Social Media & SEO Tips – The Best Insights from Travel Blogging Conferences in the Last 5 Years! [6/10]

Social Media & SEO Tips - The Best Insights from Travel Blogging Conferences in the Last 5 Years! [6/10] || The Travel Tester
Have you always wondered how you can turn your blog into a business? Then this series is for you!

enEnglish (Engels)

In the past 5 years, I’ve visited over 30 (travel) blogging conferences and workshops. That is hours and hours of inspirational and practical advice that helped me turn blogging from a hobby into a full-time business. In this series, I finally open up my notebook to the world and share the insights that I personally found most valuable with you, so you can use them to hopefully make your own blog bigger and better. 

Today, we’re diving into the topic of getting the most out of the different social media channels and getting in the top of the Search Engines by optimising your website’s SEO. Enjoy!

 

SOCIAL MEDIA & SEO TIPS

 

Social Media & SEO Tips - The Best Insights from Travel Blogging Conferences in the Last 5 Years! [6/10] || The Travel Tester

 

WHY BE ON SOCIAL MEDIA?

 

New media formats can inspire dreams by enabling discovery and engagement.

– Sara Meaney (TBEX Stockholm – Jul ’16)

 

Use Social Media to inspire, inform, become an authority, be helpful, be human, develop trust, create brand advocates.

– Daniel Noll & Audrey Scott (ITB Berlin – Mar ’14)

 

The Three C’s of Social Media: Strong Content, Strong Conversation, Strong Community.

– Shane Dallas (TBEX Stockholm – Jul ’16)

 

Social Media & SEO Tips - The Best Insights from Travel Blogging Conferences in the Last 5 Years! [6/10] || The Travel Tester

 

SOCIAL MEDIA STRATEGY

 

A goal without a plan is a wish. You need to define your objectives clearly.

– Jennifer Dombrowski (TBEX Athens – Oct ’14)

 

 

Social media wants you to stay on social media.

– Marion Payr and Lynsey Sweales (STS Kitzbuehel – Sep ’17)

 

 

Before posting on social media, as yourself: ‘does this encourage discussion within the community?’. Posting: ‘hey, I wrote a review, click here’ does NOT encourage discussion.

– Shane Dallas (TBEX Stockholm – Jul ’16)

 

Don’t force yourself to put out too much content.

– Marion Payr and Lynsey Sweales (STS Kitzbuehel – Sep ’17)

 

Be more social with social media!

– Simon Falvo (TBU Nantes – Sep ’14)

 

Your target audience is NOT other bloggers or travel media. Your target audience is people looking for holiday and travel ideas.

– Shane Dallas (TBEX Stockholm – Jul ’16)

 

Be consistent in your messaging, avoid things that don’t fit your brand identity, post actively, respond quickly, engage audience in conversation

– Brett & Mary Love (TBEX Athens – Oct ’14)

 

Does your brand encourage customers to share their stories?

– Jennifer Dombrowski (TBEX Athens – Oct ’14)

 

People have more reason to visit your website if you are offering more than information.

– Shane Dallas (TBEX Stockholm – Jul ’16)

 

* what are people currently saying about your brand online?
* which networks generate the most conversations and serve a purpose for your brand?
* identify key influencers
* analyze customer feedback and track sentiment over time
* assess overall conversation and plan best ways to engage

– Jennifer Dombrowski (TBEX Athens – Oct ’14)

 

Social Media & SEO Tips - The Best Insights from Travel Blogging Conferences in the Last 5 Years! [6/10] || The Travel Tester

 

Analyse when your followers are online, create a social media calendar, schedule content but go online several times a day to respond.

– Daniel Noll & Audrey Scott (ITB Berlin – Mar ’14)

 

Use hashtags smartly by using 3 hashtags maximum (#travel #destination #niche/category)

– Melvin Boecher (ITB Berlin – Mar ’14)

 

Some Tools to Use: Salesforce Radian6, Hootsuite, Brand24, Bit.ly, Tweetreach, Facebook Page Insights, YouTube Analytics, Pinterest Analytics, Twitter Analytics, Google Analytics, Google alerts.

