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5 Powerful Ways Social Media Tourism Marketing Will Boost Your Business

5 Powerful Ways Social Media Tourism Marketing Will Boost Your Business

The impact of social media tourism in the travel industry is profound.

It allows businesses like yours to connect with potential customers in ways that have never before been possible

It also allows customers to communicate with each other, and learning how to tap into these networks is vital!

Social Media Tourism can Work for You!

Why?

It creates a community of travellers who can share their experiences and help each other plan trips. 

That’s great news for your travel business if you know how to take advantage of it!

At Straight Up Website, we’re all about empowering your travel business. So, in this article, I’ll explore the power of social media tourism and its crucial role in your marketing strategy.

Social Media has a Powerful Impact on Tourism Marketing

visit britain social media course

Social media and tourism provide a unique opportunity for marketers to connect with potential customers. 

After all, tourism marketers can create an emotional connection with potential customers through social media. 

That can be a powerful motivator for people to travel and engage with products and services!

Social media allows tourism marketers to share engaging and inspiring content with potential customers via digital marketing. 

That combination of personal connection and exciting content has changed the role of social media for travel industry businesses.

Here’s why…

The Importance of an Active Posting Strategy is Huge!

84% of millennials use online reviews and postings to work out their travel plans. 

That means they’re searching the web for what others say about your destination or service. 

According to this study from Cornell, positive reviews attract far more significant numbers of venue visitors. 

More excitingly, they also enable companies to increase prices and profitability!

So Much Support is Available

Many companies have developed ways to support businesses with their online offers in recent years. 

Industry organisations like VisitBritain frequently run workshops on the power of social media marketing

But here’s the critical part…

You need to develop an integrated marketing plan to harness the power of user-generated content. 

My post here is a good starting point for learning more about it.

How Has Social Media Been Used to Successfully Market Tourism Destinations?

visit britain home page

Social media allows potential visitors to connect with a destination and get a sense of what it offers. 

Providers can also use it to share special offers and discounts, encouraging people to book a trip.

Examples of Successful Social Media Tourism

– The VisitBritain campaign “Inspiring the World to Travel to Britain” successfully increased tourism traffic. The campaign featured photos and videos of people from all over the world enjoying different aspects of British culture. VisitBritain promoted it extensively through social media.

The Australian Tourism Board created a social media campaign called “There’s Nothing Like Australia.” The campaign featured videos of people from all over the world talking about why they love Australia. People shared the videos on social media, and the hashtag #ILoveAustralia generated buzz. The result was a significant increase in tourism traffic.

The social media campaign “#FeedYourAdventure” promoted a new zip line attraction at the Adventure Park in New York. The campaign featured visitors zip lining and enjoying other activities at the park. Visitors shared posts on social media, and the park saw increased visitors.

Did you notice what those examples all had in common?

Feature Images and Videos of Awesome Experiences!

These examples show how social media can successfully market tourist destinations

By featuring images and videos of people enjoying a destination, social media can create a sense of excitement

What’s more, it can even encourage people to visit you!

How to use Social Media Tourism to Connect Customers With Your Business

digital travel summit apac 2022

When it comes to tourism marketing, making a connection is critical

Social media provides a fantastic interactive platform for businesses to connect with their target audiences. 

By building relationships with potential tourists on several platforms, businesses can create trust and credibility, increasing sales and profits.

Make use of Popular Platforms and Networks.

Some of the most popular social media platforms for tourism marketing include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and Pinterest

These platforms allow businesses to share information about their products or services with potential customers worldwide. 

They let businesses connect with customers more personally, leading to higher customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Get Personal with your Customers

Overall, social media provides a powerful tool for businesses to reach their target audiences. 

It helps them build relationships to increase sales and profits too. 

Companies can connect with potential tourists personally, interact, and engage, increasing tourism traffic and revenue.

According to Forbes, consistency comes top of the list when building those personal relationships. 

My top tips for combining social media and tourism are:

Provide Value. The content you post has to be worth something to the reader. It could be a special offer, an original review, or a new image of a well-known destination. 

You must generate worth for your reader if you want them to trust you with their holiday. 

Trust Your Authenticity. Your voice needs to stand out when it comes to social sharing. 

Keep your posts and content related to your brand message or online strategy. Social media platforms promote original user-generated content, and the tourism industry thrives on it. 

Track the Algorithm. Trends change, and so do the algorithms that drive user interaction. Keep on top of what’s hot and which strategies to use by working with experts

Set Some Targets. Consistent posting works. Search engines learn that your feeds are active and full of quality content. 

You could define a set number of specific posts or regularly post on related topics in a particular time frame. 

Brands that build followers and influence develop a dynamic online reputation.

You can discover just how much a WordPress travel website, complete with social media integration, should be costing you here.

