How is your website?
Yes, we are in the business of selling websites. We are experts in tour and activity business websites. You may not be in the position to make a large financial investment in your business and buy one right now though, and that’s okay! You can follow these tips to make improvements to your tourism website now. We’ll be here when you’re ready for a professional upgrade.
In the meantime, here are our suggestions for things that you can do today that will help you in both the short and long term. All of these come from our years of experience creating websites that sell tours.
Fix your content. Take a look at your website. Have a friend take a look. Ask colleagues in the tourism industry to take a look. Ask random people to take a look. What do they think about your business based on what your website says? “Stephanie, your website seems awesome and I think your tours would be hilarious,” is great feedback if you’re offering a casual, friendly vibe. It’s not so great if you’re trying to be the local academic tour.
Take their feedback to heart and think about what you can do to adjust your tone so that your website content matches your tour type. If you’re not sure what that means for you, check out similar companies. If you’re in Hanoi, look for similar tours in Rome and Mexico City. How do they write about their tours? If you look at enough, you’ll get a feel for the type of language and even specific words that are useful for the image you want to portray. Use that knowledge to update your content.
Update your photos. Your phone, hard drive, or social media (or all three!) is surely full of photos from your tours. Maybe you’ve even hired a professional photographer in the past to get some really amazing shots. What are you doing with all of those pictures? If the answer isn’t posting them on your social media AND website, you can do better.
Adding new photos is an easy way to upgrade the look of your site. Be sure that you have them optimized for the web and that they’re sized to fit the space available. Nothing slows down a website like a photo 10 times too big for the space allowed in your web design.
Add your reviews. Are you your city’s best tour business? How would a potential customer know? In the absence of personal recommendations or experience, we have to trust reviews so make sure they’re on your website! There is no faster way to get someone to book with you than to show them how great the experience will be. Your website and marketing do a lot of the heavy lifting here, but of course they do. It’s your company and you think it’s great. Reviews show that other people think that too and are automatically given more weight in a potential customer’s mind.
There are widgets that will automatically add TripAdvisor reviews to your site. You can try a free one, but paid is really better here (customer service tells me that we recommend Trustpilot). You’re paying to have more control over which reviews are shown. For now, try a free one or copy/paste them onto your site yourself. Whatever method you choose, just get them up there!
Start your blog. You’ve thought about this before and seen it recommended so many times in the past. Today is the day! If you aren’t confident with your writing skills, there are services that can help. I don’t need to tell you the many benefits of having a blog (but I will).
- Blogs are great for SEO. They are an easy way to get keywords onto your site and it shows Google that you’re updating things. Google loves that. It doesn’t hurt that good blog posts get shared either.
- Blogs help you gain trust. How are you different from other tour companies in your area? Let’s say there are two tour operator websites, one with and one without a blog. Someone will read your blog and think “Hey, this guy really knows about 1870s architecture in NYC.” When they look at both sites, they see that NYC architecture tours are offered. Who gets the business? The blog guy! It is clear that he is knowledgeable about the thing that the customer is interested in.
List your partners. Your customers probably don’t know you (yet!). They need to see that you’re great and they should trust you with their time, money, vacation, etc. Showing that other businesses are willing to put their name next to yours demonstrates that. This is very similar to posting reviews. Here, you’re showing that other businesses think you’re professional and well-run and association with you will help their business. That’s high praise!
This is a great time to reach out to new partners and help businesses that you already work with. Offer a food tour? Do you mention (and link to) the places that you visit? Do they say that they’re a stop on your tour? Maybe you’re a walking tour that starts at a statue in a city square. Reach out to the restaurants and cafes around the square. Put them on your website as a place to go for lunch before the tour and have them mention you as a post-meal activity. Small businesses supporting small businesses – it’s beautiful! Mutual backlinks for SEO don’t hurt, either.
These are all things that you can do to improve your tour website. If you do them today, it will be ready for the return of tourism. Both in the sense that it’ll be updated when people are looking and in the sense that Google will have noticed your changes and redone your ranking accordingly. The more of these suggestions you follow, the better your results will be. You may not have the ability (or need) to change them all though. In that case, congratulations on having a well-made website, now start promoting it!
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