– Jennifer Dombrowski (TBEX Athens – Oct ’14)

 

Social Media & SEO Tips - The Best Insights from Travel Blogging Conferences in the Last 5 Years! [6/10] || The Travel Tester

 

 

FACEBOOK TIPS

 

 

The posts on Facebook with the most engagement are the posts that convey an emotion, that show the reader that they’re not alone, something they can recognize in their own lives.

– Femke Sterken & Barbara van Erp (Meet the Blogger Amsterdam – Oct ’15)

 

Do people know who you are? Tell about yourself in the about section and let people know why they have to follow you.

– Yvonne Zagermann (STS Inverness – Sep ’16)

 

If you only post your own content, your reach will go down.

– Yvonne Zagermann (STS Inverness – Sep ’16)

 

30% of users on Facebook is 25-34 years, 53% female, 47% male, most engagement on Fridays, then Thursdays, best time to post is 1-3 PM, no more than 3 posts in 24 hours.

– Jennifer Dombrowski (TBEX Athens – Oct ’14)

Facebook wants long-format, LIVE video (Q&A, interview, collabs) and instant articles (Facebook doesn’t want you to drive traffic to your website)

– Marion Payr and Lynsey Sweales (STS Kitzbuehel – Sep ’17)

 

Create groups to engage with your most important target group.

– Marion Payr and Lynsey Sweales (STS Kitzbuehel – Sep ’17)

 

Facebook is dominant, as well as anything with a story function. Recognize what is different, access, authenticity…

– Nick Westergaard (STS Kitzbuehel – Sep ’17)

 

85% of Facebook videos are watched without sound. Keep videos short (<2 min) and engaging.

– Nick Westergaard (STS Kitzbuehel – Sep ’17)

 

20% of all Facebook videos are live. Find out what people are already talking about and be relevant. Speed matters, Relevant Rules.

– Nick Westergaard (STS Kitzbuehel – Sep ’17)

 

Social Media & SEO Tips - The Best Insights from Travel Blogging Conferences in the Last 5 Years! [6/10] || The Travel Tester

 

 

INSTAGRAM TIPS

 

Be cohesive, tag brands, check explore page, turn analytics off again.

– Nina Hüpen-Bestendonk (STS Inverness – Sep ’16)

 

90% of users on Instagram is under 35, 68% female, 32% male, no more than 2-3 posts per day, Use schedugram to schedule posts, let followers use your specific hashtag, so you can then feature user content for more engagement.

– Jennifer Dombrowski (TBEX Athens – Oct ’14)

 

Social Media & SEO Tips - The Best Insights from Travel Blogging Conferences in the Last 5 Years! [6/10] || The Travel Tester

PINTEREST TIPS

 

Pinterest is not a social network, but a visual discovery tool

– Nienke Krook (TBU Nantes – Sep ’14)

 

Pinterest connects interests not people

– Elodie Fagan and Lucie Marquet (The Hive Copenhagen – May ’14)

 

Pinterest helps with questions where the answer may differ from person to person.

– Lizzie Sibley (Traverse Kingston – Apr ’15)

 

Follower count on Pinterest is not a great measurement of success. Most content on Pinterest is consumed through search or the home feed, not via your profile page.

– Lizzie Sibley (Traverse Kingston – Apr ’15)

 

Pin on collaborative boards in order to grow your influence on Pinterest

– Nienke Krook (TBU Nantes – Sep ’14)

 

Pinterest has the best engaged audience, 87% female, 13% male, space out your Pins throughout the day.

– Jennifer Dombrowski (TBEX Athens – Oct ’14)

 

20% of Pins are original, 80% are shared, so if you are a content creator,  you can reach far.

