As a tour operator, the most important thing is to sell, of course. Nowadays, this is mostly done online. But to sell tours online, your customers have to be able to find your website. This can be done via diverse channels, like Google or other search engines. A good findable website starts with good content. Only websites with enough content of good quality will attract good visitors and, most importantly, bind them (Tjeenk Willink, 2005).
There are a lot of tools to build traffic to your website and they are constantly developing. We are going to discuss the next online tools: search engines, opportunities in social networks and banners and links.
According to Peelen and Beltman (2013), search engines are a really effective way to increase traffic to your website. They search the web in response to the user’s search. Therefore, your website will be showed at the right time and place. But the only items which get clicked frequently are the top spots and they are really pricy. There are two ways to appear in the best spots of the search. The first is “organic search” which is free and is based on the relevancy of the content of your website. To increase your position within the search results without paying you have to think about three basic components: text build-up, indexation and popularity. The second way to get the top spots is “search engine advertising” which you have to pay for, but these adds will be above the normal search results. Many tour operators use this kind of advertising on different key words. Kras is one of them, with a paid result for “weekend away”, “holiday to Spain” and “round trip to Indonesia” (Google, 2016).
Opportunities within Social Networks
Peelen and Beltman (2013), stated that there is an increase of the importance of social networks in building website traffic. There are even predictions that the social networks will become bigger than the search engine traffic. Because people are spending more time on social networks, such as Facebook, it becomes easier to reach your customers from there. A tour operator which is using Facebook a lot is TUI. TUI posts a lot on this social network, from win contests to news messages. They do not promote their tours directly via Facebook, but only offer inspiration about the countries they sell (TUI, 2016).
Banners & Links
Online advertising is a classic way of attracting attention, according to Peelen and Beltman (2013). The banners are the online version of billboards and mostly support brand awareness and recognition of the company. The company can increase conversion by designing banners with animations, teasing, bright colours and call to actions. But most of the time, text-based content is better than banners. This because a lot of people avoid banners and read around them. Meanwhile, sponsored links are seen and, if interested, clicked on.
Google. (2016). Zoekresultaten: rondreis Indonesië. Retrieved October 9, 2016, from Google: https://www.google.nl/search?sourceid=chrome-psyapi2&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8&q=rondreis%20indonesie&oq=rondreis%20indonesie&aqs=chrome..69i57j0l5.2238j0j7
Google. (2016). Zoekresultaten: vakantie Spanje. Retrieved October 9, 2016, from Google: https://www.google.nl/search?espv=2&biw=1280&bih=614&q=vakantie+spanje&oq=vakantie+spanje&gs_l=serp.3..0l10.2933.4486.0.4622.214.171.124.126.96.36.199.586.6j2.8.0….0…1c.1.64.serp..0.15.620…0i67k1j0i131k1.qRu6-KXVwtw
Google. (2016). Zoekresultaten: weekendje weg. Retrieved October 9, 2016, from Google: https://www.google.nl/search?sourceid=chrome-psyapi2&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8&q=weekendje%20weg&oq=weekendje%20weg&aqs=chrome..69i57j69i61j0l4.3175j0j7
NU. (2016). Het laatste nieuws het eerst op NU.nl. Opgeroepen op October 9, 2016, van NU: http://www.nu.nl/
Peelen, E., & Beltman, R. (2013). Traffic building. In E. Peelen, & R. Beltman, Customer Relationship Management (pp. 311-313). Harlow: Peason Education Limited.
Tjeenk Willink, W. (2005, March 12). Hoe kunt u meer bezoekers naar uw website genereren. Retrieved October 9, 2016, from Traffic Builders: https://www.traffic-builders.com/hoe-kunt-u-meer-bezoekers-naar-uw-website-genereren/
TUI. (2016). Facebook – TUI. Retrieved October 9, 2016, from Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TUINederland/?fref=ts