How We Developed a Winning Aviation SEO Strategy [Tips + Real Examples]

Content Writing & Strategy
Sun Paik
Marketing Producer

When you’re in the aerospace and aviation industry, you and your competitors are vying for lucrative contracts and sales in a highly competitive, global market. In the digital era, how you win these select contracts can be an even more competitive game, with potential clients making quick judgments based on your website’s visual merits, clear copy, and ease of navigation to request more information. But behind all that pizazz is one of the most crucial rules to online success: having a winning aviation SEO strategy that will give you real revenue in return.

Don’t believe us? At Slam Media Lab, we’re a digital marketing agency that has helped clients such as Greenwood Aerospace get new leads, rank #1 on search, and earn consistent and growing revenue from our award-winning SEO strategies. We have a thorough and unique understanding of your market because we’ve had hands-on experience with it, writing content and developing SEO strategies that are geared towards government agencies, military, and aviation experts. You can check out our case studies if you want to learn more about how we make it happen. 

For a quick preview, here are some questions on aviation SEO we’ll be answering:

  1. Why Should I Care About Aviation SEO? 
  2. How Do I Optimize for Aviation SEO? 
  3. How Do I Optimize for Local Aviation SEO? 
  4. What Type of Content Is Ideal for Aviation SEO? 
  5. What Are the Most Effective Keywords for Aviation SEO? 
  6. What KPIs Should We Track for Aviation SEO?

Ready for takeoff? Let’s go! 

Why Should I Care About Aviation SEO? 

Let’s go over the basic idea of SEO, since you need to have this down pat before we move into technicalities. 

Imagine the internet is like a massive library, with billions of books on countless topics. Now, when someone wants to find a specific book in this library, they usually don't just wander around hoping to stumble upon it randomly. Instead, they ask the librarian (in our case, search engines like Google) for help.

Here's where SEO (Search Engine Optimization) comes into play. Think of SEO as a set of rules and strategies that help make your website more like a book that the librarian is likely to recommend when someone asks about a certain topic.

So, how does it work? Well, just like books have titles, chapters, and summaries, websites have elements like titles, headings, and content. SEO involves optimizing these elements to make sure your website shows up when people search for topics related to what you offer.

For example, let's say you have a website selling aircraft parts. You'd want to use keywords (words or phrases people are likely to search for, like "parts procurement" or "RC-12 parts") in your website's titles, headings, and content. This tells the search engines that your website is relevant to those topics.

But SEO isn't just about stuffing your website with keywords. It's also about providing a good experience for your visitors. Just like a well-organized, easy-to-navigate book is more enjoyable to read, a well-optimized website is more enjoyable to visit. This means making sure your site loads quickly, works well on mobile devices, and provides valuable information that answers people's questions.

What is Aviation SEO? 

Aviation SEO is when you optimize websites, online content, and digital marketing strategies specifically for businesses operating within the aviation industry. This includes airlines, aircraft manufacturers, aviation service providers, aviation training institutions, and related businesses. Here are a few things to note when approaching aviation SEO strategies: 

  • Industry Specificity: Aviation SEO focuses on keywords, content, and strategies that are directly relevant to the aviation industry. This could include terms related to aircraft models, aviation regulations, flight training, airport services, aviation technology, and more. By targeting industry-specific keywords, aviation businesses can attract highly relevant traffic to their websites.
  • Unique Audience: Aviation SEO takes into account the needs, preferences, and behaviors of their specialized audience. For example, potential customers may include pilots, aviation enthusiasts, industry professionals, and travelers interested in aviation-related content. Tailoring SEO strategies to resonate with this audience is crucial for success. You wouldn’t, for example, write content on “What is an airplane” if the intended audience is an experienced pilot. 
  • Regulatory Compliance: The aviation industry is heavily regulated, and businesses must adhere to various aviation regulations and standards. Aviation SEO professionals need to be aware of these regulations and ensure that their strategies comply with relevant guidelines, particularly when it comes to safety and security-related content.
  • Global Reach: Aviation is a global industry, with businesses operating across different countries and regions. Aviation SEO often involves optimizing websites and content for international audiences, considering language preferences, regional differences, and cultural nuances. This may include multilingual SEO, geo-targeting, and localization strategies to reach audiences in different parts of the world.