– Nienke Krook (TBU Nantes – Sep ’14)

 

98% of the content on Pinterest gets pinned from the web (rather than being directly uploaded)

– Elodie Fagan and Lucie Marquet (The Hive Copenhagen – May ’14)

 

Social Media & SEO Tips - The Best Insights from Travel Blogging Conferences in the Last 5 Years! [6/10] || The Travel Tester

 

 

TWITTER TIPS

 

Identify your goals of Twitter: getting work published in a magazine, work with specific DMO, build relationships with influencers in the community, connect with other bloggers, etc.

– Laurel Robbins (TBEX Athens – Oct ’14)

 

Build strategic connections on Twitter:

* Does the person you’re trying to connect with interact on Twitter?
* How likely are they to retweet your stuff?
* Why would they be interested in you?
* Make it easy for them to retweet and interact with you

– Laurel Robbins (TBEX Athens – Oct ’14)

 

When list building on Twitter, identify your goals:

* getting work published in the big magazines
* work with a specific destination/brand
* build relationships with influencers in the community
* connect with other bloggers

– Laurel Robbins (TBEX Athens – Oct ’14)

 

Built a separate list for each of your goals, keep them small and interact frequently with a few strategically chosen people.

– Laurel Robbins (TBEX Athens – Oct ’14)

 

Modify your blog posts into a number of different tweets. Don’t schedule the same post with the same headlines for the next month, but give them a twist: 1. Headline + Link 2. Quote + Link 3. Photo 4. Photo 5. Photo.

– Laurel Robbins (TBEX Athens – Oct ’14)

 

Make sure to schedule your tweets in Buffer to spread the content from the same post out.

– Laurel Robbins (TBEX Athens – Oct ’14)

 

Schedule only evergreen content (5-7 times per day)

– Laurel Robbins (TBEX Athens – Oct ’14)

 

Don’t just RT, but add something meaningful

– Laurel Robbins (TBEX Athens – Oct ’14)

 

Offer to give help before asking for it. Adopt a ‘What can I do for you?’, rather than a ‘what can you do for me?’ approach.
.

– Laurel Robbins (TBEX Athens – Oct ’14)

 

Define your goal, have a pinned tweet, use Twitter cards, check what’s working for you and repeat, post more photos, repurpose blog content, expand hashtag repertoire beyond #travel, use lists to strategically connect with people

– Laurel Robbins (TBEX Athens – Oct ’14)

 

Make better use of hashtags. Tweets with 1-2 hashtags receive 2x the engagement as tweets without hashtags. Tweets with 3+ hashtags have a 17% drop in engagement.

– Laurel Robbins (TBEX Athens – Oct ’14)

 

Suggested Tools: Buffer App, ClickToTweet, Hashtagify.me.

– Laurel Robbins (TBEX Athens – Oct ’14)

 

31% of users on Twitter is 18-29 years, 47% female, 53% male, the life of a tweet is about 24 minutes, most engagement on Monday-Thursday, best time to post is 1-3 PM, worst time to post is Friday after 3PM and in evening/weekends, no more than 1 post per hour.

– Jennifer Dombrowski (TBEX Athens – Oct ’14)

 

Social Media & SEO Tips - The Best Insights from Travel Blogging Conferences in the Last 5 Years! [6/10] || The Travel Tester

 

 

GOOGLE+ TIPS

 

Benefits of Google+: clean display, no advertising, no pay to play, assists with Google searches, deeper conversations and connections.

– Shane Dallas (TBEX Stockholm – Jul ’16)

 

Google+ Basics: circles are the same as following/friends, different circles for different reasons, no likes but +1, link your YouTube and other Social Media, wider audience in different languages.

– Shane Dallas (TBEX Stockholm – Jul ’16)

 

Google+ Collections: 3+ collections with 12 high quality images, keep your theme narrow, don’t include too many hashtags, post images with descriptions, keep external links to a minimum.

