Online travel firms are two a penny, and with more people seeking a good deal on a holiday booked via the internet there is a huge amount of potential to make a lot of money. In fact, according to accountants Wilkins Kennedy LLP, there was a 45% rise in the number of bricks and mortar travel companies that went bust in the year to March 2014, something they link directly to the growing trend for booking holidays online.
“The need to consult with a travel agent is rapidly disappearing,” a spokesman for the firm told the Daily Mail. This, the firm contends, is leading people to book their own ‘DIY’ breaks online. Research is of course always open to debate (doubly so when it’s reported by the Mail) but followed logically, this argument suggests that there is the potential for online travel firms to make many extra millions of pounds by moving into the void filled by these capsized traditional travel companies.
There are of course many competitors out there eager to scoop up their slice of the travel pie, but even for small fish surrounded by leviathans of the online travel world there are things that you can do to secure a substantial share of the booty. Sweeping that wonderful array of mixed metaphors aside for a moment, let’s take a look at some of the things you can do to potentially, but literally, make extra millions of pounds a year.
Polish your content
Any online travel business is only ever as good as the content it produces. Even with the best deals and fantastically low prices, you’re unlikely to convince anyone to trust you with their hard-earned holiday (and money) if your content is slapdash or lacklustre.
Taking just the price point as an example, when a visitor to your site encounters a low price they can perceive it in one of two ways: they can either see it as an unbeatable bargain, or they can see it as something that’s of low value, ‘cheap’ and undesirable. If you have highly polished content that really sells what’s great about the holiday then they’re likely to believe the former, while if it’s dull, badly written and/or full of errors, they’re going to see it as cheap and nasty.
So, the quality of your content can directly lead to hundreds if not thousands of extra sales, or not, your choice.
Optimise to convert
Just as travel reps undergo training to help them sell holidays to consumers, travel copywriters need to be trained to optimise your content for conversion. This means:
- Snappy, concise content
- Content that contains appealing imagery
- Compelling, concrete calls to action
- Content that grows your brand and maintains your brand voice
- Content that takes into account the way people read and digest information online
If your content is currently underperforming then it may be time to carry out an audit to determine if it fulfils these five criteria. If it’s not then you could be losing out on a substantial number of sales, and it may be time to revisit your blueprint for content production and optimise your webpage content for conversions.
Maximise your output
If you’ve been running an online travel business for any length of time, chances are good that your content isn’t awful and you’re doing at least a few things right. But as a business with finite resources, there is inevitably a limit to how much you can do to market your business on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. And that’s a shame, because the more high quality content you produce, the greater the potential for extra sales and a higher turnover.
There are many types of content that travel businesses can produce in their marketing efforts, including:
- Destination guides
- Travel e-books
- Blogs and guest blogs
- Helpful holiday tips articles
Producing these consistently over a period of time can substantially grow your business for a number of reasons. Firstly, generating additional high quality content should improve your ranking within the search results, leading to a higher number of click-throughs. Secondly, it will increase your brand exposure and potentially be shared with even more people. And thirdly, it will help you to portray yourself as a trusted, well-established and knowledgeable travel brand.
Obviously your marketing department is going to be limited in its content production by the number of content copywriters in the office, particularly during the summer months when your own staff may be, ironically, on holiday. You can boost your travel content production to whatever level you desire though, by outsourcing some of your requirements to a travel copywriting agency with a team of dedicated online content copywriters.