Why Maintain Strong Aerospace Search Engine Optimization Practices

SEO is the secret sauce that changes your website from a random result on page 10 of Google to the first thing you see when you type “UC-35 parts” in your search bar. Here are some reasons why that’s the case: 

  1. Increased Visibility: SEO is crucial for increasing the visibility of your website and online presence. When potential customers search for products or services related to your business, you want your website to appear prominently in search engine results pages.
  2. Building Credibility and Trust: High search engine rankings are often associated with credibility and trustworthiness. Users tend to trust websites that appear at the top of search results, assuming they are more authoritative and relevant to their needs.
  3. Competitive Edge: By outranking competitors in search results, you can attract more organic traffic to your website, potentially leading to more leads, conversions, and revenue.
  4. Targeted Marketing: Through keyword research and optimization, businesses can tailor their content to align with what their target audience is searching for online. Additionally, SEO allows for precise tracking and analysis of user behavior, enabling businesses to refine their marketing strategies based on actionable data.
  5. Enhanced User Experience (UX): SEO and UX are closely intertwined, as search engines prioritize websites that provide a positive user experience. Elements such as fast loading times, easy navigation, mobile responsiveness, and quality content all contribute to a better UX, which in turn can lead to higher search rankings. 
  6. Sustained Results: Unlike paid advertising, which stops generating traffic once the budget runs out, the results of SEO efforts can be sustained over the long term. While SEO requires ongoing optimization and maintenance, the organic traffic generated through improved search rankings continues to flow even when you're not actively investing in paid advertising.

How Do I Optimize for Aviation SEO? 

Now that you have a good grasp on what aviation SEO is and why it’s important, we can go over how you can optimize your marketing strategy. There are a lot of technical SEO strategies for small business owners, each of which work together to improve your digital presence: 

  1. Backlinks 
  2. Keywords 
  3. Meta tags 
  4. Alt text / Images 
  5. Internal Linking 
  6. Keyword Variation 

Backlinks 

Backlinks are links from other websites that point to your site. In aviation SEO, quality backlinks from reputable aviation-related websites are crucial for establishing authority and credibility. You can acquire backlinks through guest blogging, partnerships, and outreach to industry influencers and publications. Focus on obtaining backlinks from aviation-related domains, such as aviation news sites, industry associations, and authoritative blogs.

Keywords 

Keywords are the words and phrases people type into search engines when looking for information. These could include terms like "aircraft maintenance," "aviation parts supplier," or "flight training academy." Incorporate these keywords strategically into your website's content, including page titles, headings, meta descriptions, and body text, to improve your visibility in search results.

Meta Tags

Meta tags are like mini descriptions for your web pages that appear in search results. The meta title is the main headline, and the meta description is a short summary. These tags help search engines and users understand what each page is about. By including relevant aviation keywords in your meta tags, you can improve your site's visibility and attract more clicks from searchers.

Alt Text/Images

Alt text is a brief description of an image that appears when the image doesn't load or for people using screen readers. It's important for accessibility and SEO because search engines use alt text to understand what images are about. For aviation SEO, you'd want to use alt text that describes the image accurately and includes relevant keywords when appropriate.

Internal Linking

Internal linking is when you link from one page on your website to another. It helps users navigate your site and also helps search engines discover and understand your content better. For aviation SEO, you can use internal linking to guide visitors to related pages about topics like aircraft maintenance or flight training, making it easier for them to find what they're looking for.

Keyword Variation

Avoid keyword stuffing by incorporating variations of your target keywords naturally throughout your content. This helps diversify your optimization efforts and ensures a more natural reading experience for users. For example, if you're targeting the keyword "flight training," consider using related terms like "pilot instruction," "aviation education," or "flight school" to capture a broader range of search queries while maintaining relevance to your topic.

To learn more about SEO fundamentals, you can read through our SEO terms factsheet to get a comprehensive understanding of all terms that you need to know. 

How Do I Optimize for Local Aerospace SEO? 