– Shane Dallas (TBEX Stockholm – Jul ’16)

 

Don’t use Google+ only to generate traffic to your blog, treat it as a new audience.

– Shane Dallas (TBEX Stockholm – Jul ’16)

 

 

SNAPCHAT TIPS

 

Social Media & SEO Tips - The Best Insights from Travel Blogging Conferences in the Last 5 Years! [6/10] || The Travel Tester

 

YOUTUBE TIPS

 

Create a playlist for every video and also mix in other people’s content. The first 4 videos are the most important and should be your own. When you embed the video in your blog, make sure to link to this playlist URL to have people watch more of your videos.

– Nadine Pober (NBE Finland – Jan ’14)

 

List the names of people in your video in the description (and/or title) of the video, as people might also search for them and can find you this way. Collaborations are also very effective.

– Nadine Pober (NBE Finland – Jan ’14)

 

When vlogging in your native language, make two separate videos, or even start a whole new channel.

– Nadine Pober (NBE Finland – Jan ’14)

 

Make sure to check out the Youtube Creator Studio for more tips & community!

– Nadine Pober (NBE Finland – Jan ’14)

 

SEO for YouTube: start with keyword/phrase research and then record video – Add your keyword / phrases to: title, first line of description, tags, spoken in the first minute, captions/transcript, thumbnail filename.

– Michael Collins and Leslie Graham (TBEX Stockholm – Jul ’16)

 

 

SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMISATION

 

You SEO stategy is built on three layers:
1. authority (links, removal of toxic links, citation, brand build)
2. relevance (quality editorial, keywords mapped to intent, onsite assets, bounce rate, engagement, internal linking)
3. crawlability & indexation (web IA, mobile first, structured data, site speed, security, clean crawl)

– Adrian Land (Traverse London – Apr ’17)

 

Remember to always think CONTENT (Create Optimize Network Track Engage Nurture Test)

– David Tutin (Traverse Newcastle – Feb ’14)

 

Don’t just think about creating your own content for single use only. Think about more ways to re-shape your already published content in a different way (as a podcast/video/whitepaper/ebook)

– David Tutin (Traverse Newcastle – Feb ’14)

 

Be a good content curator to and become an authority in your niche.

– David Tutin (Traverse Newcastle – Feb ’14)

 

Content: have your keyword at the top, mention keyword at least once, relevancy > frequency, title tag should contain keyword, same of description, use right formatting (H1), longer articles rank better.

– Erik van Erp (STS Inverness – Sep ’16)

 

Social Media & SEO Tips - The Best Insights from Travel Blogging Conferences in the Last 5 Years! [6/10] || The Travel Tester

 

Site Structure: categories are main topics, tags are secondary topics, no duplicate content, use (topical) hierarchy, interlink relevant content, one URL one keyword, add breadcrumbs, user first approach, clean up your site, make each page count.

– Erik van Erp (STS Inverness – Sep ’16)

 

Site Structure:
* Think about what your want your website to rank for.
* A good site structure does not only help in getting better listings in the search engines, but it’s also important for your users to easily find their way around.
* Choose a good theme for your website for better SEO.
* Make use of your categories and look at keywords when choosing them.
* Think about the overall topic your site is covering to think about posts/pages to add.

– David Tutin (Traverse Newcastle – Feb ’14)

 

Social Media & SEO Tips - The Best Insights from Travel Blogging Conferences in the Last 5 Years! [6/10] || The Travel Tester

 

Not all links are created equally. Have a good mix of them on your website.

– David Tutin (Traverse Newcastle – Feb ’14)

 

Use breadcrumbs (wordpress plugin, for example by Yoast) as it’s user friendly and makes it clear for Google how your site is set up.

– David Tutin (Traverse Newcastle – Feb ’14)

 

Internal linking helps to bolster or improve evergreen content, helps search engines understand your site structure and provides reference for users to find related posts or pages.

