You can have the prettiest, most visually pleasing website ever created, and it will fall flat on its digital face if it’s not optimised properly. It’s like starting the year’s work off without a strategy – what you’re producing might be great but with such a key piece of the puzzle missing, the results won’t manifest. It could be that your site was set up years ago when you mightn’t have had an insight into how it could be optimised for direct bookings? Or maybe it was designed by a creative specialist who made sure it was visually teeming with bells and whistles, without as much regard for activity behind the scenes.

Image cred: unsplash

We reminded you recently of the importance of an up-to-date and succinct SEO strategy. So is your paid social marketing strategy. Not to harp on, but it’s worth noting again that without a website designed at every touchpoint to encourage bookings, the time and effort gone into developing these strategies is somewhat of a waste. Harsh but true! Think about it; you catch someone’s attention with a snazzy Facebook ad, they click through. You have them! But then, they reach your website. Maybe the CTA isn’t clear? Are you asking them to fill out too much information? However miniscule, the reality is you’ll lose a potential customer in a flash if every element of your site doesn’t support their journey to purchase.

Anyway, enough warnings – our resident SEO expert Bruno has given some suggestions as to how you can make sure your strategy stays tip top!

Who are you talking to? Find out and give them what they want.

Sure, when we ask you who your ideal guests are, you probably want to say: everyone! But the reality is, we’re all different. Age, gender, style, budget and taste are just some of the influential factors on a person’s preference and decision about where they want to stay. Define or refine your guest personas and do a deep dive into what kind of content they want, and how they want to receive it. Try to anticipate the questions they will have and what kind of path they want to be led to in order to book direct. All of this will give you the authenticity you need to speak to your audience on their level and hopefully make them relate. Need help developing personas? Download this free template and get going.

image cred: unsplash

Land the right person with the right landing page

Do you hear ‘landing page’ and think, ugh, what’s the point? OK, here’s the point: a landing page is created solely to convert, as we explained in this blog last month. All you need is one clear message (what do you wanna sell?) and a CTA. That’s it! No confusion, no mixed messages to sift through, nothing that takes more brain power than a person needs to answer that 2 + 2 is 4. The aim of the game is to take the work out of decision-making for your potential guests. More on landing pages and their magical powers here.

What are you looking at (this on)?

Say it with us… mobile. is. king. We just can’t stress this enough. Having a website not fully optimised for mobile in 2019 is like bringing a suitcase full of winter coats to Portugal in the height of summer -just plain wrong, with no sense of a satisfying outcome! Our own Q1 stats in 2019 tell us that mobile currently contributes to 60.4% of all users and 45% of transactions. These numbers will only continue to rise. Think about how often you end up booking your own holiday through your phone or iPad – we’d bet you all the winter coats in the world it’s a hell of a lot more often than the times you’ve booked on desktop.Just please, please remember: if mobile is king, mobile page speed is king of that king! Consider this: as page load time goes from 1-3 seconds, the probability of bounce increases 32%. If it goes from 1-5 seconds, 32% increases to 90%. Yeah, it’s a big deal.

image cred: unsplash

Importance of a look

That brings us on to the look and feel of your site. Very important stuff. It’s true that your audience will be impacted quite significantly by their initial impression of your property, which will be given by the images, words, colours and overall design you’ve chosen to put in front of them. Every element counts – so whether it’s one or two words on your homepage or the shade of blue your CTA is in, absolutely all details must be considered. Make it easy to navigate – a visually pleasing aesthetic and a smooth interface go hand in hand. Keep it simple. The main thing to remember is your potential guests will not trawl through anyone’s content (this isn’t just brands – we’re including their friends here) for long if it’s not giving them something they want, so remove the BS and remove the obstacles!

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