Websites are essential for customers to be able to find you. Most tourism searches are originated through a Google search, so your website needs to rank with the Google algorithm to make sure when customers search, your site is what comes up and catches their eye.
A good website needs to be engaging, informative, load quickly, answer the questions that your future customer is asking, and have a clear and simple call to action. You are a solution to your customers problem, so think like a customer looking for answers and make sure that you make the information easy to find and comprehensive. And don’t forget to entertain – the Australian market loves a cheeky sense of humour. Travel should be fun, so let your brand’s personality shine through.
Fast loading times are important for keeping your customers on your website. Google recommends a 3 second loading time, world standard is about 5 seconds. Any more than that and people are likely to look elsewhere. You can check your loading time using this link
A good website has certain attributes, do a little audit and ask yourself the following questions: does it achieve your objectives; does it reflect your brand as it is out in the market place; does it have strong calls to action – are people able to book clearly and quickly; can you be found; is your website mobile friendly and meets accessibility 2.0 regulations; and can it be measured and is performing the way you want it to. It always comes back to the experience of the end user, and how smooth and seamless that is.
So what if you don’t even have a website? You better get one! To get a new website, you have three options: build one yourself, hire a freelancer or get an agency to build one for you. For more details on these options, you can read our Digital Ready website fundamental factsheet here.
Once you have a website, you need to think about SEO or Search Engine Optimisation. That’s basically your ability for your website to be found on Google. To get found, your website has to be on the first or second page of Google, and you need to have the right keywords to get there. Google is a critical part of a travellers planning tools, which is why a compelling website with strong SEO is essential.
Some tools make it easier for Google to find and rank you. Make sure you have an SSL certificate which means that your website is secure and your customers information and data is secure (it’s that little lock in the left hand corner of the URL). Google analytics is another tool that will help your SEO and help you to make business decisions about your target market and how your website is performing. Getting a Google My Business listing gives people easy access to your business and preferences your ranking with Google and gets your name on a Google Map.
The Digital Ready check up tool is a fantastic free tool to give your current live website an audit using this free tool. It’s a great way to see where you are at, and a launching point for discussions with your Digital Ready Coach. You can access the tool through this link.