The Website Strategy Process is a set of techniques and a system for perfecting your website presence and positioning to gain trust and build brand integrity. It was developed and perfected by the Power Marketing Consultant Network as a way to amplify your brand website for digital marketing.
Bonus Summary of Chapter 5 explains what the Website Strategy Process is and why you need it. Click image to go to the strategy.
Messaging, Hot Buttons & Website Strategy Process
In website design process, you will learn that websites today are your brand representation. It’s important that it represents you design-wise with graphics, photography and videos that tell your story. It is the message that is important. Too often website designers get this wrong and put image first. It is the message that counts.Click here to learn more about strategic messaging for you website.
The message is layered; it is never a simple tagline. That is an important part of the brand. But the message is weaved into the site navigation. It starts with hot buttons, which are the few critical things that shoppers must know immediately.
Typically, the Hot Buttons are related to Benefits, Comparison and Objections – three critical points of navigation. You can control the flow and direct travellers through your pages by building on these hot buttons. On Page One, the message is concise and the details follow the links (navigation). Few hoteliers try to compare prices but shoppers will want to know how you compare to others. It’s a good idea to explain clearly what category you are in and provide some idea of how you compare. The Bonus looks at some case studies of how this is done.
Book Direct Strategy & Website Strategy Process
The objective for many hotels and tourism marketers is to get more direct bookings. It’s not always the case, as the market intermediaries are vital. Online travel agents don’t really need your help and you probably can’t compete with them. Nevertheless, if a user comes to your website directly, you will want to convert them by using the strategies and resources noted in the Website Direct Booking Strategy.
The unfortunate reality is that most travellers who visit your site will not book. On average, travellers will visit 24 or more sites and get into a real muddle, often forgetting which site they visited.
For these travellers, you have got to make them Aware of the advantages and features of the destination. You need to build Interest and Desire. Your strategy is to filter early stage browsers off to Learn More pages. You use the same messaging idea but now the hot buttons (Learn More) may have more to do with the destination and why they should come to your island, city, country or destination. Your website should have lots of content to help them see the advantages of visiting your location. These are collateral pages described in the Bonus.
Strategic Thinking & Personalisation
Travel is highly emotional. Physiology plays a huge part in what people like and how they choose hotels and destinations. It is all about personalising and fitting the experience to the personality. The Website Strategy Process goes into all of this and more. Learn More here >>
For the PDF eBook on the Web Strategy Process, Go Here >>
The first book in the series Marketing Hotels and Tourism is the award-winning WEBSITE. It’s an illustrated guide to the WEBSITE process and marketing strategy. The book starts by evaluating the dramatic changes in hotel and tourism marketing in the digital age. Like everything in the digital age, The Keys to Travel (Chapter 3) are not immune to change. Keywords have been and still are a vital component of marketing.
Chapter 3 provides you with core technology, resources, tools and guides related to keywords for hotels and tourism travel marketing.
Keys to Travel – A How-To Guide
Chapter 3: The Keys to Travel is about how to find the correct keywords for your niche market, how to do keyword research and how to optimize your page so that it can get listed in search results. It is on-site (Webpage) specific. Off-site marketing is covered in Book 2: Digital Media Marketing.
This article reviews what has changed in the past few years. Google has made several changes to the way it evaluates sites and content. Keywords are still the main criteria and all strategies of the book are as valid today as they were at the time of publishing.
The search engine changes have all been about understanding the implied meaning of users’ searches and displaying content that is the best match in terms of quality, meaning and comprehensiveness. Search has become more intelligent and now it looks for more that keywords alone. For example you have to show Expertise, Authority and Trust (EAT) or keywords will fail.
Matching Search with Artificial Intelligence
Today, Google rewards sites that display Expertise, Authority and Trust (EAT). It’s not new and all these are inherent in the Book WEBSITE. What is new is the degree to which EAT features and the level of intelligence now used in determining the match.
Google’s Semantic Search is now based on Artificial Intelligence that uses psychology to understand and interpret meaning from users’ searches and from internet content. It extracts meaningful information from the intent of the search and matches that with website content.
