by Seth BUTERA August 19, 2021
As we all know, the tourism industry has been hit the hardest by COVID-19. Unlike other industries, it has in parts, completely ground to a halt. With no way of knowing exactly when these times will be behind us, we have only one option and that is to look ahead to a brighter future and be ready for it.
We understand that every Tour operator is different and in different positions. Whilst some have been able to pivot to domestic travelers, when restrictions permit, for others, it has been a case of hibernation. One thing that all of us in the Tours & Activities sector can do, is join forces to share the knowledge, tips & tricks to help market our businesses for the future.
Well, It is evident that many if not all tour companies rely on their website to get their business as bookings while your existing clients know just how great your services are, if your website isn’t properly optimized to be the impressive marketing tool it can be, then new and potential clients may not make it far enough in to see it for themselves.
completed online and not seated in an office with an agent.
Below are a few among many website actions that every business should embrace as the industry attempts to recover from the worst shock in its history.
Update your content regularly; Just because you have set up your website, outlined your tours and added images or videos, doesn’t mean you can leave it to do its thing now. The reality is that you have to continuously update it with fresh content to keep customers engaged. One of the advisable techniques is to blog regularly. This will help with your SEO and increase organic traffic to your site. Also, it will improve awareness and build trust for your travel brand as you can use the space to show that you are an authority in your field.
Make your call to action clear; One of the most common website mistakes businesses make is to not have a prominent call to action that provides a clear path to purchase. Once people land on your website, there needs to be a clear direction on which steps they should make next. The buttons and menus should leave them with no uncertainty as to where they can find out information about your tours, and subsequently make a booking.
Clear descriptions of your packages; It is not only about having a clear call to action. The path to purchase should also address travelers’ tour or travel-related questions. This way, when they arrive at the Book Now button, there will be nothing left unanswered which could lead to them seeking information (and then booking) elsewhere.
Put yourself in your client’s shoes. Anticipate their needs and the information they are going to require, and write it into persuasive and inspiring tour descriptions or videos. Make sure the content is engaging and sets your business apart from the competition.
Give potential clients a reason to book with you, and make sure the information provided is concise so that they have confidence in your abilities to arrange a life-changing travel experience for them.
Optimize your site for mobile; As you all know, Google switched to mobile-first indexing to rank websites and provide a better experience for their users. So it goes without saying that your website should be mobile responsive.
However, it should go above simply being mobile responsive. Your website needs to be fully optimized for mobile to provide a great user experience. Too often, the design and experience on a mobile site is less attractive compared to the desktop version, and this shouldn’t be the case. Travelers readily use mobile to book, especially for in-destination planning, and if your mobile site does not provide them with a great experience, 88% of them will switch to another that does.
How fast is your website; You have been there, you know how frustrating navigating a slow website can be. Avoid making common website mistakes like this on your own site and ensure that everything loads quickly to provide a seamless experience for your visitors.
The usual culprits here are inefficient web hosting packages and large image files that haven’t been sized correctly. Make sure that you use a decent hosting service and size images appropriately so that they don’t slow page loading speeds.
Use appealing photos and videos; This is especially important for any travel business as travelers look for images and videos to check what they are buying into.
If you are not using beautiful and inspiring imagery of your tours to hook interest, you could be losing potential customers to a competitor who does, even if you have the better travel offering.
Invest in a professional photographer to get some great images or video for your business, it will give your clients the ability to picture themselves on your tour and hopefully buy-in.
Make use of analytics; Google Analytics is a very handy, and free, business tool to use for your website. From it, you can track metrics such as daily, weekly, and monthly visitors, where they are coming from – direct, search, or social, how long they spend on your site, and which pages they are visiting.
With access to this sort of data, you can figure out where travelers are dropping off after they land on it.
For example, if a social media advertising campaign to promote your tours takes people through to your home page, and analytics picks up that they never make it past there, you then know that something needs to be adjusted.
Either you need to take interested travelers through to your tour descriptions page, or set up a specific promotions page that provides all the information as well as a book now button for immediate action.
Remember to update your branding; One of the most common website mistakes people make is not updating their branding over the years. You update your tours, your images, and your videos over time to accommodate changes in the market or your offering, so why not your branding and logo as well?
Think of it as remodeling your house. Aim to freshen up the look and liven up your branding every decade or so to keep up with the times and stay connected with the world.