Fresh Content and Design

I’m revisiting the topic of fresh content on your website, with a complete rewrite of this post.

It’s a good example of a complete redrafting, restrategizing, and presentation to resonate with travel company’s big challenge today — staying relevant to the travel market.

Because, when content is stale, it’s not relevant anymore.

There’s another issue too, the threat of Generative AI which is going to impact your business. This threat can erode your brand — the real authentic voice of your brand which is the essence of customer loyalty and repeat sales. So refreshing content means making that genuine voice sweeter to your customers, while enriching it to attract new customers from Google or social sites.

By reading this post, you gain appreciation for what I have to delve into so you’re confident of investing in content strategy.

Generative AI which cheap companies are jumping on, will erode their brands making their voice inauthentic, common and forgettable. The unique voice of a human is the most resonant power a business has and your blog brings that to life.

And travel management software companies, tour marketplaces, and travel tour agencies don’t want to see themselves fading from view online  So, let’s “respect fresh.” Enjoy this exploration into freshness and how to be strategic in enriching, focusing, and remaking your content to be awesome.

Google Really Likes Fresh Content

With respect specifically to SEO, Google has done extensive revisions of its ranking algorithm and of the content/links contained in their massive Terrabyte-sized database. They’ve done housecleaning of recent and they’re using AI to downgrade outdated content and backlinks.

And let’s face it, most of their common users aren’t too interested in old content.

Is old content for history buffs only? Of course not, nevertheless, as an algorithmic rule, dusty content is put in the “archives” and is not a priority for presentation to searchers.  If your old pages are strongly linked to and have high authority, then they’ll likely keep their position. But don’t take chances. Make the effort for occasional updates and make your pages even more productive.  Protect your brand supremacy.

One point I’d like to add is tough to mention. That maybe your current content sucks. It may be you need an overhaul of your content strategy in lieu of all your reading now.

There’s another important point too about being out of date. — the voice, topics, angles, images, treatment, audience, and narratives can be out of date too.  Google’s AI algorithm is way smarter and comes closer to the being like a real human reader. Is it possible that your content alienating your audience or drawing in the wrong audience?

How many people read these books?  Image: Inaki del Olmo via unplash

Travel Sites Suffering in 2024

Quite a few travel sites big and small have seen big losses in traffic this past year. And they’re clamoring to understand what’s gone wrong. Because their content didn’t change.  Well, maybe their content needs to be redrafted?

If you’re thinking it’s sufficient to do a fixer-upper on a page or two, and your rankings will suddenly recover, well, you might be scratching your head.  Google’s looking at it in many different ways to evaluate authority, trust, accuracy, and usefulness to users. And inside that container called a page, there’s a diversity of engaging material, all of which has to be made relevant to the user’s search intent.

And that means a lot of work, unfortunately.  I think you’ll be glad to have me handle this strategy and finnicky stuff because the end result is worth it — perhaps hundreds of thousands more in profit for you.

While you’re designing this fresh lift to your topics and stories, you have to refresh everything including the pages you link to.  Having anything old, inconsonant or outdated weakens the clear quality signals Google is looking for.

Google is a page-based search engine. It hunts for single pages as key resources — with expertise and credibility as a key source of information on a topic. However, other supporting content on your site is relevant too, since it gives you an edge in usefulness and relevance. And we must update the content that links to your key page.  Expert level SEO takes this into account to use freshness, depth, range, variety, and more to dominate. The difference between 1st rank and 11th is very small. Miss out on the details, and your traffic and leads will be meager.

The Value of Fresh

Just like a fresh salad, fresh content has a zesty, nutritious taste to readers. It creates increased impact, engagement, retention, and can generate a strong impulse to buy.  For a traveler or tour trip buyer, fresh updated details, photos, videos, and descriptions with current references, perhaps some new tour features makes them sit up and pay attention. And they feel more confident about your offering.

It’s just like after I eat one of my massive Kale salads, I’m confident that the ingredients will make me very healthy and a better athlete, which they certainly have.  That fresh salad raises my expectations and hopes and reduces fear.

Fresh has its limits in Google’s algorithm, but you’re not near that limit. We’ve got plenty of rank boosting value to capture.

What Needs to be Refreshed?

Definitely pull back to take a big picture look at your brand positioning, current market demand, and overall assets. Create content the fulfills those objectives.

Then you’ll need to consider the current view of travel topics and whether your articles add to the conversation. Is our content relevant to most travelers or is it a micro-slice of the travel market (perhaps shrinking segment/demographic)?

That nichey-ness in your content means Google won’t show it to most searchers By improving and freshening up for the general audience, Google’s willing to show it to a bigger but still relevant audience, including all of your ideal travel shoppers. You can keep your keyword themes, topics and style in tact, but broaden out a bit to incorporate high volume volume and related travel and tourism words.

This way, Google’s algorithm believes you’re “with it” and part of the current zeitgeist in travel. Where are the travel hotspots, why are people traveling this year, what tours are drawing attention, are their dangers, and what’s driving consumers now? Think about these things as you create/refresh your articles because it’s related to the context that Google makes its ranking and relevance decisions.

And remember, Google can keep your ranking steady (in Google console report), yet now show your page as much. Which means your page is only shown for a small slice of keyword searches.  That means you’re losing reach to prospects and influencers — which supports your agency and company.

Let’s take a big picture view of refreshment, and how we can make content renewal carry much more impact as a whole.

  • is your blog design and layout serving your brand well? — make it more lively, visual, not distracting and bring out key points in your content. This will require a good blog designer to make these changes in layout and what content pieces would be shown.
  • are you providing truly interesting, unique information on your topics — which involves new destinations, people, experiences that add to the main message of the article
  • focus on your topics/theme/keywords for the article and your site overall — remember that changes to your key posts could reduce your content relevance to Google
  • try a new angle on your topic/theme and a new storyline hook — bring readers back into the topic in a new, interesting way that presents your UVP in a fresh new light
  • use new supporting stories, characters, and experiences  — make it more relevant to new demographics (because the travel audience is changing, and maybe your audience is weakening)
  • use new photos of destinations, travels, people and events — proving people still prefer your tours/products/packages and allow a new group of people to read, comment and provide social proof of the value of your products.
  • freshen up your overall content, traffic and branding strategy – really good content supercharges your value proposition.

Developing great travel content is no easy task. But from the start, you should have a well conceived strategy guiding development.

Developing a credible, authentic voice in your blog is very important, because that’s where travelers head to find the heart and soul of your brand. Your brand is more than pretty design and travel package templated copy (from your suppliers).

That unique voice is essential and inimitable and makes the personal connection that lasts. And those loyal travelers who find your site again via Google, Instagram, Tik Tok or Facebook (and email) are reengaged in interesting, activating content.

The goal is to capture travelers travel intent and fixate them on your wonderful presentation of a travel adventure. Hopefully, your blog will capture traffic, supercharge your epic travel brand, and make them super loyal for more trips year after year.

Gord Collins is a veteran of the content strategy and SEO wars. Enjoy a blog dedicated to advanced strategy for travel agencies and tour marketing companies. Be the market leader in your niche!