How Does Aviation SEO Work?

In this episode, John and I discuss:
Is SEO important for aviation?
How do you get the best aviation SEO rankings?
Which parts of the industry are the most competitive?

Transcript – How does Aviation SEO Work?

Paula Williams: Welcome to this week’s episode. Today, we are talking about how aviation SEO works.

John Williams: About how and why.

Paula Williams: Yeah.

John Williams: [laughter]

Paula Williams: Oh, we’re talking about kind of the how. But mainly we’re asking three questions, you know? Is SEO important for aviation? How do you get the best aviation SEO rankings? And which parts of the industry are the most competitive?

How does Aviation SEO Work?

Questions about Aviation SEO

Questions about aviation SEO

Paula Williams: Oh, we’re talking about kind of the how. But mainly we’re asking three questions, you know? Is SEO important for aviation? How do you get the best aviation SEO rankings? And which parts of the industry are the most competitive?

Reasons SEO Works in Aviation

John Williams: Yes.

Paula Williams: Yes.

Male Host. [laughter] They all are.

Paula Williams: Yeah, they all are. But some are more competitive than others, so some key words are easier to get than others.

John Williams: Right.

Paula Williams: That’s cool. Anyway, we talk about SEO a lot. There are some very good reasons for that.

John Williams: Kind of say there’s good reasons for that.

Paula Williams: There’s good reasons for that. Took those words right out of my mouth. The first reason is because prospects are busy. You can’t just sit down, very busy people, when you want to and call them on the phone and say, “Listen to me for twenty minutes while I tell you about my magical product.” Right?

John Williams: [laughter]

Paula Williams: They don’t take to that very well. There are people in the industry that do a pretty good job of cold calling. My hats off to them. But for the most part, the folks that we sell to are very busy people that want to drive the process themselves. They want to go to, like John.[laughter] They decide they want X, Y, or Z, and right this afternoon, they are going to the web and they are typing in landing gear for a King Air 350. Whatever. They want it right now.

John Williams: Oh, they wanted enough information to make a decision and whatever their reason is for looking.

Paula Williams: Yeah. Exactly. They have a problem that they want to solve right this very minute, and so they are looking for that answer. That is the best time to contact any of these people, and to get involved with their situation, to make sure that they run into you first.

John Williams: Before your competitor.

Paula Williams: Right. Exactly. When they need something. That’s another thing. The keywords are very specific. If you’re looking for a landing gear for a King Air 350ER, that is super specific. Other industries don’t have that benefit, I would say. I mean, if you’re looking for a t-shirt or you’re looking for sneakers, there’s a whole range of t-shirts and sneakers on the market. But if you’re looking for a landing gear for this particular aircraft, there’s only so many providers of that. That makes it actually easier for us to acquire customers using keywords and using search engine optimization than a lot of other industries.

John Williams: True.

Paula Williams: Right. So I think SEO works better in aviation than just about any other industry I’ve heard of.

John Williams: Better if it’s done correctly.

Reasons SEO works in Aviation

Paula Williams: Better if it’s done correctly, that’s true. First, let’s start with kind of some basics of what do we mean by SEO. A lot of the folks that we talk to are very, very good at what they do, and very involved in their industry. But they don’t necessarily know all this technical digital marketing jargon, right?

John Williams: Don’t have the tools that takes it to the research.

Paula Williams: Exactly. So they’ve heard they need to do SEO, but they’re not really clear on what that means. There is no disgrace in that. [laughter]

John Williams: And the tools are pricey. But we can get away with it because we have a lot of clients. When we first started, we didn’t have all the tools we have now.

Paula Williams: Right.

John Williams: As we grew, we got more of them to where now, we can pretty much have a full quiver.

Paula Williams: Right. Exactly. So when I say search engine optimization, what that means is if you go to Google on your phone, or on your computer, or on your tablet, or DuckDuckGo, or Yelp…

John Williams: And use those things.

Paula Williams: Or Bing, or any of those kinds of places. I’d just type in King Air 350ER landing gear. I’m going to come up with some answers. I’m going to show you some of the answers that come up on that page. I’m going to use Google for our examples because Google has about 70%…

John Williams: For King Air 350 landing gear?

Paula Williams: No. I’ll show you some other examples.

John Williams: Okay, good. But you implied. I’m just trying to keep you straight here, so they don’t get confused like I was.

Paula Williams: Okay. You’re confused?

John Williams: Yeah, because you were talking landing gear. Now, you say you’re going to do this with Google. Really? Landing gear?

