You want customers and potential customers to visit your travel and tourism Web site often, just as you would want them to visit your physical operation or your destination. The more often people visit your site, the more likely they are to purchase something or make a reservation.
Why Is Repeat Traffic Important To You?
The more often a person visits your site:
- The more your brand is reinforced
- The more your target market feels a part of your community, and people do business with people they know and trust
- The more likely they are to give you permission to stay in touch
- The more likely they are to tell others about you, your packages, your destination, etc.
- The more likely you will be first in mind when they go to buy or make a reservation.
Tips, Tools & Techniques to Keep 'em Coming Back
You want to ensure that the techniques you use to get repeat traffic are appropriate for your target market. For example, if you were having a contest on your site targeted toward children, you would not want to give away a bread-maker as the prize. That would be fine, however, if your target market is families or homemakers. You want to offer something of interest to the market you are targeting. If your target market is skiers, then a weekend in Vail, or your destination, might work.
There are many little things that will spice up your Web site to “keep 'em coming back". Below are a few the tips, tools, and techniques to get visitors to return to your site again and again.
* Specials, Promotions and Packages
Everyone likes to get a deal. You might consider having a special travel promotions or vacation packages section on your Web site. You'll want to change your promotion fairly frequently and let your site visitors know: “We change our specials every week. Bookmark our site and keep checking back!”
* Luring Customers with Contests and Competitions
Contests and competitions are great traffic builders. Some sites hold regular contests on a weekly or monthly basis to generate repeat visitors. Having a contest with your destination as the prize or part of the prize is great as all contest entrants are telling you that they are a potential customer. They wouldn't enter the contest if they didn't want the prize.
You could also partner with other travel and tourism operations. If a ski hill and a hotel partnered to offer a contest their customers and potential customers they could offer a prize of a free ski pass for a day and a free nights stay at the hotel - the bigger the prize, the more likely they are to come back often.
Allow site visitors to enter your contest often. The objective of the contest is to get visitors back to your site on a regular basis! I'd suggest that to accomplish this objective it might be appropriate to tell your Web site visitors to “Enter today! Enter often!” “Bookmark this site—The more times you enter the more chances you have to win!”
Before you go ahead with holding any kind of contest, find out if any legal issues concern you. There may be restrictions that you are not aware of (e.g., you might be required to purchase a legal permit to hold lotteries).
* Provide a “Featured” or “Tip of the Day/Week”
Have a section that offers cool tips that relate to your tourism operation, your products or services, your destination or your target market.
These tips can be from one sentence to one paragraph long or develop a short video of your tip.
If visitors find your advice helpful, they will return repeatedly to see what interesting piece of information you have displayed that day.
This technique has been used very effectively by a number of businesses—featured treatments by spas, featured destination of the week by travel agencies or destination marketing organizations, ski tip of the week by ski hills, golf tip of the week by golf courses or fishing tip of the week for fishing camps. There are as many options for tips and featured sections as there are businesses.
Blogs are a great way to get repeat traffic - if they are done the right way. Blogs need to be updated at least 3 times per week with valuable information that is interesting or useful to your target market. With that being said, blogs
can help you keep your travel and tourism Web site current and they are an easy way to add new content to your site. They can be used to provide your potential and existing customers with the latest news on your travel and tourism products and services, industry news, updates, tips or other content relevant to your target market .
Many travel and tourism sites are incorporating downloadable audio content or podcasts and adding new content on a regular basis to encourage repeat visitors. This is becoming very popular because people like to download and listen to this type of content at their own convenience; they can do an hour of travel research or travel planning while working out, or sitting on the beach, or riding the subway, or traveling by air.
Once you have developed podcasts, you might want to make them available and downloadable through a number of the online podcast directories like Podcast.net ( http://www.podcast.net ).
* Use a What's New Page for Repeat Visits
A What's New page can mean different things to different sites. For some, this page updates users with summaries of the most recent travel packages, specials or promotions. For others, the What's New page could also include any awards you or your company have received and new additions to your Web site, such as a package builder, or news and events. Whatever it is you include on your What's New page, you should always make sure that it is of interest to your target market.
If visitors repeatedly find interesting additions in the What's New section, they will come back to your site on a regular basis to check out what's new.
* Offer Free Stuff
Offering free things is a great way to increase traffic—everybody likes a freebie. If you provide something for free that is valuable to your target market you are sure to have a steady stream of repeat traffic. For example to get people into your restaurant you could offer a free dessert with an entree coupon. To get a number of people to visit your attraction you might have a buy 3 get one free coupon. You might have a free gift upon arrival for a hotel or a cruise.
You should change your freebie often and let your site visitors know how often you do this. Something like “We change our free offer every single week! Keep checking back” or “Click here to be notified by e-mail when we update” also works well.
Leverage, Leverage, Leverage
I am a big proponent of leveraging everything you do for maximum marketing results. Almost every repeat traffic generator provides an opportunity for permission marketing and also for viral marketing. Always ask customers and potential customers if they would like to be added to your mailing list to be notified of contests, freebies, new additions to the site, etc. Always ask customer and potential customers if they want to "tell a friend" about your site, your promotions, your contests, your freebies, etc.
Make sure you review the repeat traffic generators you use on your site and incorporate the appropriate permission and viral marketing elements.
Join me Friday November 16th, 2007 at 12pm EST for my 1 hour webinar on Effective Marketing with Landing Pages. In this session I will show you the essential elements that are needed on landing pages to convert, how to leverage your landing pages to maximize your conversions, the impact of your landing page on the search engines and testing strategies to help you improve the effectiveness of your landing page. Click here to learn more and sign up now!
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Hope to see you again and again and again! ;)
Visit my Web site at http://www.susansweeney.com