How to use Social Media to Market Your Tourist Destination

regiondo - using social media for tourism marketing

Digital marketing will sell your destination when done well. 

So, what should you do if you want to use social media for your tourism business?

The first step is to understand your audience and their social media platforms. 

Once you know that, you can start creating content relevant to them and their interests. 

Remember, it’s not just about promoting your business. 

It’s also essential to engage with your audience and create a social media presence that is friendly and welcoming.

The Six Golden Rules for Destination Marketing

  1. Use social media to create a strong relationship with your customers. Show them that you appreciate their business by promptly responding to their comments and questions.
  2. Utilise several social media platforms to give your customers exclusive deals and discounts. 
  3. Make sure that the information on your social media pages is up-to-date and accurate. It should integrate seamlessly with your website.
  4. Use social media to share photos and videos of your destination. That will give potential customers a taste of what your destination offers.
  5. Keep in mind that social media is a two-way street. It’s not just about broadcasting your message; it’s also about listening to what your customers say. Use social media to gather feedback about your destination and improve based on what you hear.
  6. Increase brand use and visibility. When users interact with your brand, they are more likely to remember your name when ready to book a vacation.
  1. Don’t Forget The Tourist Buying Journey

the tourism planning journey

Your brand should always target the tourist buying journey regardless of your platform

When tourists are looking to buy something, the level of service you provide informs their decision making

That’s because tourists frequently search for things specific to their needs and interests. 

They want to find the best deals on flights, hotels, and activities. They also want to learn about the culture and attractions of their visiting destination!

Social Media Tourism and the Tourist Journey

Broken down simply, your social media marketing needs to target customers in the four phases of their buying journey: 

Awareness. Your travel company should reach out across the web, using a range of channels, using the right SEO strategies. That’ll generate interest in your destination and get potential customers to learn more about it.

Evaluation: You can help tourists compare different sites and destinations and find the best deals in the sector. That builds trust and aids decision making

Purchase: Regular posting as part of a strategy makes it easy for tourists to buy tickets or book a hotel. By positioning yourself as an expert guide, you become their go-to for buying a holiday.

Post Trip: Social media allows everyone to share positive experiences and post valuable content after completing a trip. Resharing users’ posts is a great benefit of digital marketing!

Conclusion: Social Media Tourism is full of Business Benefits for You!

Social media and tourism have become an integral part of many people’s lives. It’s a powerful tool that connects visitors and destinations alike. 

When used effectively, social media can be a great asset to any business in the tourism industry. 

​​Need help with your social media marketing?

Let us know. We are here to support you on your journey. It’s of even more value when correctly integrated into your business website. 

If you need some advice, check out my article on why it’s crucial to maintain your travel website here.

Enjoy building your tourism business through social media, and thanks for reading!

Comment below if you have any questions!

Have you used social media tourism to boost your business marketing successfully? Tell us about your experience below!

 

hot air balloon floating over mountains
The 5 Phases of Tourism Experiences: Creating Memorable Holidays

The 5 Phases of Tourism Experiences: Creating Memorable Holidays

What Makes a Holiday Memorable? 

Is it the destination, the activities, the people you meet? It can be hard to explain just what makes a memorable tourism experience. However, understanding this part of the tourism industry is critical for crafting these holiday experiences.

I regularly advise my clients about this aspect of hospitality and tourism management. It’s one of the many ways we help our partners develop marketing strategies and build memorable experiences.

Understanding the Five Phases of Memorable Holidays

I will walk you through the five emotional phases your tourism company should focus on when creating unforgettable tourism experiences.

These phases will help you better understand what your customers are looking for, from anticipation and excitement to happiness and satisfaction. They might even help you redesign your marketing strategy or boost your tourist attraction!

1. Anticipation is Key to a Great Tourist Experience

tourism company reviews page

The phase where your customers plan their trip and get excited for their upcoming holiday is crucial. The most memorable trips often start well before the typical tourist packs their bags! 

If a visitor comes to you with a tourist destination in mind, providing stories, images, reviews, and even testimonials add to their anticipation. You should focus on creating attractive and appealing marketing materials to capture the attention of your potential visitors. 

Your Research Builds Their Anticipation

Holiday planning is when your customers are likely to undertake extensive research on their destination and preferred activities. 

Investing in experiential tourism means giving customers a range of choices.

You also need to make sure they’ve got all the information they need to make great choices. You can start their memorable journey from guides on local culture to alternatives to the best hotel room.

Finally, tourism businesses should create a sense of anticipation and excitement for their customers by providing them with regular updates on their holiday plans.

Emphasising the travel narratives of previous customers works well and adds confidence. Regularly highlight a particular experience or range of tourist attractions to keep your visitors interested.