Paula Williams: I’m going to talk about some specific keywords using Google. I’m going to pretend that I am somebody that is looking for a product or service. I’m going to go to Google. The reason I’m going to go to Google is because Google gets about 70% of the search engine traffic. There’s others, the DucDuckGos, the Bings, and so forth. But altogether, they get only about 25%.

John Williams: And Google gets that not just in this country. We discovered through some of our overseas players that it’s their, I mean, as example, Russia has their own…

Paula Williams: Yandex was developed in Russia. But everybody uses Google. [laughter]

John Williams: Everybody’s Google. Yeah.

Paula Williams: I didn’t know that. Right. Most of the SEO that we’ve done has been centered on the United States. But we do have a few clients that are elsewhere. We do make adjustments regionally. But today, we’re talking about the US and we’re talking about Google, okay?

John Williams: Okay.

Search Engine Results Page Example – Questions People Also Ask

Search engine results page example with questions people also ask

Paula Williams: So I type in aviation product marketing into Google.

John Williams: Okay.

Paula Williams: And this is what I get.

John Williams: That was quick.

Paula Williams: What comes up here is aviation marketing by ABCI, which is us.

John Williams: Yup.

Paula Williams: Then I also get these things like, people also ask, these are suggestions from Google, sometimes those come up in your search results, where people say, well, you just typed in a bunch of words, but I’m trying to figure out what you really mean.

John Williams: AI doing its thing.

Paula Williams: Yeah, when you’re searching for these, what is aviation market, how do I get into aviation marketing, what is the function of marketing in aviation, what is airline product? Some of these are more or less what I had in mind. I might go with somebody else, and then aviation came up second as they should, right?

John Williams: [laughter] Competitor, can you tell?

Paula Williams: Exactly. On this page, I could also look for news about aviation product marketing, images about aviation product marketing, shopping about aviation product marketing. And videos for aviation product marketing. All of these things are opportunities to get into these results and to get people to find us, right? And you can see, it returned eighty-two million search results for aviation product marketing.

John Williams: In less than a second, for crying out loud.

Paula Williams: Yeah. So if I were looking for aviation product marketing, I am not going through eighty-two million search results. I’m going to focus mainly on the top three to five things that come up, right?

John Williams: Yeah. The first page.

Paula Williams: Right. If it’s more than about five, it probably doesn’t really matter because it’s just too low for me to consider. But I will probably look at two or three or four, maybe five providers of this product or service before I would make a decision.

John Williams: And as on the side, several points throughout life when I’ve done research and I can’t find anything in the first page, I decided to, yeah, okay, fine. And I go to the second. Sometimes I’ve gone far as the eighth or ninth pages, can’t find it. I go and try again. But you can try it yourself. I mean, go search for something that you care about, and if you can’t find it in the first page, maybe two, if you’re really looking hard. But then it gets to be, oh, I’m wasting my time, because people done their SEO right, it’s going to come out in the first page.

Paula Williams: Right. So what I would think, if I’m not finding what I want in the first page or two, that I’m using the wrong keywords. Then I would try something different. I’d try just aviation marketing, or aviation digital marketing, or aviation digital product marketing. I would do something different because if I’m not finding what I’m looking for, and this is why it’s important to be, it’s like in the old telephone books, you’d be listed under one category. If you’re listed under multiple categories, it makes it more likely that people are going to find you. Because we don’t always know what are people most likely to type in to Google. But we do have some software that will tell us how many people a month are searching for aviation product marketing.

John Williams: Right.

Search Engine Results Page Example – Featured Snippet

search engine results page with featured snippet

Paula Williams: That’s really, really helpful if there’s two key words that mean about the same thing, well, take the one with the most searches. Okay. Here’s another SEO result for aviation business ideas.

John Williams: And it only had eighty million six-hundred thousand.

Paula Williams: Exactly.

John Williams: So what’s wrong with [inaudible]. Yeah, a million people weren’t there.

Paula Williams: Right. This is something that Google has started doing fairly recently and that is a thing called featured snippets. What they are doing is Google is trying to provide quick answers to people’s questions without having them leave Google. They don’t necessarily want them to click through to our site. They want to answer their question quickly and keep them on their own site longer, right? Featured snippets are great for me as a business owner because if I can get an answer to people’s question really quickly out there, that’s great. But I want to make sure that it’s just a teaser for what they really want to know. You notice this is fifty business ideas for aviation startups and side hustles. It only displays maybe ten on this page. If they want to see the whole list, they have to click through to my site to get there. Features snippets, they are cool, but you also want to make sure that they are nice lead-in to more information.

