Show happy people to build trust
In the first part of this series, we discussed how your website needs to be clear, and what information to keep above the fold. In this part, we will continue to discuss key marketing concepts as applied to travel and tourism industry websites.
The more you tell, the more you sell.
This catch phrase is as old as capitalism, but it’s very true. Long copy sells more than short copy. The best thing you can do for your website is to invest in your copy. Hire a professional to write copy that sells. Every word must have impact and be designed to get the reader excited about coming to your destination.
“But wait,” you say. “You said to put all the important information above the fold. I can’t do that with long copy. I have to use bullets.”
You don’t necessarily need to use bullets, but you’re right. You do need to use short, extremely well-crafted paragraphs that maximize the use of every short, descriptive word. Then include links at the end of each teaser paragraph so people can get to your long copy…only one click away.
Use your website to sell, not entertain.
Unless you’re Disney, your website needs to be a lean, mean, selling machine, not a flashy animated supersite full of gizmos, bells and whistles. Save your money and website space and put some killer copy and awesome photographs above the fold. Be sure to use photographs of happy people: photos of people build trust. Photos of happy people build even more trust and desire to book. Do make sure they are photos of real people. If you get celebrities, definitely show them. But make sure the people in your photos are not all glamorous and perfect. Keep it real….professional quality…but real.
You can never have too many testimonials.
More than anything else, testimonials are key to convincing people to book, especially in travel and tourism marketing. The whole point of your website is to get people to come to a new place. They can’t exactly come check it out ahead of time, before the make a purchase decision the way they can in retail marketing. They need some way to evaluate whether they will be happy with their decision to come to your destination. Testimonials are your best way to address that concern.
Furthermore, testimonials are extremely cheap and easy to get. Grab people that are already on-site and offer them something nice in exchange for a testimonial. Most people are thrilled to get something free, right? They’ll be happy to tout their good experience. Snap a photo of them (don’t forget to get a photography release signed!) and have them write a short testimonial before they run off to their “free” activity, ice cream, or whatever.
Video and audio testimonials are also becoming increasingly popular. If you can, try to get some of those too for your website. You can run a whole column of testimonials along the right-hand side of your site, starting above the fold and continuing for the whole length of the page. Your bookings will increase, guaranteed.
In summary, testimonials and great copywriting are essential to selling your destination. Don’t waste space on bells and whistles that you could be occupying with copy and photographs that sell. In Part 3, we will wrap up the series with some more tips that should be elementary, but are often overlooked. Click here to continue reading this series of articles on making your website SELL your destination.