Top tips for launching a travel company online

world map over personWhen launching your travel company online, you will need to make it stand out from the rest and develop a comprehensive marketing strategy to make sure you turn your traffic into loyal customers and make your business a success. Here are the top tips to follow to launching your travel company online:

Website creation

With everything being online, people will search the web to find tour operators to fit their needs so you will want your site to stand out from the rest. Having an appealing and easy-to-navigate website is essential to launch your online travel company.

Your website is the first thing that your customers will see and base their decisions on before booking with you. A beautiful, clean looking website will attract visitors’ attention and make them want to browse for longer. You will also need to design your site to function across multiple different devices, particularly cell phones. Thanks to online platforms such as WordPress, Wix and Squarespace, it’s much easier to create a website without having to hire an expensive web design agency.

It’s vital that the design and visual aspects of your travel website are beautiful to look at. You can find many pre-designed travel website templates that can save you the costs of creating a custom one. Your website’s theme and colors need to resonate with your brand so choose them carefully. Make your imagery captivating and inspiring to your visitors.

The structure and layout of your site needs to flow easily and logically and take your visitors on the journey to where you want them to be – book your tours. You want to structure it in a way that will bring your visitors attention to the Calls to Action: View Dates, Book Now, Inquire Here, Sign Up and more.

One of the most important things is to have all the appropriate tour information and travel copy available to your visitors. Details are key and the more information the better! This will not only inspire your visitors to read further, but will give them all the necessary information and build their trust in your experience and expertise.

Your visitor’s journey through your website needs to be seamless so that they have a positive experience browsing through your site, which will lead to more bookings. Finally, the booking and payment process needs to run smoothly to avoid loosing any ready-to-book customers.

Online booking and payment software for travel companies

One of the major things to consider for your online travel website is the booking a payment software. You want this whole process to be simple, secure and efficient to avoid any stress or negative experiences for your customers. WeTravel has created payment processing software specifically for small travel operators. The software will help you create a seamless payment process with a payment gateway.

This is how it works:

When looking for payment software to use, it is vital that it is secure, safe, has multiple currencies and payment options and is affordable to use. While Paypal is a popular payment gateway, it can be quite expensive and does not offer useful features that can streamline the entire process.

You also need the process to be seamless for a good user experience. Not only does WeTravel’s payment software create a smooth payment process for your customers, but it integrates easily with your site and is quick and simple to set up. It can be embedded into your travel site so that customers aren’t taken to another website to pay.

The software also includes a booking management feature to optimize your business’s workflow, which most other payment gateways do not. This allows you to easily track and manage your customers, enhance communication and transfer your funds easily.

Paid online advertising (Facebook and Google PPC)

Advertising your travel website and tours online is a helpful way to drive more traffic to your site and increase your customers.

Google Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising is a quick step to earning some extra cash and grow your online business. PPC advertising is when you pay a small fee to a publisher when your ad is clicked on through their channel. There are many different PPC advertising services you could use as well as social media platforms to advertise your travel website and tours.

Google Adwords is one of the most popular PPC advertising services. Google is a massive global advertising platform and ads that are the most relevant to searches with specific keywords will rank higher on the Google search pages. To be successful with this advertising model you will need to understand the PPC Hierarchy of Needs and Retargeting.

The PPC Hierarchy of Needs is a useful model to help simplify the complexity of PPC advertising. Account structure is the base of the hierarchy, followed by Keywords, Landing Pages and then Ad Copy at the top. Good campaigns that follow the hierarchy are essential to your success. Retargeting uses cookie-based tools to show ads for things on pages they’ve previously visited. This is a great way to drive them back to your site and turn them into customers.

Advertising through Facebook is an affordable method to increase your traffic and generate more business. It has many different formats to make your ads eye-catching and attract Facebook users’ attention. You can also monitor your ad’s performance and make any necessary changes along the way. This is a great advertising method for small travel companies and is highly recommended to help launch your business online.

Content marketing and organic search

In order to generate more traffic to your travel website, it’s important to understand Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Learning the fundamentals of SEO will help you improve your online business without having to pay an agency for things you can learn to implement yourself. There are many tools online to help you with this process and grow organic traffic.

It’s important to research keywords as that’s how search engines rank websites on the search results pages. There are two types of signals that search engine algorithms ‘consider’ while ranking sites: on-page SEO and off-page SEO.

On-page SEO includes things like user experience and the relevancy of websites, which helps search engines determine what individual pages are about. Off-page SEO includes signals such as backlinks and social signals, which are used to establish the authority signals to a site.

SEO takes some time to show results but mastering it will exponentially increase your organic traffic. But it won’t work without content.

This is why content marketing is one of the best techniques to market your online travel company. When done right, content marketing will capture your readers’ attention with its relevant information and will encourage your audience to become customers. Great content marketing will help your readers along the customer journey, which begins with awareness and discovery, followed by evaluation, intent and finally, booking.

Carefully consider your content marketing strategy and create content to serve a specific purpose. There are different types of content to consider – it can be content that is created to capture attention and increase traffic, viral content or content developed for the purpose of generating links. Create your content with one specific objective in mind, instead of all three to keep your content marketing effective and clear.

Email marketing

When implemented correctly, email marketing can be an effective way to turn leads into customers. It can also lead to considerable returns on investment, so is definitely something you should be implementing in your marketing strategy.

There are many services available to help small companies get started with email marketing. Features such as segmenting lists and automating emails are essential in the software you choose as a small travel company.

For email marketing to be successful you have to have permission from your contacts or else your emails will be considered spam and your marketing strategy will not be effective in generating more business.

A good way to get permission from users is by implementing a lead magnet, which is a free offer for your site visitors if they give you their email addresses. These offers could include things like newsletters or access to tour discounts, downloading free guides, and others. Make sure to emphasize the value of your offers for your lead magnet.

It’s also important to include email opt-ins in the payment process for remarketing purposes. Remarketing is a great technique to grow your online business and create loyal customers.

When you’ve collected a good number of emails, consider segmenting your email list. Email list segmentation is when you put your email contacts into different categories based on specific characteristics. This will help you send out more personalized emails to your contacts, which will give you better results. A simple method of segmenting your email lists is to look at how your contacts subscribed. But you could get more specific and look at demographics, preferences, past customers, online activity and many more attributes to create very niche lists with higher relevancy, resulting in more conversions.

Automating emails is very useful as your email list grows and becomes harder to manage. Automated email sequences can be set up to help you keep your audience updated on your work. Make sure the email copy for your autoresponders is well thought out, eye-catching and has a personal touch so that people don’t unsubscribe from your list. Nowadays, high number of unsubscribes might result in losing your email service license altogether.

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