On October 23rd, 2014, we updated our
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Because that’s where travellers start their journeys
Primary source for researching travel information:
Family and Friends: 17.4%
Travel Agents: 3.8%
Magazines and Newspapers: 3.4%
European Travel Commission
Global online travel retail sector worth $125Billion! Travelmole 2008
How do we take advantage of this?
eMarketing: The process of marketing through a digital medium
It all starts with a website
A hub to drive traffic to
A medium through which you can communicate and build a relationship with your audience
But it can’t just be any old website
You MUST add value to your customer’s travel experience. Before, during and after.
The internet can help you achieve this
But you need to adjust your mindset to embrace it
Websites are no longer just brochures
They should be built to attract, convert and retain customers
Tourism websites have only 11 seconds to capture the customer on their website or risk them getting bored and going elsewhere Travelmole 2008
Is your website THAT good?
Our web development priorities
1. Usability and conversion oriented design
Design sites for your users above all else
Make sure they can find what they want quickly and easily
Drive them towards YOUR desired goals
Allow the reader to get the gist of your message in a few seconds by merely scanning the page
Pyramid style writing
Break up text with bolding, bullets, highlighting, crossheads and contextual interlinking
Have consistent Calls to Action
Don’t make them think…
Tell people to take the exact action you want them to perform in order to get the best response
What not to do:
Don’t resize windows or launch your site in a pop up
No “splash” pages
Don’t build flash sites unless you have a VERY good reason to. Rather use flash elements within a page where relevant to illustrate a point
Keep navigation basic, consistent and standardised
Don’t distract users with Christmas trees
Using Personas: critical for large sites
What is this page trying to do?
2. Search Engine Friendliness
1 Billion searches each day
Either your business is there, or your competitors’ is –> you choose
Primary goal: Site must be fully indexable and optimised around a set of well researched key phrases
SEO Considerations for your site
The age of the domain
Links to the domain
Key phrases in URLs
Add regular fresh content
Text navigation is better than images
Offer RSS feeds (AND RSS to email)
Be remarkable - make your site a resource!
Blend 2 or 3 carefully chosen key phrases into a minimum of 250 words on each page
Also integrate keywords into your:
Internal and inbound links
3. Look and Feel
Very important, BUT the least important consideration in web development
That doesn’t mean ugly sites are OK
Sites must look professional and demonstrate your credibility...
If these two goals are met, the user will be satisfied.
Remember, they are looking to achieve a goal – not look at a piece of artwork.
Show that you are a substantive organisation
Prominently display phone numbers and addresses
Make it easy for them to contact you!
Show the people behind the organisation
Real testimonials on each page
Logos of association or awards
Keep the content fresh and updated
…and make sure it’s error free
Monitoring your website’s performance
Firstly set up Google Analytics Its really good, easy to set up and FREE
Top stats to keep an eye on
Above all else, conversion rates!
Pages per user
Time spent on site
OK, now we have a site that looks good and hopefully converts its visitors, but how do we get these visitors?
There are many options, but the most important is…
Google is by far the largest player… 67% 12% 8%
Lots of volume, but why is this important?
Searchers are looking for the wine tourism experiences you are promoting
They WANT to find you!
And if they don’t find you, they WILL find your competitor
So how do we make sure we are found?
Search Engine Marketing
SEM = SEO + PPC Paid vs. Organic
You don’t need to be a guru to get the basics
Firstly make sure you select the right keywords
Select keywords based on the following:
Propensity to convert
Potential value per conversion
A few keyword selection tools…
SEO Bookhttp://tools.seobook.com/general/keyword/KW Discoveryhttp://www.keyworddiscovery.comDigital Pointhttp://www.digitalpoint.com/tools/suggestionWord Trackerhttp://www.wordtracker.com/Adwordshttps://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal
Then decide where you want to be…
Search Engine Optimisation
Make sure your site is optimised around your keywords
Then build plenty of high quality, keyword rich links
And this isn’t easy
The best sites inevitably win
So grow links organically
Build a website that offers so much value that people talk about it and link to it naturally
Depth of knowledge
Breadth of knowledge
The possibilities are endless, just use your imagination!
