If your business is not gaining traction on the web, or you’re new to building an online presence, here are 9 easy steps to begin globalizing your reach.
Being an employee at Checkfront means getting to work with a variety of impressive tours, accommodations, and other business ventures that people use our product for. Too often, though, we see an amazing adventure or a beautiful B&B with a lack of online bookings.
Speaking of “amazing adventures,” this is Taisto Thorneus from Lapland Wilderness Tours leading a team of powerful Alaskan Huskies through a winter wonderland.
1. Embrace Social Media
Staying active on social media is an easy and effective way to make your company more accessible.
Platforms like Instagram and Twitter act as a casual meeting spot for you to engage with your customers. This is also an opportunity where you can attract customers outside of your established niches.
By posting things like quirks during your everyday operations, people sharing a laugh on your tour, the first snowfall at your B&B, and so on… you are showing the humanity behind your business and building a relationship with prospective and return customers.
Social Media can also be a great way to offer engaging promotions like, “For a free two nights in our jacuzzi suite, repost this photo and tag us and a friend in the comments!”
Hook up to Checkfront’s integration with Facebook and you can start taking bookings straight from your business’ Facebook Page.
2. Keep Your Online Information Up to Date
Make sure your location, hours of operation, and other details are correct, clear, and updated. Neglecting these critical details can be what breaks a sale.
3. Have Your Customers Rate You on Google Reviews
If you’re vacationing or visiting family in an unknown city, the chances of your using google to scope out the activities you want to do are pretty high.
While TripAdvisor is globally recognized and plays a key role in your online success, having a few Google Reviews for your business will actually boost its ranking on the Google page. Alternate between which place you ask your customers to review!
Note: If you haven’t already started accepting reviews on TripAdvisor, then that is step 1.
Reply to your customer reviews to build trust and show you care about your customer’s experience.
4. A Keen Eye Makes a World of Difference
Your online presence is one of the most important business investments you will make. Make sure you find a talented developer by doing your research and looking through their past work.
Once you start attracting online attention, the images and overall presentation of your website is the first, second, and third impression during the customer journey. The majority of your customers will experience your company exclusively through your website until they arrive at your location, which kind of makes a poorly built website a dirty white T-shirt at a business meeting.
It’s important to restrict the content on your website to engaging images with high resolution that remain consistent with your theme. If you don’t have the resources to take these photos, then you can buy them from a number of stock photography companies.
5. Make Your Call-to-Action the Central Feature of Your Website
The percentage of online bookings now far exceeds bookings made in person. Think about what people are looking to accomplish when they visit your website, does it cater to this process?
The very first thing that a visitor to your website should see is a big CTA button that says Book Now or Check Availability, meaning that a number of clicks it will take for somebody to begin engaging with your product is 0. This also makes your objective clear immediately – a best practice in any social situation, really.
Craig Robertson, Checkfront user for Lapland Wilderness Tours, states that “We have redesigned our landing page with a big bold CTA button and this we find has helped reduce drop-offs by around 15-20% and directs them to our tour page which then integrates into Checkfront.”
Robertson goes on to say that integrating with Checkfront has assisted in “reducing the amount of direct email correspondence. Now as our season at Lapland Wilderness Tours begins here in Lapland it is a great help in organizing our tours from one central efficient point.”
6. Start an Online Promotion
Incentivize people go through the automated booking process by offering discounts when they book online. This will also peak the interest of customers that are outside of your regular target market.
Take advantage of your social media platforms, word of mouth, or create an email campaign. These are just a few ideas of how to blow up a promotion and have people flocking to your website in no time.
7. Search Engine Optimization
If you’re new to the world of SEO, then Moz is your new guru. Read their Beginner’s Guide to begin optimizing your website for various search engines.
8. Consider Possible Partnerships
If you know of somebody who would be a good advocate for your business, inquire about having them feature some of your products on their website.
By using Partner Accounts, you can grant as much or as little access to your Checkfront account as is necessary. Offering commission to resellers is also easy to do within Checkfront.
9. Maintain Your Customer Relationships
After the booking takes place, be sure to follow up with an email. This is the perfect time to ask for that review on TripAdvisor or Google, but it’s a lot more valuable than you may realize.
Add a simple thank-you, a discount voucher for the next time they book with you, a recommendation for a different service you offer, some valuable local information they could benefit from, or anything else you can think of!
There are many processes that have become casualties of our fast paced world. What hasn’t diminished is the importance of follow-up. This can be easily overlooked, causing missed opportunities. Going the extra mile is more valuable than ever in a time when standing out among competitors is one of the biggest challenges faced by business owners.
Check out the Notifications feature in your Checkfront account to easily automate this process.