If you read part 1 of this series, you know that there’s no point in having an aesthetically beautiful website if you don’t have a great value proposition.
A quick refresher: value proposition underpins any successful tourism business. It’s about developing and delivering an amazing and unique concept that will make your tours stand out from the crowds. It’s the lifeblood of your business.
Take a look at the image below. You’ll see that value proposition is the plane. Without value proposition, there would be no plane to fly.
The question you have to ask yourself now is, what fuels the plane and keeps the momentum going? In other words, what will drive your sales and keep current and future customers interested? The answers are creating urgency, being very clear and making sure that your website visistors can instantly see that your site has something relevant to their search keeping everything relevant. And one of the best ways of achieving these key sales-generating factors is through content.
Create urgency through your content
As Chris Goward discusses in this article, there are two forms of urgency: internal urgency and external urgency. So what does that mean? Let’s start with internal urgency.
Internal urgency is how any viewer intrinsically feels upon arriving to your website – basically, the reader is clicking on your website to look at the kind of tours or activities that your website offers.
But before they even begin looking at your actual tours, what are they going to see from the get-go? You guessed it: your website’s headline. And with the majority of internet visitors leaving any given page after 15 seconds, you need to nail your headline.
The elusive headline
There are numerous sources around the internet that will ostensibly tell you how to create a great headline. The thing is though, it really isn’t that hard!
Why? Because there is only one key element to make your headline effective – and that element is clarity. (Sound familiar? It should! This is one of the factors that keeps your plane soaring high. Or in this case, it will keep viewers on your page longer than those crucial 15 seconds.)
Clarity ensures that the viewers internal urgency is validated. If the viewer is interested in tours in Jaco, Costa Rica and they see a headline entitled, ‘Amp Up Your Fun in the Sun,’ they might be confused – leading them to find another outlet that shows them exactly what they are looking for from the word go.
Our client, Lost Beach, does this well – from one look at the headline, it is immediately apparent that they sell tours and offer adventures in Jaco, Costa Rica. They also used social proof in the headline, but I’ll speak more about that later.
While clarity is far and above the most important element for a headline, there are some other tricks of the trade you should use when creating a headline. Check out all those juicy tips here.
Images that sell
As mentioned before, most people viewing your website are there for a reason: they are interested in the kind of tours that you offer. And while you may have proven to the viewer that you actually provide the kind of tours that they are looking for, they are far, far from being sold on any of your tours – which brings me back to the idea of internal urgency.
Put yourself in your potential customers shoes: they want to go on a tour where you are located, and they want to have the most amount of fun (or relaxation) while doing so. They probably even have some kind of mental image in their head about what they want out of a tour before they even click on a link to your site.
So how do you leverage this to your advantage? You match, and hopefully even exceed, any kind of pre-existing mental images that they might have by including beautiful and professional images on your site.
When it comes to pictures that you include your site, there are two major takeaways:
#1 Make them representative of your audience:
Remember, you are painting a picture for your audience. So you need to ask yourself questions like who are they, how old are they, what kinds of things do they like. (If you are struggling with answering these questions, try creating a buyer persona).
#2 Take them on a sunny day:
A gloomy, cloudy day doesn’t often scream the perfect tour – unless you’re leading tours in the middle of the Amazon rain forest and a bit of cloud cover adds to the ambiance. Otherwise, take pictures to feature on your website on a sunny day. It will make the tours look far, far more appealing and can be a major deal breaker when a potential customer chooses whether or not to book tours through your company.
Don’t believe me, have a look at the pictures of the exact same beach below. Which picture looks more appealing? If you are like most of us, I’d be willing to bet that you’d choose the picture on the right? Why? because it represents an idyllic beach – clear water and white sand lying under a clear, blue sky.
Pro-tip: For nitty-gritty details about the logistics of pictures, have a look at this article. We also give you ideas for how to create great images on a dime!
Clear and detailed tour descriptions
With that great headline and beautiful images, you’ve probably done a pretty good job validating your viewers’ internal urgency. They probably have a pretty good idea that they are on a site that they want to be on; now it’s time for the fun part – developing external urgency. Basically, you need to create an intrinsic urge inside of your viewers that will make them want to book their tours through you.
To do that, start by developing great tour descriptions. The key factor here? Once again, clarity. Don’t derail your customer from their interest in your tours with a floundering tour description that’s full of fluff and doesn’t give enough accurate details about your tours.
Instead, present simply stated tour descriptions outlining all of the requirements and expectations to ensure your potential customers know exactly what they are up for.
Check out how Lost Beach did this for their rope course tour. Every detail is clearly presented; there is absolutely no ambiguity.
To up the ante even more, add some social proof and credibility to your tour descriptions by including a TripAdvisor widget on your tour description pages. You could even take it one step further by integrating the widget onto a sticky button button like we did with Lost Beach.
By showing off your TripAdvisor ranking and reviews, you’ll be able to let every potential customer know that you are a credible tour business that like-minded people have enjoyed using.
Other ways of encouraging external urgency is to provide things like promotions, offers and deadlines. You could even display how many people have viewed or booked your tour. While this process hasn’t yet been widely used in the tourism sector, it has been known to push a huge amount of sales in the accommodation sector.
Just look at how booking.com uses this feature to help drive sales:
If all of this doesn’t sell viewers on your tours, it’s probably because you haven’t quite sold them on your tourism company yet – and naturally, they’ll probably turn to your About Page to learn a little bit more about your company. So when you write your about page, make sure that you do everything in your power to convince potential customers to buy your tours.
Start by telling them a bit about yourself (who you are; why you started the business; how long you’ve been in the game for; stuff like that). All the things that typically go on an About Page.
But that’s not where it ends, because it’s not solely about what you write about, it’s how you write it – it needs to be relevant and relatable to your audience. If your audience is young, you should write it in the kind of language they use – conversational and casual. If your target audience is an older, higher end market – adjust your tone accordingly.
Your About Page is also a great place to add credibility boosters like testimonials – just make sure that your testimonials are from people relatable to your audience. And make sure they are specific; no on likes or believes generic testimonials.
You are now equipped with ideas for developing ‘wow worthy’ tours that will make customers coming back begging for more and you have great content – the beginnings of an effective website. If you want to make sure your website really takes off though, you’re only halfway there.
Come back soon for the next part of our series!
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