Search Engine Results Page with Map

Search engine results page with map

Okay, here’s another result. This is one that I don’t really care about that much because we want to be seen more as a partner than as an agency. So we don’t really like to be called an agency. But if you type in aviation marketing agency, we do come up. And you’ll see we come up on a map. Sometimes, it will show you, especially if you’re searching for a shop or a school or something that is a geographic location. The results are going to include a map, so then you can see where each of these places is located, and so on. We do show up on this. We’re not the first or second. We’re actually the third result on this map.

John Williams: Which is fine because we’re not, don’t want to be known as an agency.

Paula Williams: Right. Exactly. But if someone were looking for an agency and they find us, they may see the stars here and go, wow, they’ve got ten reviews on Google. These other people don’t have any reviews or only have one or whatever. You do want to kind of go a little wide on your keywords that you’re after and consider some keywords that maybe aren’t quite a good fit for you. But the people who don’t know any better might be looking for, right? Okay. Some people who are looking for an aviation marketing agency thinks that’s what they’re looking for before they find us.

John Williams: Yup.

Paula Williams: And then they decide, you know what, I really would rather have a partner. But I didn’t know that was a thing.

John Williams: Yeah.

How do you get the best Aviation SEO rankings?

How do you get the best Aviation SEO rankings?

Paula Williams: Okay, cool. Is SEO important for aviation? Yes, because it is cost-effective, it is long-term, and because people come to you when they’re ready to buy. All right. How do you get the best aviation SEO rankings? There are several things that you can do that are going to improve your results. The search engines have gotten so much better. But also the competition has gotten so much better since we started doing this a bunch of years ago.

John Williams: Yes, they have, on both counts.

Paula Williams: It used to be that if you had anything on the web for a lot of different products, you would come up number 1 because you’re the only one with King Air 350 landing gear.

John Williams: Right.

Content is King

For Aviation SEO - High quality content is king

Paula Williams: That’s not true anymore. Everybody’s on the web. Google and all the other search engines have gotten a whole lot better at determining the quality of content. They are using different software to determine the difficulty of reading level, to see if it’s got related keywords, to see a bunch of things and their algorithm. But what it boils down to is that high-quality content is what gets you those search engine rankings. If you have higher quality content than someone else, you’re going to get much better results.

John Williams: And you will notice that you’re viewing this, that the slide says, content is king, and she added a couple of words, high quality. Just realized that.

Paula Williams: Yeah, I mean, used to be content was king [laughter] Any content was king. It was kind of a quantity over quality. People would generate a lot of pages about a particular topic or…

John Williams: And there were black hat SEO, it was alive and well for a long time.

Paula Williams: Right. Or they would generate a bunch of keywords in white text on a white background that nobody could see thinking that that would help their SEO. But that was not what Google considers quality content. Now, they’re getting much, much better at determining what really is quality.

John Williams: And more selective.

On Page Benchmarking to determine Quality of Content

On Page Benchmarking to determine Quality of Content

Quality SEO Copywriting for Aviation

Quality SEO Copywriting for Aviation

Paula Williams: Yeah. So when we talk about copywriting for SEO, writing a great article that people like is a really good thing. But there are also some tricks that will help you get better search engine results. One of them is to write your headings in terms of questions. People love that. That scores really, really well with human beings [laughter] who are reading a newspaper, or reading a textbook, or something like that. They see a question and they go, yeah, I want to know the answer to that question. They read what comes after. That’s one trick to make really, really good search engine-friendly content.

Another thing is to include lists and ordered lists just like we had on that featured snippet that we showed you before. So those are two things. There are probably fifty that we can talk about that a good aviation SEO copywriter would do for you to make sure that that is really high quality content that people love, and that search engines will love.

John Williams: The writing schools tell you to spend more time on the headline than anything else. You really got to get that one right.

How Video Boosts SEO Rankings

How Video Boosts SEO Rankings

Paula Williams: Oh, yeah. Absolutely. One thing that’s been happening in the last couple of years is that they’ve been preferring video content versus content that doesn’t have a video. If there are two web pages, one of which has a video on it and the other one doesn’t, the one with a video will have a better rank.

John Williams: It’s going to be better.

Paula Williams: Yeah, so that may come in number one, two, or three over one that doesn’t have a video on it. The reason is because people, and they’ve been observing people’s behavior, people would prefer to watch a video than read an article, depending on the topic. But by and large, that’s become more and more prevalent as people get broadband, and people are watching this on their phones and using headphones.

There’s lots of reasons that people are watching video more than ever before. Think in terms of what could you produce about your topic as a video as opposed to text? We did this a couple of years ago. We started doing podcasts as opposed to just writing articles. If you look at our material from more than 6 years ago, it’s all articles and we hardly ever did a video. Now, we’re doing two videos a week for the most part.

John Williams: Yeah. But, fifteen years ago, we couldn’t even get a video camera to function or a computer.

