This September we hosted our annual Leaders in Travel Digital Summit event at The British Library in London, where we saw over 60 attendees join to discuss the future and trending topics of online travel.
At the event, myself and Blueclaw’s Senior PR and Online Media Relations Specialist Glen Davies provided insight on how to deliver a reliable and robust PR campaign in travel, a sector that is extremely competitive within the media.
During our talk, we discussed how to cut through this noise by understanding exactly what does and doesn’t work when fighting for limited headline space. The insight included just how many national newspapers and publications specific to travel were likely to link out to third-party sources, and most importantly the types of headlines that made up these linking articles and exactly who was publishing them.
Within our presentation, we demonstrated data that analysed over 32,000 general news articles across six of the major national online newspapers in the UK; The Telegraph, MailOnline, The Sun, Daily Star, Independent and the Daily Express. Our findings showed us that although The Telegraph appeared to include the most links within its general news articles (8 per article), it didn’t necessarily mean they were linking out internally.
When we dug a little deeper, and analysed over 10,000 articles across 5 top national publications with travel news sections on their websites (for example; www.thesun.co.uk/travel), we found that it was in fact The Sun and The Independent who were most likely to include the highest amount of external links per article:
|Website||Percentage of stories that contain links||The average number of external links per article|
When we looked at general lifestyle publications we know are open to receiving travel content on behalf of PR agencies and brands, we found that Red Online and Good Housekeeping were the best to target if your PR strategy includes the desire to build new linking domains to your website.
The data also allowed us to see on which day of the week travel articles were most likely to be published, which was – perhaps surprisingly – on a Friday.
At the time of the presentation, the 10,000 travel articles we analysed were those that had been published in the last 90 days. Our data allowed us to identify various words and phrases that were repeated in the total number of articles. When looking at the top 20 performing headline keywords, our research showed that generic and brand phrases such as ‘Ryanair’, ‘strikes’ and ‘passengers’ ranked well. However, using our expertise we knew that these phrases tend to be as a result of breaking news stories. Once we looked at the keywords ranking after the tenth position, phrases such as ‘top’, ‘Brexit’, ‘revealed’ and ‘secrets’ also made it into national newspaper headlines… and it’s these you need to be considering within your PR campaigns and strategies.
From here, we were also able to see which publications were featuring these specific topics and phrases. For example, the Express came out on top for content on ‘flights’, The Sun and Mail Online were more likely to feature ‘family holiday content’ and the Guardian was best for travel content relating to Brexit.
However, this is where it gets interesting. Not only were we able to see which publications were featuring these stories, our tools and analysis also identified which authors of these features were writing them. For this data pull in particular, we could see that certain journalists appeared time and time again. This indicated that these journalists are essential to have on your target media list. To find out who they are, view our slides here.
By collaborating with our SEO team, we used a number of tools, pivot tables and formulas to break the data down to a level that was easy to consume and could be easily fed into a targeted SEO strategy.
For example: Caitlin Mortan of CNTraveler.com has written 104,000 words on “xx Places where xyz has happened” suggesting they are probably interested and possibly a bit bored of having to write the same content all the time. Their favourite list number is 25, by the way.
Matt Meltzer has devoted 77,000 words in the last month to articles that contain “The Best” or “The Most”. And it isn’t surprising because CNTraveler readers have shared this content over 1 million times in the last month and linked to it 1,000 times.
Josh Bender of Travelwithbender.com averages about 2,000 words an article, so he isn’t interested in short-form content. He likes content that includes unique and interesting “things to do” in a place, for example: “10 Things to do with Kids in Bali”. But his most linked-to article was “Top 20 Foods you must eat in Greece”, suggesting if you can find a topic and cuisine he hasn’t covered yet, he knows he will see the benefit of it.
Of course, we don’t always get access to the Author of the post, so instead we are left pitching to the publication, but using the same technique, which can help identify the types of posts they are writing at the moment. For example, smartertravel.com has written nearly 100,000 words this month on topics with a number in the title, including “10 best”, “10 Safety”, “7 Expert” etc.
As a further example, the Guardian has devoted 54,000 words in the last month to articles that start with “10 of the best” things in X location.
By using this quick and easy process, target media lists for PR are guaranteed to become much more refined and relevant, resulting in a greater likelihood of success and more widespread coverage.
To find out more on how to earn coverage, links and results for your brand, visit our handy guide on how to perfect your international outreach strategy.