Google’s RankBrain, discussed in Book 2: Digital Media, was the first step in Artificial Intelligence-powered SEO (Search Engine Optimization). This has expanded the focus of Search to include keywords with a deeper understanding of meaning, expertise, authority and trust.
All this lends to creating credibility for today’s search. The final test of credibility and match is what travellers do when they are on your site. If they hit the Back button and go back to Search, it will indicate that it’s not a credible match. It does not fit the buyers’ intent.
Connecting Content with Intent
The importance of keywords is vital to today’s search results but many digital marketers fail to connect intent to their content. To do this, we need to understand our market. It is never the case that one single keyword will capture this. Your content should contain a comprehensive set of keywords that helps Search to understand the intent and clarity of your content.
This is why Long Tail Content has become more important today. Long Tail Content is very specific to your target market. Chapter 3 of WEBSITE does refer to this with specific examples.
Say, for example, ‘Family Holidays’ is a very common term. A lot of people may be searching for this term but it’s really not specific to a booking. By comparison, terms like “Adventure Family Holidays in the Caribbean” or “Luxury Family Holidays in the Caribbean” are more precise. Still
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, the wording is a good indication of booking intent.
Understanding Buyer Intent in Travel
A traveller who is ready to book may have already settled on an exact location and also have a few places at which to stay in mind. They will be looking for experiences that fill their needs for comfort, adventure, romance, budget, escape, privacy, safety, community and character. When you know who they are and what they really enjoy, you can craft a message that connects. This is discussed at length in Chapter 10 on Hot Buttons and Messaging.
2 A Website Has Many Functions
For the buyer, it needs to provide messaging that confirms that the offer fits the character. It should have a simple tool to get a quote and booking. Email is not going to get quick quotes and bookings so you need a booking engine. You can use your favorite OTA engine but it is not going to help you market your direct bookings. There are many 3rd-party engines that you can consider. Book 3: Technology will delve into this in detail. For starters, check out Triptease and SiteMinder.
Long before they are ready to book, travellers will start by looking to be inspired. They are not going to search for brand names at this stage and will likely check meta search engines and destination authority sites and directories. WEBSITE suggests that your Blogging (Chapter 7) can help you to reach out with helpful tips and user experiences that are destination-centered. Some websites go even further and offer alternative accommodation and comparisons. Travellers looking for inspiration will visit Social Media sites and see what other travellers recommend. Hotels and tourism destination sites need to sell the destination experience at this stage. The website messaging should be generic and wide enough to send them to pages that extol the destination experience and range of products.
All other travellers are somewhere in between. Social Media is important as it is a place where they share. Here is where reviews take center stage. Be sure to promote your reviews across all Social Media Platforms. Chapter 8: Building and Marketing Reviews will be helpful.
Travel Sales Funnel
Google refers to the phase of the travel customers journey as moments. They count 5 moments: dreaming (1 above), Planning (3), Booking (2), and Post Booking journey- Experiencing and Sharing. All of these are part of the sales funnel which is discussed in book series 2 and 3. The sales funnel is as much about what you do off site (Digital Media Marketing Book 2 and 3) as on Site (Website Optimization Book 1).
It’s not all that new but today’s Voice Search is dominating Search. Over 1 billion voice searches are made monthly – that’s over 33 million voice searches every day. And it’s expected that 50% of all search queries will be by voice by 2020. It saves time, is mobile-friendly and much easier to use than typing in a long question. It’s also more versatile and will handle long complex questions far better that text search. It’s also more forgiving on bad grammar and spelling.
With new tools like Siri, Alexa, Google Assistantor Cortana, the traditional search methods are going to see a slide in their dominance.
To take full advantage of this trend, you can optimise your profiles and website so that Google finds you for voice searches. Check out this video for a better understanding of this at The Deep End. They recommend that you have all your Internet profiles optimised well. They suggest you claim and optimise your Google My Business page to start. All these profiles must be fully synced with your website. The video goes further and talks about getting your site listed in Position Zero. This is an off-site strategy that is featured in Book 2: Digital Media. See more about Position Zero with Google News.
Voice Recognition on Your Website
Voice Recognition and Response will not be limited to Internet Search Engines. The technology exists for you to add voice to your website. It is a bit technical and tricky to implement right now but that will change. To find out more about this, see How to add voice to your website by PAYMILL. Unless you are technically inclined, I don’t suggest you do this now. It will get better in the future.
In the future, websites may have voice search technology to help guests navigate the site. It may help in finding answers to “Frequently Asked Questions”, House Rules, etc. A bit further off, it may answer questions about packages and cost, as well as help with bookings. But that is for the future. It may be featured in Book 3: Technology.
How SEO Changes Affect Website Strategy
Chapter 3 in Book 1: WEBSITE gives you a firm grounding in the Keys to Travel. You will learn about keywords and get reviews and suggestion on tools and resources that will help you plan a keyword research and strategy. The lessons from this article are:
Add semantic words to your mix of keywords
Demonstrate Expertise, Authority and Trust (EAT). Do this by showing your expert knowledge of the destination. People will then consider you an Authority. Add to this with your credentials, awards and notations.
Demonstrate trust by being totally honest. Don’t oversell. Let people know your limitations and expertise. Let guests know what other guests liked and what sort of people were not the best fit. The Crane in Barbados says: “Don’t Come Here to be Seen, Come Here to Disappear.” It captures the spirit and respect of privacy and not being part of a crowd.
Create a Personal Website so that people know who you are – this is helpful in establishing your Authority and Trust. Also use it to show your area of expertise.
Understand your Guest Intent and focus on it with appropriate messaging.
Don’t overdo keyword optimisation – Focus on expert content that is helpful
Optimise your website and profiles for Voice Search.
A new review has been added to the information about the book WEBSITE Marketing Today – Trends and Fatal Mistakes. This is the first book in the series on Marketing Hotels and Tourism. The new page starts with a summary of the first chapter, “Travel Then and Now”. It goes on to provide an overview of what you can expect to learn from the Book, including reviews of leading apps as well as technology and detailed strategies that you can implement right away. It demonstrates what works and what does not and looks at critical and fatal mistakes many owners make.
Tourism Dominated by New Media
The book WEBSITE explores how hotel & tourism marketing has changed and studies the evolution of the WEBSITE. Once considered just an online brochure, it is now a major marketing and communication channel owned by hotels. The hotel and destination Website is a vital resource today in a market that has become dominated by Online Travel Agents, Meta-search Engines, Google Search, Google Travel, Social Media Channels, Apps, New Media and Technology.
Website – More Than a Brochure
Today’s Website is a marketing resource that gives hotel and tourism professionals, business owners and marketers a vehicle to communicate directly with their clients and prospective guests. Since the beginning of the digital age, the industry has seen a shift to distribution, with sites like Expedia and Bookings.com taking a growing share of business. Their marketing practices can undermine independent hotels that can get listed in the wrong category, be featured incorrectly and, in some cases, not get featured at all. Getting featured and booked on the OTAs has become difficult for small brands who have little control over the OTA policies. The reliance on OTAs has, to a large extent, eroded brand integrity.
The Website is the one thing that hotel and tourism marketers own. It can enhance the brand and speak directly to travellers and guests. With advances in technology, the website can be a powerful tool in competing with other alternatives and amplify the shopping experience. Hotels and tourism owners have an advantage in the offering of personalization, personal service and expert knowledge of the destination. They can offerperks and benefits that might not be available to OTAs and other sites.
Technology Available to All
Leading technology in bookings, meta-search, artificial intelligence, bots and personalization is now available to every hotel and tourism owner. There are tools, resources and apps that can plug in to a hotel website to automate the communications, sales and booking process. Messaging strategies that talk direct to prospects and help them make informed choices are available to everyone. There are resources, services and outsources that hotels can hire to do the work that is needed.
What is needed is a simple guide that shows the way. That is this Book, WEBSITE. Chapter 1 sets the stage and the book flows through several chapters that offer practical advice and actionable strategies; all in simple language with easy-to-use examples and case studies.
Avoid Fatal Mistakes That Will Destroy a Website
Chapter 1 – Past & Future in Website Marketing: See the 7 Reason Why you should buy the book. Learn about trends that will affect website marketing. See how to avoid common mistakes that most business owners make! >>>
Instagram’s IGTV, used for marketing stories, highlights and posts with video, has taken a huge step forward as Instagram has added IGTV Integration. It is now an integrated platform that can be a powerful launch pad for promoting any product or service. This is especially true for hotels and tourism destinations.
This blog shares several ideas and illustrations of how this can work.
For the integration to be complete, you first need to upload your video to IGTV. The video should be more that 1 minute long and can be as long as 1 hour for verified accounts. Other accounts have a maximum of 10 minutes.
To upload, just go to your Instagram account using your desktop browser, log in and follow the steps as outlined in Instagram Help.
Uploading Your Video to IGTV
On the Web, go to Instagram.com:
From a computer, open your web browser and go to Instagram.com.
Go to your profile and click IGTV.
Click and choose a video, or drag and drop a video file.
If you prefer to do this on your smartphone, download Filmr or the Instagram IGTV app.
Filmr is a more useful tool as it allows you to create and edit videos.
Link Instagram Post to IGTV Marketing Video
ON IGTV, Choose the Preview Post Option
Instagram gives you the option to share a 1-minute preview of your IGTV video to your feed.
Before you post the IGTV video (click Post item #6 above), click the Post a Preview Button on.
Now click Post #6 above
Now you have an IGTV video and a shorter version of it as a Post. The post will play and let your viewers “Watch Full IGTV Video”.
Stories & Highlights
Instagram Stories are short 15-second teasers that may be images, videos and slideshows. Content in the story is live for 24 hours and then goes into an archive that is not visible. You can add text, drawings and emoticons to images or video clips in your stories. A story is an announcement that a new video or photo is on your site.
Anyone can tap your IG profile photo and your story displays.
Highlights are the little round images that depict your story. It’s a way to keep your story available on you page.
Link Story & Highlight to Your IGTV
The easy way to link the story and consequently the highlight is to share it from your IGTV video.
To share from an IGTV video to your story:
Open the IGTV video you’d like to share to your story.
Static IGTV Share does not tell the story.
Tap Add video to yourstory. You can also add text, stickers or filters.
When you’re ready to share it, tap Send To.
Next to YourStory, tap Share.
A better way
Sharing your IGTV video to your stories’ channel may not be the best way to create a story.
The automated Share from IGTV is very basic as it just takes a snapshot of the video cover image. I
t does work but a better way is to upload a 15-second video that gives the flavor of the video and makes users want to see more.
Upload you video to your story (click on the + Sign under the Story button). Then:
Click on the Link icon.
Select the IGTV video you want to share.
Your Promo Launch Platform
To see the Description on a smartphone, users click on the icon at the end of the title
Now you have a story that will announce your news and, if you like, you can promote it. Remember: it will disappear in 24 hours.
You can also Promote the Highlight at any time.
Both are teasers that link to your IGTV video.
Your post also links to IGTV (but you can’t promote it or the IGTV).
Clickable Links in IGTV
The great news is that you can include a clickable link in the IGTV Video description.
Users will see the link and can click on it to go to your website or wherever you link too.
To see the description, users just tap the arrow icon following the post title.
These IGTV links are open to all.
Unlike stories that require you to have 10,000 followers, IGTV videos can include links no matter how many followers you have.
IGTV Clickable links make Instagram a competitive business alternative to YouTube and others.
Marketing Clients with IGTV
This means you can promote your clients and your own business with high quality videos and clickable links on Instagram. Instagram marketers may offer clients a service that includes:
The beauty of IGTV is clickable links. Instagram is very restrictive about marketing on its platform. They do not allow links unless you are paying to promote a post. They restrict links as they want the site to be about sharing and not affiliate marketing, self promotion or overtly commercial. For this reason it has become a high authority trusted site.