Speaking of search and maps…
Pay Per Click
But first: Why you can’t ignore SEO:
You choose how much you want to pay per click
And how much you want to spend per day
If you manage your campaign properly, you can’t lose money!
Don’t burn your budget early on: Test!
Look for long tail key phrases
500 000 searches for “holiday” 5000 for “holiday south africa” 500 for “wine route holiday south africa”
Geotarget your adverts
Have a solid call to action in each advert
Don’t send your traffic to your home page, use highly targeted landing pages
Test, test and test these landing pages
The process of making your website and eMarketing activities as efficient and effective as possible resulting in a direct increase to your ROI
Test individual pages and paths
Things to test:
Calls to action
Copy style and tone
Search marketing will bring a lot of traffic to your site, but you can’t stop there…
You should be looking to build communities around your business
Social Media can play a big part in this
But what is Social Media?
Let’s look at a few specific examples…
Online Video: YouTube Second largest search engine! 60% market share 100+ million viewers a night ‘The overnight success’ thing
250+ Million active users
And many ways to communicate with them:
Groups and Pages
Above all when it comes to any social network
If your customers are there, you must engage
And do it honestly, humbly and openly
They will respect you for it
What about creating your own social network?
You have lots of customers with similar tastes
An example: The Pod Hotel, New York
PodCulture: a social network for guests before they arrive
Since implementing 2 years ago, customer retention is at an all time high, and revenue is up 400%
What about a regional one…?
BloggingPrinciple: make friends and influence people
Not 16 year old girls Source: emarketer.com
The rewards of blogging Builds community Search Engine rankings: Search friendly design Attract links Feedback loop
Key success factors: Identify powerful communities and individuals Identify content ‘holes’ Consider your SEO (keywords!) Who do we have access to - ‘the revealing interview’ Social Media Optimisation Create a blogging culture internally
Remember: social media influencers are unique Short attention span: they get info served to them Selfish: ‘What will I get for sharing this?’ Often younger, affluent, urban
There is someone Twittering about you
Be ready to make the most of it
Or you could just ignore it…
1.2 million people search for “Delta Airlines” each month.
A Ryanair employee comments on a blog…
Followed by the official response
Then the online community got hold of it
Then the newspapers got hold of it
These powerful sites often linked to this site…
And we know how important good links are…
“ It takes 20 years to build a reputation, and 5 minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you will do things differently. ” Warren Buffet
How is online reputation different?
It spreads faster...
… and the evidence lasts longer
Why is this important?
Because peers are the most trusted source of recommendation Edelman Trust Barometer 2008
Tripadvisor.co.uk is the favourite website for UK users for holiday inspiration. European Travel Commission
88% of Trip Advisor Visitors are influenced by the content the read on the site
Consumer Generated Content influences over $10 Billion per year in online travel Compete.com
People are talking, are you listening?
What to track?
Names of specials/packages
Track outgoing communications (PR) by monitoring a piece of unique text
Use the data you gather to build profiles of influencer’s who you can target for future campaigns
Monitoring your online reputation helps you… … avoid a reputation crisis by informing you quickly … discover quick and effective new marketing opportunities … improve customer service through engagement … understand your customers’ needs and wants better … identify powerful influencers to target with WOM campaigns
OK so you’ve got a good site with lots of traffic and a thriving online community. What’s the most effective way to build long term relationships with these people?
Use it to build relationships
Not to acquire them
Relationships are built on mutual trust and respect
It costs a HUGE amount for you to acquire a customer
You may as well make the most of them
How do your email newsletters foster this?
Firstly, get personal!
Nurture your in-house list
But make it easy to unsubscribe
Use layout to increase readability
Allow users to manage their information and subscription preferences
…and then personalise accordingly
Rather send less often with more relevant content – people will be more likely to listen
Ask yourself what YOU would want from the newsletter as a reader