Social proof in tourism marketing – how it helps to increase your bookings

Social proof in tourism marketing – how it helps to increase your bookings

You are probably missing out on 97% or more of potential leads that visit your tour or activity website. A huge percentage of tourism websites worldwide suffer from this problem.

Most business owners try to solve the problem through search engine optimization (SEO), more Pay Per Click (PPC) marketing and other actions that increase traffic.

It is not to say that these things cannot ever give your business a boost. The issue is, things can get real expensive real fast.

And the worst part? Most business owners are not earning many leads and conversions from this form of investment.

In this post, I will show you a few simple tricks that will help you more than triple your leads and bookings. All without ANY increase in ranking or traffic.

The most important number in Google Analytics

Open Google Analytics and check out your website visitor stats. Take a look at your “Bounce Rate”. This is the percentage of people who visited your site, and left in less than 10 seconds. In other words, this number shows the lost leads.

What happens if you lower the bounce rate?

Let us assume that you have 5,000 monthly visitors to your website and generate $85 USD in revenue per booking. Google Analytics shows a 70% bounce rate, with an average conversion rate of 1%.

In this case you will receive 15 bookings per month. The monthly revenue is $1,275 USD, the annual turnover is $15,300 USD.

Lowering the bounce rate from 70% to 50% and increasing the conversion rate from 1% to 2%, changes the values as follows:

The number of bookings rises to 50 per month, sales to $4,250 USD per month. The annual turnover rises to $51,000 USD. This corresponds to an increase of 333%!

This example shows that lowering the bounce rate and increasing your sales conversions means more profits for you. And best of all, this can be done while lowering your marketing costs.

But how can you lower the bounce rate and increase the conversion rate?

Build TRUST, not traffic

The #1 reason why a stranger might stay engaged in your tourism website, and decide you may be a good choice and want to book is trust. Establishing this trust is called “social proof.”

If the bounce rate shows the number of visitors who left your site in less then 10 seconds, that means that you have less than 10 seconds to build trust. You have to act very FAST.

This is one of the most important lessons I have learned in 6 years of helping hotels and tour operators worldwide increase bookings and profits.

When you can communicate trust effectively and quickly, you will generate more leads and sales. Guaranteed.

I have found that a key part of establishing social proof revolves around so called “Credibility Statements”.

Some of the things you need to communicate are your:

  • Years of experience
  • Number of happy guests
  • Special recognition or awards you have received
  • High social media review ranking
  • Celebrity endorsements

Tap into the psychological triggers

To achieve a tourism website that sells you must tap into travel shoppers’ psychological triggers around trust. Remember, a large percentage of your website visitors may be leaving your site fast.

You need to show visitors a few key things within the first 10 seconds of them entering your website. Here are the “Big Three” that you should make clear in this time window:

  • You are experienced
  • You provide quality service
  • Their safety is your #1 concern

The good news is that these ideas work across all of your tourism marketing. These are proven, powerful principles and should be used everywhere.

They are guaranteed to help you communicate trust fast and convert more strangers into bookings.

The cool thing is, these tips are simple and easy to implement. When you fully understand and apply the power of social proof in your tourism marketing, magic happens.

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Markus Hermannsdorfer

Markus Hermannsdorfer is a professional travel photographer, working as a photographer for the hotel and tourism industry since 2013.

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