Landing Pages are all the rage… at least that is what you read in the numerous conversion optimization blogs and “expert” sites. They have become standard in B2B marketing to drive targeted web traffic to take action. They are equally attractive for consumer marketing as well. Sending your ad-click visitors to a purposeful landing page is always more effective than sending them to your home page.
The travel industry has been slow to adopt landing pages and the lack of standards makes it difficult to decide how to start. This article is your introduction to travel booking landing pages. It lays out the rules for how any hotel, tour operator, tourist activity, and online travel agency can use landing pages to capture leads and use email remarketing to get more bookings.
Landing Pages In Brief
A landing page is simply the first page the people reach when clicking on an external link to your website. In most cases that first page is your home page. However it was quickly determined that the home page was not the best place to welcome visitors and convince them to take action. When someone searches for “Hotels in Memphis” or “Alaska Wildlife Tours”, they can either click on a link in the search results or an advertisement promoting your travel services. When you connect your online ad to a specialty designated lading page, you increase the likelihood of earning their booking.
The most common reason for building landing pages is to capture the contact information for a lead. When someone clicks on your keyword targeted ad, the landing page must speak to their trip planning search. It should introduce your business and answer their initial and most common questions. This technique is a smart and effective way to start the process of earning new travel customers.
What About Travel Landing Pages?
For travel marketers, landing pages can be utilized to make a good first impression. The first rule is they must relate to the search keywords or banner ad clicked to reach your hotel or tour operator site. Next it must promote your positive reputation, trustworthy travel products and services, and secure booking process.
A landing page is your first and it can be your best opportunity to ask for the email address of someone that shows interest and are likely to book later. Since most travelers are not going to book right away, especially for high ticket vacation items, a landing page helps start the conversation. The only question is how to design a landing page that appeals to your target market so you can capture leads every time.
Once you know the email address of a potential customer, you are in the excellent position of being able to market or shall we say “remarket” to that traveler. Use this opportunity to send out follow up emails with general information, destination content, and booking promotions. Since people actively planning a trip want reassurance and answers, you can step up as the expert and best place to make a booking now or later.
Lading Pages for Hotels
When visitors reach your hotel, B&B, or guest house website, you have to assume they are looking for a place to stay around your destination. So how do you capture their attention before they click the back button and look at the other hospitality options? The key is to give them a reason to share their contact information in exchange for something they are seeking. But what can you offer?
It turns out visitors are hoping that your hotel is the place they want to book for their next trip. They are seeking information to prove or disprove that belief. So if they like what they see so far, use this opportunity to ask them to start a conversation. Tell them that by sharing their email address, you will send them useful hotel and destination content so they can learn more. Make it clear there is no obligation. You simply want that person to have access to the information required to make an informed hotel booking decision.
An example is in order. Say you run a bed and breakfast located in Napa, California wine country. You are bidding on keywords to attract Google AdWords traffic to your boutique B&B. You decide to create a landing page for your ad that targets the search term “romantic Napa B&B”. It summarizes how your B&B caters to couples plus describes your unique services using appealing photos. At this point your visitor can either continue browsing the pages of your site or they can click the back button to search elsewhere.
What can you do to capture their interest and make a personal connection? How about adding a form to your landing page that offers something for free? Like your expert opinion of the best restaurants for a romantic dinner located near your B&B. In exchange for sharing their name and email address, you will send out this valuable list along with your digital brochure. It is up to you whether to embed the content in an email newsletter format, attach as a PDF file or link to a page on your website.
Landing Pages for Tour Operators
Tour operators have even more to offer people that reach their website via an online ad or social media link. People that are planning a trip to the destinations where you conduct tours are seeking proof of your guiding expertise. This is the ideal opportunity to offer a free, no obligation guide to engaging in your type of travel.
If you offer white water rafting on the Colorado River, write a guide to selecting the optimal rafting itinerary. If you book wildlife tours in South Africa, create a downloadable checklist on what to pack for safari. If you conduct wine tasting tours in France, send out a tutorial to the different wine regions.
Sharing your travel knowledge for free showcases your commitment to offering the ultimate travel experience and your expertise to lead people there. At the same time you gain access to the email addresses of travelers that are likely to book a tour sooner or later. Using the power of remarketing your tour site will gain more repeat traffic, more requests for a quote and more opportunities to convert lookers to bookers.
Next Steps for Capturing and Converting Leads
Using the power of remarketing travel suppliers can use proven landing page methods to capture and convert more visitors. The alternative is to hope that people that are highly likely to make a booking later will remember to return to your site. Remarketing to leads is the natural, automated, and effective way to convince and convert targeted online ad traffic.
This introductory article on hotel and tour landing pages is just the beginning. Future posts in this series will offer hotel and tour operator landing page design ideas and other ways to capture and deliver destination content to get more bookings. You will also learn about technology solutions for building and deploying landing pages for your travel site. Sign up for our BookingCounts email newsletter below to get automated notice of new posts in your inbox.