If you are in the adventure tourism and experience industries, you’ve probably noticed that more and more, Millennials are spending their money on experiences and travel, not things; and yet it is not only millennials that you should be targeting with your booking strategy.
According to TripAdvisor, bookings for ‘family-friendly activities’ have been going up by 200% yearly, and with a few simple steps, you can make sure you don’t miss out on any potential leads because of basic SEO errors.
Today we are taking a look at how to improve adventure tourism online bookings across the board.
- Improving Searchability and Rankings
- Responsive Web Design
- Optimizing Photos and Videos
- Improving the User Experience
- Make it easy to understand
- Keep it simple
- Use real-life professional photos
- Implement Content Marketing
- Take advantage of Social Media
- Don’t Forget the Importance of Online Reviews
- Make it easy to book
Let’s get started!
Improving Searchability and Rankings
Whether you are looking to start from scratch or just to give your current website a facelift, these are the things you need to take into account in order to maximize visibility on the web:
Responsive Web Design
It’s 2019, you’ve probably heard about the importance of responsive web design before and it’s role in Google ranking but there is a second reason specific to the tourism industry why responsive websites are essential. According to a study by Greenberg where they examined the online behavior of more than 1,000 travelers, they found that more than half of bookings that are made on-site are done on a mobile device:
“Searches for activities are happening across devices in the three months prior to a trip, but shift significantly to 54% mobile when travelers are in-destination.”
So if your site is not responsive, you are going to automatically be taken out of the running for those last-minute bookers who wait until they’ve arrived at their destination to finally reserve their experience. For a more in-depth look at how to reduce loading time, follow the steps listed here.
Optimizing Photos and Videos
Another overlooked aspect of improving search results is having informative visuals in the form of photos and videos. Search engines really do take into account the effective use of other media on websites. So you can improve your search position even more by making sure all of your ‘Alt tags’ and photo data is correctly labeled.
For an in-depth look at the differences between the ‘Title,’ ‘Caption,’ ‘Alt text’ and ‘Description,’ check out Blue Corona’s explication.
Image Captioning on Wordpress
Improving the User Experience
Once you’ve attracted those visitors, the second and equally important step is converting those leads. In order to do this, your website needs to be people-proof! While the tech side is essential for getting people to come to your page, your website and web presence have the heavy lifting of convincing travelers to book!
Make it easy to understand
To gain several minutes of user attention, you must clearly communicate your value proposition within 10 seconds.
It is essential that your visitors can understand quickly and clearly what adventure experience you are proposing. Avoid cluttering your website with unnecessary information and use your home page to get to the point. A study conducted by the Nielson Norman Group shows that you only have seconds to convince a potential buyer:
“Users often leave Web pages in 10-20 seconds, but pages with a clear value proposition can hold people's attention for much longer. To gain several minutes of user attention, you must clearly communicate your value proposition within 10 seconds.”
Take a look at Skydive California’s home page. Within seconds of looking at the page, you understand who they are, what they are offering and where they are located. Partnered with a beautiful animated video, they invite readers to scroll down and learn more.
Keep it simple
Another thing to keep in mind when working on your value proposition is that your visitors will not all be “digital-natives.” You know your potential clients better than anyone, so plan your website accordingly and make it easy to navigate.
What are your most commonly asked questions? Make sure they are clearly answered on the site, along with all of the essential information regarding tourism packages. Do you offer spelunking tours? List out the different packages and what that includes, how long the tours are, and the physical activity level necessary to complete them.
Let’s deconstruct the home page of Climbworks for example (as of July 2019).
Their page has a clear and easy to follow site map. They start with a great leading visual followed immediately by a gallery with real-life zipliners. They then list their reviews from various rating sites followed by a product video, and finally, they finish with a call to action, complete with a package price comparison. To top it off, no matter where you go on the site you can always click the top right and book your adventure on the spot.
Use real-life professional photos
TripAdvisor recommends at least 6 professional-quality photos for every package you offer in order to help convert leads.
One of the single most important factors to consider are the visuals that are really going to showcase your adventure. If someone is on the fence about booking an experience for their vacation, high-quality photos showing the adventure highlights are a good way to convince potential buyers.
Professional photos will make your site, well, more professional! Additionally, these photos work twice as hard because you will be able to share them on sites like TripAdvisor or Yelp.
TripAdvisor recommends at least six professional-quality photos for every package you offer in order to help convert leads.
“Friendly, candid shots of your staff and customers work well, as do shots of stunning scenery and surroundings.”
This is perhaps one of the easiest problems to solve with the highest return on investment. With a simple call to Meero, we can help get you scalable, consistent, and high-quality photography in days, not weeks. We’ll match you with one of our 58,000 partner photographers for your adventure tourism needs, and along with our world-case editing AI, you’ll get you the photos you need in only 24 hours. Our teams organize it all, so you can check this one off your list by the end of the day!
Implement Content Marketing
Now you can start looking at establishing a content marketing strategy. By blogging about your area of expertise, you help to establish your adventure activity as an expert, you improve your SEO and you create plenty of content to share for your fans!
Take advantage of Social Media
It’s important to get your information out where people can share it with their friends and family. Creating snackable content in the form of videos or photos will make it easily ‘shareable.’ Pinterest is a great place to share these articles or posts because so many people go there to be inspired for their vacations.
One of the most common ways to get people to your site is to create calling cards and to share them on Pinterest!
To see it in action, type your industry and location into the search bar on Pinterest and you’ll find all sorts of calling cards created by your competitors and bloggers.
In addition to Pinterest, make sure your company is present on Facebook and Instagram. These may or may not generate a lot of visitors depending on your usage, but many people turn to these services when they need to contact you or when they want to tag their photos after a successful adventure!
Don’t Forget the Importance of Online Reviews
“93% of global travelers say their booking decisions are impacted by online reviews”
If you are in the tourism industry, you probably already understand the importance of recommendations, but it can’t be said enough. If you haven’t already set in place a strategy for improving your online ratings, start one now!
According to Rezdy, "93% of global travelers say their booking decisions are impacted by online reviews.” With such telling numbers, this is really one thing you can't do without!
To improve your ratings, you can send a follow-up email after an experience to invite your guests to leave an honest review about what they like and what they didn’t—but avoid bribing guests into leaving a good review. That will almost always backfire on you. You can invite them to leave comments on your Facebook page, to tag you in their Instagram posts, and to leave reviews and photos on Google Business, TripAdvisor, Yelp and Facebook.
Make it easy to book
So you’ve convinced your visitors, now it’s time to book the experience! Make sure you’ve made online booking available and visible. It won’t matter how great your website is if your potential clients can’t find out how to book. As a user, think about how frustrating it is when you can’t find the ‘Contact Us’ button on a website. Your contact/booking form should be accessible anywhere on the site, like Altitude Trampoline Park. From anywhere on the site, a user can quickly click on the menu bar to buy a pass.
© Altitude Trampoline Park
We’ve only just scratched the surface of the possible ways to improve searchability and bookings, but if you can implement everything on this list, you are sure to be in a good position for booking more business. For even more ideas, stop by TrekkSoft and read about 100 ways for tour and activity operators to grow their businesses.