SEO or Search Engine Optimization You have probably seen this terms – SEO – mentioned quite a bit, but what is it and how do you implement it in your own tourism business? It involves optimizing the search engines to rank your website higher in the SERPS (SEARCH ENGINE RESULTS PAGES). How? You need to conduct keyword research on what terms your business would be found under and then use these terms throughout your content, in your website, in blog posts, in your Instagram Bio (and username), on your images you upload to your google business profile (a lot of people don’t even know about this one but google doesn’t recognize the filename image12345.jpg but it will recognize the filename ‘Donegal Hotel with swimming pool’ as its a terms customers will use to search for a hotel.
A good website to use to find out which terms you are being found under is Ubersuggest. Type in your website name and look at the results. Also your google search console will give you the terms. Expand on them and use them on your social media platforms to get started. Another way is to google your business keywords and scroll down to the bottom of the first page, google will show you here what other similar terms people are using to search for you. Type your keywords into Instagram search, are you appearing? Why not? Get them same keywords into your Bio.
Pay per click Advertising Use paid advertising like google ads or Facebook ads to reach targeted audiences or people visiting your area and drive traffic to your website. Social Media Marketing Use these to promote your business and engage with potential customers, lead with value and entertainment, not always for the direct sale. Think of it in a ratio of 4:1, for every 4 times you post make one of them sales focused. Create engaging content that attracts your ideal customer and that either educated, entertains or inspires them to follow you for more.
Email Marketing You need to start building an email list. Your social channels are not yours to own and can be easily removed but your email list is yours forever. Build it by capturing emails (through proper GDPR practices) and then keeping them up to date on what you are up to. Automate it if you can to reduce the workload.
Content Marketing Create valuable content such as blogs, videos and infographics to attract potential customers, build authority and drive website traffic. Blogs are a great way to educate your audience and rank for keywords. Pushing them out to similar websites to gain back links is also good practice, also known as a back link strategy.
Influencer Marketing Partner with influencers or travel bloggers to promote your business and reach a wider audience. Identify relevant ones, provide incentives and track the results to see which to repeat. Get on Instagram and follow big national accounts in the travel industry to see which influencers they are using and who you can connect with and invite to your business. Donegal Tourism is great at this. Ensure your are following competitors accounts also to see if you could use the same influencer. Reach out and ask how they got on before committing.
Online Reputation Management Ask for reviews, respond to them to maintain a positive reputation. Encourage customers to leave a review by emailing and asking every customer who uses your service for a review. Make it easy for yourself, every Monday send every customer a template email with the link to your google business profile or TripAdvisor page. Remember, customers need to be prompted to leave a good review, but they will quickly leave a bad one. By getting in early most customers who have a complaint will reply to your email request and tell you. Even if they don’t and go straight online, you have the chance of reply and recovering and more than likely anyone reading the review will be more positive.
Video Marketing Video is the future. Invest in a great phone that captures high quality video. When I look to share tourist attractions video, it needs to be of high quality or I wont use it. If it is grainy at all it gives a bad impression to the customer when everything they see online is shot in perfect quality. Do not lose image but shooting a bad quality video. Make sure your settings are enabled to capture high quality video, ensure your phone is well charged and the WIFI used to upload it is high (this also affects video quality) and shoot in portrait, not landscape as everyone on their mobile phone will see it in portrait. If you don’t it has the black bar at the top and bottom on the screen.
Mobile Optimization Make sure your website is mobile optimized as EVERYONE is searching for things on their phone and researching their trips. Even your granny is doing this, do not forget this crucial step. Check your mobile site and make sure it is not jumping around the screen, that images load correctly, that writing is not cut off which all leads to a bad experience. You have the power to check this yourself and invest in a better website if its not a good user experience.
Retargeting Campaigns Capture the customers who landed on your website but did not convert by retargeting them through an ad set up specifically to talk to them. Facebook offers this in their ad campaigns as does Google.
I hope you find these tips helpful. Thanks for reading.