Let's imagine for a moment that you're a microbiologist.
(Don't worry, this does relate to travel backlinks, just roll with me.)
You've had a lot of specific training, you have tons of experience in your field, and I'll bet your LinkedIn profile is full of fantastic recommendations.
However, each recommendation will carry a different weight in your profile.
Still pretending you're a microbiologist, which recommendation would you feature on your profile: one from a fellow microbiologist that's respected in your field, or one from the manager of a restaurant where you worked while paying your way through college?
Obviously, the recommendation that carries more weight is the one from a fellow microbiologist.
Because this recommendation is 100% related to your current work and expertise, while the restaurant manager's recommendation isn't related in any way to your niche.
This, in a nutshell, is why niche backlinks are so important.
Recent Google updates focus even more on the relevancy of the website that's linking to you.
It's like a recommendation: It only carries weight if it's relevant to your niche.
So, as a travel website, some of the most valuable backlinks that you can have are travel backlinks.
Obviously, relevancy isn't the only factor to consider when determining which is a good backlink. But it's something very important to consider, especially now.
So, how can you earn travel backlinks?
Today, we're going to discuss getting travel backlinks for two different types of websites: a travel blog, and a travel business website.
Get ready to start earning those uber-relevant backlinks and boost the authority of your website!
Earning Travel Backlinks for Your Blog
1. Influencer Round-Up Post
This is such a great idea for a travel blog especially, because it helps you out in two different ways:
- You get awesome, high authority, relevant backlinks
- You can fill gaps in your website where you lack real-life experiences
For example, I've never traveled to Asia (or at least, not yet), so I can't reasonably write about travel destinations in Asia on my travel blog.
However, I could write an influencer round-up post about top destinations in Asia, and use their experiences and insight to fill this gap in my knowledge.
So, how does an influencer round-up post work?
Step One: Find the Right Travel Bloggers
Sometimes a Twitter search is one of the best ways to find influencers. Just search [niche] + travel blogger. Top results will give you the top influencers in that field.
Likely, you already know a few travel influencers. But remember: The more relevant to your own website, the better.
Step Two: Get in Touch
Hopefully, you've already networked with some of these influencers. Maybe you comment on their blog or Twitter posts regularly, or have connected in some other way.
If they recognize your name when you show up in their inbox, that gives you a great head start!
To invite them to your influencer round-up, send a friendly but straightforward outreach email, or even a direct message over Twitter.
Let them know the topic you want to discuss, and why you contacted them in particular. Ask a simple, specific question that won't take long for them to answer, and let them know you'll mention them and link back to their site in your post.
Now, simply rinse and repeat. The more outreach emails you send, the better chance you have of getting a few good influencers to respond.
Step Three: Write an Awesome Post and Start Raking in Those Travel Backlinks
Once you've completed that incredible influencer round-up, send another email out to the influencers you mentioned in the article with a link. Finish with something like this:
I just wanted to say how much I appreciate your help! Here's a link to the article so you can take a look: [link]. Feel free to share this post with your audience, I'm sure they'd love to hear your advice about [topic].
Remember, this article is a feather in the cap of these influencers as well, so many are likely to link out to the article from their own websites.
What NOT to do: Comment willy-nilly on every travel blog post you can find, with two words such as "Great post!" and a backlink to your website or article.
This is, at best, absolutely useless to your SEO. At worst, it could earn your website a hefty Google penalty.
Instead, try this:
Change the focus of your blog commenting. Your main goal is not to just get random backlinks back to your site. You want to get noticed, build respect and get people to actually click the links that you place in your comments.
So, join the conversation!
Add something relevant and useful in your comment. Monitor any responses to that comment, and become a part of the conversation. When the moment is right, add a very relevant link to a specific post on your blog.
Doing this will not only get you new, relevant backlinks, but will also draw in more people to your travel blog (which, let's face it, is the whole point of getting backlinks!).
Keep this in mind: For better results, always check the authority of the blog and focus on websites with high authority.
