Once you have an amazing booking website, you're almost ready to start taking bookings online. There's one more thing you'll need, though: traffic.
What Is Traffic?
Website traffic is the volume of visitors a website receives. It can be direct, or it can be organic.
Direct Traffic: According to SmartBug Media, direct traffic is traffic generated from non-referring sources, like employees logging onto your website or current customers visiting your login page.
Organic Traffic: Also according to SmartBug Media, organic traffic is traffic that is generated from a referring source, like search engines, blogs, social media, or other websites.
Quality Traffic: Traffic to a website that leads to positive action taken by the visitor, like a customer making a booking or signing up for your newsletter.
The goal here is to attract organic, quality traffic to your tour or activity website.
Why Is Website Traffic Important?
Many businesses focus more time generating website traffic than creating actual content. Why is this?
Traffic → Leads → Sales → $$$ → Success!
You could be publishing the best tour advice out there, but without visitors to your website, the content is worthless!
How Does Website Traffic Generate $$$?
There are 3 ways that website traffic can generate more bookings for your tour or activity business:
1. Google AdSense
Google AdSense works by placing advertisements on your website based on what you are offering.
When a website visitors clicks on the advertisement via your website, your business receives a percentage of money.
For example, Google AdSense will place an advertisement related to traveling to Indonesia on websites dedicated to booking trips to Southeast Asia. This can be risky for a tour business, as your competition may wind up advertising on your website.
2. Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is when an affiliate sells a product/service via your website and your business receives a commission every time a sale is made.
Here is the obvious one… The more traffic you generate to your website the more likely it is that some of these visitors are going to make a booking.
This method of generating money is the one we are going to focus on in this article: How can we organically generate more website traffic that leads to more bookings?
Why Do People Struggle To Generate Traffic?
A lot of tour and activity businesses don’t understand that there is a difference between publishing good content and the right content.
Generating quality traffic is about publishing the right content for the right audience.
Publishing GOOD content means:
- Publishing content that is well-written
- Publishing content consistently
- Promoting content consistently
However, this is not enough to generate thousands of dollars in sales.
Publishing the RIGHT content means:
- Publishing content that answers the right questions
- Publishing content in the right forms: words, photos, videos, etc.
- Publishing content through the right mediums: Instagram, website advertisements, etc.
If you understand your audience and their needs then you can start generating the right content for the right people in the right places and, ultimately, increase your tour sales and make more money!
Part 1: What Are The Right Questions?
Where do you look to find the right questions for you to answer through your content?
1. On-Page SEO
Use keyword searches to determine what your target customers are searching for.
2. Long-Tail Keywords
Once you’ve covered your basic keyword searches, move onto long-tail keyword searches.
According to Yoast.com, long-tail keywords are keywords and phrases that are more specific and longer than more commonly searched keywords or phrases.
3. Interview Industry Leaders
Email industry leaders and ask what they think the hottest topics are for 2017.
Trust me, they will be happy to answers your questions!
4. Comment Sections
Comment sections on your website are a great way to see the common questions that are being asked by your audience — just make sure to keep an eye on your comments so they don't get out of hand.
This Facebook comment plug-in lets people comment on your website easily via their Facebook account.
5. Social Media
All social media platforms are a great way to ask your followers what they care about.
Twitter is a great tool for your tour or activity business to ask your audience what they would like to hear from you.
The Marriott Hotel uses their Twitter to ask followers where they will plan vacations this year.
6. Research Competition
Learn from your competitors.
Research the topics that your competitors write about and analyze which topics generate the highest conversions.
SimilarWeb.com created a tool designed to help businesses analyze the website traffic of their competitors.
Travel conferences will likely cover topics that are relevant to your tour or activity business and feature industry-leaders and travel bloggers who can give you an idea of what travel trends are expected in 2017.
Click here to find out where and when 2017’s travel blogging conferences will be held.
Part 2: What Are The Right Forms?
What are the right forms of content that your tour activity business should create?
DIY education is when people use free online resources to teach themselves about various topics.
When your tour or activity business publishes quality blog posts about questions or topics that your audience wants to hear about, you are proving to them that you are an expert in your industry.
