Back then, travelers would come to your front desk asking to book a tour. Nowadays, if you want to be seeing and grow your travel business, you must be online. If you don’t have a website packed with helpful content, hardly you can get new direct bookings without paying for ads. That’s why tour operators should invest in a blog for their business.
Blogs are key for an organic digital marketing strategy. Have you ever bought something after visiting a blog? If you did so, probably you noticed a need for that certain product or service after reading it. It works the same way for travel products.
This is the power of blogging. It attracts potential customers and gives them enough confidence to purchase, or in your case, book a tour, activity or attraction.
You know that Google plays a key whole in digital marketing and online sales. We are talking about a website that processes 3.5 billion searches a day!
Chances are that your ideal guests are performing travel-related searches right now on Google. They could be planning their next trip, learning more about their dream destination or just searching for travel inspiration.
Just take a look at this data:
It doesn’t matter what your potential customer is searching for on Google. If you want to receive organic direct online bookings, you must be among the top results of their searches.
Now you must be wondering, how can I rank in the top positions and get more potential guests to visit my website?
The answer is simple. Have the right combination of keywords and work on your website SEO.
Blogging is related to the first part of this formula, and if you are still not convinced that you need one on your website, check out 6 more reasons why tour operators should invest in a blog.
As explained in the previous section, blogging helps attract organic visitors to your website. That’s mainly due to the keywords that you use when writing your blogs. These keywords help Google index your page and show it to users performing a specific query.
For example, a blog with the title “The must-see hidden gems in Bali” is very likely to attract web visitors from Google searching for the keyword “hidden gems Bali”.
Here is another example. Imagine you are a tour operator from Barcelona who offers walking tours. Probably your ideal guest is someone looking for interesting things to do and see in Barcelona. How can you attract this traveler to visit your website? You can write a blog listing the top 10 sights to see in Barcelona, or, an article about the history of some historical sites in the city.
If your ideal customer is searching for “things to do in Barcelona”, this must be the main keyword in your blog.
The same for a food tour operator. A blog about the traditional local receipts in your destination might attract people who are interested in paying for a food tour. You can also create a post listing the top restaurants in your area that tourists should not miss.
I’m sure you got the point here. But just writing blogs and posting them will not help with your content strategy. You need an SEO-friendly website and articles in your blog. Writing a blog that ranks on Google for relevant queries requires technique and search engine knowledge.
Another great advantage of investing in a blog for your tour business is that you can use its content to create posts for your social media.
Have you ever heard about repurposing content?
It’s also known as “content recycling”. In other words, it is the practice of reusing all or elements of existing content in order to expand that content’s reach. Repurposed content is typically transformed into a new format.
You can take your blog posts and turn them into infographics, ebooks, carousels, short videos, and any other format that suits it the best.
The idea of repurposing your blogs is to use this new material to share on social media. This way you not only keep your profiles active but also engage your audience and increase your chance to drive organic traffic to your website.
Back to our previous example. The article “The must-see hidden gems in Bali” can be repurposed into a carousel post for Instagram. Or even a short TikTok video listing the hidden gems.
Always remember to link your social media posts to your original blog, this way you are driving traffic to your web and helping your potential guests through their booking journey.
So far I only gave you examples of content that are inspirational and educative for your web visitors. But there are also other types of content that you should add to your blog, these are case studies, testimonials and company news.
Unlike educative blogs, this type of content will hardly bring new visitors to your website. They are not keyword centric. On the other hand, its value lies in giving your potential customers the extra confidence needed to book a tour with you.
Testimonials are great for that, and an important element in a digital marketing strategy. That is simple to understand. People usually tend to trust more on a business that was recommended by a friend or family member. Showing past guests’ experiences with your business has a similar effect.
Case studies are used to showcase how your company has addressed specific guest needs and situations. For example, you can describe how your company managed a group of 50 North Americans that has contracted your services.
Finally, company news is great content to bond with web visitors. This type of blog is focused on your company, for example, you can use it to describe your employees’ background, talk about new certifications you received, and so on.
So you already know that blogging has a direct connection to your Google ranking for specific keywords. But writing valuable content goes beyond that, it also helps in other SEO aspects of your website.
To understand how it impacts your Google ranks you must get familiar with the term Domain Authority.
According to VentureSkies: “The domain authority of a website describes how important the site is for a specific targeted subject area and relevance with respect to search words.”
Basically, Google’s algorithm chooses which website to show first on its result page based on the number of backlinks pointing to it. The bigger the number of backlinks, the higher the website domain authority, and most likely it will rank in the first positions.
If you are lost, backlinks are links in third domains that point to your website.
Google also considers the quality of backlinks when calculating your website’s Domain Authority. This means that links from popular websites have a greater impact on your scores. These ones range from 0 to 100.
So, when you add quality content to your website through blogging, it’s natural that a portion of your visitors will link back to your articles because they are reliable sources of information.
This is what we call earning organic backlinks. You don’t need to ask people to share your content, they will do it because it’s good and worth sharing. Alternatively, you can speed things up by actively asking websites with a high Domain Authority to add links pointing to your domain.
To increase your chances to get links from these websites, you can offer to write a guest blog for example.
When you start posting regularly on your blog you will notice an increase in your website traffic over time.
But you will also notice that most of your web visitors will come, read your content and leave your web without booking or looking further into your website.
These are potential customers that you can’t afford to miss. But how to contact them if you don’t have their information?
Easy, you should add a form to your blog asking for their data, especially their email. This will open a direct communication channel between your company and potential customers.
In order to get this sensitive information from your web visitors, you need to offer something in exchange. That could be a subscription to a monthly newsletter or something useful for their future trip, like a city guide.
The more valuable your offer, the more information you can ask from them. For example, in exchange for a Bali Visitors Guide, you can ask your potential guests to leave their email, name, location, age, and any other information that might be useful for you.
The marketing strategy behind asking for this data relies on understanding if your web visitors are aligned with your ideal customer profile.
Ultimately you can increase your sales by offering special prices and other promotions to the contacts in your lists.
If you are regularly publishing on your blog, over time you will have a returning audience that will come just to consume your content.
These people may not even want to travel to your location at the time they read your blogs. But in the future, if they decide to visit your city, chances are they will book a tour with you.
They can also become advocates of your business by recommending it to family and friends that want to visit your destination.
Why would they do that? The reason is simple. They like your content and see you as an authority in your niche. This is the marketing goal for many businesses.
To reach this status it is important that you create articles that are original, well-written and filled with valuable content. Frequency is also important. People like it when you have a specific day and time to post, so they know exactly when they should come to read your latest blogs.
If tour operators want to increase their website’s organic traffic, hence their bookings, investing in a blog is a great idea.
In this article, we gave 6 good reasons for that:
If you are excited to start blogging, why not boost your marketing with other great strategies? You don’t have the budget? No problem, in our ebook Low Budget Digital Marketing Strategies for Tour Operators we teach tour operators how to grow their business with cheap but effective marketing strategies.
on June 15, 2023
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