SEO for Airlines
The Ultimate Guide 

In our 16+ years of developing fare marketing solutions for airlines, we’ve often been asked by customers, “what can we do better to achieve success in SEO? What are the best SEO practices for airlines?”

Airlines can start by maximizing airTRFX, our fare marketing platform, which handles most of the technical SEO functionalities required to excel in organic search. Adopting airTRFX alone guarantees better rankings and more bookings in auto-pilot mode.

airTRFX Proven Success in Keyword Rankings 

In a study based on non-branded keywords, where the included airlines have more than one year of indexing throughout the last three years, these were the findings: 

airTRFX’s Impressive SEO Performance: 

  • First Place Rankings: 11% of our 100 keywords rank in first place. 
  • Top 5 Rankings: 51% of our keywords are in the top 5. 
  • Top 10 Rankings: 74% of our keywords feature in the top 10. 

Improving the core website also boosts the SEO performance of the airTRFX pages. Google does not treat sections of the same site differently. Instead, it looks at the overall quality of the website. That’s why we have always provided advice for airlines on how to optimize their pages.

We’ve compiled all of our SEO expertise into a single white paper that is the most comprehensive guide of SEO best practices for airlines. It’s an advanced problem-solving guide that covers everything there is to know about doing SEO for airlines, from multilingual SEO to link building.

We’ve split our SEO for Airlines guide into 12 easy-to-digest chapters. Download the entire guide as a PDF, or click below on the topic you want to learn more about to head straight to that chapter.

Find more SEO Resources for Airlines here >

Chapters of the Ultimate SEO Guide for Airlines

In this complete guide to SEO for airlines you will learn about:

Generating landing pages for each destination. Why having a flight page for each airline route provides an unmatched capability to attract organic traffic. We show you how Spirit Airlines and American Airlines have boosted their sites SEO performance after creating dedicated landing pages for each destination.

How to implement the best practices for multilingual SEO. In this section, we cover the proper methods to deploy hreflang and the common mistakes to avoid while doing international SEO, such as IP redirects, mixed content, and more.

Setting up an SEO-friendly site architecture with internal links. We talk about why internal links are critical to SEO for airlines, what are the most relevant interlinking modules for flight pages, and how to deploy links form the header, footer, and authority pages. You will also learn about navigation breadcrumbs, anchor text, HTML sitemaps, and other rules of thumb for interlinking.

Canonicals and site preference signals. What are canonicals and site preference signals and how to implement them consistently to avoid massive deindexation issues?

Content optimization for SEO. Why on-page SEO still matters and how to optimize content and images on airlines’ websites.

How to deploy SEO-friendly JavaScript, including implementation methods, compatible code, lazy-loading, “onClick” events, bad implementation examples, and more.

Mobile-First Indexing. How to build a mobile-friendly airline website and why you shouldn’t have separate URLs for mobile pages. You will also learn the ways to provide consistent experience on desktop and mobile sites.

XML sitemaps. We teach you why you need dynamic XML sitemaps, the methods to build them, the technical requirements, and the best practices about using them for SEO.

Robots.txt optimization. You will find out why the robots.txt file is so important for airlines’ websites, and how to set it up to maximize crawl budget.

Structured data implementation. We show everything about using schema markup for airlines’ websites, including the format and quality guidelines, and the most relevant types for flight pages.

Page speed optimization. We will answer your most burning questions. Is page speed a ranking factor? What are the user experience metrics for page speed? What are the quick wins for page speed optimization on airlines’ websites?

How to build a scalable link building system for airlines, including working in tandem with PR, creating linkable assets, leveraging airline associations and alliances, and much more!

Things to Consider When Doing SEO for Airlines

Before diving into it, let’s point out a few caveats:

1. There is never a cookie-cutter solution.

The guide includes proven SEO techniques and best practices and condenses more than a decade of delivering results for 50+ airlines. However, it does not offer plug and play solutions. What works for a certain airline may not work for another.

2. Dive into the technical documentation.

Each section of this whitepaper teaches the basics and shows examples of implementation in the airline vertical. We can’t (and we don’t want) to write everything there is to write about each topic, so we have included a list of useful tools and resources at the end of each section for further information. 

3. You can’t do it alone.

SEO is a multifaceted discipline. It requires technical skills, extensive research, copywriting expertise, relationship building, and strategic thinking. You will need a team to implement most of the SEO tactics for airlines that we uncover in this guide. Most likely, you will need to work with developers, content specialists, and PR strategists. 


With that said, let’s get into it!