Air tickets is a complex and highly competitive topic, the leadership in which belongs to several well-known players. But even a small online service can squeeze out large competitors in Yandex and Google search if it focuses on improving the behavioral factors of its site.
The SEO department of MediaNation shared how they managed to bring the online airline ticket service, which previously occupied the 30th lines of search results, in the TOP-10 of Google and increase traffic to the site several times.
Client: service of air tickets Svyaznoy Travel.
Target: increase in search traffic to the “Flights” section.
Problem: promotion in Yandex is complicated by the fact that the leaders of the topic are the services of Yandex itself – Yandex.Travel and Yandex.Schedules, with which it is impossible to compete. Another strong contender is Aviasales, which gets a large share of traffic thanks to brand awareness and good site behavior. Therefore, we decided to focus on Google first.
How we solved the problem
We analyzed the position of the site in the direction of “Flights” – we collected a semantic core of almost 4,000 requests and divided them by page types. For example, the query “air tickets to moscow sochi” falls on the route page, the query “air tickets from moscow” falls on the city page, and so on.
Analyzing the position of the site for search queries, we found that most of the pages are in the TOP-30. These are good indicators, which allowed, with a certain amount of work on errors, to significantly improve the position of the site.
We analyzed where competitors are superior to our client. We assessed the structure of competitors’ sites, how the pages are linked to each other and what types of pages are present on the site. The content of the pages was also analyzed: which blocks are placed on the pages, which elements from competitors are clickable, and which are presented in the form of images and diagrams.
Based on the discrepancies, we compiled a list of recommendations for improving certain pages. They suggested adding blocks with similar directions, a block with the best prices, charts with price dynamics by time and date of departure, a list of airports, etc.
The implementation of these recommendations made it possible to make the site more user-friendly, which in turn positively influenced the behavioral factors that are important for search engines.
Step-by-step work plan
Good site structure is important for Google so that users can find the information they need with a few clicks. In addition, Google’s algorithms still take into account page weight in ranking, and therefore, correct linking is necessary. Therefore, we did the following:
- We improved the pages with the list of countries https://www.svyaznoy.travel/land, cities https://www.svyaznoy.travel/cities, airlines https://www.svyaznoy.travel/aircompany, and also created a page with a list of directions https://www.svyaznoy.travel/routes.
- We organized the interlinking between these pages in such a way that the transition from one page to another, as well as to the internal pages, would be convenient for both users and search engines. It also had a positive effect on the indexing of the site.
- We updated the design of city pages, for example https://www.svyaznoy.travel/land/RU/MOW. The new design was implemented in accordance with our recommendations (previously, most of the blocks were missing on the site). Blocks with links to route pages were added to city pages, as well as a chart with price dynamics by day.
- We updated the design of the routes pages, as on the page https://www.svyaznoy.travel/MOW/SIP. As with city pages, the new design was implemented taking into account our recommendations: price dynamics by time and day of departure, a block with airports, direct flights and links to similar destinations were added.
- Updated XML sitemap: removed broken links and links with 301 redirects, added new pages with lists of cities, routes and countries, for example https://www.svyaznoy.travel/routes.
In the period from 05/27/2021 to 07/16/2021, the site’s visibility in Google in the “Flights” direction increased from 2% to 11%.
If we consider the dynamics of positions in the direction of air tickets in Google, we can see an increase in the number of queries in the TOP-10 both by general groups (“buy a plane ticket”, “buy air tickets”), and by groups related to routes, for example, “Moscow Sochi air tickets.
Airline tickets became especially relevant during the summer holidays, which led to an increase in non-branded traffic and visibility on Google. If we filter out branded queries and traffic to a blog in Google Search Console, the dynamics of conversions to the site looks like this:
In the period from 05/31/2021 to 07/19/2021, non-branded traffic from Google in the Airline direction increased from 192 to 596 clicks per day.
According to Yandex.Metrica, search traffic, excluding traffic to blog pages, promotions and news from the Google search engine, doubled from 05/31/2021 to 07/19/2021 from 646 to 1241 clicks per day.
When promoting a site, you need to take into account many nuances: the technical and commercial component of the site, meta tags and content, an information section, etc. Here we have touched on only a part of them, namely:
- it is necessary to create the correct structure that will allow users to quickly find the information they need, and search engines to index all important pages;
- you need to work on the internal linking of the site for optimal distribution of weight between pages, which is very important for search engines;
- and most importantly, we must not forget about the convenience for users, it is necessary to pay attention to the usability and design of the site, as well as fill the landing pages with really useful content and blocks of information. In our case, this is information about direct flights, return flights, similar destinations, etc.
With the right approach and teamwork with experienced SEO-specialists, website revision yields results in the form of additional search traffic even in very complex and highly competitive topics, such as “Flights”.