Optimizing your local aviation SEO involves catering content to target niche audiences, including those around your geographical location, specific government agencies, and cities. There are a couple steps you can take for local aviation SEO strategies: 

  • Local Keyword Research: Include geographic modifiers such as city names, airport codes, or region-specific terms and local keywords to attract potential customers in your area.
  • Local Link Building: Guest blogging on local aviation blogs or contributing to local news websites can also help you earn relevant backlinks from authoritative sources in your area, boosting your local SEO authority.
  • Testimonials: Encourage satisfied customers to leave positive reviews and testimonials on platforms like Google My Business, Yelp, or aviation review sites. 
  • On-Page Optimization: Include your city or region in title tags, meta descriptions, and heading tags where appropriate. Additionally, create location-specific landing pages or service pages targeting different areas you serve to improve your visibility for local searches.
  • Localized Content Creation: Incorporate local keywords naturally into your content while providing valuable information that resonates with local customers.

What Type of Content Is Ideal for Aerospace SEO? 

A graph of Greenwood's organic keywords indexed, which shows an exponential increased through aviation SEO strategy.

While there's no magic number, longer content often performs better in search results because it tends to be more thorough and informative, such as answering questions on topics like the UC-35 aircraft or FAA flight checks. It’s a good idea to have a blog, articles, or news section on your website that has all of your written content in an organized hub. 

Some ways to develop content that performs well for SEO are: 

  1. How-to articles and educational guides 
  2. Latest industry news and updates 
  3. Industry reports 
  4. Case studies 
  5. Success stories from clients 
  6. Product and service descriptions 
  7. FAQs and Q&As

During our partnership with Greenwood, our main focus was on developing a breadth of high-quality content for their News section that could rank on search results pages and generate new leads with potential clients. These articles were all long-form, typically around 2,500 to 3,000 words, and were based on keyword research focused on aviation industry needs. 

For each of the articles, you can see that the URL slug (the words that come after .com) includes the main keyword we repeat throughout the article, so that it has a greater chance of ranking higher on search results. 

For example, the UC-35 article we mentioned above has the URL slug /news/uc-35, and is an in-depth review of the updated aircraft, which appeals to the site’s target audience. By utilizing keyword variation and following best SEO practices, this article now is on page 1 when you search the main keyword, “uc-35.”

What Are the Most Effective Keywords for Aviation SEO? 

An image of Ahrefs overview for Greenwood Aerospace, showing the success of aviation SEO.

How to choose keywords for SEO is key to having successful aviation SEO. There are three steps that we take at Slam that help us slam dunk the keyword researching process: 

  1. Keyword Research 
  2. Ahrefs 
  3. Google Search Console 

At Slam, we’ve helped over 30 clients develop winning SEO strategies that have helped boost their online presence, introduce effective small business SEO tools,  improve user experience, and be the go-to choice for their target audience. If you’re interested in getting an extra hand to spice up your SEO game, let’s set up a call! 

Keyword Research 

When you’re starting to research keywords to use for SEO content, first take a step back and think about your audience. What topics do you think would appeal to them? What are common themes that are discussed in your industry? What are questions that you have had to answer frequently for clients? You can then start listing broad ideas that you want to delve into, such as "aircraft maintenance," "pilot training," "aviation parts," "flight schools," etc. 

Next, head over to Google and start typing in the topics you’ve listed. What websites come up? Who are you competitors when users are looking up this keyword? You can also use tools like Keywords Everywhere to find related keywords based on your search, as well as how difficult it is to rank for these topics. This step will give you a good idea of what you should focus on and how feasible it is to gain substantial traffic. You can also check out our Keyword Research Template if you want an organized tool to help you start your SEO process. 

Ahrefs 

You now have a list of topics you have narrowed down. Now, it’s time to look at the data. Ahrefs is a tool that helps visualize and analyze SEO data, helping you understand how keywords are ranking, how much traffic they are getting, and the overall health of your current site. 

With your list of topics, Ahrefs will provide you with a list of relevant keyword suggestions, along with metrics like search volume, keyword difficulty, and clicks data. If you, for example, type in the topic “civil air patrol,” Ahrefs could provide matching terms like “civil air patrol fleet,” “civil air patrol cadet program,” and “civil air patrol logo” which you can use as keywords for your content.

Google Search Console 

Google Search Console is a free tool provided by Google that offers valuable insights into your website's performance in search results. You can navigate to the "Performance" section of Google Search Console to view data on the search queries that drive traffic to your website. You can also see metrics like clicks, impressions, click-through rate (CTR), and average position for each keyword.

