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Let’s face it, most of the time as a tour and activity operator you don’t have the time to make necessary changes to your website. Price updates, schedule changes or inclusions, and everything else can fall to the side. So how can you be expected to find time to think about what you can add to improve your web presence? Here’s a list of things you can be doing in this downtime. I promise that if you do these, you will reap rewards once we come out the other side.

Respond to reviews

Log onto Google My Business, TripAdvisor, Yelp and everywhere else your guests leave their feedback and ensure that you reply to them all. Every single one. We previously wrote some guidelines on how to reply to both positive(opens in a new tab) and negative(opens in a new tab) reviews. Replying to poor reviews gives you a chance to show your class, and your overall response rate can favourably affect your rankings on some platforms. It’s not just about audience perception though. Reading and responding to reviews can also give you the opportunity to assess and reflect on your own approach and that of your staff

Drive more reviews

It’s likely that a lot of your previous guests are also experiencing their own downtime. Now could be a good time to check on how they’re holding up… and see whether they’d be able to leave you that review they never got round to. I don’t need to tell you the importance of reviews, but this blog post(opens in a new tab) can tell you the way to ask for them.

Write a blog

There are numerous reasons why you should have a blog on your website and we’ve addressed them all before. Most notably, a blog can highlight your unique selling points. That goes a long way toward getting people to trust you with their vacation. If you’re still not convinced, here are seven more reasons you need a blog(opens in a new tab).

Write a book

Already got a blog? If so, why not put it together to create your own resource bible? Even if you don’t have a blog, you can do this with your other content and ideas as long as you think it will be interesting to your target audience. It could be something you use to generate extra money while you’re unable to get into the field, a free giveaway used to entice new guests or a source of future passive income.

Build an email marketing list

Speaking of which… giving away free content is a great way to help boost your email marketing list. Don’t have one? There’s no time like the present. I wrote a post on why you should have one(opens in a new tab) a while ago. With so many people currently unwilling to book tours, building up a list of interested people that you can email directly once travel becomes available is a no brainer. Check out my post on just how to do this.

Integrate push notifications

Push notifications can be set to pop up in the web browser as soon as people visit your website. If they ‘allow notifications’, you can send out a ping when you have new content, which will be displayed as a notification in the visitor’s browser. This could be a useful feature to use once your tours or activities become available again and you want to get the word out. The issue with push notifications is that most people opt to block them since they haven’t yet interacted with your company and the directive ‘allow notifications’ is non-specific. Therefore, this should be used in addition to building an email list rather than as a replacement.

Create a new online experience

Okay, so this one is more for the present than setting you up for travel returning, but leaving out this great way to generate extra revenue would have been an oversight on my part. Plus there’s always the possibility that we’ll see a return to lockdown in the future. There are loads of great examples of virtual tours that people have set up but I’m going to tell you to visit Online Tourism Academy(opens in a new tab) as these guys are doing a great job of helping tour and activity operators get their virtual tours up and running.

Build backlinks

Aside from writing your own blog content, see if you can write for someone else. Getting websites with good reputations to link back to your site is the single best thing you can do for your website’s SEO. There’s a huge demand for content at the moment, and as an expert in your industry your insights are extremely valuable. Aside from writing content, you could feature on podcasts, popular YouTube channels, etc. Take this time to make sure that the links on your own site are up-to-date too.

Focus on social content

The number of fun challenges on Instagram, Facebook and TikTok being issued weekly is astronomical. It started with footballers attempting keepy-uppys with toilet roll and has seen family dance troupes, bake-offs and push up challenges to name a few. Engage with this! Okay, you might not be interested in getting down and doing 100 push-ups, but could you offer prizes for the best ones sent to you? Is it something you could get your staff to take part in? Stay engaged and keep your audience engaged. Now is also a great time to brand your social media profiles(opens in a new tab) if you haven’t already.

Sell gift cards

A lot of Tourism Tiger clients have asked to feature gift cards more prominently on their websites. If a guest doesn’t know when they’ll be able to visit, then booking a tour isn’t an option. What is an option is buying a gift card at a reduced price now and booking their preferred activity as soon as it becomes available. A gift card for $100 available for purchase at $80? It’s a great offer for the customer, it puts money in your bank account, and most importantly of all, you don’t have to reduce your product prices.

Refresh your branding

It’s a great time to give your business a makeover and update your logo, along with the rest of your branding. There are a lot of things that you can do yourself(opens in a new tab) to make this happen. Start by choosing your colour palette. Use only those colours. Use them, and your logo, everywhere. If you need advice on how you can start this, our Lead Designer, Andie, is available for quick consultation calls(opens in a new tab). Her personalized advice can put you on the right track.

New website pages

Aside from new pages for gift cards, blogs, etc., it’s likely that people’s considerations when booking tours and activities will alter. Cleanliness and hygiene will join the environment and sustainability as considerations that could influence whether someone books with you -or with your competitor. Creating a page on your website that addresses this directly, talking through the measures you are (or you will be) taking could make that difference.

Update your business listings

It’s likely that you’re already on the main OTAs, but there may be some you’re missing out on. Check where your competitors are listed and see if there are any opportunities available. If you’d like to check your listings against our latest list of ‘95 places to list your tours’, there’s a download link at the bottom of this article.

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