As we move towards the end of the year we’re heading towards a critical time for those of you involved in the Tourism & Leisure markets in Devon and Cornwall. This is the time to be be working on your plans and activities to ensure you get those summer bookings next year. So don’t leave anything to chance, you can’t influence the weather but there are things you can do on your website and in your marketing activities to help those people searching for a holiday destination to chose you.
Devon & Cornwall is renowned for rugged stretches of coastline, beautiful rivers and tranquil countryside and these assets attract visitors from all over the world.
But how do you ensure that when people search the web for a holiday destination and a place to stay, you get those bookings?
Well that obviously depends on what people are looking for but there are actions you need to be taking to make you stand out from the crowd and get chosen:
- Firstly you need to get found by the search engines.
- Secondly you need to create interest and desire for what you have to offer
- Thirdly you need to convince the visitor to convert
- And fourth, you want to ensure they come back
Stage 1 – get found by the search engines
If you run a hotel in Devon or B&B in Cornwall, near the beach it’s unlikely that your target audience is someone searching for somewhere quiet and tranquil in a woodland glade.
So you need to move away from generalities and get specific about what you have to offer.
I discussed ways to ensure your website is working hard for you in a previous post but basically your web content and key words and phrases have to focus on your key attributes i.e. near the beach.
Remember content isn’t just text, we’re becoming more accustomed to expect visual stimulation so take some cool photographs and video and upload them to your site. If you’re skilled enough you can do this yourself but it could pay dividends to get a professional photographer on board to ensure you have some outstanding pictures.
Share those photographs through social media platforms and upload video to YouTube, along with any scripted text, this can help your search engine ranking.
Starting a blog adds more pages to your site and those pages get indexed by Google, blogging offers an opportunity for you to differentiate your business from the competition and position you as the Go To source of local information.
An email newsletter can keep people engaged and up to date. Make sure you have a sign up block on your website and provide reasons to encourage visitors to subscribe e.g. out of season discounted offers.
Don’t forget to claim your Google My Business listing (formerly Google Places), it’s free and it’s a great way to add more information on what you can offer.
Check your Google Analytics to determine where your visitors are located. If you’re getting a lot of traffic from e.g. Germany you may want to consider a German language landing page.
PPC advertising through Google and Bing can help kick start your campaigns and provide quick results.
Stage 2 – create interest and desire
Visitors are now clicking through to your site so how do you keep them interested?
Not everyone who lands on your site will want to make an immediate booking or purchase. For those who do, make it easy for them, don’t make them jump through hoops or ask for irrelevant information.
People may be in research mode, looking for ideas. They may be comparing what you have to offer against your competition. So you need to differentiate your offering and give people a reason to select you.
Rather than just offering dry descriptions or even photographs of your rooms and facilities, give visitors the option to take a visual tour through video. A 360 degree tour of a room is much more inviting than a photograph.
Make them aware of local places of interest or what they can do if the weather isn’t great.
Offer visitors the opportunity to sign up for special offers you may be promoting throughout the year and remember, if your website looks like it was built in the 70’s by a 4th year IT student, it will impact your chances of success.
Key Tip: Visit your website and look at it through the eyes of your web visitor. Is it easy to get the information you need? Does your site give out the right impression? Is it easy to make a booking? – Try this out, it may open your eyes.
Stage 3 – convince the visitor to convert
You should be looking to move your web visitors further along on their journey. You’re telling a story and the ultimate aim is a conversion. So how do you convince them to convert?
Perhaps they’ve narrowed their choice to 2 or 3 options. They may be looking for validation or reinforcement to help them decide.
Endorsements from previous visitors could help swing the decision – do you ask for them? If you have a recent glowing entry in a well known magazine or local newspaper make sure to link to the article and direct visitors to read it.
Many decisions are taken on the back of feedback from review sites, make sure to monitor any entries and answer any issues that may be raised or even to go back and thank people for their kind words.
Make sure you’re using the correct tone of voice for your audience, quirky and upbeat might not sit well if you own an older property with a reputation for tradition and tranquility.
Remember if you offer something that others don’t, such as a baby sitting or child minding service or you’re dog friendly, make sure you tell people, it could make the difference between success or not.
All of the content you produce should be designed to give people the information they’re looking for at each stage of the buying cycle.
Stage 4 – make sure they come back
You want repeat business but that’s entirely down to you.
These 4 stages don’t just apply to those involved in Tourism and Leisure, any business big or small will benefit from this process.
If you’d like some more information on how I can help, get in touch. I look forward to hearing from you. Contact us today on 01803 413481 or email [email protected]