In short, your engagement doesn’t stop when the booking is complete. Your client’s memorable experience is only just beginning, and you’re central to making it personal.

2. Excitement is Part of the Tourism Experience

engaging tourism email

Okay, so your visitor is now a paying customer, they have made the booking, and now this is the stage where travellers are full of anticipation and can’t wait to get started on their trip. 

Data analysis shows that, just before departure, tourism companies should increase their level of contact with guests.

Now is the time to add to their excitement and positivity by sharing photos and videos of the destination. You could also provide detailed information about what to expect and arrange airport pickups and transfers

Help Customers Finalise Their Plans

At this stage, your travellers are also trying to finalise their plans and looking for last-minute deals. It would help if you offered discounts and promotions to encourage travellers to book their trip or invest in profitable add-ons.

Finally, offering exclusive experiences or VIP access to attractions and events can generate excitement. You should work to create an experience that is unique and exciting. One that travellers will remember for years to come.

3. Encountering New Destinations and Local People

web page offering cultural tours

The third phase of tourism experiences occurs when travellers encounter new destinations and local people

It can be an exciting but nerve-wracking experience exploring a foreign place and communicating with locals. 

Some tourists feel like they are on an adventure to discover new sights and sounds. However, others find it overwhelming to navigate their way around!

Provide new Tourism Experiences

The excitement of exploring a new place is a popular reason for travel. 

Whether it’s discovering ancient ruins, tasting new foods, or encountering different cultures, the thrill of new experiences is a significant driver of tourism. You must create opportunities for your guests to have these kinds of experiences.

One way to do this is to partner with local organisations and businesses to provide unique and exciting experiences…

An approach like this can include arranging a traditional dance performance to take guests on a nature hike. Whatever you do, make sure that the experiences you provide are truly unique and offer a new perspective on the destination.

Keeping the Encounters Comfortable

You can help cautious travellers by providing clear information about the destination and organising tours with knowledgeable guides. 

You can also help them connect with locals by arranging meetups or social events. You will allow travellers to learn more about visiting the place’s culture and customs.

Try to ensure the traveller feels safe and comfortable in this new environment (without removing the pleasure of a new adventure!)

If you can manage to create an environment where guests feel like they’re constantly encountering new and exciting things, you’ll be on your way to creating a memorable holiday.

4. Engagement Makes a Memorable Tourism Experience

myths and mountains activities page

Once a tourist is attracted to your destination, you must keep them engaged. Achieve this outcome through the activities, events, and attractions you have on offer.

It’s essential to provide a variety of activities that will interest different people. For example, someone who loves nature may want to hike, while someone who loves history may visit a museum.

It is also essential to keep the tourist engaged throughout the entire experience. 

You can do this by providing a well-rounded package that includes activities, food and culture. If your tourism company can keep its tourists engaged throughout their entire experience, your customers are more likely to have a memorable holiday.

Great Ways to Keep Visitors Engaged

Keeping your clients engaged on their holidays is a critical element of successful hospitality and tourism management. 

My top five tips are:

  1. Activities: Provide a variety of activities that will interest different people. Repeat them where possible to allow novelty seekers to try new things.
  2. Events: Host events that will keep tourists engaged and interested in the destination; Not everyone will want them, but a tourist’s experience will be more engaging if they have the choice!
  3. Attractions: Have attractions unique to the destination and keep tourists coming back for more. An excellent tourist experience relies on having amazing new things to do!
  4. Culture: Showcase the destination’s culture and give tourists a taste of the local way of life. Tourism research indicates that many visitors want to know the country and its customs.
  5. Food: Offer a variety of local food that will tantalise tourists’ taste buds. Experiencing foods that are brand new makes a perfect travel experience. 

Supporting Your Clients’ Well Being

You can do a few things to help support tourists on holiday with you…

One of the most important is to ensure that all information is in one place. Include maps, directions, and contact information. It is also helpful to have staff fluent in multiple languages to communicate with tourists worldwide.

It’s also essential to provide 24/hour support for tourists. Achieve this by having a hotline to call if they need help. You could also have staff available to help with anything that may come up.

A Safe and Secure Environment Works Best

Finally, it’s essential to provide tourists with a safe and secure environment. You’ll guarantee a memorable tourism experience if you can achieve all this!

5. Extension and Reflection Builds a Partnership

booking.com positive feedback videos

Once a visitor has returned, tourism studies show that companies should continue to engage with them positively. 

You should provide ways for travellers to extend their memorable experiences and reflect on them. Do this through social media, photo sharing, or even providing a forum for feedback. 

Staying Engaged Works for Everyone

By remaining engaged, you have a valuable opportunity for data collection and forging lasting partnerships. 

After all, positive tourist experiences are suitable for your business, and capturing positive feedback is a crucial marketing strategy.