You can use a tool like the our Backlink Research tool to see any website's authority.
The higher these Domain Strength and Page Strength scores, the more authoritative the blog is, and the better quality your backlink will be. Any site with scores above 10 for both metrics is pretty decent, and any site with scores over 50 is great!
3. Review Travel Products and Hotels
Travel businesses love it when you talk about their products, services, etc.
So, start reviewing them!
As a travel blogger, you're in a special position when it comes to these travel businesses. If you write a fantastic, detailed review of a hotel, for example, they'll be very likely to reference that review on their website and add a backlink directly to that article on your website.
In order to get these fantastic travel backlinks, follow these steps:
- Purchase the travel product, visit the hotel, etc.
- Write up a detailed, useful review
- Send an outreach email to the travel business, letting them know about your review and inviting them to reference it on their website
While this does take effort (and an expense on your part), you'll likely end up with some great backlinks to your travel blog.
4. Analyze the Competition
For more ideas on how to get better travel backlinks to your blog, do a detailed backlink analysis on your competition.
SEOptimer allows you not only to analyze your competition's backlinks, but to monitor new and lost backlinks on your competitors' websites.
You'll be able to see all the sites that are linking to your competition, which you can then analyze more carefully to find new avenues for link building that you may not have tried yet.
Analyzing these types of patterns will help you understand the methods that other travel blogs are using in order to get backlinks. Then, simply copy those methods!
Earning Travel Backlinks for Your Business Website
5. Become the Recommended Accommodation
If you run a hotel website, creating partnerships with other businesses is a fantastic way to gain travel backlinks. In general, this means you can mention them on your website if they mention you on theirs.
You could do this with:
- Local attractions (theme parks, sporting arenas, museums, etc.)
- Conferences and seminars
For example, if your hotel is near a college campus, you could offer a discounted stay for families visiting their kids in college. Then, reach out to the university and ask them to mention your hotel and the discount on their website.
This not only gets you a relevant backlink—it gets you an extremely valuable .edu backlink!
6. Exchange a Freebie for an Influencer Review
Travel influencers with blogs are extremely valuable to your travel business. Whether you're a hotel, an attraction, a travel product vendor or some other travel business, offering free things in exchange for a review on their blog will almost always go over well.
Start by checking out the top influencers in your niche on social media. For example, if you're a local travel business, use a search on Twitter such as [location] + travel blog to see the most recent posts from travel bloggers about your area.
To determine the best influencers to reach out to, compare the number of shares on their posts, the followers that they have and the engagement on their social media accounts.
Remember, a good following alone is not enough: A true influencer has an audience that's engaged and active.
As an extra bonus, check the influencer's website for any information geared to businesses like your own. If they have a contact page set up for businesses like you, it's likely they've already done reviews with other businesses. This means they're even more likely to accept your proposal!
Then, get in contact while they're still in town. Offer your freebie in exchange for an honest review on their blog (which will obviously include a link back to your website).
Again, the more of these kinds of outreach messages and emails you send, the better results you'll have.
7. Reclaim Unlinked Mentions
Sometimes, a blogger or other travel website might've mentioned your business, but forgotten to put a link to your website.
It's time to reclaim those mentions!
Using a tool such as Mention, you can see exactly who's talking about your business online, and see whether or not they've linked out to your website.
Once that's confirmed, simply send out a friendly message, thank them for the mention and kindly ask that they add a link to your website. Most times, people are happy to oblige!
Conclusion: Equipped to Earn Better Travel Backlinks
Whether you're a travel blog or a travel business website, the steps above give you everything you need to earn travel backlinks that are useful to your website.
But remember, these backlinks aren't just to help your website's SEO.
Using the methods above, you're also getting recognition for your brand, and helping to spread the word all over the web about your travel website.
This may actually be the best benefit to building travel backlinks.
After all, drawing in more people to your website is the ultimate goal.
So, it's time to get out there and start building those fantastic new links!