The majority of travellers are engaging with technology throughout their entire travel experience - whether seeking inspiration for their next holiday, planning a trip, making a booking, accessing information while at their destination, or sharing their experiences online during and after their trip.
Digital marketing refers to marketing that uses digital technologies and media. It focuses on the internet however also includes mobile phones, display or online advertising and other digital marketing mediums.
Digital marketing channels can include:
- business website
- online booking engines
- mobile apps
- social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, etc.)
- search engines (Google, Yahoo, Bing)
- online advertising
- email marketing – view our tips here.
The below benchmarks formulate the digital marketing pillar, in order from developing to leading levels.
With more than 5 billion searches every day, Google is the most used search engine on the internet. It is important people can find your business easily when they search for it on Google and that your details are up to date.
Google My Business provides you with a free listing, which complements your existing website by giving you a public identity and presence on Google, including Google Maps. Claiming your Google My Business listing is also important for your page ranking on Google search and helps customers contact you and find your website easily.
For further information on Google My Business contact a tourism development representative at your RTO.
There are several ways to be present online, but the most important is a current and active business website. If your tourism business does not have an online presence you’re not maximising your brand awareness and booking potential.
Your website content should be reviewed regularly and kept up-to-date so viewers receive accurate and trustworthy information.
The following information should be on your website:
- product, service or experience description
- booking links or a description on how to book
- an ‘About’ page, which features a description about the business brand, product, people and back story
- contact page
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- email subscription
- social media links / integration
Your website should clearly display your contact details, including a dedicated contact form or a link to allow a person to contact you via phone or email. This provides an action (and incentive) to book your product when they are researching your business.
An analytic dashboard (Google analytics is free) is a powerful tool that helps you understand how people are navigating and finding your website and apps. Analytic dashboards can measure and report on the digital performance of your business through metrics such as visitor behaviour (time on-site) and visitor demographics (such as origin and interests).
Consider an analytic dashboard set-up when you are developing or building a website.
Get started with Google analytics. A step-by-step guide and free online training to access and understand your website performance through the Google analytic dashboard.
People now view websites on mobile devices more than a desktop, especially when they’re travelling. Ensure your website is built for mobile viewers with a responsive design. This will ensure content is displayed and formatted correctly on different devices.
If you’re building a new website or re-designing, make responsive design a priority. Having a responsive design ensures the website automatically detects the type of device your customers are using to view your website, such as a smart phone or tablet, and optimises the content according to the screen size and device.
Your customers want to know immediately whether you have availability at time of booking. Real-time availability can be seen at any time, from anywhere in the world, and can encourage instant bookings to your business.
Using an online booking system offers convenience to consumers and can dramatically increase your sales. Booking systems are specialised software used to manage reservations. It allows tourism operators and accommodation providers to secure bookings from all sources, whether it comes directly through a website, email, phone, or indirect through agencies, trade partners and third-parties.
An online booking system can enable your business to:
- take bookings 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
- sell your product through third-party sites and travel distributors from one central system
- save time with automating tasks such as payment processing and confirmation of bookings
- streamline payments
- provide accurate sales reporting and customer insights.
For assistance in finding an online booking system contact Tourism NT on [email protected]
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the process of optimising your website content to improve its search engine ranking (via Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc.).
Search engines seek to provide the most relevant details to people searching, so having up-to-date information, including the region you operate in will benefit your business.
There are different factors that all help improve your website search rankings:
- keywords; think about what people need to search to find your business, include important words on your website content
- meta description; give an accurate description on what your web page is about
- internal links; link relevant pages across your website content
- image names and correct alt text; when uploading an image, ensure you describe the who, where and what in the image alt description
- site speed; use a free website which helps you check your website loading speed.
Top tips to increase your search engine ranking:
- review content regularly and ensure information is up-to-date, referring to the above factors
- encourage and respond to reviews online
- address customer enquiries on the frequently asked questions (FAQs) page
- include your social media channel links on your website
- use keywords in headings.
Regularly use analytic insights to help you track visitors purchasing your product or experience and to identify emerging markets.
Analytic dashboards can measure and report on the digital performance of your business through metrics such as:
- acquisition data which includes:
- how visitors arrive to your site via search engines, social channels, email marketing, third party sites etc.
- audience data which includes:
- visitor demographics
- visitor interests
- device type used, i.e. mobile, tablet, desktop
- behaviour data which includes:
- average visitor time on site/page
- site/page traffic, number of website visitors
- bounce rate; a bounce is when a visitor lands on your website and leaves without visiting a second page. If the bounce rate is high then you should evaluate your website content and marketing strategies.
The data collected allows you to monitor performance from digital marketing activity.
Your product availability may appear on your website, or through a third-party website such as a visitor information centre, travel agent, travel wholesaler, etc.
Real-time (live) availability can encourage a booking agent from a third-party to sell your product over a competitors who may require confirmation.
Connecting your reservation system with a channel manager (for accommodation) or through application programming interface (API) connections to third-party sites, means you only have to update your product availability on one system. The information is transferred live through to other sites and channels you use through a channel manager or API connection.
For further information on managing your live availability contact Tourism NT on [email protected]
A SEO strategy outlines how to maintain and improve your search engine rankings. It can be included in your overall digital marketing strategy.
The strategy will help to identify content gaps across your website and outline where you can capture potential customers as they search for your product, business or region.
The strategy will identify key considerations such as mobile searches, user experience, correct links and more.