So much effort goes into directing traffic to your website, but how well is it doing at marketing your brand and travel products?

Marketing experts agree that visitors to a website will not stay and browse if what they encounter within the first 15 seconds of arriving doesn’t interest them enough. They either do nothing and exit, or click around for a while, don’t take the desired action, and bounce. Even worse, if the promise that attracted them to your site in the first place turns up empty, they’re unlikely to return.

When visitors bounce and exit

While Google concerns itself with the amount of time visitors spend on your website and how far they navigate your content on the back-end, you might be wondering what you can do about your front-end to keep the bounce rate down and the dwell rate up.

Not always a fun exercise, it’s nonetheless important to dig into your web-page analytics to learn what visitors do when they arrive at your website, whether they click through your various pages (or not), how long they spend engaging with your content, and how quickly they exit.

Four factors are likely to determine visitor behaviour:

  1. how attractive the content is to them;
  2. whether it lives up to expectation;
  3. the website’s loading time; and
  4. the user interface.

In the world of website analytics, high bounce rates are generally indicative of low-quality content, an audience-content mismatch, and the failure of a call to action to reach its objective.

Remedial action starts with an audit of your website. Investigate the analytics behind your popular website pages and those with high bounce rates, and learn from the comparisons what adjustments to make to your content.

Improving your dwell rate

Obviously, most people wouldn’t bother searching for help with their travel plans if they were confident to manage on their own. Travellers will likely visit your website in search of:

  1. Credible evidence of your travel expertise, industry connections, and professionalism.
  2. Comprehensive information about destinations, travel products, experiences and logistics that solve real problems.
  3. Aspirational travel content, ideas and inspiration.
  4. An easy, frictionless buyer journey from dreaming through to travel stages.

But everything starts with those first 15 seconds and whether your content encourages them to dwell on your website or bounce.

The psychology of engaging content

What holds a visitor’s attention? Measuring those click-throughs matters because they indicate a willingness to browse and dig deeper, and spend more time on your site. But the clicks don’t prove whether visitors are paying attention to the content on the pages they land on.

For example, a study by Time indicated that their “most clicked on but least deeply engaged-with articles had topics that were more generic”. Social Triggers cautions against throwing the entire kitchen sink at an audience, claiming that more sales can be won with fewer options or less (but more targeted) content. Good sense suggests targeting website content for segmented audiences to avoid overwhelming them with too much information. Fewer options to redirect visitors elsewhere on a website also keeps them focused on the pages with the answers and information they seek.

Working with personas that represent your target audiences will help define those segments – this is especially vital as you adjust your target markets. Any changes to your target market personas must be reflected in your website content.

Take note of the following learning styles and incorporate a mix of these elements on your site:

  • 65% of people are visual learners, drawn to media that helps them visualise an experience. Present them with photographic images, GIFs, virtual tours, maps and graphics.
  • 30% of people are auditory learners who are drawn to sound and need to hear information to grasp a concept. Present them with podcasts, livestreamed content and video with sound.
  • 5% of people are kinesthetic learners – interactive content like virtual tours is your best chance of drawing them in.

Purpose-fit your website for your audience

Once you’ve identified your marketing personas and segmented your audience, consider your objectives for the pages they land on. Do you want them to read a blog article where you provide destination information or buy a new product you’re promoting?

By segmenting to fit a purpose, you ensure that visitors land where they are certain to find content on what your online or social media marketing promised they would. This also permits you to provide additional, relevant content. Structure the browsing experience in such a way that naturally takes them through the buyer journey with touchpoints throughout for queries until they’re ready to convert.

Practical tips:

  • Create a segment for new visitors to your website. Measure the success of your content refresh, and gauge from the engagement levels what improvements are needed.
  • Focus a webpage on a particular interest and avoid veering off-point.
  • Leverage your Wetu digital marketing assets. From marketing tours to hospitality to destinations, you can feature high-resolution visuals, video media, and virtual tours on your website, as well as embed digital or virtual itineraries, iBrochures and digital catalogues.
  • Position call-to-action buttons above the fold, optimised for mobile. You should certainly ensure that your website renders well on all smart devices.

When you design content to drive traffic to your website, ask yourself what you’re promising and to whom. Manage those expectations, then give your audience exactly what they expect and need, and only that.

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