We live in a world where everyone is online. This means one of the most effective ways of reaching your customers is via a website. While we’re aware of this, we’re equally aware that not every activity or tour operator in the world is online.
But having a website is only a small part of marketing yourself via the internet. There are many other things to consider such as social media or ranking in search engines. Here are ten challenges you're likely to face if you engage in online marketing.
1. Having a mobile responsive website
In April 2015 Google announced an algorithm update that was deemed "mobileaggedon". In a nutshell, Google said your website was going to be penalised if it wasn't responsive and it would give priority in their search results to websites that was responsive.
Your website needs to be responsive, which is why we've developed a mobile-optimised booking system for tourism companies.
2. Making your website dynamic
Once upon a time, you could get to the top of search engines by filling your website with keywords in different places throughout a page. Times have changed now: you need to have more quality content to offer your visitors.
A good way to deliver this content is by having a blog on your website. In fact, I’ve written before about ten reasons you should have a blog.
3. Offering a booking solution
If you’ve got a website that’s both dynamic and responsive, then there’s another thing you need to think about as a tour operator: you need to make sure your tours and activities are bookable on it. This means you need a booking engine. Again, this is something that TrekkSoft can help you with.
4. Finding the time to be active on social media
With so many social networks out there, finding the time to be active on them all can be very challenging. There are different things you can do to combat this, the most effective being to have a content calendar. This is just one of ten social media tips I wrote about last May. I followed this with another ten social media tips you should find useful.
5. Increasing your numbers on social media
Once you’ve got an idea of what you’re using social media for (you’ll need a social media strategy for this) you’re going to need to grow your numbers. I’ve told you how to get more followers on Twitter, while to grow your likes on Facebook you’ll need to start a Facebook ad campaign. Read these posts and it should help you get on your way.
6. Engaging in email marketing
Email marketing might be seen as a thing of the past, but I can assure you it isn’t. I’ve written not once about why you need to engage in email marketing, but twice. These articles point out how you don’t need to beat an algorithm when it comes to email, you can engage in AB testing, and that a big mailing list is an incentive for other companies to partner with you. Speaking of mailing lists…
7. Growing your list
Email marketing isn’t possible if you don’t have a list of email addresses. To gather them, you’re going to have to engage in proven tactics to get them. This includes running contests on social media, asking people for them, having a pop-up on your website to sign up to your newsletter, and more.
8. Running an AdWords campaign
Organic traffic can be hard to achieve. If you’re looking for larger numbers, you either need to be an SEO whiz or have a budget for a Google AdWords campaign. This has also been written about on the TrekkSoft blog.
9. Optimising your website for search engines
In case you weren’t aware, SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation. This means that to rank in search engines for different search terms, you need to have your website optimised for the right keywords, having them in places such as in the title tag and in the body of the text.
10. Increasing ancillary sales
It’s one thing to generate revenue by selling your own product… it’s another thing to generate revenue by selling somebody else’s products on top of that. This is known as ancillary revenue. Products you could sell could include travel insurance, accessories and more.
Written by Colm Hanratty
Colm is Founder and Managing Director of digital marketing agency Sixtwo Digital. After running Hostelworld.com’s content and social media for almost 11 years he felt it was time to branch out on his own, using all his experience to educate others in the travel space.