Written by: Cristina García
Nowadays, across all sectors - from consumer goods to tourism, and in our case ferries - many companies are going digital. The online revolution is pushing companies to adapt to new consumption patterns, so they have to develop new methods to sell their products or simply to reach customers.
This "digital transition" includes several steps and elements that aim to form a homogeneous whole: your online presence to boost sales. And it’s not enough to create a nice website, since it must be intuitive and "user-friendly". It’s also necessary to work on keywords, URLs, content, languages, etc. And there are still many things to manage.
Thus, many companies think they have mastered their digital transition efficiently but have not gone to the end. And if this is your case, for maximum efficiency and better ROI, it is necessary to further develop your online positioning. We will see the different steps to follow.
Your website is a crucial online channel, remember that this is the image of your business. The design must therefore be user-friendly and must correspond to the values that your company shares. In the case of ferry services, a rough web site with uncoordinated colors and shapes may be interpreted as a lack of organization and therefore put off consumers when buying their tickets.
It is also essential to work the UX (User Experience) so that the use is intuitive and the customer has the best experience with the least effort possible. Indeed, it consists in converting the visitors of your website to lead or even better to customer. For this, it is essential to innovate and propose an attractive design. The elements for usability must be strategically located in order to allow visitors to reach the conversion target defined for each of the published pages: book and buy in a few clicks, easily subscribe to a newsletter, subscribe to a loyalty program or offers, etc.
Finally, remember that the lifetime of a website generally varies between 2 and 3 years, so it is important to update it so as not to be overtaken by the competition.
It is important to have a well-developed and designed website, yet it is necessary to succeed in attracting traffic to this site. Inbound marketing consists in attracting the right traffic: your "target customer". But how do these ideal customers end up on your website? To do this, you have to create the right content according to the traveller’s journey of your buyer persona.
apply the "inbound marketing" strategy, usually via a blog.
The tourism sector is one of the industries where "inbound" can be applied in the most efficient way. This methodology consists in attracting naturally your target audience to your website. By creating content of interest and relevant to your potential customers and offering solutions to meet their needs, you exponentially increase your chances of being found on Google. Be careful, your content should always remain educational and should not be promotional, at least as far as your blog articles.
For example, a tourist wanting to go on vacation in Greece will probably research the best islands to visit. You can then write a blog post featuring the ten most beautiful islands in Greece. These travelers will then find themselves on your website and you will be more likely to convert them into sales opportunities or even customers.
The main advantage of a website as a sales platform is that you can attract customers from all over the world and at any time. Take advantage of it! In the tourism sector, it is essential to offer at least one English version of your website. You can create other versions adapted to the language of your most important clients (Italian, German or Spanish).
When you write articles on your blog, it is also essential to apply what is called "Search Engine Optimization". This process consists in optimizing your web page so that it appears in the first results of the Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs) and is therefore visible for a maximum of your potential customers.
First of all, it is important to define your buyer personas profiles (ideal potential clients). A buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal client, based on real data and demographic information, behaviors, motivations, preferences, needs, goals…
In a second step, you must define the keywords your buyer persona can write in Google, the travel information he is looking for (e.g.: what are the most beautiful things to visit in Greece?). These keywords should be tailored to your buyer's vocabulary and represent the key to optimizing your website.
Don’t forget that social networks are a way to create a dialogue with your potential customers. You can share your content with your subscribers on these platforms and continue to check the different channels to see which works best to build your popularity.
Finally, it is very important to adapt your web pages to any screen size. Today, almost 70% of bookings are made via mobile, therefore make sure to offer smooth navigation and reactive design. Your website should be designed and built to receive the “Mobile-Friendly” label awarded by Google, which is necessary for optimum positioning of search engine results.