Extending the experience allows travellers to keep their holiday memories alive, and reflection helps them learn and grow from their experiences. These are valuable aspects of tourism that can help make memories (and travel relationships) last a lifetime.

Conclusion: Engage and Support to Enhance the Tourism Experience

Different travellers want different experiences, but what links all holidaymakers together is this process of engagement and support.

The five phases of tourism experiences provide a valuable framework for creating memorable holidays. By focusing on each stage, companies can ensure that their travellers have a rich and rewarding experience.

A key element to remember is that, as a travel business, you also need to use this information to draw potential visitors in and convert them into customers. If your marketing and branding can illustrate in advance the life-affirming and exciting service they’ll receive, you’re far more likely to do just that.

tourism experiences
5 FREE Ways to Use Scotland Funding to Market Your Tourism Business!

5 FREE Ways to Use Scotland Funding to Market Your Tourism Business!

Great Marketing for Tourism Businesses is Vital

We all know that great marketing is at the heart of a successful tourism business. Not every business has the expertise or money for an integrated and dynamic marketing strategy. 

If that sounds like you, then I’ve got good news for you! 

Scotland has a variety of funding programs available to give businesses in the tourism industry the financial support they need to get started, develop ongoing strategies, and plan future expansions and initiatives.

If you’re a tourism business thinking about developing your marketing, then identifying the right funding programmes is really important. After all, successful award funding leads to great marketing opportunities and gives you the investment you need to move your business forward.

We’re Here to Help…

At Straight Up Websites, we really want to see the Scottish tourism and hospitality industry flourish, and in this post, I’ll guide you through the ways that you can use Scotland funding to develop your tourism business and make the most of the funding you receive. 

I’ll also share some valuable industry strategies for ways that you can use great marketing to grow your tourism business and maximise your brand, market share and profitability.

Let’s get started.

1. What is Scotland Funding, and How Can it Be Used to Market Your Tourism Business for Free?

Scotland funding refers to a range of government-funded and privately financed organisations. These organisations offer financial assistance to new and established businesses in several sectors, including tourism and hospitality. 

You can use significant proportions of the funds on offer for marketing purposes or other costs associated with developing visitors’ products, services, or experiences.

These grants are available at various levels, from local government agencies to national ones like VisitScotland, which offer several funding options. 

Suppose you’re working on a collaborative tourism marketing campaign that focuses on growth in the tourism sector. In that case, your most appropriate option might be the VisitScotland Growth Fund, as this fund aims to encourage collaboration and partnerships to deliver tourism and hospitality marketing across Scotland.

Build a Bespoke Brand

This level of Scotland funding gives you the financial independence to build bespoke brands and marketing campaigns that ignite your business and encourage visitors to your venue, as well as others throughout the country.

 The Scottish Government also has several funds specifically for VisitScotland accredited businesses. One of them is the Scottish Enterprise Regional Selective Assistance Grant Scheme, a grants programme that offers up to £250k for investment projects.

 So, whether it’s upgrading your website, developing branding, or managing your booking system, there’s never been a better time to make use of Scotland funding!

2. Scotland Funding Opportunities and How to Apply

Scotland funding opportunities are widespread, and each has its criteria for applying. To help you narrow down the options that might be right for you, here are some links to three outstanding online resources:-

Grants Online

Grants Online is a hub that details a wide range of Scotland funding options and where you’ll find articles about grant opportunities across all sectors. You can also sign up for their regular newsletter, giving you access to all the latest application details.

Funding Scotland

Funding Scotland is another hub that brings together funding opportunities for charities, community groups and social enterprises in Scotland, many of which include organisations in the tourism sector. The site offers access to over 850 different funds at writing, so there are plenty to choose from!

The Scottish Tourism Alliance

The Scottish Tourism Alliance isn’t a fund provider but is the representative body of the Scottish tourism industry. It offers members in-depth and up-to-date news on the latest national strategies in the tourism and hospitality industry and has the mandate to support businesses like yours!

3. What are the Benefits of Using Scotland Funding to Market Your Tourism Business?

There are a few reasons why Scotland funding is so popular with people looking to market their tourism businesses: it’s free! 

This kind of project funding gives you an excellent opportunity to reinvigorate your market presence or take the time to invest in partnerships that help move your brand forwards. 

Scotland funding is also an excellent way for entrepreneurs to start marketing whilst keeping their upfront costs manageable.

 Once you’ve started to market your business more successfully, you can expect to see some of the following benefits:-

Increased Visibility for Your Business

Working with a set of integrated, bespoke and professionally maintained marketing tools such as a redeveloped website or refreshed branding can lead to greater visibility for your business.  This increased exposure can help you reach more potential customers and generate more sales. 

