7 Easy Website Tweaks That Will Supercharge Your Travel Blog's Google Ranking

No matter how much traffic we get to our blog, we always want more. But, is it that easy to increase your site’s traffic? I say yes. In today's post, I will explain 7 quick changes you can make to your site that will supercharge its SEO and increase its traffic in the long term. 

1 - Optimize Your Site’s Speed For An Instant SEO Boost

Google has indicated that it analyses site speed as one of the signals used by its algorithm to rank pages. Although there are a myriad number of guides and ways to speed up your website, I will tell you the three most common speed-suckers for travel blogs. Unfortunately, Google penalizes slow sites and ranks them lower, so make sure to fix these issues to stay in google’s good books.

The top three problems and the plugins to fix them up are -

  1. Problem - No browser caching, Simple Fix - W3 Total Cache

  2. Problem - No Gzip Compression, Simple Fix - W3 Total Cache

  3. Problem - Using Un-Optimized Images, Simple Fix - EWWW Image Optimizer

2 - Send Links To Your Posts On Google’s 2nd Page And Flood Them With Traffic

You may be oblivious to the fact that you have many of your blog's pages on the 2nd page of Google. And leaving them on the 2nd page is like leaving money on the table as they don't receive any traffic, but with a little elbow grease we can bring them to page 1 and flood them with traffic.

7 Easy Website Tweaks That Will Supercharge Your Travel Blog's Google Ranking

To bring them forward to page 1 is simple. Just point 3-4 of your links to these articles from your other related articles with the target keyword and its long tail variations as the anchor text. You may be wondering how to find the posts ranking on the 2nd and 3rd page. 

Well here is exactly how to do it:

  1. Signup at k-meta.com

  2. Enter your domain and then click search.

  3. Switch from domain overview to domain organic

  4. Click on Filters and in the positions column, enter 11 to 29

  5. Click the update button

Badabingbadaboom, you have the URLs of all the posts ranking on the 2nd and 3rd page. All you've got to do now is point some internal links to these pages. This process will hardly take 15 minutes but will give you a huge spike in traffic. 

3 - Use Schema Markup For Reviews For Better Click-Through Rate

I see that travel bloggers do a lot of reviews (hotels, tours and photography gear) on their blogs. They are long and detailed but often lack one critical thing - Schema markup for reviews.

7 Easy Website Tweaks That Will Supercharge Your Travel Blog's Google Ranking

Imagine looking for a review of a product, and Google shows you ten results with one of them showing a star rating like this in the results itself. Out of the ten, which one are you more likely to click? I bet it is the one with the star review.

You may be wondering how to get this star rating thingy on your posts. Well, there are two plugins to help you get it. One of them is free, and the other one is paid. Whichever you end up using, here is a guide which teaches how to set up both of them.

4 - Change Timestamp From “Posted On” to “Updated On”

Let's say you search for “how to get more traffic to my travel blog”. Out of the ten results presented to you, which one would you like to check out first? The one that has that “updated on 19 Feb 2017” next to it or the with “published on 22 May 2016” next to it?

Now I don’t know about you but I would want to read the newest guide first as it will have the latest strategies that are working and be the most up-to-date. Even if the article which was published in May 2016 were updated a week ago, it would not get my click because this would not be displayed.

Why? Because it still shows the published date, not the updated on date. And this is the date that is picked up by Google and shown in the search results. Wordpress does not show the last updated timestamp by default unless you force it too. This tweak is as simple as copy and pasting a piece of code in your theme files.

You can grab the code here. Whenever you update a post, you get the latest timestamp in Google and as a result a higher click through rate which is a ranking factor as well!

5 - Use Pushcrew To Notify Users Of New Posts And Get Readers On Demand

Do you know what is one of the biggest assets for your blog? It’s the subscribers! Getting subscribers is in your hands, unlike Google traffic which depends on over 200 ranking factors. You publish a new post, it may or may not rank in Google depending on the competition for that keyword.

So you can’t say if you will ever get traffic for that post from Google. But, if you have got subscribers, your new posts are bound to get read by most of your subscribers who will like, share and may even link to it. Push Crew is the easiest way to get subscribers. You may have seen some people use this functionality on their blogs.

