Does Your Site Showcase These 5 Key Elements Of A Heritage Tourism Website?
by Nancy Roque
Having a strong digital presence is the key to success for businesses in today’s world, especially for organizations in the tourism industry. Over the last three decades, the internet has become more and more saturated with high-quality tourism websites and information. Consumers are browsing the web with an increased focus on trusting organizations that have a premium web presence and user experience, making it all the more important that you find ways to make your website stand out.
On average, travelers will visit 38 websites before booking their vacation. However, the goal should be to wow your audience with your credibility, the unique selling points of your destination and your brand. If your tourism website doesn’t surpass their expectations, chances are that they will move on to a competitor.
Make sure that your website hits all the right points to resonate with your intended audience by implementing these 5 key tourism website elements.
Key Elements to Your Heritage Tourism Website
It’s no longer enough to have a website highlighting some selling points of your destination that also happens to look good on desktop and mobile. Instead, you’ll want to take your heritage tourism website to the next level by implementing the top 5 elements that are used by savvy destination marketing organizations (DMOs).
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1. Understand the Selling Points of Your Destination
To elevate your heritage tourism website to a point where you are experiencing year-over-year growth in traffic and leads, you’ll first need to understand the unique selling points of your destination. As such, one of the most important website elements that you should prioritize is learning about which events set you apart – such as your destination’s music scene, an annual classic car show or even a hot chicken wing festival.
Creating a clear and concise unique selling proposition (USP) is essential to any good destination marketing organization’s positioning. Once you have strategically determined the unique selling points of your destination, you can build your tourism website to include targeted pages that can organically help boost your tourism website’s rankings and drum up engagement on social media.
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2. Develop a Clear Heritage Tourism Brand
While it may not be your first instinct, developing a distinct brand for your tourism website and destination is important. Not only should you hammer down details like your logo, colors, voice and target personas, but your website should clearly demonstrate what kind of experience visitors can expect at your destination. Part of the strength of having a compelling brand is that travelers will understand what type of vacation they’ll be having and why they want to have that experience at your destination.
As a heritage tourism website, you have the distinct opportunity to flaunt the unique elements of your location and expose your audience to fun facts, history and lore about it as well. The more that you can share to develop your brand and your audience’s connection to your destination, the better. That is why creating a clear brand is such a pivotal element to any successful tourism website.
3. Attract Visitors to Your Heritage Destination with a Good User Experience
One best practice that any good destination marketing organization should implement into their strategy is researching and testing your website to improve user experience. That means diving into the data to learn about your current audience, the devices that they are using to access your site, and which pages they frequent the most. Then, it’s essential to develop an understanding of how your current traffic differs (or overlaps) with your target audience.
Only once you’ve armed yourself with this information can you develop a strategy to take your heritage tourism website to the next level by implementing targeted user personas, a content matrix that’s supported by real research and data and all the functionalities your website needs to stand out from the competition.
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4. Modernize and Highlight Your Destination with Eye-Catching Photography
Before you sign up for that stock photography subscription, ask yourself: will my organization be best represented by using the same image that’s displayed on ten other websites, or would we better stand out through custom, commissioned photography?
The truth is that eye-catching photography can make or break your heritage tourism website’s credibility. Too often, users see the same information and images regurgitated across the many websites they visit before booking their trip.
Instead, you can work with a local photographer to take photos and videos of your destination that fit your brand and website – not to mention any print collateral that you may need. By implementing great photography, you’ll give your tourism website a unique competitive advantage.
You can even use social media to your advantage when it comes to generating unique images for your destination. Running a campaign that promotes user-generated content from popular platforms like Facebook, Instagram and TikTok could provide you with a stream of incoming media for you to incorporate into your overall marketing strategy.
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5. Connect Your Heritage Site to the Community
When booking any trip, most people are looking to connect with a community in addition to enjoying a cultural destination. You don’t want to make your potential clients do more work than necessary, so make their decision to choose your location an easy one by showcasing your community too!
Create unique landing pages that highlight the area around your destination to give your audience a taste of everything they can do in your area. Pages or blogs that share information on popular topics, such as popular places to stay, things to do and restaurants and bars to visit, will only better sell your heritage tourism site. Not only that, but these pages will also add to your credibility and authority as a local tourism staple.
Promote Your Destination with the Right Digital Marketing Strategy
If you want to make the most of your budget and efforts, it’s essential to learn from experts in historical destination tourism. A well-developed website is an integral element of a strong heritage tourism marketing strategy. You can learn more about how to leverage a marketing strategy to attract more visitors to your destination here. To see examples of high-performing heritage tourism websites, you can also check out this website showcase.
A creative organizational freak, Nancy has been working in the marketing realm since 2013 – specializing in content strategy and creation, SEO, and consulting. She is a lover of all things coffee flavored, except for black coffee. A feminist and ally. A writer of strange fiction, technical web content, long-form guides, and blogs that cover topics like SEO, tourism, medical subjects, and the modern workplace. Nancy prides herself on working closely with clients to create effective content and marketing strategies all while following through with some killer puns.
The Progressive Marketer
These progressive marketing articles offer tactics and strategy inspiration for heritage tourism, economic development, destination marketing organizations and other industry segments working to make their communities better places to work and live.
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