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Content Marketing 19 min read April 29, 2020

How To Create A Content Strategy For A Travel Project Using Serpstat: TripMyDream Experience

how to make content strategy for travel project
Евгения Сидорчук
Eugenia Sidorchuk
Head Editor at TripMyDream
Content marketing is a lifesaver for any brand that wants to build trusting relationships with their audience, create an emotional connection with it, and grow an army of brand advocates.

Inspired by this idea, we have grown a full-fledged TripMyDream media, which brings to service more than half a million sessions per month. In this article, I will tell you how we achieved this, how to draw up a content strategy for a travel project, and also increase the effectiveness of existing articles using Serpstat.
Why a travel project needs media content
To get started: TripMyDream is a flight and travel search service that helps tens of thousands of people around the world plan their trips.

Our global goal is to create a kind of ecosystem for travelers, where everyone can find useful info for future trips, get inspired for new travels, get answers to all their questions and find the most favorable flights. We give the user emotion and the opportunity to translate this emotion into reality by buying tickets on their dream trip.

Media is that part of the project that is responsible precisely for these crucial components - emotions, dreams, planning, and useful content. Our task is to inspire users and train them to travel excitingly and profitably. As for the benefits for the brand, with the help of competent content marketing, we strengthen ourselves in the top of mind of users as an association with travel and gradually cultivate brand advocates. It's fantastic when you become a friend who knows everything about trips for a client.
I think this is essential for any field. Whatever industry you work in, the brand must become for the client that very friend whom they trust and come for help.
What articles TripMyDream media publishes
At first, we, like many other air ticket price aggregators, published informational and educational material and a couple of sellers - collections of profitable air tickets. Then we added:
news
UGC articles
lifehacks
interviews.
Thus, from a small blog, we have grown into a full-fledged media that help users solve the pressing issues of our readers.
How quarantine affected TripMyDream Media
It's no secret that the pandemic situation has struck the travel niche. And we were no exception. The first couple of weeks after the quarantine was announced, there was a significant drop in reach in social networks. However, we got our bearings on time and made adjustments to our strategy according to the current situation. Now the reach has returned to normal and returned to "pre-quarantine" rates.

Now the audience is active - in quarantine conditions people have more free time than usual, and our task is to motivate the reader to spend part of this time with us. For example, we launched the StayHomeMiles game - users receive tasks every day, earn home miles for their fulfillment, and then they can exchange them for travel prizes. Engaging in this activity was just great!
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Planning and analysis
Once a quarter we analyze and plan the content strategy and work of the entire team. Once in three months, we go out for a few days somewhere out of town or abroad to analyze what we managed and didn't manage to do in the past quarter and what will be in priority for the next 3 months. This event is called OKR - Objectives and Key Results.

At OKR, we determine the guidelines for the editorial team according to the requests:
Product: if we launched a new feature, we need to include materials in the content plan and SMM strategy that will train the audience to use it.
SEO: if the season is approaching, or the frequency of a request is growing, we write articles that will be as relevant as possible to users' search queries.
Seasonality: we add holidays and seasonal events to the content plan.
Historical data: based on our expertise, we can predict the popularity of airline tickets at a particular time of the year, and add articles in these areas to the plan.
How it works the rest of the time

We evaluate the results every day with the help of Google Analytics reports. Once every 2 weeks we hold a meeting on analytics: we collect data and look at the dynamics (media, Telegram, organics, PPC, Direct, email, etc.) At the end of the quarter, we present the results in a Data Studio report.
How to create a content plan
We use a well-known content matrix where we have informative, entertaining, educational, and selling content. In addition to this grouping, we also highlight such subcategories of content:
Evergreen. Such articles are always relevant - how to find the cheapest air tickets, what can and cannot be taken in hand luggage, what to do if you made a mistake buying the ticket.
Seasonal. This is content linked to the growth of demand for specific areas depending on the season. We track it using Google Analytics. Monitoring these trends provides an understanding of areas that need to be included in the content plan. For example, it is better to write about the UAE and Thailand in the fall, when people plan to buy or have already bought air tickets there, and articles about European countries are the best read in spring and summer. The same applies to holidays - we leave places for such materials in advance.
Situational. This type of content cannot be foreseen and added to the content plan in advance. You respond quickly - you get a bunch of traffic.
Helping. It is the content that solves a specific problem of the user. For example, we often take questions from the FAQ section and write detailed material on a particular issue, or make small question-answer texts. You can also ask users on social networks what they would like to know. Feedback is a guarantee of content relevant to the interests of the reader.
According to analytics, our most popular materials are articles like Top 20 Most Exciting Places In Paris. Such content is a great fit for social networks, as is stays long in search engines and brings good traffic. Also, such materials can be updated, improved, and made even more attractive to search engines. Therefore, for editors, it is a long game.