Drawing Strength from Marketing Partnerships 

Receiving funding to market your tourism business will inevitably require you to develop effective partnerships with other companies, suppliers, venues and marketing professionals. 

The way this fund supports projects to help you develop a network is precious, as not only can you draw on one another’s expertise and gain shared access to vital information,  you’ll also substantially increase the reach of your marketing.

 VisitScotland also provides training and resources to help businesses use their awards effectively and efficiently. 

Increased Business Growth in the Tourism Sector

Gaining access to Scotland funding can help you increase your sales. Firstly, the better your marketing, the more potential customers you’ll reach.

 Just as important, having the budget and freedom to work with marketing professionals means that the quality of your marketing is likely to increase significantly, saving time and money and making each opportunity for conversion far more successful.

Of course, the lasting benefit of using this kind of funding initiative to develop your marketing strategy is the knowledge and experience you’ll gain. Not only can you carry on applying the marketing principles and techniques you’ve created, but you’ll find it easier to access new funding for future marketing campaigns too.

4. How to Market your Tourism Business Using Scotland Funding

Once you’ve been successful with a grant programme and you’ve made the decision to invest some of that capital in marketing your tourism business more effectively, you’ll want to think about the next steps.

 What can you do to minimise project costs and ensure that you see a tangible return on your investment?

Here are five steps you can take immediately, to help you move forwards with a successful marketing strategy:-

Make Sure you Understand Your Customers.

Understanding what your customers want, what they’re willing to pay, where they come from and how they feel about you is a great place to start your marketing journey. 

It’s easy to make assumptions about what you think a client or visitor wants, but if you don’t ask them, then you might find that you’re missing a significant opportunity to improve your offer.

Gathering feedback via questionnaires, email contact, in person and even with a visitor’s book can help you see things from their perspective and pick up on what you’re doing well, as well as what you’re missing out on.

Importantly, you must make sure you have an ‘ideal’ customer in mind and work hard to refine your marketing (and your service) to reflect their needs.

Harness the Power of Reviews

It’s imperative to cultivate positive reviews for your business. 

In a recent study, Tourism Economics found that sites such as TripAdvisor were encouraging higher spending and more extended stays in the UK, with reviews playing an increasingly important factor in booking decisions.

You should ensure that your positive reviews are well-publicised and used as part of your more comprehensive marketing strategy. Working with a professional marketing team, you’ll be able to embed these reviews into your sites and social media automatically. 

You should make sure that you respond to any poorer reviews fairly and professionally and publicly resolve any issues.

Reviews also offer you a powerful tool for self-reflection as a business, a vital part of the marketing process.

Make Decisions About Your Brand

Moving forward on your marketing journey, it’s worth thinking deeply about your brand identity and whether what your business offers still reflects the branding you have in place. 

If it does, you’re going to need to amplify and celebrate that identity with new campaigns. Still, if not, you’ll need to develop new marketing approaches that better reflect your individuality, voice, image, service and ethos. 

This factor is where working with some marketing professionals within the tourism and hospitality sector can be so valuable, as they’ll be able to guide you through the process and make sure that you maximise your Scotland funding investment.

Remember to Share Your Journey 

Sharing your success on social media is a vital part of any marketing strategy and something you can do before your funding comes through. 

Keeping your brand in the mind of interested followers means you’re more likely to get repeat custom, develop the scope of your message and convey a level of energy and activity that will keep people engaged.

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that you need to have a series of special events to share, either. You can post daily about the journey your tourism business is on – anything from photos of your team painting a wall to a member of staff packaging mailouts can make engaging content.

As you build a following, your social media channels become a great place to publicise deals, events and opportunities, so don’t underestimate their value!

Remember your Website is a Powerful Tool

Regardless of the service or product your tourism business offers, your website is your online home and needs to set the tone for your brand. 

You should make sure that you optimise it across different platforms so that it’s user-friendly and structured to draw the visitor in and convert them from a visitor into a paying customer. 

Your website also needs to be SEO-rich to ensure that visitors can find you quickly and get the information they need immediately. It’s also your source for generating mailing lists, selling products and, just like you’re reading now, blogging about your business!

Getting this aspect of your business right is probably one of the most important things you can invest your Scotland funding awards into, both for short-term value and long-term growth.

5. How will Scotland Funding help you grow your Tourism Business?

With powerful and effective marketing, your tourism business will not only reach more potential customers and clients but is far more likely to connect with the right demographic

Using that funding to research your ideal customer or visitor, establishing an offer that attracts them and understanding what they expect from you can make a tremendous difference to your chances of success.

But it’s not just targeted marketing itself that will help you grow…

The process of researching funding opportunities compels businesses to develop new approaches to community engagement, expansion, infrastructure and ethos. 