Search Console is a great way to analyze how well your content is doing after you complete keyword research. You can think of it as a visualization of your target audience’s actions, and apply these insights to your future content. 

What KPIs Should We Track for Aerospace Search Engine Optmization?

An image of of Greenwood's referring domains and backlinks, illustrating the results of successful SEO strategy.

Once you develop a solid aviation SEO strategy, create your content, and apply it to your updated site, you’ll want to analyze how well your strategy is performing. This is done through Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), which are quantifiable data that can be tracked over time to assess progress, identify areas for improvement, and make informed decisions. There are numerous KPIs, but here are some we are covering: 

  • Organic Traffic refers to the number of visitors who find your website through unpaid search engine results. It represents the users who click on your website's link in search engine results pages (SERPs) without clicking on paid ads.
  • Keyword Rankings indicate where your website's pages rank in search engine results for specific keywords or phrases. Higher rankings mean your website appears closer to the top of search results, making it more likely that users will click on your link.
  • Click Through Rate (CTR) measures the percentage of users who click on your website's link in search results after seeing it. A higher CTR indicates that your title tags and meta descriptions are effective at attracting clicks from searchers.
  • Bounce Rate is the percentage of visitors who leave your website after viewing only one page, without taking any further action. A high bounce rate may indicate that visitors did not find what they were looking for or that your website's content or user experience needs improvement.
  • Conversion Rate measures the percentage of website visitors who complete a desired action, such as making a purchase, filling out a form, or signing up for a newsletter. A higher conversion rate indicates that your website is effective at turning visitors into customers or leads.
  • Average Session Duration measures the average amount of time visitors spend on your website during a single session. A longer average session duration suggests that visitors are engaged with your content and exploring multiple pages on your site.
  • Page Loading Speed refers to how quickly your website's pages load in users' web browsers. Faster loading times contribute to a better user experience and can positively impact SEO performance by reducing bounce rates and improving rankings.
  • Backlinks. We’ve already mentioned backlinks before, but tracking new backlinks and their domain ratings can be a great way to understand user perception of your site’s trustworthiness and reputation. 
  • Social Signals refer to engagement metrics on social media platforms, such as likes, comments, shares, and mentions of your content or brand. These signals indicate audience engagement, brand awareness, and the popularity of your content on social media.
  • Return on Investment (ROI) measures the profitability of your SEO efforts by comparing the costs of optimization activities with the resulting benefits, such as increased traffic, conversions, and revenue. Positive ROI indicates that your SEO investments are generating value for your business. You can use our free SEO ROI calculator to see if your investment is yielding traffic. 

If you want to know the current state of your website’s SEO performance, you can book a free website audit with Slam! We also offer resources and products such as our Technical SEO Audit Template and SEO Article Template and Checklist so your SEO strategy can thrive.   

A Closer Look at Data: Results from Our Work with Greenwood 

Using Google Search Console, you can see how many clicks and impressions your site has, which is helpful to view results of aviation SEO strategy.

With Greenwood Aerospace, we understood that playing the long game for this small business’ SEO was what would help us see successful results. Our aviation SEO strategy focused on two verticals: redesigning their website to cater to their target audience, and delivering 60 articles based off of in-depth keyword research. The goal of our twofold SEO strategy was to help Greenwood get leads and close on new clients. 

Our year and a half project resulted in three major SEO wins: 

  1. There was significant uptick in backlinks from reputable sources, which boosted Greenwood’s brand recognition, reputation, and trustworthiness on the web. 
  2. By introducing form fields in the site’s redesign, and promoting the contact form through consistent interlinking, Greenwood saw an increase in leads and connections with their target audience. You can use our Website Launch Checklist Template to ensure you crossed your t’s and dotted your i’s. 
  3. The breadth and depth of high-quality SEO content we developed caused Greenwood to rank on page 1 for multiple important keywords, including articles on Civil Air Patrol, foreign military sales, the RC-12 Guardrail, and more. 

Our aviation SEO work with Greenwood succeeded because it catered specifically to their target audience, with designs and content that appeal to aircraft fanatics, as well as government organizations and military officials searching for parts procurement. If you’re interested in learning about how we can help your aviation SEO soar, contact us today!

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