By Taz Bareham — 13 Aug 2013
If you don’t have an online presence, your tour bookings will suffer. The numbers don’t lie – 57% of all travel reservations are now made on tour operator websites (StatisticBrain).
However, if you have an online presence and it fails to impress, then it will also hurt your ability to sell your tours and activities.
Make sure you avoid the below pitfalls to have a steady stream of bookings each month:
If all you do is talk about how amazing your tour or activity is, then people who visit your site may get turned off. While you do need to talk about why they should book with you, tell your customers what’s in it for them. When they feel like you truly understand them, they’ll trust that you’re able give them a great experience.
An easy way to do this is to constantly use the “2nd person” – use you, a lot. For example, instead of saying “Our company provides the most comprehensive diving tours of the Great Barrier Reef”, you could say, “When you take a trip with us, we’ll show you all of the best spots in the Great Barrier Reef”. Which one sounds more engaging?
One of the biggest mistakes you can make as a tour operator is forgetting to ask people to do things that will encourage them to book with you.
You should provide prominent buttons inviting people to learn more about particular packages, as well as book directly from your website.
Here are some other examples of things you should be asking your site visitors to do:
If they have enough things to do, then they’re more likely to stick around on your website.
On the other side of the spectrum your website can end up looking very cluttered if you ask too many things at once! It will confuse and overwhelm people to the point that they click off.
Try to think of one main thing that you want people to do per page. While you want them to book, consider what they will be thinking at that particular moment in time, and design a logical path to your booking engine.
For example, learn more > product info page > see photo gallery > book now.
Make sure you play with design to keep your web pages looking professional.
Tour and activity operators, get on social media! Why?
Social networking is one of the most popular things to do from a mobile device. In fact, 55% of social networking consumption occurs on a mobile device (MarketingCharts). And mobile phones are the #1 item to bring on holiday (etravelblackboard).
So you can no longer ignore this norm. Get your business active on social platforms that your customers use – Facebook and Twitter at the bare minimum!
(If you’re not sure how to approach social media for tour operators, download our free ebook which talks about exactly how to do that.)
Even though this is #5 on our list, it is probably the most important point to make. If your website offers a poor user experience, no one will use it.
Ask yourself the following questions:
Remember that search engines are looking for indicators of websites that people like to use. Things like how long visitors stay on your site and consume your content will weigh in your favour. If your site is difficult to use and accumulates lots of bounces, then this sends the signal that maybe search engines shouldn’t refer their users to you.
Want more tips on online marketing? Download our free ebook: