The Spring shoulder season is the ultimate time of year to make sure all digital activity is 100% up to speed.
Driving the utmost value possible from this space means ensuring everything from accurate tracking to your SEO strategy constantly reflects best practice.
Here’s a 5-point guide to help ensure you’re on track to smash digital this summer.
1. Review performance & clean up your Google platforms
Increased interest and bookings means that your online advertising accounts are going to show a lot more activity. This is a great time to think about what state your campaigns are in from the winter, and what changes are needed to capture this renewed interest. Often the tighter winter months mean that accounts go into a holding pattern, focusing on brand or other high-converting & low-cost keywords. As search volume increases, the market relaxes a bit, and there is far more opportunity for broader campaigns. Make sure to review what was working last year rather than re-inventing the wheel completely, and take the time to remove campaigns that seemed like a good idea at the time but never quite made it. Remember that search volumes continue to increase from here, so keep a close eye on performance with the knowledge that this should increase.
2. Ensure tracking is correct across all platforms and you’re measuring ROI
We’re constantly amazed by the amount of digital marketing activity we see with no clear ROI. It’s such an essential truth – if you don’t know how much you’re making, how can you budget how much to spend – and yet so often it is completely ignored. One of the game-changing features of digital marketing was being able to track spend and return to the cent, so take some time before summer hits to ensure it is correctly set up.
- Are you using Google Tag Manager? This free tool keeps all your tracking and analytics tags in once place, and means that you don’t need to go to your developer for any changes.
- Is your Ecommerce tab on Google Analytics showing your website booking data? If not, you may need to work with your booking platform and web team to correct.
- Is Ecommerce data flowing through into Google Ads and Facebook Ads? If not, you may need to work with your booking platform and web team to correct.
Once correctly set up you’ll be able to see exactly how hard each dollar of your digital marketing campaigns is working for you – you’ll wonder how you went so long without it!
3. Review how you’re incentivizing social engagement
As numbers increase, ensure you’re incentivizing feedback and social media engagement with happy guests. Photos and videos of people who have experienced your product offer the ultimate in social media content – done well, happy guests then become brand ambassadors, which serves to further back-up your brand offering digitally. How are you currently engaging guests during and post experience? How do you incentivize them to post photos/videos to social media with your brand’s hashtag? Things like running a monthly competition of the best guest photo, where the winner wins the cost of their trip back (or wins a voucher for a friend) works well. Ensure your incentive is reflected in your post-experience email too – do more than just ask for a TripAdvisor or Google review. Here are some great tips to help make guests brand ambassadors.
4. Check gains in organic traffic and look over your SEO strategy
What has your organic traffic done over the past 6 months – is it dropping, staying the same or are you seeing some good gains? Organic traffic refers to users that are finding your site through Google, and who are clicking on organic rankings, not paid ads. Organic traffic makes up 67% of clicks in Google searches, so it makes sense to keep a close eye on traffic from this source. If you’re seeing gains of 5% or more every month, you’re doing well and we’d recommend you maintain current SEO efforts into summer. If you’re seeing less than this – and you haven’t done much in the way of new content or back-end optimization over winter – now is a great time to embrace topic clusters and undertake a technical audit of your site.
5. Make an effort to get in front of non-English speaking markets via digital
Foreign language markets form eight of NZ’s top 12 tourist source markets – that’s huge! If non-English speakers make up over 10% of your guests, you should be considering how they’re coming into contact with your offering in the online space. Just like their western counterparts, these audiences use digital to research, plan and book their holiday online. The difference is, they’re most likely doing it in their native tongue. Do you have translated content on your site that reflects your non-English speaking markets? And does this content address their market-specific ‘barriers to travel’? Do you run translated ads targeting FIT travelers on Facebook or Google Ads? If this isn’t on your radar yet, our guide to digital best practice for non-English speaking markets – developed in collaboration with BTM marketing – is a great place to start.
This is a great list to work through (or collaborate with us on!) before high season hits. Ideally, you want to have your digital presence in the best shape possible by the start of November, to make the most of high season.