5 Tips for Digitising your Travel Business
If you have decided to embrace digital methods of marketing and sell your offering online, then this article is for you. We have compiled this short list of what you should consider 1st when moving to digitise your travel business.
1 - Website Quality Assessment
If you aren’t a technical person with a good knowledge of how to construct a website then this seem like an extremely daunting prospect. Not to worry, there are plenty of out of the box website templates which can be easily changed by ‘non-techies’, you just to know where to look. We would recommend using a content management system such as Square Space or WordPress to construct your website. There are a few things to be aware of before beginning;
- Is the template you are going to use responsive [over 70% of visitors to your website will be on mobile].
- What pages is your website going to have, the less the better! Home, About, Services, Contact.
- SEO - Search Engine Optimisation, all goods content management systems support SEO, make sure to fill this in as your are constructing page, it will stand to you in the long run. Page titles, page descriptions and meta descriptions are essential, also ensure any images you upload have descriptive titles.
If you keep these three principles to the forefront of your mind when constructing a new site then you won’t go far wrong!
It could be the case that your website was created a number of years ago but it could do with a refresh. The chances are your existing website is going to be on a CMS such as WordPress. If this is the case then the following is going to be applicable to you:
- Page Bloat - over time have you added unnecessary layers of pages to your site. can this information be condensed and brought to the homepage of your website?
- Consider updating the theme to a newer and more responsive one.
- Are SEO fields blank? This could be hurting the performance of your website over time, consider running an SEO test using Google's lighthouse .
The good news with an existing site is that if you are willing to be ruthless, any update can be short and efficient. If SEO isn't ranking well already then it may be worth considering moving your sites domain to a new and more user friendly CMS such as Square Space.
2 - Have a Clear Offering
As previously mentioned in constructing or updating a website, is it clear and obvious what services you offer? The main function of your website is to attract new business to you from your presence online . In the new age of digital consumption, video and images are far more engaging than text descriptions so consider investing in high resolution and professional shot imagery [it will make a huge impact when establishing trust.]
Once you have established with your customer the service you offer, the trick then is to offer them a clear and obvious call to action [CTA]. A call to action is basically a big bright prominent button located right beside the product[s] that directs the user to book and purchase there and then.
3 - Purchasing Off Your Website
Purchasing of your website can be achieved through the previously mentioned CTA button. TripAdmit offers this service exclusively for the businesses in the tourism industry.
If you are going to be successful in generating sales from your website, the most important thing that you can do is to establish trust between you and the visitor on your website.
- Are images high quality and professional?
- Is there peer reviews from previous visitors?
- Is the price point reflective of the service they will be receiving?
- Do you use highly engaging video content?
The trust you are building in your visitor can be achieved by placing them in the experience by how you present it, but also by allowing them to see that other people have enjoyed the experience and found the price point reasonable.
Also - ensure that the payment provider you are using on your website is reputable. TripAdmit uses the Stripe payment provider, which is a widely adopted payment provider and a recognisable brand in which they know their purchase will be safe in.
4 - Digital Marketing
Okay, so you have created or updated your site with your latest well condensed high quality offerings, but you still aren’t seeing the flocks of purchasing visitors to your website that you are expecting. Whilst a well constructed website with good SEO will rank better in search engines, this process is instantaneous and will take time. In the meantime and regularly, you need to be practising digital marketing.
Here are a few simple things you can do.
- Social Media - Post to your social media accounts regularly and use links!
- Blogs - write blogs and post them on your channels - they are fantastic for SEO ranking.
- Testimonials - gather as much good reviews as you can and ask visitors to post about their experiences.
- Printed advertising - consider adding QR codes with links to your tours to leaflets you drop into hotels or visitor centres.
- Paid advertising - If you want to reach more customer quickly, consider paid social media advertising. Consider who your target demographic is so you can build an audience and target more of the people you wish to target whilst maximising your budget.
- Articles - can you get local or internet media outlets to do a writeup about your business that will provide a backlink to your website. This will increase traffic and in turn boost your ranking on search engines.
5 - Managing Online Bookings
Right, so you have followed all the steps above; improved your website, added rich content, clear booking call to actions and a regular digital marketing campaign. Once the bookings come in though what do you do then?
To manage this aspect of online bookings, there are a few tools that you might find useful.
Booking Notification - a notification every time someone makes a purchase.
Booking Overview - a list of all your customer bookings and contact details for each.
Manifest - A daily, weekly and monthly view of who is arriving, when they’re arrive and for what tour.
In addition to this, you may wish to make manual bookings online for customers unable or hesitant of using technology by themselves, you also may wish to move a booking for a customer who can’t make their initial booking but doesn’t wish to cancel.
TripAdmit offers these features and many more!