I know my website and my SEO needs to be better. I’ve dabbled with building websites and SEO for years but katiestraveltricks.com has never quite been what I wanted. The biggest reason is because there are too many things to do and they’re not always simple. I also split my time between creating content for Instagram and my blog — and homeschooling my kids and being present with my family. Knowing how to proceed to improve my website wasn’t always simple.
For instance, both Google and people want web pages that load fast. Recently, I was trying to understand how to get my page load time to be faster and I just got bogged down and gave up.
SEO for Travel Blogs
Search Engine Optimization can be a big benefit to travel blogs. While most of my blog’s traffic comes from social media, the allure of SEO is that my website can be working hard for me even when I’m traveling with my family to Disney on points.
My basic understanding was to pick a keyword that has traffic, but not too much competition, and then use it in my slug and repeat it in my headers and text. And whatever else my Yoast plugin tells me to do.
By the way, it turns out I was on the right path but there’s just a lot that I didn’t know about SEO.
I’ve focused on SEO for a couple of my blog posts and it actually worked. However, I don’t usually write new posts with SEO in mind because either I am writing about things that have very little organic traffic or the difficulty to rank in Google searches seems too high.
So I was intrigued when a new travel blogger reached out to me and offered to help SEO my website for free.
And he said he’ll help any travel blogger with their SEO, for FREE!
Free SEO Help for my blog
Ross and his wife Zuzu are new to the points and miles world but he’s been an SEO pro since before Google was born. He started his own travel blog at We Get To Travel a few months ago.
Ross said that in a short time, he’s gotten more than he could imagine from the travel hacking community and he wants to give back by helping others with what he’s good at: SEO.
After quizzing me on my situation and goals, he gave me some really powerful, specific recommendations on how I can improve my website and SEO.
How I’ll Improve Katies Travel Tricks
One of the first suggestions he made was to improve the look and design of my site. This was honestly really helpful because I thought it looked okay and no one else had told me otherwise. But with his suggestions, I dove into a redesign — which you’re looking at now!
On the page speed thing, Ross confirmed that Google (and visitors) really prefer a fast website. And he made lots of concrete suggestions that I can implement which will help.
His second recommendation kind of surprised me. He said that adding more pictures to my website will help SEO. Google wants users to enjoy their experience on web sites and good quality, interesting pictures can make a big difference. We also talked about best SEO practices for image file names and alt text.
His other main recommendation was something else that I didn’t realize was a big deal for SEO: Information Architecture. He said that’s the fancy name for how you organize your content, like your main navigation links, blog categories and blog tags. He also pointed out that there’s no easy way for someone to find and read all my guides, reviews and blog posts.
To help all that, we discussed how I could reorganize my main navigation links to make my content easier for visitors (and Google) to find.
Most of his recommendations are going to be free for me to implement by myself.
I told him that I’d be willing to invest a few hundred dollars into my website so he told me where I could get the biggest bang for my bucks.
Hold Me Accountable!
Honestly, I feel like I just got a $500 consultation for free. Now comes the hard part. I have to actually implement his valuable recommendations into my blog.
The main reason I’m writing this blog post is to make sure that I put in the work that I know will make my site easier to find and easier to use.
Are You a Travel Blogger?
If you have a travel blog, I recommend that you visit Ross’s website and learn how he can help you with SEO. His blog post about SEO Help for Travel Bloggers explains how Google really works and gives his 4 Steps to a Well Optimized Blog Post.
And if you want an hour of his time, just ask and he’ll help you. Just like he helped me!