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How could Royal Caribbean take search performance to another level?

RC Main

Royal Caribbean Limited is one of the biggest players in the cruise game and this translates to their performance in search. So their SEO strategy must be pretty air tight, right?

Not exactly! Their position for the majority of relevant search terms is there or thereabouts, but the company could change their approach to digital in a number of ways to get even better results. In doing so, they could not only gain on their direct competitors but they’d also serve as a better example to those who can’t get by on brand alone.

The Domain Game

Depending on the search term in question, Royal Caribbean can lose out on top spot in Google rankings to P&O Cruises or sometimes even Thomas Cook and Thomson, who aren’t specialist cruise providers. One reason for this could be the strength of their domain.


RC’s domain authority is currently listed as 50/100. That’s not bad, but it’s down on all three of the other big hitters in the market. As you can see, their direct competitor P&O has a domain authority of 68. Meanwhile Thomson has a DA of 69 and Thomas Cook has broken 70.


If Royal Caribbean wants to correct this, they’d do well to look at their link profile. From just 427 root domains, they’ve built a link network of more than 10,000 links. That’s too many links per site.

By contrast, P&O cruises have a handful more links, but they’ve gotten them from a lot more root domains. This is what all web masters should aim for.

Keywords Still Key

We don’t want to nag, but however SEO and content marketing are changing (yawn) there is no getting away from the importance of keywords. But we’re talking, of course, about strategic keywords; in the right places, in the right amount.

If P&O has a slight edge on Royal Caribbean on various search terms, it could come down to the way they’ve used their page content to better effect. A comparison of the two homepages for the simple term “cruises” shows that P&O are doing more with the tools provided to them.

RC Cruises Grade B

The term features on the P&O homepage a total of 90 times, while it only appears on Royal Caribbean’s site 54; and whaddya know: PO has leapfrogged their rivals for this search term.

PO Cruises Rank A

So why should I care?

Basically, every cruise provider and online cruise comparison site wants to ranks for a select number of terms, but they can’t all be Royal Caribbean: they don’t have the TV ads, magazine spreads, billboards and global store fronts.

They can, however, employ some basic SEO best practice guidelines to gain a foothold in a higher ranking position than their peers. This applies to webmasters in any industry sector, too.


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