In this post, we’ll look how to get the most out of your destination’s web content, including how to improve organic search rankings, tell your brand story, build preference and convert sales.
Strategic SEO makes every page a home page
One of the greatest functional benefits of web content is ranking high in search results. Starting with a list of key words and phrases for your specific tourism category and geographic region, you can create a page of content for each search term. Think of each page on your site as an entry point; a home page for a specific search term. By developing content in this manner, your site will be more relevant and informative for the prospective traveler, and thus place you near the top of their search results. And research shows that web surfers are much more likely to visit and purchase from sites listed in the first two pages of search results than from paid search sites or lower ranked pages that they may never see.
Use content to inspire and engage the consumer
Successful branding means telling your story, communicating the essence of the unique experience your destination delivers. If you’ve done your homework and created a brand that is both desirable and differentiated, your web content can communicate exactly what your brand is all about. The added ability for customers to post reviews, share stories and upload photos opens up huge opportunities to engage consumers searching for travel options.
Leverage the strengths of the online medium
The Internet facilitates an exchange of information and ideas – words, pictures, video, data, feedback and reviews – with virtually unlimited space for content. Site visitors can choose just the content in which they’re interested, and access just the pages they want to read. What’s to stop you from posting a detailed description of every hole on your 27-hole golf course, or every trail at your ski resort? Take advantage of the medium’s real estate to provide content that motivates site visitors to become destination visitors (and even advocates).
Deliver content appropriate to the purchase decision
Varied content allows you to speak to the site visitor in a way that relates to their current stage in the buying cycle. At an early stage, consumers are seeking high order emotional benefits and inspiration. That means story telling, vivid mental imagery and romance. Later in the decision process, it becomes more functional: deciding on dates, accommodations and travel logistics. And in the final stages, it’s doing whatever it takes to close the sale, booking reservations and transacting business. At its very best, your website content will inspire your audience and propel them toward the next step of the purchase decision.
Organization and navigation are the keys
The only liability of deep content is when it becomes an obstacle to communication. To prevent site visitors from being mired in subpages and unable to locate the information they need, your content must be organized. Spend the time to create a clear, logical site structure. Design your navigation to be user-friendly and intuitive. And always provide easy links to the most important information. Make it easy for visitors to find you, get information and make contact.
Keep an eye on site traffic to inform content decisions
Don’t be afraid to experiment. Test your content strategy by using web analytics to measure site traffic. You may be surprised at how your best customers are entering your site. Add more content where traffic is high and consider removing pages that don’t perform.
Web content helps you attract travelers, tell your brand story, and convert prospects into customers. Done well, web content can help destination marketers make the most of their online opportunities.