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During peak season, you’re likely spending most of your time  organizing and operating tours so that your guests have the best experience possible, which can make it difficult to invest time into looking at a website – especially when some of the technical aspects are not your expertise. Luckily, the offseason should offer more time to focus on parts of the business that can help increase bookings for the next peak season. Furthermore, you may have more time to learn some of the less technical improvements that you can make for your website without any developers needed.

Update Your Photos

One of the best projects you can sink time into during the offseason is updating the photos on your website. Each new season provides the opportunity to showcase your tours and/or activities better with new photos and this is also a great way to keep your site fresh – photos can sell tours! Around the site, engaging  photos are extremely important for converting visitors into bookings, as the visual element can push them across the line in their decision making. If they’re set with all the details and price, and can visualize themselves in the moments of the tour, they’re one step closer to booking.  Make sure to at least update the site to have the essential photos: scenic shots, guides, and gear to name a few. Customer photos are perhaps the most essential of those new photos. Remember, guests want to see people actively participating in the tour and enjoying it! This type of photo also acts as a sort of visual testimonial, as the visitor will think “they look like they’re having fun!” If you didn’t get a chance to take many photos during the season, don’t worry. The offseason can also offer a great time to take some of the essential photos, minus any customer photos. Hire a photographer, or take the photos yourself, and you can get those essential shots without the need to run any tours! 

Get Reviews

While it’s best to collect these during the season, the offseason does give plenty of time to catch up on getting reviews! If you used a booking software or collected client emails, you should already have a list of who to reach out to for reviews – even if it may be some time since they took the actual tour. While getting reviews on OTAs such as TripAdvisor are great, Google Reviews are becoming more of a driving force in the industry. Google Reviews offer the traditional benefits of reviews and testimonials being shown on any platform, but they also have the additional benefit of affecting your organic rankings in Google’s search results – especially with local search. While Google Reviews should be the priority, don’t ignore the fact that the extra time in the offseason still opens a great opportunity to bolster your site’s TripAdvisor reviews as well. You can also spend time going through and responding to reviews, whether they’re positive or negative – better late than never!

Update Your Google My Business Profile

Google Reviews tie directly into your Google My Business profile, which is another great optimization project in the offseason. This entirely free feature allows you to have some control in how Google presents your business, and it also gives you the opportunity to explicitly explain to Google what your business is relevant to. For example, you can list your address, which will show Google that you are relevant to a certain location. When people are searching in Google Maps, you won’t show up unless you have a GMB profile either. It’s also a great place to collect customer photos!

Boost SEO by Building Backlinks

Creating or strengthening your site’s backlink profile, if done well, can really pay off in the long run. Backlinks are probably one of the most time-heavy SEO investments you can make, but they are also one of the most valuable. They’re great at proving to Google what you’re relevant to, and that you run a legit operation – which means that it is in Google’s best interest to rank your site higher and provide better experiences for its users. Backlinks also take time to affect organic rankings, so if you focus on building a strong link profile early in the offseason, their SEO value can kick in by the time peak season rolls around. Backlinks are very much a capital investment. You pay upfront to build them, but the increase in organic rankings over time will come at no additional cost. Not sure where to start? TourismTiger can help you cross this project off of your offseason to-do list with our Backlink Profiling Service.

Get Writing

Increased free time in the offseason also creates a great opportunity to start a  blog or optimize an already existing blog on your website. Blogs offer the chance to increase the amount of relevant content on your website without bogging down tour and landing pages, which are made with the purpose to convert. While blogs can convert visitors into bookings, the seo value of blogs comes from the increased amount of content you are able to attribute to your website. This can help to attract more visitors to your site organically. Blogging should be a consistent practice if you decide to start a blog, but the time in the offseason can allow you to write blogs ahead of time. That way, you simply have to publish them during the peak season instead of writing them entirely. Don’t forget to work on some Evergreen content pieces as well – they take longer to write, but when they properly stand the test of time you’ll see a consistent return in the form of organic traffic. And remember, the TourismTiger Blogging Service can take care of both offseason and peak season blogging for you!

Newsletters also provide a great way to keep customers engaged at a time when they may not be booking tours. If you haven’t yet built up a mailing list, the offseason is a great time to do so. Get people to join the list with promises of updates on upcoming tours, discounts for advanced bookings, or consistent news on your area! Once they’re on the list, keep them engaged with similar pieces and more and you will be a readily available option in their mind when they are ready to book. Hint: a blog is a great thing to base a newsletter off of! 

Other Considerations

Before going into the final project that is perfect to take care of during the offseason, here are a few smaller things that should be mentioned as well:

Build a New Website

One of the final bigger projects that the offseason works well for is creating a new website! Upgrading to a professional website can make a huge difference when the next peak season comes, whether it be through increased traffic or better conversions from current traffic. Fresh design, expertly written content, and custom user experience are all things that a professional site builder will bring to the table, but a professional project will be a time requirement on your side as well. When going for a professional website, you’re going to want a specialist, like TourismTiger!

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