– David Tutin (Traverse Newcastle – Feb ’14)

 

External links can provided added experience to users and pays out if the website linked to provides further relevant information, further background information or other key source material, useful practical information or further informed comment.

– David Tutin (Traverse Newcastle – Feb ’14)

 

Links can be do-follow, no-follow or redirect, using a mix of them is best practice on your site. Only link to websites/pages that you feel like provide good value.

– David Tutin (Traverse Newcastle – Feb ’14)

 

Always do keyword research (with the adwords tool, any paid keyword tool or your website’s internal search engine for example) and focus on exact matches. Your keywords should answer the who/what/where/when/why/how questions of your site’s specific topic. Always ask yourself: does my content answer a specific question?

– David Tutin (Traverse Newcastle – Feb ’14)

 

On-Page ranking factors: Content Quality, Research, Keywords, User Engagement, Content Freshness. Additional On-Page to consider: Mark-Up: Rich Snippets en Structured Data. They give a little extra information to your listing in the Google search results and make people click on it sooner.

– David Tutin (Traverse Newcastle – Feb ’14)

 

Social Media & SEO Tips - The Best Insights from Travel Blogging Conferences in the Last 5 Years! [6/10] || The Travel Tester

 

Guest Posting has been abused too much, so Google is getting stricter on it. Writing your own content is always best, only let your guest posts be written by people you know and trust will deliver good content.

– David Tutin (Traverse Newcastle – Feb ’14)

 

Speed Optimalization:
* Intermediate: remove useless plugins, reduce image size, reduce number of requests, try to use caching, move to faster host (last resort)
* Advanced: install Varnish, use a static url for media, enable Gzip + mginx, optimize code, lazy load content

– Erik van Erp (NBE Finland – Jan ’16)

 

Think carefully about your site design and hire someone to do it. Most universities will have students who are happy to do design work for you as part of their school assignments!

– David Tutin (Traverse Newcastle – Feb ’14)

 

Social Media & SEO Tips - The Best Insights from Travel Blogging Conferences in the Last 5 Years! [6/10] || The Travel Tester

Social Media & SEO Tips - The Best Insights from Travel Blogging Conferences in the Last 5 Years! [6/10] || The Travel Tester

 

READING YOUR ANALYTICS

 

If you are new to analytics, visit http://support.google.com/analytics/?hl=en-GB#topic=3544906

– David Tutin (Traverse Newcastle – Feb ’14)

 

There is a free course you can download from the Google Analytics Academy that tells you everything about reading your Google Analytics account.

– David Tutin (Traverse Newcastle – Feb ’14)

 

Key Performance Indicators (KPI) examples: clicks that bring in money, conversions, visitor loyalty (content sites), bookings, comments/reviews.

– Erik van Erp (Traverse Kingston – Apr ’15)

 

Important metrics to keep track of are: engagement (how long do people stay on your site and how many pages do they visit?), bounce rate (when it’s high, check on your site why, it could be as simple as the page being a contact page where people just visit to quickly grab your phone number, in that case don’t worry about the high bounce rate), referral sites (where else do people come from, like social media, etc) and unique number of visitors.

– David Tutin (Traverse Newcastle – Feb ’14)

 

For advanced users, some point to consider are exit pages, custom funnels, acquisition, visitor profiles / demographics.

– David Tutin (Traverse Newcastle – Feb ’14)

 

Set up Goals, for example check advertising campaigns where you use a specific tracking code and see which pages people visit.

– David Tutin (Traverse Newcastle – Feb ’14)

 

Set a goal to see where your newsletter subscribers are coming from.

– Erik van Erp (STS Inverness – Sep ’16)

Don’t forget that most of the social media websites also have their own analytics you can track (Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter through Hootsuite)

– David Tutin (Traverse Newcastle – Feb ’14)

 
 

The Travel Tester - Bookmark Time for Action
I hope you read something interesting that you can turn into an action step for your own blogging business. Let me know what your favourite insight was!

 
 

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