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Visit Scotland | Alba

Attracting new customers to your tourism business is all about visibility. The secret to this being the maintenance of a strong presence in the places your customers look for inspiration.

You can do this by using search engine listings, social media platforms, online travel agents, and more.

Today’s holidaymakers use a wide variety of channels to find and book trips. So, it’s no surprise that you should be there to greet them online, just like you would be in person.

1. Your website and Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

We don’t need to tell you that having a website is important in today’s marketplace. If you don’t have one, potential customers will go to businesses that do – it’s as simple as that.

Please refrain from letting users book via social media. Instead, let social media should be a way of driving customers to your site where they can make a booking.

The way your website is set up will affect how your business appears in online search results. Searching on Google (other search engines are available!) is one of the most common ways that a customer will find your business.

If you want to appear prominently in the listings, you will need to optimise your site for search. There are many simple things that you can do to improve your Search Engine Optimisation.

2. Social media

Social media is an important way to build your brand’s identity and gives your business a human voice.

As well as being a good way to show your personality, social media gives customers a direct way to contact you and review your performance. Good reviews can really boost your visibility and encourage new business.

Seeing that you are active on social media also helps build trust with your audience. An active presence signals that you care about your business and that it will be easy to contact you.

And it goes without saying that social media is a great way of promoting your content – perhaps you have a blog on your website or you have created a video?

What better way to get your marketing to an engaged audience? Social analytics enable you to measure the performance of such materials and better target your content in the future.

We have lots of advice on how to set up and manage your social media accounts.

Read six tips on improving your social media presence.

Learn how Twitter can help your tourism business.

Discover how you can use Facebook effectively.

3. E-commerce and online bookings

Setting up your website so that you can facilitate bookings is one of the best things you can do as a tourism business. On an e-commerce website, customers can click on your listings through intuitive navigation.

Alternatively, they can use a search box to narrow down their search immediately. Some websites remember customer preferences which encourages repeat visits and purchases.

Of the many benefits of this type of website, you are able to provide lots of information to the customer all in one place.

You are also geared up to stay open 24/7 allowing potential customers to make a booking whenever it is convenient for them.

4. Online travel agents

As we suggested at the beginning of this page, your customers could find your business in a variety of ways. One of these is by comparing deals on an online travel agent’s website.

Online travel agents  require you to update the prices and availability for your business. They will also take a commission, but you will reach more visitors and potential customers.

Some small businesses see online travel agents as a threat to their established business and websites.

This is because online travel agents have created a much more competitive booking market. But these sites are valuable tools in reaching a global audience that you might not be able to reach on your own.

Maintaining your profile requires regular input. Luckily, online travel agents allow you to closely monitor booking activity and browsing patterns. With this info at your fingertips, you can improve your booking rates.

5. Becoming discoverable and bookable

With such a vast suite of tools at your disposal, it is important to choose the right ones for your business. We have lots of advice on different aspects of digital marketing which you can access for free.

Remember, becoming discoverable and bookable means using a variety of different channels. After all, that’s what your customers are doing too!

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