Examining SEO Efforts of Hong Kong Travel Sites

Travel industry, regardless of geographic proximity, is becoming more reliant on the web in building its business and reaching its customers. Hong Kong is a known travel hub so it’s not surprising to see a stiff competition in the travel industry. In many instances, collaboration of hotel, air, car rental and theme parks in form of mashups (a Web 2.0 term) take place so as to create a unified web destination for outbound travelers to plan ahead of their holiday trips.

With hundreds of travel sites within the bandwagon, how does one create a search engine friendly environment that enables it to be found by excited travelers? We try to examine selected sites on their efforts to win more business using the web’s search engines.

I don’t know if the word “Zuji” ever has a meaning. So are a growing list of Web 2.0 applications that seem to run out of generic names (see Askeet, Bryght and Flickr) So sorry TravelMart, TripAdvisor and AirfarePlus aren’t available. Nah, Google and Yahoo sounded strange in the past but has fought their way to become household names. Anyway here are my findings:

  • Not much content on value-added services; most are search forms and payment systems.
  • Keyword research and page titles can be improved.
  • Meta description appears forgotten.
  • URL structure isn’t organized as it should be.
  • Domain structure appears messy.
  • Content should be hosted on one single server instead of relying on another web site.

Last Minute
I often see Last Minute on newspaper ads but I haven’t taken any trip using this site as the agent. Anyway the site is as not as elegant as Zuji but who cares if this one offers the cheapest rate, then the public will continue to come back.

The URL puts the site in a disadvantageous position as www.lastminute.com is shorter and easier to remember.
There’s also an iMall but currently it has only two items on sale. Maybe because its new at the time of copyright (shows 2000-2001).

  • Improve URL structure
  • Customize page title
  • Ensure content is updated (I clicked Superstar Pisces under Cruise but detail shows Superstar Leo)
  • Be less dependent on frames

Dah Chong Hong Motor Leasing
A first look at the website will not give me an impression that it is a vehicle leasing company. I need to click through to Services & Rates to find out the real purpose of the site. Doing so in the About DCHML will not help much. A strange string “sid” can be found in each URL once I navigated through the site. I think this is unnecessary and should not be there. Looking at the number of indexed pages, it appears that all but two are within supplementary results.

  • Improve keyword research
  • Remove the “sid” URL variable unless it is necessary
  • Customize page title
  • Update pages (see this)
  • Modify/tweak URL structure
  • Consider consolidating content within a site instead of using separate domain