As a tour operator, how can you drive people to book their tour reservations online? Your website is the first place to start.
If a user visits a site that is visually unappealing and difficult to navigate, chances are that they will go elsewhere. However, by optimizing your website, your online tour booking can skyrocket. Here are a few keys to website optimization for tour booking businesses!
Implement Chat Bots
Chatbots and the travel and tour booking industry go hand in hand. Chatbots are available 24/7, support different languages, can chat with multiple customers at once, and are able to give immediate responses. Let’s say a customer is looking through your website at midnight when you’re closed. They obviously can’t pick up the phone and call you at this hour, but they can get their questions answered by a 24/7 chatbot—and this may be the final push they need to actually make a tour reservation.
Perhaps one of the most valuable features of chatbots is that some are powered by machine learning artificial intelligence (AI), which means they have the power to learn. For example, if customers are constantly typing in the same types of questions about your online tour booking, the chatbot will be able to figure this out over time—and automate the best response so site visitors can get a quick and concise answer.
Offer Exclusive Online Booking Deals
To encourage online tour booking, include messaging on your advertisements that indicates when a coupon is an “exclusive” online deal. This will help eliminate customers looking to save money from calling you and instead purchase online through your tour booking software.
With INDEXIC’s free tour booking software, your business can take this a step further. Create trackable custom coupon names, unique coupon combos, or restrict coupons that are only valid for certain time frames during the day. You can even offer early bird specials or particular day of the week offers. All of these things can help you increase the volume of tour bookings during historically slow times.
SEO, or “search engine optimization,” is the process of getting organic traffic to your site by ranking higher on search engines. Major search engines such as Google and Yahoo will have search results appear in the order the search engine considers most relevant to users. The higher you rank, the more likely it is that a customer looking to conduct online tour booking will find your site.
Doing keyword research on a site such as Moz can help you uncover the specific words and phrases the customers in your target audiences are most commonly searching for. These will vary based on the type of tour booking you offer—for example, companies that focus on water sports will have different keywords than a hiking tour company would. Once you know what keywords will help your site rank higher, you can go back and work them into your existing content or web pages to enhance them, then use them to determine what phrasing should be included in your future blogs and content.
Your website’s navigation is the key to user-friendliness: if a user comes to your website and can’t even figure out where they are or where to go, they will simply exit the page. How can you improve the user-friendliness of your navigation? Here are three very simple ways:
- Be clear. Users should be able to easily get their bearings on your site and know what is located where. For example, the header for your blog should be something as simple as “blog, news, or resources.” Don’t try to be overly witty or confuse readers—just lead them to where they want to go.
- Be intuitive. With just a few clicks, users should be able to arrive at the goal of their search. They shouldn’t have to search through a maze or jump through hoops to pull up a blog post or make a tour reservation.
- Make your contact information and “calls to action” obvious. Website visitors should always know how they can get in touch with you, where they need to click to download a piece of content or sign up for an offer, and especially where to go to book an online tour!
Having free, valuable content on your tour booking website is important for driving awareness and building your brand—but if you’re not able to convert website visitors into customers that actually book tours with you, website traffic won’t translate into revenue. There are two main types of conversions in the sales cycle:
- Looking to interested. This means turning a random website visitor into a potential customer (for example, a visitor exploring your site lands on the page to sign up for your mailing list and enters their email address).
- Interested to ready to buy. This means convincing someone who is simply exploring your brand and thinking about making a purchase to actually do so (when a first-time customer actually books a tour reservation).
Start by converting website visitors from a “prospect” (someone who is just looking) to a “lead” (someone who is interested in your service) through signing up for an email list, blog subscription, or access to an informative resource (such as an eBook or whitepaper). This way, you can show the value you are able to provide your customers without coming off as too pushy or salesy.
Then, once they are more familiar with your business and have shown an actual interest in your excursion booking, it is time to really convince them why they should use your online tour booking services. This could include providing them with additional case studies, testimonials, coupon codes, and resources such as blogs or fun travel tips.
Enhance Landing Pages
Once your conversion points convince users to further explore your excursion booking services or download your valuable content, landing pages are where they will go to actually do so. They’re designed for users to “land” on to sign up for your email list, download an eBook on travel tips, start a free trial, or actually complete a tour reservation.
How can you enhance your landing pages? Design and write the content of your landing pages to appeal to your target audience, address their pain points, and show how you can help them overcome their challenges. You should also use a clear and noticeable form to fill on each landing page, which is essentially where users sign up to receive the offer the landing page is for.
With these tips, you’ll be well on your way to an optimized website! However, it’s important to note here that you should strongly consider leveraging professional services to truly implement these tips and optimize your website. As a tour operator, you’re most likely no website expert — and that’s totally fine, but this is a solid reason why you should turn to the professionals. Your website is often the first impression potential customers will get of your brand. As your most important marketing tool, it is worth the financial investment to have your website done correctly!
Paired with an optimized website, INDEXIC's online reservation management software can then help you generate even more tour bookings—driving revenue, lowering expenses, and increasing efficiency for your business. It’s simple for you to implement and your customers to use, and the results are measurable.
To see what our free tour booking software can do for your business, schedule a demo today!