Creating highly educational content will:
- Increase your credibility: Creating content that actually helps your audience learn something will make you an expert in their eyes.
- Increase traffic: Your audience will visit your website based on your credibility and their trust. Furthermore, your audience will share your content with others if it truly helped them learn something.
Platforms like Instagram are becoming increasingly popular for businesses as it has been proven to be a great way to build your brand’s credibility, engage with customers and, of course, generate website traffic and more bookings.
Click here to read “How to Use Instagram for your Tour Business” to learn more!
Creating video content will appeal to visual learners and attract a whole new audience to your website.
Webinars, mixed with an effective promotional campaign, are a great way to increase traffic to your website and show that you are an industry expert.
Part 3: What Are The Right Mediums?
What are the right mediums for your tour activity business to publish your content?
1. Search Engines
Using SEO and creating high-quality content will help with your search engine rankings.
The higher your rank on search engines, the more likely you are to generate traffic to your website.
However, search engine traffic alone will not make your tour or activity business a success.
Your business needs to maintain an active presence anywhere on the internet that your target audience is listening. This includes:
2. Booking Engines
Tourism Tiger created an epic guide that contains 94 places to list tours. Find out where your target customers are making searches and register today!
LinkedIn has become more than a professional job finding network and is now also a valuable content publishing platform.
4. Guest Blogging
Writing content for guest blogs is a great way to reach a new audience and generate more traffic to your website.
Click here to see a list of travel blogs that accept guest posts.
5. Email Marketing
Email marketing is a great way to lets subscribers know about discounts, promotions and new blogs posts and to encourage the sharing of your content.
Increase your email list by enticing your audience to sign up for content upgrades, free guides, and newsletters.
Remember not to overuse your email list and drive subscribers to mark you as spam.
6. Traditional Advertising
Using traditional advertising methods such as paid searches, social media advertising, and display advertising, are all proven ways to generate more traffic to your website and potentially more bookings.
Most of your target customers don’t run their own websites/blogs…but the people who influence them do.
Using influencers is, in my opinion, the best way to generate quality traffic to your website in 2017.
Influencers have a huge effect on consumers in a world overloaded with information. Influencers gain the trust of their followers who constantly refer to them for travel and tour advice.
By creating content that is aimed at your industry's influencers you're increasing the chances that those influencers will (1) backlink to your website or (2) share your articles and (3) influence their audience to visitor your website.
Example – Kate McCulley
If your target audience is solo, female travelers and you write the right kind of article for Kate, you will have access to her 93,000 followers (who have already gained her trust) via backlinks, a mention on her Instagram, or a share on her Facebook.
1. Find out who your influencers are
Search for influencers who have the same demographic as your tour or activity business.
Example – Jared Chambers
If your target audience is millennial men and women who love to travel, Jared would be a great influencer for your tour or activity business.
2. Write content for your influencers
If you notice that a lot of travel bloggers are writing about the best place to visit in 2017 or visa information for places that have complicated policies, write your own killer article about it!
- On topics that your influencers care about
- In a format that is appealing to your influencers
Example – Global Goose
Visa requirements for different countries is a common topic that Global Goose’s followers are interested in. Therefore, it would be in your best interest to create content about visa requirements.
Creating high-quality, visual content like this infographic will increase the chances of an influencer referring back to your website.
3. Encourage your influencers to share your content
Encouraging influencers to share your content can be achieved by using “share triggers.”
According to Moreniche, share triggers are “specific elements you include in your content which make people more likely to share content with others.”
Social currency is the attention or positive feedback a sharer gains from sharing content that makes them look good or cool.
Creating posts that boost an influencers social currency increase the chances that they will share your content.
Example – Expert Vagabond
Elephant riding is a topic near and dear to the hearts of many travelers from around the world. Matthew has increased his social currency by writing this article because it shows that he cares.
Wrap It Up
Generating organic and quality traffic that converts to sales is more than just publishing content on Facebook or buying TV advertisements.
It’s about generating the right content for the right people in the right places.
So take the time to analyze your audience and their needs so that you can start creating content that drives more bookings!