SEO: Think about the people!

In the Dubai SEO Club group chat, someone asked for tips on SEO for the tourist sector.

I replied “it depends”

I wasn’t trying to be funny or typical.

It’s true.

I mean, the basics of SEO still apply, like it would to any website, in any niche.

Tourism, has it’s own nuance.

Let’s take Atlantis The Palm Dubai as an example. (former client from back in the day)

A huge part of their customer base comes from countries where they need visas for UAE.

At the time, we noticed a lot more searches for ‘dubai visa’ vs ‘uae visa’ – as in, city vs country.

If you understand basic geography you can understand why this is interesting.

Lots of people still think you need a Dubai specific visa to visit. Incorrect. You need a visa for the UAE which then allows free travel within the UAE (which includes Dubai!)

So we created a page with info about visas but prioritised optimisation for ‘dubai visa’. For context, if you make a booking at Atlantis but can’t get a visa, you don’t get a refund. So this page served a bigger purpose. Makes sense, right?

Another insight: China is a huge market for Atlantis in Dubai. Chinese searchers look for things like ‘8 star hotel’ due to how special the number 8 is.

8 star ratings don’t exist. It only goes to 5. But we had to capitalise on this. The number of searches for 8 star related queries was too high to ignore.

We blended those keywords into our content to show Atlantis as being a 5 star hotel with 8 star benefits. Can’t be lying about ratings when you’re a big classy joint like Atlantis now. You get the picture.

My points here are this: don’t look for shortcuts with your SEO.

Cover your bases and make sure the foundation is solid.

and THEN look at your audience and industry for the gold embellishing.

That’s what all of this stuff really is.

Sometimes in SEO we forget about the human beings who make our work worthwhile. (the people doing the searching)

We’re too busy chasing rankings, shilling guest posts and telling linkbuilders to sod off. (maybe that’s just me)

So take a moment and put aside the technical stuff.

Look deep into how and why people search for stuff.

Bloody enlightening stuff.

And when you put what you learn into your work, amazing things can happen.


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