By taking the time to understand how funds work and who and what the funds will support, you can plan your events, promotions, and products from an informed perspective.

That way, you can continue to build your business with confidence, knowing that your goals are supported by each fund provider’s commitment to secure Scotland’s place as a premier tourism location.

To find out more about getting tourism grants in Scotland, check out our detailed post here.

Conclusion

As you can see, there are many ways that Scotland funding can help your tourism business grow. You just need to do your research and find the right funding opportunity for you. 

Whether you’re planning to grow your digital marketing, establish your local reputation or simply build your bookings, using that funding to market your business couldn’t be more important!

Are you looking to improve your brand identity, enhance your online experience and most importantly can you handle more online bookings?

In that case, we’d love to hear from you. We’re excited to learn more about the challenges you face how we can support you to overcome them and become your go-to partner for all your travel website marketing in the future.

scotland funding
How Much Should a WordPress Travel Website Cost You in 2022?

How Much Should a WordPress Travel Website Cost You in 2022?

This is a question I always get asked, and the answer to this question is not as simple as it might seem…

The size and complexity of a website project for your travel business will always determine the final costs, but there are extra charges that you should also be aware of before you invest in your new website. 

This article should help you when budgeting for your travel website project to not run into any hidden fees or additional expenses!

For those of you who haven’t got the time to read this post, here’s a ballpark breakdown:

Website Project Costs:

  • Domain Name Registration£15-25 per year
  • Hosting – £10 -15 per month
  • Template Websites – typically £500-£1,000
  • Custom Website Design & Development – One-off fee (typically £2,000 – £6,000+)
  • Ongoing website maintenance, security & updates – £50 a month
  • E-commerce websites – £6,000+

Cost No.1 – Registering Your Domain:

Domain names are the address of your website. They’re typically purchased for an annual fee and last a year; you renew them on time, which is usually every year or two years depending upon if they expire at any point in that period. 

Domain name registration fees vary widely from provider to provider, you need to find a good one and not go for the cheapest. If you’re looking to register your travel website and not seeking professional advice, then consider all the options, do your research and stay away from the cheap providers…they are cheap for a reason!

The domain name registration fee is usually around £15-25 per year. It’s a cost that you’ll have to pay before the website goes live, and there is usually an irresistible offer for your first year. The annual renewal of this service will be  due on the anniversary of your domain name registration. 

We recommend you purchase your domain here for fast propagation, reliable support, and generally an overall quality service.

Cost No.2 – Hosting Your Domain on a Server

The hosting fee is typically charged monthly, around £10-15 a month for an average-sized WordPress travel website. It works out cheaper if paid annually (and I like not to have the monthly charges and just pay a year upfront). 

Again, the same goes for the domain. The first year will typically be a cheaper fee. You’ll have to pay for hosting for as long as you plan to have your website active, or until you decide not to renew with them anymore and cancel service with this provider…which can be done at any time without penalty if you so happened to change your mind. 

If you are looking for a more extensive hosting plan with more server space for hosting multiple websites, the average annual price will vary depending upon how much server space is required.

Most hosting providers offer unlimited websites and unlimited databases within reason. This typically ranges from £30-£100 per month if paid annually in advance.

The cost includes hosting, branded email addresses with a customised mail server setup to send emails from your company’s address, and an SSL certificate required by law when collecting personal data online such as IDs, credit card details or passwords, etc.

Cost No.3 – Website Design and Development

The cost of custom design and development will vary depending on the complexity, size or scope of the project…

If all you are looking for is a template website and don’t care much about customising everything, you just need a professional presence online. You can get a website built and live in less than a month for under £1,000.

If you require a more significant level site that requires complex integration, custom coding, more content, webpages and work, then this would take more like 6-8 weeks for completion and could cost anything from around £3,000 – £6,000+… the more complex the project, the more it will require of time and resources from designers/developers which is of course reflected by higher costs.

Design and development is a crucial part of the project. Any web design company charging less than £1,000 would usually indicate a lack of experience resulting in a poor quality product. 

Most commonly, if you pay less than £1,000, the company will sacrifice quality. They are likely not to deliver what is required to reach your business goals and waste your time by providing a template site, no marketing techniques, user experience and conversion-based design. No ongoing extra support to help you get the most from your site.

A business owner should always get detailed quotes in writing before committing to any contract/agreement. The full scope of the project should be determined and laid out clearly before any work takes place.

A key thing to remember is that your travel website should be designed to help you achieve your goals and objectives as a business owner. The design of a site is not just about how it looks but designed to generate more revenue, convert visitors into customers, and have professionally written content on each page so you as an individual or company can get the maximum benefit from your investment.

