SEO for Airlines

The Ultimate Guide (2020)

In our 14+ years of developing fare marketing solutions for airlines, we can’t tell how many times our customers have asked: “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. 

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 have 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! 

EveryMundo Restart & Re-Acquire Playbooks

Understand Demand

Understand search demand for all routes to determine which routes are best to reopen, and when. 

In this Playbook:

Utilize User Search Data

Forecast market demand from SEM

Sell Reopened Routes

Determine strategic routes to reopen, then acquire passengers with scalable marketing strategies.

In this Playbook:

Optimize SEM for Strategic Routes

Communicate Route Availability

Re-Acquire Customers

Acquire new customers and re-acquire loyal customers.

In this Playbook:

Promote loyalty benefits

Display real-time miles fares

Promote Deals & Offers

Compete to acquire and re-acquire customers with low fare promotions.

In this Playbook:

Run Cross-Channel Campaigns

Promote Future Travel Today

Inform your Customers

Best practices for communications on and off your website.

In this Playbook:

Effectively communicate promotions, policies, and offers on and off your website.

Focus SEO Efforts

Drive qualified traffic to your website with airline-specific SEO strategies.

In this Playbook:

Optimize your organic search position

Ensure all route pages maintain high SEO performance

Ready to Restart & Re-Acquire Customers?

We’ll show you how.