5 essential principles & 25 best practices (applications & tools) for DMO websites.
1. Look Good (=Nice & Simple)
2. Content (was) is (and will be) the King!
The content on your site is your vehicle to present your message and portray your brand. And if you offer the ability to book online or at least direct customers to contact info, the content might be the last stand between you and a booking. Qualitative & diverse information, trip planning tools, attractive visual material including video & photo sharing applications, multilingual content, B2B & Press sections and efficient SEO saturation/meta-tags are all “must” elements of a successful DMO website.
Read more at:
B2B web applications & tools
Press & Media Tools
3. Engage Your Audience!
Identify your visitors’ social activities & build an on-line community to spread the word about your destination’s competitive advantage & USPs.
Keep in mind the following stats.
– 57% of DMO website users read travel written reviews
– 32% of DMO site users post ratings and reviews
– 43% of users visit travel-related forums
Tailor Made Web Tools & Services
Campaigns & Competitions
4. Don’t Forget SEO
In search engine marketing, travel business is a well known category which is vast with a big competition in online marketing. From bookings of flights to hotel reservations, it is estimated that 70% of all flights are booked online through websites. So, we can easily assume this big on line competition. There are many DMOs and travel companies having websites on web offering online travel deals and holiday offers. Every website has its own unique range of products, services & travel solutions and likes to be in top search engine placements with their offers.
There is a big challenge here for an SEO as searches on travel related keywords and phrases are very high, even a small travel key phrase has a big amount of search counts on search engines like Google, Yahoo and Msn (Live). So, a travel website requires more hard work, good strategy and regular implementations for getting high search engines rankings.
Your SEO Strategy:
Identify your audience and goals…
Firstly you must consider the market and type of users you are looking to attract to the site, Google provides the following travel search marketing tips to consider:
- What is the end objective for your business – transactions, branding, lead generation? Your approach may differ based on the decided outcome.
- Determine the success metric in advance. What cost per transaction is acceptable? What is your target gross/net ROI?
- Have a clearly defined target market or user in mind. Are you primarily interested in attracting leisure or business travelers and/or discount, mid-scale, or luxury travelers?
Research your keywords…
Google’s research showed that catching the user at an early stage of a buying cycle can still result in a sale 40% of the time. This is very interesting and creates a strong argument for capturing users early into their search for a holiday. However the main difference between targeting keywords for paid, as opposed to organic search, is the volume of keywords you can target. PPC allows you to have flexibility over the keywords which generate traffic and is very much about refining keyword selection and continually changing key targets based upon performance and seasonality.
With SEO you’re unlikely to get that luxury and have little margin for error when selecting keywords with high-conversion potential. I would highly recommend using the pay-per-click data you have collected to help identify the top converting keywords. After all if six months after optimising for “When to go on holiday to Cancun” you finally generate enough clickthrough data to realise this has a 0.1% conversion rate, it’s then very difficult to re-adjust and target “luxury holidays in Cancun Mexico” instead.
Test, test and test again…
Despite targeting the early stages of the buying cycle proving to be more successful than expected, I would still recommend targeting more specific queries as this is more likely to generate targeted visits from users who have a clearer idea about what they are looking for. For example, someone searching for a “long-weekend city break in New York” is more likely to complete a sale than a user performing an informational query such as “places to visit in New York”. At this stage the user is also likely to be narrowing down the number of websites they are looking to shortlist for completing a sale, so the competition should be fewer than a more generic search.
Conversion strategies are the plans needed to convert a looker into a buyer! Your Website Design & Content, the Use of Social Media and your SEO strategy should all be part of your overall on-line marketing strategy. Without one, the typical conversion rate for a website is about 2% of visitors. This is not only about selling hotels, tickets to cultural events, tourist attractions, museums, sport activities etc but to sell your own products as well (city pass, walking tours, souvenirs etc).