Here is how it works:

  1. You visit a site

  2. You get a notification that you can get notified of new posts if you click allow.

  3. If you like the content on the site, you will click allow. Otherwise, you will click block.

  4. If you clicked allow, the next time the blogger publishes something, you will get notified through your browser when you open your desktop.
7 Easy Website Tweaks That Will Supercharge Your Travel Blog's Google Ranking

Pushcrew even has a free plan which can notify up to 500 people. It is great to get started!

6 - Make Your Readers Read Your Posts From Start To Finish

I know this sounds click-baity but bear with me. Most of your readers do not read your posts from start till the end if you have the following two problems:

  1. Poor content

  2. Problems with readability

I hope you are already producing great content for your readers but let's address readability. Whilst many factors affect readability including spacing, font color, etc.,  the two most important are font size and font type. 

A study was conducted by two researchers Hyunjin Song and Norbert Schwartz where they gave one group of people directions in a simple font, and the other group received directions in a fancy font. What happened?

The people who received the simple font estimated that it would take 8.2 minutes to complete the directions, whereas the people who received the complex font estimated that it would take 15.1 minutes to complete. Therefore, simple font is the way to go if you want your message heard and understood.

If we are talking about font size, the best size is 16px. And I am not pulling this number out of thin air. If you take Smashing Magazine’s advice, which by the way is a top publisher of web design and development articles, anything less than 16px is a costly mistake. Check your blog’s font size right now with Whatfont Chrome Plugin and if you find it on the smaller side then use the TinyMCE Advanced Wordpress Plugin to increase it to 16px or more.

7 - Enable This One Little Setting And Unlock Massive Pinterest Traffic

One of the greatest thing about being a travel blogger is having a lot of original and beautiful images. However, most focus on Instagram and ignore the other visual platform. No, I am not talking about Snapchat, I am talking about Pinterest.

One of the main reasons people pin a picture is because it is eye-catching or good looking. And what is more good looking than chilling at a hidden beach in Thailand?! The easiest thing you can do right now to tap into Pinterest’s traffic is enabling the “Pin It” button on your blog’s pictures. Even Y Travel Blog and Journey Era have it enabled (just hover over any image, and you will see the Pin It button).

Here is how you implement this Tweak:

1. Click on the “My Apps” section from the Sumo Me Dashboard.

7 Easy Website Tweaks That Will Supercharge Your Travel Blog's Google Ranking

2. On clicking the My Apps section, You are presented the list of all the apps. Find the “Image Sharer” App and enable it.

7 Easy Website Tweaks That Will Supercharge Your Travel Blog's Google Ranking

3. After enabling it, click on the app to open its Settings menu. Just drag the Pinterest button from the available services to the selected services leaving all others behind.

7 Easy Website Tweaks That Will Supercharge Your Travel Blog's Google Ranking

4. Don’t forget to click the Save button.

Pinterest is a traffic treasure trove waiting to be unlocked. If you want to learn more about Pinterest marketing, you should read this in-depth guide from our very own Sally or join her course Passport to Pinterest to triple your travel blog traffic.

Shaurya Jain is a marketer (not travel blogger) at Asian Tours and Holidays - a leading houseboat provider in Alleppey. He owns a couple of his own sites too. Shaurya is a pro when it comes to SEO (search engine optimization) and how to up your Google ranking with the purpose of increasing blog traffic.

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7 Easy Website Tweaks That Will Supercharge Your Travel Blog's Google Ranking. Is SEO confusing and overwhelming? Click here to read this actionable post on seven simple changes you can make to your website today to up your Google ranking and increase your travel blog traffic. Let's get cracking!

Sally Cochrane

Sally is a Brisvegas (Brisbane, Australia) born travel blogger and founder of Travel Blog Squad, an online community for travel bloggers. Among many other experiences, she has skied down the Austrian Alps on Christmas day, gone for a ride in an army tank through the mud in Slovakia, woken up before dawn to see the sunrise over Angkor Wat and attended university in Mexico. Hola! Her non-travel-related interests include tea (of any and every kind), TED Talks and running at her local Parkrun.