Five Best Practices for Future-Ready Tourism WebsitesMay 12, 2016 | By: Ian Richer
Think your tourism website marketing efforts can take a backseat to social media? Think again. 65% of leisure travelers and 69% of business travelers conduct online research early in the travel process, citing a combination of social network content, video content and web searches as the top factors influencing their decision. A high-performing website and strategically developed, curated social outlets are strong complements, and both require regular updates and maintenance to stay on the cutting edge.
Your website is the foundation of where information, content and sales & marketing messaging live. We have five practices for forward thinking DMOs to adopt in developing a forward-leaning tourism website:
1. Reach the right audiences with intelligent, targeted advertising
Targeting technology works just as many wonders for websites as it does for online advertisers. Marketers who know their intended audience’s demographics can fine-tune targeted ads to deliver highly relevant and specific messaging to website visitors. Enabling retargeting pixels on website pages will enable DMOs to serve up relevant content to visitors, either driving them to another section of the site or feeding destination partner advertisements. The correct message that is properly targeted is proven to increase viewer engagement and clickthrough rates, as well as ensuring advertising budgets are being used efficiently.
2. Commit to conversion
Though online marketing materials are an excellent resource, their value isn’t being maximized without a clear call to action (CTA.) While in the strategy/development stage, invest time in determining your effort’s desired result – whether it’s booking a flight, clicking through to a promotion’s landing page, or subscribing to a newsletter – and communicate next steps clearly to the user.
3. Integrate robust trip planning capabilities
Visitors turn to a DMO’s website for an insider’s knowledge of the destination. Assist them in planning their visit with an interactive map of attractions in the area. To enhance the experience further, allow users to narrow down attractions included on the map by specific verticals (can’t-miss craft breweries, LGBT hotspots, etc.)
In addition, integrating local hotels and lodging partners is a powerful tool for driving bookings and supporting your website’s search and booking functionality.
4. Host a hub for video content
Well-produced videos increase social engagement and motivate consumers. With this in mind, it’s crucial for destinations to invest in producing robust, compelling video content. Interactive virtual reality experiences, “highlight reels” and full web series leverage the newest video capabilities to showcase the best your destination has to offer.
5. Move from “Mobile Friendly” to “Mobile First”
It’s official: more Google searches take place on mobile devices than on computers in many countries, including the U.S. Methods of reaching consumers that have historically proven successful are quickly becoming ineffective. With Google’s latest research and recommendations as a guide, smart digital marketers are improving their DMO’s user experience and SEO by providing a fully responsive digital experience.
What technologies are you hoping to add to your tourism website? Let us know @aboutDCI!