Cost No.4 – Ongoing website maintenance and updates

A website maintenance plan is crucial to the success of your travel website because it helps you keep your site updated with the latest content and information, which is essential for search engine optimisation and for keeping your visitors excited to come back to your fresh, up to date website.

A website maintenance plan should provide a variety of tasks, including:

Content Management: the process of adding new content to your site, updating old pages and deleting outdated information.  You must keep up with this so as not to have a stale website which will be detrimental for SEO purposes.

General Site Updates & Maintenance Tasks: consisting of checking for broken links, deleting spam comments and fixing any other errors that spammers may have introduced to the site.

Site Security: an integral part of your website maintenance plan because it helps protect you against hackers who want access to private information on your company’s database or steal personal data from customers’ accounts. It also covers sensitive customer details like credit card numbers (if you have an e-commerce site) which could be compromised if not properly secured with robust encryption software.

Web Analytics & Reporting: helping you see how your marketing efforts are performing by providing you with insights about what content visitors found most engaging so you can make adjustments accordingly in order provide better service online.

Daily/Weekly website backups:  this is important to have done regularly because it protects against data loss if something happens to your site. It’s also helpful in restoring websites after they have been hacked or if you want backup copies from periods before anything went wrong.

A website maintenance plan costs around £50-£100 a month, and it’s well worth the investment!

What exactly is a Website Maintenance Plan? 

In summary, this is an agreement between you (the business owner) to pay someone else for ongoing website maintenance services in exchange for them monitoring your site 24/hrs per day so that they can detect any issues before there are significant consequences such as data loss or downtime.

Cost No.5 – Marketing Your Travel Website

Here are 5 of our favourite ways to market your travel website once it has gone live:

– Get the word out on social media: post links to your travel website and blog posts. Share interesting content with followers or friends in a group that would be interested (e.g., if you’re marketing a website for a luxury holiday, let’s then post it into groups of tourists, travel enthusiasts and people who appreciate your locality). 

-Create email newsletters: that can include updates about new products/services and articles from other sources of relevant information explicitly related to what is being marketed by your company’s site; these emails should go straight through their inbox, so they don’t have any chance at missing them! This also helps because people will know when changes are happening within your website without searching for it online time and time again. Email marketing is about staying top of mind with your customers and keeping them coming back to your website to do business with you.

-Create a blog with great content for your customers to read: You should see your blog as an extension of your website.  It’s where you can post interesting facts and stories about your travel business, inspire your visitors and educate them about things relevant to your product or service. Get to know your customers and post something interesting for them to read, help them solve their problems and use your blog to provide severe value and show you care.

-Search Engine Optimisation: SEO is a great way to drive traffic to your website, and it’s free to do organically if you have the time. You can do this by optimising your blog content for search engines and getting backlinks from other websites linking to you (this is called “link building”). Another way to build upon your travel website SEO is to use social media to get your content in front of as many people on the internet. The most effective SEO strategy is to create quality content and research keywords around that content. Again you need good, relevant and exciting information that resonates with your readers. You should also be posting frequently enough, so customers know there’ll always be something new coming up from time to time (ideally once every week). This tells Google your site is worth coming back to. It doesn’t have to be massive posts either; just one post can do wonders if it’s well written and informative “Quality over Quantity”.

-Pay per click advertising: a great way to boost your website traffic if done right. You pay a certain amount of money to Google or Facebook for every click on your website. This can be a considerable cost and should only be considered doing if you have some professionals helping you craft the ads to generate the leads.

Cost No.6 – E-commerce projects 

The cost of an e-commerce ready travel website is a little different than the other types of websites because it has to be integrated with payment gateways, booking management systems and customer relationship managers. You should expect to be paying anywhere from between £6,000-£20,000+ depending on your needs. 

This will also mean that you have additional costs such as hosting fees for your online store or monthly subscription charges from software providers, such as Supercontrol for booking and channel management. These are just some examples; there may also include marketing campaigns to get people through your doors at first, too.

In the travel and tourism industry, WordPress websites may require plugins such as WooCommerce for online stores and Booking.com or Agoda to enable customers the ability to book their hotel rooms through your website, too – these are just a few examples of what you might need to run an e-commerce site successfully. Still, there may be more depending on how much functionality each business owner requires. All costs should be detailed in the original quote and the scope of work considered. I re-iterate…this will save a lot of confusion and an unexpected disappointment. Working with a freelancer over an agency can result in disaster because the freelancer will not have the same level of experience and knowledge. The cost to build a travel website is often underestimated. 

A freelancer often will be desperate to acquire a job, so will undercharge, which will result in a messy project and usually a rush to not lose out. 

Top tip: If you are planning on budgeting for an online shop with lots of products, or extra functionality you will need to budget for a payment gateway, which is not included in the website design cost.

