Having a business listing will increase your visibility online. You may have various web listings for your business such as on VisitScotland.com, Google My Business, social media and online travel agent (OTA) websites.
Make sure your VisitScotland.com listing stands out from the crowd and convert customers with these top tips. You can update your VisitScotland.com listing yourself at any time by using your Extranet and if you need any help to update your listing please take a look at our handy Extranet Guide.
Guidance for businesses reopening
Scotland is getting ready to welcome back tourism. Visitors are anxious to know that businesses are safe and ready to welcome them. In order to provide them with reassurance there are three things we recommend you update on your VisitScotland.com web listing.
We’re Good to Go / Safe Travels
Tourism businesses across Scotland can sign up to a UK-wide industry standard and consumer mark to provide confidence for visitors, communities and tourism businesses alike. To obtain the mark via this free scheme, businesses must complete an online self-assessment on the We’re Good to Go online platform. Find out more about obtaining We’re Good to Go.
Businesses who have the We’re Good to Go industry standard scheme can be automatically issued with the international Safe Travels stamp from the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC). You need to register via your 'We're Good to Go' account.
Visitors will be able to filter on VisitScotland.com to find businesses identified as Good to Go or Safe Travels. Once you’ve completed the self assessment you can display the logos on your VisitScotland.com listing via the Facilities section in your Extranet.
Update your description
Ensure you update your description to provide COVID-specific information relevant to your business, highlighting new safety measures and any changes to your facilities and services. This will help to reassure visitors about the steps you are taking to operate safely and following government guidelines.
As more businesses start to reopen as lockdown restrictions are eased, it’s more important than ever to make sure that your opening times on your web listing are clear and accurate.
When your business reopens, you can display that you are open on your VisitScotland.com listing, allowing visitors to filter on VisitScotland.com to identify businesses which are definitely open and that they can book. To display We are open on your listing update the Facilities section on your Extranet.
It’s important that, in addition to the opening information on your VisitScotland.com web listing, you update all key sources of information on your business – for example, your Google knowledge graph, your own website and social media channels.
There are also COVID-specific facilities in your Extranet so please select the ones applicable to your business.
The importance of accurate information
All of the key information about your business should be consistent across all your web listings.
Up-to-date contact information
Ensure that your business name, address and postcode are correct and consistent across all digital platforms. Include links to your website and contact email, check to ensure they work and point to the intended place.
Clear opening times
Clear opening times are essential, especially if your business is in the food and drink or visitor attraction sectors. State if you are closed on public holidays, over the festive period, or operate seasonally. Opening times should be consistent everywhere they are displayed online.
Perfect your web listing
Entice the reader
Your web listing is your shop window. Make the most of the space that you’re provided to describe your business and convert customers.
It’s important to provide information on the different facilities you offer. For example, does your business have parking facilities, have Wi-Fi, cater to the accessible tourism market, or allow pets? What should visitors expect before they visit, for example, is pre-booking now required or do you only accept contactless payments? The more information you can share with your customers the easier the decision-making process will be for them.
You can expand on this with information about all the things visitors can see and do locally – customers are more likely to book accommodation if they know there is lots to do and points of interest nearby. Make things easy for potential customers by using hyperlinks to direct users to other useful websites such as local transport providers and timetables.
Social media platforms
Visitors search for holiday inspiration by several means and social media platforms are a very powerful way to capture your customers’ attention and offer more inspirational contact at each stage of their user search journey.
To add links to your social media channels on your VisitScotland.com web listing, contact our Customer Services Team at Customer.Services@visitscotland.com.
Are you new to using social media for your business, or want to make sure you’ve got the basics covered? Check out our tips to improve your social media presence, discover how to use Facebook effectively and find out how Twitter can help your tourism business.
Using good images and video
First impressions count and the first image that appears on your web listing should entice customers to find out more. You can display up to 30 images on your VisitScotland.com listing. It’s worth investing in high quality images of the inside and outside of your business as pictures heavily sway your customers’ decision making. Find out more about the importance of using good images online.
You can add YouTube videos to your listing via the External Links option on the Links section of your Extranet. These videos will then appear in the gallery on your listing, along with any images you have. This could be particularly useful for you to use as a tool to show visitors what to expect when they visit your businesses as lockdown restrictions are eased.
Ensure your listing uses keywords which match the information that customers would be searching about your product or service so that your listing appears higher in search rankings. In your short description avoid using forward slashes (/) or inverted commas (“) as Google does not recognise these and it will affect your page ranking. Consider search engine optimisation (SEO) techniques to increase the number of people looking at your listing. Find out more in our beginner’s guide to on-page SEO.
If your business is accessible by public transport, you can tick the specific facility box and describe you are on a public transport route. This information will pull through and display on your VisitScotland.com listing.
The ‘what’s nearby’ feature on VisitScotland.com listings works in a 10-mile radius. It picks up other nearby businesses to highlight all the things to see and do locally to help attract customers.
Accommodation pricing and offers
Potential customers can filter their search on VisitScotland.com by price. By pre-stating your guide price, not only do you stand out, our iCentre staff can search your property and book at the point of enquiry for visitors to our iCentres. You can also add any offers you’re running to your listing. Our advice is to add a date-range so that the offer drops off your listing at the date it expires. Offers are also a filtered option on our search function on VisitScotland.com.
The majority of people now plan and book their holidays online. Making it easy for people to find and book to visit you online is key to converting customers. Accommodation businesses can receive bookings online through their VisitScotland.com listing – if they work with a web booking engine that is integrated with our site. Find out the range of web booking engines we work with and learn more about how to improve your online visibility and increase bookings. Non-accommodation businesses can add a booking website link via the Extranet. This should only link to a page where visitors can check availability and book online or purchase a ticket.
A lot of these tips, although aimed for you to use to enhance your VisitScotland.com listing, are relevant for all web listings. It’s vital that you check all of your web listings regularly, keeping all information and links updated and accurate. You can update your VisitScotland.com listing yourself at any time by using your Extranet and if you need any help to update your listing please take a look at our handy Extranet Guide.