Make sure your travel and tourism marketing copy is up to scratchWhen it comes to web design, far too many travel and tourism companies do everything right, only to fall at the last hurdle. They hire designers to create a sleek website that shows their destination, hotel or business at its best, only to then skimp on the content.

Jan Havice puts it well in this article on Ian Brodie’s site. She says:

“Website copy. It can create trust, provide value and be the difference between making a sale and losing a prospect.

“Unfortunately, too many small businesses treat their websites and the copy on them as afterthoughts.”

There are countless reasons why underestimating the importance of your website’s writing is a real error. Here are five ways quality web copy will help your travel and tourism business:

1. Drive sales

While your website’s photos and design may impress your visitors, it’s your writing that will convince them to click the ‘book now’ button.

Your website’s writing should always be encouraging your site’s visitors to take action in a gentle, but focussed way. Whether you want them to sign up to a mailing list, add a review, or make a booking on your site, chances are each customer will only give you one chance to take the transaction to the next stage.

Flabby writing at this stage will see potential customers hitting the dreaded ‘back’ button, never to return.

2. Hit the head and the heart

Travel and tourism marketing copy can be especially difficult to get right, because the writing often needs to hit two goals.

Firstly, it needs to be creative and well written in order to paint pictures in your visitors’ heads, and to sell the emotional aspects of your product. Booking a holiday should be an exciting process that gets your customers’ blood pumping. Don’t forget that many of them will have been slaving away at work all year, just so they can afford this trip.

On the other hand, as the investment is often quite high, the product you’re offering also needs to make logical sense to your audience.

So, they need to be both excited about what you’re offering, and also able to logically justify the outlay, and the reasons why they’ve chosen your business over the rest of the competition.

Striking this balance in your content can be a real challenge if you’re not used to writing travel copy.

3. Avoid the under/oversell

It’s really hard to be objective about your own businesses. If you’re at the centre of it, every single day, your perception is likely to be somewhat skewed by your passion and natural bias.

For this reason, bringing in an external party to help out with your website copywriting is often a good idea. This lets you take the emotion out of the writing, which ensures that it doesn’t make your business out to be something it isn’t. Make this mistake and you’ll be hit with a stream of disappointed customers later down the line.

Underselling the great product you offer can also be a problem. Make sure your web copy doesn’t do you a disservice because you’re being too modest.

4. Meet your customers’ needs

One of the most frequent errors businesses make, when it comes to their web presence, is forgetting that their website is a tool to serve their customers – not a vanity project.

If your website doesn’t put your customers first, you’ll be instantly putting them off.

You need to make sure that a customer instantly knows they’re in the right place when they land on your website, instantly knows how to take the next step, and is instantly able to find the information they want.

If you’re driving customers to your website, only for them to be confronted with stale, boring copy about your business’s history and values – rather than the great benefits you can offer them – then you’re going to be missing out on a lot of sales.

Think about what a customer wants when they arrive on your site, and make sure your copy gives it to them.

Always remember the old marketing maxim ‘what’s in it for me?’

5. Search engine optimisation

The writing on your website needs to appeal to Google just as much as it does to humans. The copy on your website is a key part of an effective SEO campaign, and it needs to include the right keywords for your goals.

The better your writing is, the more likely it is that visitors will engage with your content – which is also important for SEO.

SEO needs to be a focus, as it’s a simple way to increase your site’s exposure, and ensure that customers reach your site – rather than a competitor’s – when they’re making relevant searches.

- image courtesy of  graur razvan ionut / freedigitalphotos.net