Conclusion

In conclusion,  I hope that I have been able to help you understand the costs of a website for your travel business and what is included in those prices. It’s crucial for you if you are about to invest in your online presence to know precisely how much you need to budget before going ahead with any project not to be disappointed by an unexpected cost at some point down on the road, which usually results from poor planning upfront or a lack of clarity on how much things cost.

Are you considering investing in a travel website for your business?

If you are looking to invest in a valuable asset for your travel business that could generate 10X more online bookings and give your brand a complete refresh we will be more than happy to consider working with you to reach your goals and becoming your go-to for all your travel website marketing in the future.

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Keeping Your Website Maintained: 4 Great Reasons Why it’s Essential

Keeping Your Website Maintained: 4 Great Reasons Why it’s Essential

Is it Absolutely Essential to Keep Your Website Maintained?

You’ve just invested in a great new website for your business. It’s been professionally designed and you is hosted with a recommended provider. It’s exactly the right online presence for your brand, company or organisation.

If you’re happy with your website but don’t understand the importance of regular maintenance, then this post is for you.

Why?

Sadly having a great-looking, secure and functioning website isn’t enough. In fact, it’s only the start. Keeping it great is what’s important. Here are 4 reasons why regularly maintaining your website is so important for you and your customers.

#1 Protect Yourself From Nasty Hackers

Although your site might have been secure when it was published, the chances are it isn’t secure now. Hackers prey on static or out-of-date websites as they present a great opportunity to steal data easily, and often without being noticed.

This is bad enough if your site is a personal one, but if it’s linked with your business then the data that can be accessed, the bandwidth that can be stolen or the viruses that can be uploaded have a significant effect not only for you, but your clients and partners too.

Using a Content Management System like WordPress gives you access to regular software patches and security updates. You should always take advantage of these and employ this level of protection. However it can be a huge commitment if you’re busy to remember every week to keep everything tidy on the backend, performing all of your updates and you may not know how to keep the site secure.

If your site comes with the option of a maintenance plan, we offer maintenance to any WordPress website at a great price, you’d be well-advised to make use of it. If you are targeted by hackers or your site does become vulnerable, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that it won’t be you forking out to remedy the problem…even better, this is highly unlikely if you are on a good maintenance plan and your site is being maintained every day.

#2 Keep Things Fresh and Well Optimised

Online businesses thrive on search engine results. Companies like Google specifically look for websites that are regularly updated and will rank these more highly in search results.

The more your site is updated with content, the more visitors you will get. If you can convert those visitors into customers and clients, then your website is doing its job and you’re getting a return on your investment.

Making sure that you don’t have duplicate pages, broken links, or out-of-date information is just as important as generating new content in this respect. Keep your site tidy as well as updated, and you’ll notice a real difference in your traffic which leads to more sales.

Regularly reviewing and re-defining your keywords and keyword phrases is another practical and highly valuable way of maintaining your site and its potential. Think of this as a way of keeping your site visible and easy to find.

#3 Don’t Risk Letting Your Brand Down

A website is key to the development of your business. Your staff and customers come to rely on it as a tool on many different levels. The last thing you need is for your site to malfunction, either in part or in its entirety.

A good website maintenance plan will also involve the creation of regular back-ups. Should the worst happen, your site and all the content data is fully recoverable, and your backup can be restored. Without a regular back-up plan, your business and one of its most important assets remain vulnerable.

The technical integrity of your site is important. Your company’s integrity is also important in the eyes of your partners and customers.

Value them both, and they will be of value to you, too.

#4 Don’t Let Your Website Become Stale

The technology that powers your website is evolving every day. Performance improvements are released every week, making your site more efficient, more engaging and more productive. Staying on top of these updates and optimising your site’s potential makes will make your website even more valuable.

Sites that take a long time to load are frustrating for the user and less likely to appear high in search results. The net result is that you will attract fewer visitors to your site and are less likely to keep those that do find you.

Staying up to date will fix both of these potential barriers to volumizing your site traffic and sales.

These tips are invaluable, but there’s an even more compelling reason to maintain and regularly update your website.

You want your visitors to keep coming back.

TOP TIP: Make sure that you don’t just maintain your website from a technical perspective. Keep the content fresh too, so that visitors and customers get used to seeing new posts or products whenever they visit.

It isn’t professional if your event calendars haven’t changed from month to month, or if you are leaving your blogs to stagnate. If you’re not adding new products or services, make sure you add comments, additional information, reviews, or articles that generate interest and new visitors.

Conclusion: Keeping Your Website Maintained Could be the Make or Break of Your Brand

Without that basic level of maintenance, potential customers probably won’t engage with your site, no matter how well designed, and the chances are that your sales will be affected.

Your business is continually innovating, evolving and updating – Your website should be too.

 
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