We regularly analyze which articles worked well before, what is now in trend and which materials are most successful among competitors. To maximize the effectiveness of this analysis, we use the Serpstat toolkit.
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Of course, we had to completely review the content plan for the near future and develop a retention plan. A significant part of the audience comes to the media for a selection of profitable airline tickets, but now we can't give it this content and should offer no less attractive in return.

According to very optimistic forecasts, international air traffic may recover by the fall of 2020, by less optimistic forecasts, not earlier than at the beginning of 2021. What should we do with such sad predictions? Adapt and be flexible.

We completely reoriented our content strategy to domestic tourism - traveling around Ukraine is, in fact, an untouched field of opportunities. These are new opportunities for us, in terms of creating content, and for our audience - many travelers have visited dozens of countries, but are not at all familiar with the fantastic places that our country is rich in.
Working with Serpstat
We have been working with Serpstat for several years and, I must say, this has significantly accelerated our editorial processes. Most often, we use the service for:
search for topics that will bring excellent traffic - in this case, you don't need to guess and rely on intuition.
competitor analysis - no need to manually browse through dozens of pages in search of top articles.
optimizing old articles that are still relevant.
Now more about how we use service tools.
Defining top pages
I must say that the main content in TripMyDream is evergreen articles - these are materials that will always be relevant, in case they need to be updated and optimized regularly. I think every editor knows those articles that always produce an enchanting effect on social networks and cause the greatest response from users.

However, this list of articles doesn't always coincide with the list of articles that Google especially loves and which it is ready to sincerely display in the first positions in search results. Serpstat helps you accurately identify the favorites of search engines.

The algorithm is as follows:
1
Enter the domain address in the search bar, select the search base and click Search.
2
Go to Web Analytics → Domain Analytics → SEO Research → Top Pages.
In this list, we see pages that are ranked by the maximum number of requests. But, since we are interested in the results exactly on the media, we need to specify the request.

To do this, set the URL in the filters and add the parameter URL → Includes → media. As a result, we get a list of leading articles, their current positions, and find out how much traffic they can potentially bring.
After reviewing the list, we select the article we want to work out, or we can enter the URL of any specific publication in the filters. Click on Organic Keywords and look at which phrases this article is displayed. Take note of the keywords for which there is a drop.
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Optimization of old articles
Having decided on an article that can bring even more traffic than it already brings, we proceed to optimization. We took as an example the article 20 Places Worth Visiting In Istanbul.

We go to the section URL vs URL, enter a link to it in the search field and get a list of similar articles on other resources.
We choose competitors below or enter them manually. We get a list of unique keywords for each competitor and add suitable ones to the article.
Both SEO specialists and editors are engaged in the article optimization: we are doing basic optimization, and SEOs are thoroughly working on those articles that potentially bring the most traffic.
Competitor analysis
To draw ideas from topics that have not yet been worked out, it is worthwhile to analyze competitors. You can find competitors manually, but it will be much more efficient to do this automatically with Serpstat.

For this:
1
Go to the project account.
2
Choose Web Analytics URL Analysis Competitors. Enter the URL of your project in the search bar and select the search engine.
3
Voila! We get a list of resources similar to ours.
To find competitors, enter your domain address in the form below:
The only nuance is that in our particular case, the system offers us a massive list of competitors for the main domain, so I recommend combining the automated method with the manual one because you know your competitors best of all. To solve editorial problems, we analyze competitors who run travel-related blogs. I recommend collecting and storing your competitors in a separate document not to miss anyone in case of an emergency.

Let's move on. Now you need to determine which articles of our competitors are of the highest demand and, accordingly, which topics can potentially bring traffic to our site.
1
We select a competitor whom we analyze. You can find competitors in SEO through the form below:
2
Enter the competitor's URL, select a search engine, click Search.
3
Go to Domain Analysis → SEO Research→ Top Pages → With subdomains.
As a result, we see the most popular pages of the resource and, in particular, articles. If the articles are on a separate page on the site, add it to the filter. We can also estimate how many phrases in the search they cover and what potential traffic can bring.
Search for new topics
Old articles were updated, competitors were analyzed, what's next? Let's return to the question of helping content. To understand what is in the head of the user and what problems he is interested in, we use Keyword Analysis.

To do this, take some search query, for example, sea vacation:
1
Enter the query to the search bar, select the database and click Search.
2
We get to the Overview report for the keyword. There we can see all the summary information on request.
3
Proceed to Content Marketing Search Questions.
This report allows you to understand what questions the user asks regarding the search query. Consequently, these questions can become the basis for future articles.

There is an opinion that the more diverse content with brand participation you share, the more it will be remembered. Of course, there is some truth in this, but a much more effective strategy is to help the reader solve his problem.
Conclusions
Thanks to regular analysis of articles using Serpstat, we are always aware of which articles to write and how to improve them.

The service eliminates the need to manually scroll through dozens of pages of competitors' websites in search of top articles and greatly simplifies the analysis of the interests of the audience - we see what users ask Google and how we can help them. This means that we are much faster and more efficient in moving towards the very content zen, when editorial efforts and reader requests balance each other, which means making us a little better and happier.

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