If you are a travel agency or an inbound tour operating company, one of the biggest challenges you would have is generating more business. Travel Tours industry is one of the most competitive industries in the world.
In this blog, we will look at what are the methods/channels widely used by industry to generate business & how online channels can boost your sales. Further, we will look at a step by step approach on how to generate leads online & successfully convert them to business.
In general, there are few methods employed by the travel industry to find customers. Below are widely known and used options.
- Establishing partnerships through travel companies abroad.
- Participating in annual & special travel exhibitions.
- Developing a website for the company to build the brand & generate leads.
- Doing search engine optimization (SEO) to increase organic traffic & lead generation.
- Doing paid online marketing, also known as PPC campaigns, to generate leads. This can be both Google and social media.
First & second options are costly as well as requires considerable time to generate business. To establish a potential partnership with a travel company, you need to build trust & reputation in the industry. You need to attend annual travel exhibitions to build connections & trust among potential partner companies from the target markets you specialize in delivering service.
It also takes a long time as you have to build partnerships with trust and credibility. It does not mean other options allows you to create a business with less to no trust & credibility. We will discuss this broadly later in the blog.
As you are well aware, travelling to exhibitions can be very expensive. However, this is one of the most successful methods to generate business. By actively considering the 3 to 5 options, you increase the return of these travel exhibitions as it strengthens your brand.
Option 3: Developing a website for the company to build the brand & generate leads.
As you are very well aware, all your potential customers are now online. Almost of all the people who travel will use Google or Bing search to research about the destination they are travelling to, plan the vacation, to book hotels, etc. If you are thinking about providing your service to these potential customers, website is a must.
If you are reading this, of course, you do have a website and a good social presence. But the question is, how good your website and the social presence is?
Here are a few tips on how your inbound travel website should be structured to generate the best business outcome.
1. Mobile-first design & development
The user experience on mobile should be excellent & the website should load within 3 seconds. You will lose over 50% of your mobile users if the website is not up to the required mobile-first standards. Further, Google will rank your website better if its designed & developed for mobile-first customers.
2. Key website elements
Following are the most essential elements needed in your inbound tour website.
- A summary of 9 - 12 tour packages on the homepage with PP rates, tour type & duration. These packages can be grouped under 3 - 4 categories.
- Three to four customer testimonials
- Necessary call to actions across the website.
- Clear itinerary descriptions with the summary & essential details.
Option4: Doing search engine optimization (SEO) to increase organic traffic & lead generation
The travel industry is one of the most competitive sectors to do search engine optimization (SEO). We recommend that you optimize the SERP (search engine results page) ranking for the .com domain if you are targeting the global market. This process will take more than eight months to bring results, and you need to be patient. You need to focus on on-page, off-page & proper content strategy to get good results.
Further, you should develop the website to be SEO friendly and with initial on-page SEO optimizations. All the necessary pages should contain meta titles of 60 maximum character length & meta descriptions with 155 maximum character length. You need to optimize the URLs to follow the proper site structure & should re-write where necessary. These are the most basic required optimizations in addition to keyword density checks, anchor text optimizations, custom 404-page set up, schema marking up to URL canonicalization.
The primary activity in off-page SEO is link building. A proper strategy should be followed to build the required backlinks to your website. Necessary online article submissions, press releases and local directory submissions should be carried out. You can also have a proper blogger outreach program which is also known as guest blogging to get more authority links built to your website, which will increase the SERP rankings.
You need to write blogs with topics such as travel tips, what to do & not to do when travelling, etc. while trying to generate content that will make you an industry leader to the content. You need to develop your content with a proper strategy to get better SERP ranking.
Option 5: Doing paid online marketing, also known as PPC campaigns, to generate leads. This can be both Google and social media.
Paid marketing is one of the most critical areas you need to focus on to generate leads for your inbound travel business. But you should also keep in mind that you need to have your website developed to the standards required with the necessary content.
You might have the question of whether you need to do SEO first before paid marketing. Well, you don't need to. However, if you have the basic on-page SEO covered, it is a good indication that you have given enough attention to the content. It will help you provide relevant information to your customers who come to your website through paid marketing.
It may also beg you the question if SEO is not part of paid marketing. Well, it is part of paid marketing; however, for the ease of explaining, you can think of this as Pay Per Click (PPC) marketing.
We specialize in paid marketing campaigns for inbound travel companies. The travel customer journey in the global travel industry is reshaping because of micro-moments.
Micro-moments are the short spans of moments when consumers turn to their mobile to find answers by searching. These moments are significant as it shows the intent of the consumer at that particular moment.
You must be wondering why it is crucial to your company, right? It is crucial because you can respond to these moments and provide relevant information to the consumers by bringing them to the website through a paid ad or SEO optimized content.
Unlike traditional marketing where companies decided what message to push at what time this is very effective since you are providing highly relevant information to the consumer at the right micro-moment.
We as a company help you listen to customer intents & respond to them in the right micro-moments. We use tested and proven concepts to maximize results.
We provide you with a digital export analysis. This analysis evaluates the best countries to do Google PPC campaigns. You can read more about the export analysis that is done for the inbound tour industry in Sri Lanka.
Through the Digital Export Analysis, we will help you decide which countries to target best through digital marketing to generate leads depending on a variety of factors.