10 minutes Reading time
20 pages Length
Updated October 2019
This is our most recent edition of the Cruise Holiday Market Report. This has been refreshed for 2020 with the latest facts, figures and performance reviews across the cruising sector. All aboard!
Related – 2020 Holiday Cottages Market Report
Following the coronavirus outbreak, the cruise industry is seeing decline like never before, making online operations a huge focus. As a result, we’ve analysed the top 54 websites in this market to find out cruise industry trends and who is performing well across key metrics including SEO visibility, social brand reach and page speed.
We’ve also looked at keyword data for this landscape, looking at organic progress of sites in a more investigative way.
In the report, you may notice different sites featured in each table. We highlight the tops of each metric which will differ across the board. Where some sites excel, others may struggle and vice versa.
This is a great benchmarking tool for your brand – it gives you the opportunity to see where you’re sailing in smooth waters and where you could improve compared to your competitors.
It’s been an even split in terms of wins, losses and cruise industry growth for the top ten retailers this year.
The top ten cruise line companies are:
Iglu Cruise remains the market leader despite losing 26% of their visibility.
Royal Caribbean is not far behind and made progress this year with 7% visibility growth. A lot of people are loyal to Royal.
This puts P&O Cruises in 3rd place after a loss of 20%. Barrhead Travel also had a difficult year, losing 30% of their visibility overall.
Making up the top five is Princess Cruises who increased their visibility by 27%, taking them from 10th to 5th place.
A few of the brands in our cruise industry report appear to have gone through migration processes which could be the reason for some of the bigger wins. Cunard, for example, have had a massive win of 932% but look to have migrated from a .co.uk to a .com domain around February. In this case, their result may appear like an anomaly in our results.
We’ve also noticed that some brands who have gone through a migration process still have old sites which have a decent amount of visibility. All this visibility should be going over to the new site.
One key issue here can be redirect chains. If Googlebot has to crawl multiple domains in a chain before reaching the final destination then it may just give up, causing your old domain to still be indexed.
Related – Website Migration Guide
As this is a part of the travel and tourism sector, it’s no surprise that travel booking engines are also competing in the SERPs for these keywords.
Well done to cruise line industry giants Royal Caribbean, who is ranking in position 1 for the highest competition keyword ‘cruise deals’.
They are ranking well for lots of these keywords with informative title tags and the correct pages ranking.
Within the cruise line industry analysis, there are some key trends within our high competition and top opportunity keywords that could be excellent starting points for your keyword strategy in terms of pages to optimise for quick wins.
Look for keywords containing:
Given the travel world is in a state of flux right now thanks to COVID-19, having a dedicated page for each of these trends will ensure you meet customer intent, increasing click through rate and hopefully conversions.
For most of our search terms there is a ‘People also ask’ box on Google.
This shows that people want to know more about the cruise ship industry and by providing the answers you could get yourself onto page 1 without ranking organically.
The best way to rank for question terms is simply by answering them.
Creating guides or resource content is one way. But providing enhanced content on your category pages is also a fantastic way of grabbing those long-tail search terms. This is SEO copy but better – using questions that have a search volume for your headers, answering questions as per Google’s NLP guidelines, and giving your site the best chance of ranking.
Catering for these keywords also gives you a higher chance of ranking within featured snippets.
There’s no escaping social media, which is why you should embrace it and use it to your advantage.
Social media is the perfect place to grow your audience, post positive client testimonials and show what your brand is all about.
The top five cruise line industry companies on social media are:
As with many of the retailers, these companies are all worldwide cruise companies, so it’s no surprise they’re performing well on social.
When booking an expensive trip, the last thing anyone wants is a slow page load. Not only will it fill customers with dread about the booking process, it can also massively impact your SEO. Slow sites make for a slog when it comes to Google crawling pages. Don’t make the lives of your customers’ or Google any harder than they have to be.
We used Google PageSpeed Insights to find the five fastest sites:
Related – Why Pagespeed is important
Our cruise ship industry analysis reports are free. We produce reports in sectors that we’d like to work in – it gives us the best insight into your market while helping us to provide you with valuable content.
Get in touch with us. Our cruise ship industry analysis is sourced across the whole market but we can only fit the top performers in each table. This means we’ve most likely got your data stored, it’s just not in the final report. We’d love to chat to you about your data.
If you’ve enjoyed our insights and feel you’d benefit from a free 30-minute SEO audit, speak to us and we’ll see whether you qualify.