Attracting new customers to your tourism business is all about visibility. Today’s holidaymakers use a wide variety of channels to find and book trips and it’s no surprise that you should be there to greet them online, just like you would be in person. From search engine listings to social media platforms and OTA sites, the secret to being found is to maintain a strong presence in the places your customers look for inspiration.
Find out more: Understanding the Online User Journey
Your website and 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. There is an argument that everything can be done on social media these days, but in fact 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 and to if you want to appear prominently in the listings your site will need to be optimised for search. There are many simple things that you can do to improve your SEO which you can find out more about here: A Beginner’s Guide to On-Page SEO
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, find out more:
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 or 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. Find out more by reading a case study.
Online Travel Agents (OTAs)
As we suggested at the beginning of this article, 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 and will take a commission, but you will reach more visitors and potential customers.
Some small businesses see OTAs as a threat to their established business and websites, as they have created a much more competitive booking market. However, 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, but the reward is that OTAs allow you to closely monitor booking activity and browsing patterns. With this info at your fingertips, you can improve your booking rates.
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 – because that’s what your customers are doing!