Back in the ‘90s, a time when your mobile was the size of a small country (and cost as much to run) and you clipped your walkman to your Adidas Tear Away pants, there was the most amazing video game called Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?
The aim of the game was simple: to find the eponymous villain of the piece, Carmen, which the gamer did by solving a series of clues before the clock ran out and Carmen escaped. The game was as addictive as it was educational. Time and time again, Carmen proved elusive and wily, slipping away into the digital realm like a pixelated vixen, presumably toasting her success with a raki in Ankara, or a soju in Seoul.
Carmen was like every male English actor in Hollywood at the time – a likeable villain. You couldn’t ask for a more fun way to go pretend-travelling in the days before the internet got really good. Now, though, triggering the travel bug online can happen in a flash, and the one thing you don’t want is for your digital presence to go fleeing into the wilds of the internet, never to be found.
You want a website that is striking and easily discovered, so that it ultimately achieves your end-goal: to convert more sales. Below, we’ve got 4 tips to make your tour website stand out from the crowd. And luckily, optimising your site is much simpler than finding Carmen Sandiego.
Make sure your website can be easily found
You’ve realised the importance of having an online presence. Unfortunately, so has everybody else. You want your to obtain a high ranking - the more relevant traffic to your site, the greater your online sales opportunity. According to Search Engine Journal 75% of users never get past the first page of results. This is why Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) practices are so important. Some of the simple things you can do to optimise your website include:
- Ensuring your loading times are fast
- Creating high-quality, relevant content for your customers
- Making sure you’re backlinking to great authority
- Include 1-2 long-tail keywords each time you create content and make sure they appear in your headings, metadata and images
If your site is properly optimised then when customers are typing in their query, for example, ‘Japanese whiskey tours in Tasmania’ your site will appear at the top of that search.
Be agile, be mobile
When that above person is looking for a whiskey tour, chances are they are going to be searching for it on their mobile. In fact Google has discovered that would-be travellers do a lot of their research and booking on a mobile devices. Due to the speed and convenience of mobile devices, travel conversion rates have grown by 88%. Therefore, even if you’ve got a fantastic website, if it’s not optimised for mobile, your business might as well be hiding out in the wilds of Borneo.
Make great user experience a top priority
Once your customers have found you, you want to make sure they can get the information they need quickly - and without feeling overwhelmed. Be disciplined and keep your home page clean and simple. You don’t need all the information about your tour sitting on the homepage, you just need to intrigue them and invite them to click through. You can do this by:
- keeping your language short, simple and relatable
- not overloading the homepage with too much multi-media content
- making sure the web design is consistent with your branding.
The Byron Bay Ballooning website does a great job of this.
The branding is simple, organic and clean. The language is simple and to-the-point. When you scroll down you see the tours on offer and vouchers. If you’re interested in one of the tours, the site allows you to painlessly click-through to purchase the tour. Online tour sales? Boom!
Keep your nose to the ground and your finger on the pulse
The only way to beat Carmen was to really pay attention to the small clues that were constantly dropped during the course of the game. After many hours of being frustratingly beaten, one small bit of information could make the penny drop and suddenly you were on your way to school-yard bragging rights.
This lesson is also true for your website. The market is constantly evolving, so you need to make sure you keep your finger on the pulse of travel and technology trends that will affect your business. One scrap of information about your market, their preferences and their online expectations could have an enormous impact on how you develop your site, and as a result, your online tour sales.
If you’d like more information on how to make sure you website can be easily found, then check out our SEO cheat sheet today!Booking Boss is an online booking system for tour operators and attraction providers. Trusted by many in the tourism industry, Booking Boss is about getting you out of the spreadsheets and into the sun. We provide free education resources for operators like you, to make your business the best it can possibly be.