Now with IGTV you can add links into the description and users may click to your site of clients you may be promoting. This puts IGTV on the same footing as YouTube and other what have always allowed links. Also with the ability to link your post preview, your story and highlights to your IGTV link you can have at least 3 links to the TV video. You can promote the story and highlight as teaser that will drive traffic to you TV video and allow users to click to your website.
The preview Post looks just like a regular post but it is actually just a preview of the TV version. It has the sane URL. You cant promote the post. Also you can not at this time promote the TV Video. This seems counter intuitive. Most other platforms allow you to promote your main video but NOT Instagram. At least not now! You can promote the Story and Highlight, but it is an indirect link- That is you promote the highlight and you can link it to the TV Video, But users then have two click (Story and IGTV), And the IGTV link is hidden and only visible if users click on the description. That may not be most effective.. You may be better off linking your promotion directly to ythe URL in the IGTV- If so its you may embed the IGTV in your blog (as above)
Writing this blog on getting “Your Travel Story on Google News” began with a tour of the St. Nicholas Abbey Heritage Railway. I was looking for interesting content to post to my Lifestyles of the Artisan Instagram Account.
I arrived early and took lots of photographs of the brand new vintage-style train, the engine cars and the station, including the cafe, gift shop and the grounds. The owners of St. Nicholas Abbey had created a replica of history with impeccable taste.
The station platform housed a museum of vintage prints, photographs and diagrams of the original historic railway track, its cars, engines and people. The photos tell a story of the train’s journey with beautiful images of the island.
All excellent material to create a story of the old vintage rails that were the work horses of the sugar industry in the 17th century.
The Heritage Railway Museum
The train departed the station with conductors and drivers all on board. It was short ride to the top of Cherry Tree Hill, where we all disembarked to see the magnificent view of the East Coast where the old train tracks rambled along the coast. Michael Brown, the engineer driver, mingled for a while answering questions.
How many carts were there? “40 at its height”, he said. How did it carry sugar? In special sugar cars. What did it cost for passengers? Ah! All that and more I will cover in my talk in just a few minutes. It started at just one penny and, yes, they did make a profit at first. But they did not reinvest and that, along with other mishaps and acts beyond control, led to the demise of the train.
4. In addition, there are several videos:
The Main Movie was published to Vimeo. A different version is on YouTube. A teaser video of the Turntable is also on YouTube. Several short versions and teasers were published to social media and other collateral.
5. Promoted via Social Media and Syndication
Each of the blogs are syndicated to social media and profile networks. We created and published several versions as Instagram stories, posts and IGTV movies to several Instagram profiles, each promoted with bookmarks (Social Media Announcements)
Content Marketing SEO
All this is straightforward Content Marketing and SEO work.
The Main article is about 2,000 words
The Explosion article is over 1,000 words
The Announcement blog is about 700 words
All are rich media and SEO-optimized. Word Count is essential as Google looks for deep and wide-ranging content. The articles must covey expert authority and trust.
The Storyteller in the movie is the Star. Michael Brown delivers a fun and engaging narrative – full of historical fact, insights and innuendos. He acts off the rule book and the shows how passengers flagged down the train as if they were thumbing for a ride in a car today. His humor and joy permeates the story with a delightful Bajan accent and attitude.
The combination of a good story and user on-the-spot capture makes this newsworthy. Creating a current blog article that explains a bit about the story and the movie was the second vital strategy.
Thirdly, posting on a High Authority accredited Google News Approved (GNA) site was pivotal. Both the author and site are independent authorities. Self-promotion just does not work as well. You need independent accredited reviews and articles about your brand. Independent news articles linking to the site was the third vital key to success. That got it in the news.
The supplemental articles and promotions made it stand out as a key piece of content and created social action and traffic that made it stand out and rank above Wikipedia and all top sites.
More About Google News – Tips & Strategies to Get Published
See our article on Google News. Learn how to get approved by Google News.Click Here >>