How to Plan for Success for Your Tour or Activity Website

3 May 2012     |    Taz Bareham

Unfortunately, building a good website isn’t something that happens overnight. In a perfect world, tour and activity operators would execute on the fly, and bookings would pour in. But like all other areas of life, success isn’t just handed to you. In fact, it takes a lot of time and effort – especially in the planning stage.

Today’s post provides some useful pointers to keep you on track before you start building your site.

Step 1: Define Objective

Thoughtful planning is the first step to having a successful website. The first thing you need to figure out is what the objective of your site is.

We recommend using the AIDA method:

  • Attention. How can you make your site’s homepage visually stimulating?
  • Interest. How can you merge user experience with appealing design to keep visitors on your site?
  • Desire. How can you create a feeling of desire for the experience you sell by using words and images?
  • Action. How can you use ‘calls to action’ (buttons that tell them what to do to take them to the next step) to get more bookings?

Write It Down

Clarity is important. Knowing exactly what you’re doing (and why!) is key in executing a good plan.

Having a vague understanding of how your website will work isn’t enough. Not only is it bad for new hires who also need align themselves with your objectives, but you need a hard copy to continually check yourself against. It’s too easy to lose sight of your objectives.

Set some time aside to sit down, without distractions, and answer the following questions:

  • Concept. What’s your purpose? It’s important that you know how this purpose relates to your potential customers. What benefits will they receive?
  • Content. What kind of words and images can you use to achieve that purpose? We recommend starting a blog as a part of your strategy.
  • Navigation. How can you make it easy for visitors to find what they look for? Make sure that any items on your menu are worded in a way that they know exactly what to expect when they click it.
  • Decoration. How can you make your site appealing so they don’t bounce off? List the factors that attracted you to sites that, in your opinion, have a great design.
  • Marketing efficiency. How can you use buttons and contact forms to convert visitors into qualified leads? Your buttons should jump out at the visitor and use words that prompt action (eg. ‘see pricing’). Your contact forms can be leveraged to ask important questions (eg. ‘where are you located?’).

These are factors that you can’t ignore, so it’s important that you get it right. Segway Tours Blue Mountains did an excellent job of this on their homepage:

segway tours sydney resized 600

Their homepage is designed in such a way that it literally takes seconds to get to where you want to go on the site, even if what you want to do is buy a segway!

Step 2: Define Success

The next step is determining how you can measure how well you accomplished your objective. Set some KPIs that you can use as benchmarks of success. Some basic metrics for this are:

  • Number of unique site visitors (how many people visited your site)
  • Percentage of visitors that became leads (this depends on how you would define a lead – maybe it’s someone who filled in an inquiry form on your site, or who emailed you asking for more information)
  • Percentage of leads that became customers (how many inquiries converted into sales)

Once you have clear KPIs, you can experiment with different strategies and see where you fall short. Success doesn’t come easy, especially online where there are so many things competing for your potential customer’s attention.

To learn more about using your website to grow your business, please download our free eBook:

Tour Operator eBook

How do you define ‘success’ for your tour or activity website? What KPIs do you use?