research. By giving away free information, you may get your brand in front of potential customers at an early stage in the buying cycle.

For example, an essay on the history of Knysna or the Garden Route might bring in relevant traffic and perhaps transform visitors into buyers later in the purchasing process..

Building your brand with off-site optimization

Your research into keywords and content production is termed “Part A” when it comes to having your website noticed online. Part B, or off-site optimization, is all about marketing your business via social media and other forms of outreach. You’ll get to the top of the search results using Part B’s strategies.

The largest influence on your ability to compete comes from off-site optimization (developing links), which has the least impact on your ranking in search engine results.

What is the process of link building

Link building for SEO in South Africa is the process of obtaining other websites to link to yours in order to boost the authority of your own website.

Why? Consider your website to be a research paper for a university. Writing an essay requires you to formulate points and then reference credible sources in support of those arguments. Your research will have more credibility if you do this.

It’s quite similar to how a website operates. It’s time to advertise your content after you’ve generated it to reputable and relevant websites. As a result, you are enhancing the trustworthiness of your website.

If you’re a tour operator, you may find a lot of useful information on any travel website or blog. However, going to a medical website in search of backlinks is a bad idea. If you obtain a link from this site, it will be of no use to you.

Whether a website is credible, how can you tell if it is credible?

The Moz Open Site Explorer or even Mangool’s Site Profiler can help you discover this information. You’ll want to look for these things as a starting point:

the URL’s total authority is measured by its Domain Authority (DA). The more elevation, the better. It’s important that each connection you create has more authority than the one before it.

This is a number out of 100 that measures a webpage’s authority. (PA) The PA of a website’s homepage is usually the first thing you glance at.

One hundred-point scale that measures the value or equity that a link from one website will carry on to another, known as Citation Flow (CF). Link juice is another term for the strength of a link.

Based on the number of incoming links, Trust Flow (TF) provides an indication of a website’s trustworthiness. You should avoid websites with a low TF rating.
Paying for links is one thing you should never do. As a result of this, your website may be penalised in the long run for using a black-hat marketing strategy.

Yes, there are SEO marketers that make a living by buying links. However, in the long term, the risk is never worth it for any significant travel firm.

There are a variety of strategies for acquiring links in link building. We haven’t included any black-hat link-building tactics on this list since they should be avoided. White-hat tactics are preferred around here.

Posting by a third party. To do this, you must write an article for another website or blog in exchange for no compensation.

In return, you’ll frequently get a few of links in the body of your article from that website in return. Guest posting is one of the most effective ways to create links since you have total control over the anchor text linking back to your website. However, it necessitates the most effort.

Amazing content creation. Bloggers are always on the lookout for high-quality resources to link to. Suppose someone cites Knysna when discussing nature and walking tours in South Africa. If you’ve written on the history of Knysna, they may link to your post and use a few sentences from yours instead of changing the topic of their piece. In the tourism sector, well-written blog entries are a surefire way to gain attention.

Make use of high-quality photos. Truth be said, To use a picture from your website, most individuals won’t ask for permission first. While providing a link to the source image is usual, it isn’t required.

Passive link building has never been easier than with this technique. So, upload a lot of “instaworthy” trip images to your website and encourage others to share them.

Compilations of relevant web resources. It’s common practise for bloggers to compile a list of other websites they’ve linked to in order to boost their own website’s traffic. An South African travel blogger may publish an article titled ‘the greatest tour firms in the Garden Route’ for example. Asking for a link back from that website might be as simple as politely requesting it. ‘ 

The construction of broken links. On the internet, many articles are out-of-date. Occasionally, you’ll come across content that refers to defunct websites. If you’re looking for chances on the web, use broken link checkers to find them. Getting a link from a webmaster for reporting a broken link on their website works in a similar way to getting a link from a link roundup. An article that relates to the URL in question is all you need to do. 

Keeping track of and reporting on progress

SEO for travel website outcomes may be measured via a variety of ways. In the majority of cases, Google Analytics and a rank tracker like Moz Rank Tracker are combined.

As a Google product, GA is capable of providing you with information on virtually every aspect of your website’s operation. You’ll need the following information to get started:

  • Unique visitors to a website
  • Recurring visitors are included in the number of sessions.
  • The percentage of visitors that only see one page or less of your site.
  • Time spent on the webpage on average
  • Pageviews
  • Session locations are determined by the city.
  • Sessions on a device

You may use Rank Tracker from Moz to monitor your website’s ranks. If you’re looking for a free solution, SERP Robot is also a feasible option, as long as you’re fighting for national or international keywords.

Another option here would be to use Google Data Studio to generate in-depth data on how well your SEO related activities are workings.

We hope this guide has been helpful in supporting you with SEO for yoru travel websites. 

Contact us for a conversation or if you require aditional support with the SEO for a travel website. 

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