Paula Williams: A video to work. [laughter]

John Williams: We’ve come a long way.

Paula Williams: Exactly. If you watch video on the web fifteen years ago, it would be super jerky, the audio would be terrible. It would just sit and spin while it loaded. It was awful. That’s part of the reason that..

John Williams: Now, anybody can buy webcam, click it in and you’re good to go.

How Infographics Boost SEO Rankings

How Infographics Boost SEO Rankings

Paula Williams: And you’re good to go. Absolutely. Another thing is infographics. One of the things that the search engines look for is how many people are referring to your content. If you create something shareable like an infographic that other people are going to want to use on their website, or at least linked to from their website, then that’s a wonderful thing. Then there are some directories of infographics or catalogues of infographics where you can submit these, so that people who are looking for information on a particular topic, and they want graphical information, they can pull something like this up really easily.

Debbie Murphy at JetBrokers is fantastic at making infographics. If you ever need inspiration, you can look at hers. She can pack a lot of information into a very attractive small package that can tell you everything you want to know about a particular make and model of aircraft, or about the market for a particular make and model of aircraft, which is cool. All right.

John Williams: Yup.

Most Competitive Aviation Industry Niches for SEO – Flight Schools!

Most Competitive Aviation Industry Niches for SEO - Flight Schools!

Paula Williams: We promised to tell you which parts of the industry are the most competitive for SEO.

John Williams: We did?

Paula Williams: We did at the beginning of this podcast.

John Williams: Okay.

Paula Williams: We’re getting close to the end. [laughter] Hang in there. One of those things was flight schools. They actually have been kind of on the bleeding edge of technology in the industry because they serve younger people, people just getting into the industry. A lot of their prospects are high school kids, people looking for a career, those kinds of things. They’re looking for people who are already spending a lot of time online. If you search for flight schools in a particular area, you’re going to find really, really good SEO happening already. If you’re jumping into that market, you’re going to have to invest in search engine…

John Williams: SEO.

Paula Williams: Yeah. Exactly. And invest in local keywords as well. If you are a flight school in a particular city, you want to list the city, you want to list the region, you want to list the place on the airport code. You want to list everything you can about locally so that you’re not competing with flight schools across town or across the country.

John Williams: Right.

Most Competitive Aviation Industry Niches for SEO – Air Charter!

Most Competitive Aviation Industry Niches for SEO - Air Charter

Paula Williams: It’s just much more efficient that way. All right. Air charter services have become more competitive even over the last year than ever before. Those keywords are, especially for very popular city pairs, New York and Miami, [laughter] any place where there’s a lot of traffic going on or a lot of people traveling from one place to another. Those can be super competitive. But air travel or air charter travel in general has gotten really competitive.

John Williams: Yup. That would be true.

Paula Williams: Yeah. so if you’re a charter broker or a charter operator, that’s another area where search engine optimization is going to be really important to you. And you want to look what your competitors are doing, and maybe do a slightly different angle, maybe do a specialization. If your competitor is doing a VIP charter and you specialize in golf, as an example, you may want to differentiate in that way so that you’re getting the people that are the most likely to want a smaller plane and more convenient, maybe closer to some of the golf courses around your area. There’s lots of ways that you can focus that so that you’re not going head-to-head with somebody with a monster budget.

John Williams: Right.

Most Competitive Aviation Industry Niches for SEO – Brokers and Consultants!Most Competitive Aviation Industry Niches for SEO - Brokers and Consultants!

Paula Williams: Okay. Brokers. You’ve heard about the real estate market in, I think it’s in the Utah where there are like five real estate brokers for every house that’s on the market.

John Williams: Really?

Paula Williams: Yeah. Licensed real estate brokers, not necessarily active. Still, I mean, it’s insane. It’s not much better with airplanes right now. There are not very many aircraft on the market right now compared to the number of brokers. That means the competition is pretty fierce. If you want somebody to sell your airplane, you can probably find somebody by picking up a rock and throwing it. If you are a broker, you really do need to make the arguments about why you are the best choice.

You can specialize once again in your geographical location. You can specialize in an aircraft type. We need to just spend some time really focusing, and we talked about the 4Ps of marketing, product placement position, all of that. We need to think about how we can position you as the best choice in a very crowded marketplace without spending a ton of money.

Go Sell More Stuff!

Go Sell More Stuff!

John Williams: True.

Paula Williams: Yeah. Okay.

John Williams: And it can be done.

Paula Williams: It can be done. All right. So go sell more stuff.

John Williams: Yup. America and aviation in particular needs the business.

Paula Williams: Absolutely.

John Williams: Stay safe and stay healthy.

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