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Once you’ve caught someone’s attention and got them on your website, you want them to come back. After all, visits mean business! Whether that person visited your website once when researching your destination or even booked one of your tours, one visit doesn’t have to be enough. Here’s how to get people returning to your tourism website — again and again.

1. Guide visitors to your social media

Let your visitors stay in touch. When I visit your website, can I check out your Facebook page for photos of your recent tours? Can I follow you on Twitter and connect with you on LinkedIn? Check that visitors can find your social media links within a five-second scroll through your website.

By directing visitors towards your social media, happy customers will be able to show their gratitude by following you, engaging with your content, and gradually becoming a brand ambassador. You can also stay top-of-mind for those who don’t book your tour but might return to your location – and website – in the future, or know someone who will.

2. Build your email list

When you know a visitor’s email, it becomes so much easier to stay in touch and provide them with reasons to revisit your website. If you use online booking software, it’s simple to collect customer emails and schedule pre- and post-trip messages to stay in touch. However, it’s a great idea to collect email addresses from website visitors too, not just customers.

Strategies to collect emails include a subscribe form on your blog sidebar or a pop-up offering something in return for an email, such as a newsletter or free PDF city guide.

The best websites grow their mailing lists by providing visitors with clear motivation to share their email. This may be quality content that a visitor wants in their inbox rather than sending it straight to trash or the temptation of receiving future discounts and voucher codes.

3. Send a newsletter

Use a newsletter to share content that goes beyond what’s on your website and turn visitors into brand ambassadors. We all like to feel ‘in the know’, especially when it comes to a company we care about and wish to see grow.

Your newsletter could include company news, special offers, or your most recent blog post. Make it engaging and worth opening (bonus points if you can call the email something more exciting than a ‘newsletter’). Over at TrekkSoft, we deliver a new edition of Your Tourism Success Guide to our subscribers every two weeks: we find this is to be the perfect amount to deliver a range of up-to-date resources, but you should test what works for you.

4. Facebook re-targeting

Ever looked at a product on Amazon, not bought it, then seen it the next time you log on to Facebook? That’s retargeting. Facebook knew that you visited Amazon because of a small piece of Facebook code on the Amazon page, which then allowed Facebook to automatically show you the product ad (and tempt you into buying it). You can do the same for your website: here are the basics of retargeting to get you started.

5. Showcase what’s new and popular

Think about websites you often visit. I’ll take a guess and say that these have quality and up-to-date content, whether it’s blog posts, news articles, or other free resources. I’ll also assume you enjoy a unique experience each time you visit. You need to achieve the same for your own website.

Keep your website fresh by sharing regular blog articles, and switch up your homepage to suit the season with recent photos, relevant tour descriptions, and a showcase of what’s new and popular across your website. Check out a brilliant example on Visit Meteora’s homepage(opens in a new tab).

6. Create good user experience (UX)

Ever heard that 40% of people abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load(opens in a new tab)? It’s essential that your website offers a brilliant user experience, otherwise you’ll have a tough job convincing visitors to return. This means that your website is responsive (or mobile-optimised), quick to load, and easy to navigate. This applies to visits on computers, tablets, and smartphones alike.

7. Reward your brand advocates

The best way to incentivise a visitor to come back to your tourism website is to make it worthwhile for them. You could have an offers page with regularly updated voucher or discount codes or even share deals for local restaurants that you’ve partnered up with.

To develop a more lasting connection with visitors, you could launch a referral or loyalty programme. You could also make your brand more memorable by handing out freebies like t-shirts, pens, mugs, or stickers to tour guests.

One brand that’s brilliant at staying top-of-mind is Lonely Planet. Have you seen their ‘Lonely Planet in the Wild(opens in a new tab)‘ series on Facebook? Fans can submit a photo of their Lonely Planet guidebook around the world and have a chance of being featured on their Facebook page. This special treatment is sure to get featured travellers to stay loyal to the brand and revisit the Lonely Planet website time and again for travel tips.

Stay in touch, reward visitors, and keep your website fresh, and you’ll have a much easier job of encouraging people to return on your website. What other tips would you recommend?

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