Tourism Websites - tips to make yours awesome

Your website should be the hub of all your marketing activities and a core part of the strategy for your tourism business.

Google tells us the 85% of people us the internet to inspire, plan and book travel experiences, with the average traveller visiting 22 travel related sites during 9.5 research sessions before booking.

But not all tourism websites are created equal. A good one will make you easily found and booked by customers. A bad one can leave you invisible.

So how can you make sure your tourism website is found by travellers?

You need an awesome website. What does that look like? Here are some tips:

Design & Content

First impressions count! They say your website has 3 seconds to gain your customers trust.

Your website should:

  • Be clean, uncluttered and modern  website design has changed a lot of the past few years and consumers know modern design – check out Primus Hotel Sydney and My Sydney Detour for some inspiration
  • Be branded – use colours, fonts and tone of voice that reflects your brand like Margaret River and New Zealand,
  • Have inspiring content that tells a story.  Content is king, it needs to be engaging and give visitors a reason to stay on your site and explore! Check out Mudgee Region and meet the locals for some great examples of story telling
  • Be visual! Include good quality, up to date photos that accurately show your experience like they do in the Barossa
  • Have clear ‘Calls to Actions’ make it easy for customers to get in touch with book now buttons, phone numbers, email, contact us forms
  • Be optimized for search engines . Know the keywords customers are using to look for products like yours and use them on your website and online listings.

To help with your research use Google’s Keyword Planner (You need to create a Google Adwords account to use this tool, but you don’t need to spend any money!) and Google Trends

  • Be up to date – There is nothing more frustrating for a consumer than out of date content! Fresh content is good for search, get in the habit of updating your site regularly and creating new content (a blog is a great way of doing this!)

Technology

The technology behind your site is just as important as the content. Your site should be easy for you to manage & easy for search engines to find. You must: 

  • Have a CMS (Content Management System) that you can access & is easy to use
  • Be search engine compatible
  • Have content optimized with key words
  • Have an e-marketing opt-in function
  • Set up Google Analytics to monitor your sites performance

Technology is constantly changing. If you haven’t upgraded the technology of you site in the last 3 years now is the time.

Functionality

Make it easy for your customers to navigate around your site. Highlight the information that your customers are looking for, not what you want to tell them!

  • Online booking is available
  • “Book Now” on main navigation
  • Loads quickly
  • Displays correctly, no matter what the platform
  • Mobile Friendly
  • Has footer navigation
  • Social media integration, with icons and links to social accounts

Be mobile

You must have a mobile responsive site, no excuses! If you don’t you will be penalised by both Google & your customers! What does that mean?

Your site needs to be set up to display correctly on mobile and tablet devices.

Most modern templates are mobile responsive and should automatically do this for you.

When setting up your mobile site, you should:

  • Focus on your customer, how will they use it?
  • Keep calls to action front and centre
  • Keep menus short & sweet
  • Make it easy to get back to the home page
  • Make sure your design is responsive (a good CMS like wordpress will have templates that do that for you)
  • Optimise your entire site for mobile (keep your content short & sharp)
  • Use click –to- call buttons and other phone features like GPS & social sharing

To check if your site is mobile ready? Use Google’s handy Mobile Friendly tool.

Grow your footprint

Your website should be the hub of all your marketing activities.

To be found by more people in more places you will also want to look at ways to grow your digital footprint through online listings.

Think about your ideal customers and where they hang out, make sure you can be found there. Listing sites include:

  • Google Business Pages & Map Listings
  • Get Connected Listings with Destination NSW  which will get your product listed on visitnsw.com , australia.com and a whole range of other sites. Check out the Love Your Listing webinar for tips on how to make the most of your listing!
  • Your local tourism organisation’s site – www.visitshellharbour.com.au
  • TripAdvisor
  • Facebook, Youtube & other social media
  • Third party booking sites
  • Other tourism businesses sites
  • Local Search Sites

To maximise the benefits of your online listings make sure you:

  • Use consistent copy and contact details
  • Use great images, with people in them, that showcase your experience and are consistent
  • Optimise them with the same keywords you’ve used for your website
  • Link them back to your website & social media
  • Know where you are listed & keep them up to date

Got a questions about your website?

Drop me an email – naomi@lighthousetourism.com