(1) Write (4) ordered,(3) natural (2) texts (5) that elicit action
(Or let us write them for you)
It would be the invention of the century: a machine that reads your mind, irons out your ideas and prints out a perfect text at the touch of a button. Unfortunately we're not quite there yet. For now you’ll have to do it yourself (or have it done for you, but we'll get to that in a bit). Don't know where to start? These five steps should help. They're rules that apply to creators of all kinds of content, but they're especially helpful for those in the tourism sector.
Your touristic website or communication is going to need some text. Which means you're going to need to organise your thoughts on paper. You might want to note down some key sentences or phrases to start with. Then try to organise them as logically as possible into sections for your website or brochure. Group related information together. Give your groups of text titles or headings. These will become the sections of your website.
No inspiration? You're in the tourist sector, damnit! It couldn't get any easier! Look around your city or country: what makes people smile? What would they gladly go out of their way for? What are the touristic treasures that draw crowds? The classic attractions that everyone comes to see and the hidden gems with untapped potential?
This step might seem a bit obvious, but a lot of clients and companies don't even get so far as to properly formulate their message in their heads, let alone articulate it.
2. Write texts
Even if you're not a seasoned copywriter, you will now have, in the best case scenario, at least come up with a list of information, phrases, key sentences and the odd text fragment. That's a good start.
Worst case scenario: you've got a cumbersome text that's much too long. Expanding on points is pretty straight-forward: just keep it to the point and don't get too woolly. And check back on your list of points every now and then. Shortening your text on the other hand can prove more difficult: it hurts to kill your darlings.
What are you going to keep in the final text? There are different techniques for this, but you'll get far with these two basic tips:
(1) Check all your collected info for redundancy (repeated info). You'll be surprised by how often you repeat yourself. Have you called your destination 'heaven on Earth' twice now? Seems it's not quite so unique after all!
(2) Do a thought experiment: check whether you're saying what you want to hear or what the tourist wants to hear. Take it from us: what you want to say about your destination is not necessarily what the keen traveller wants to hear. And we haven’t even started on the ‘how’ yet …
This step definitely requires a degree of reflection. Sometimes it's a matter of putting aside your own (immediate) desires as a travel provider for a moment in favour of a more empathic selection of info that the customer wants to hear.
Writing is a gift. But hard work and planning also helps.
3. Write natural texts
Your ideas are organised, you've honed your texts into something that genuinely keeps the attention of the traveller. Now it's just a matter of carpet-bombing your text with keywords. Right? You hear it all the time: that's how to climb the rankings of search engines. Unfortunately it's not that easy to seduce Google (not anymore, anyway). This idea refuses to die among a great many of our clients. Just keep the text human: you're better off imagining that you're writing for your mother than for Google.
We would even dare to say: keep your hands off the text after step 2. In principle it will already cover the tourist attractions of your destination sufficiently. The important thing is to work in a technically sound CMS with an SEO module where you can mark and tag your titles. The tourist sector is without a doubt highly competitive, which makes it extremely difficult to use common search terms relating to tourism.
This step is all about the correct use of keywords. Focus on making sure they're technically well indexed rather than pumping your text so full of search terms that the text feels unnatural to the reader.
4. Write ordered, natural texts
For many in the tourism sector – except perhaps touristic services – it's a burden to have to come up with a new text every two weeks. After all, there isn't necessarily relevant news every two weeks. But there are many other ways to come up with an engaging text for your site: share the words of a satisfied customer, feature a new hotel or attraction, announce new additions to the events calendar, create a buzz about particular time-contingent attractions, etc.
Don't grow complacent after two or three posts. Growing your site is an organic process, not a one-off intervention. Plan your SEO copywriting strategy at least half a year in advance, but preferably a year ahead. Writing an update of around 250-400 words every two weeks is already a great start. Just remember to keep it up!
This step is not a step but a process. It is a strategic decision to persist and continue adding to the text of your site.
5. Write ordered, natural texts that elicit action
The steps above require time and effort. They have to pay off, leading not only to more visitors to your site but conversion too. Aim to elicit requests for brochures, to generate downloads of that new app, to steer visitors towards your promotions page, and to boost ticket sales for that spectacular event at your destination.
Simple. Sometimes it's enough to say: 'Contact us today'. 'Send us an email.' 'Request the brochure using the form below.' Be straight-forward and tell the reader what you want. And if there's a discount or special offer in it for them, even better!
This step is the final touch. It’s all about generating a lead or at least acquiring the visitor’s details. The important thing is that the visitor gets in touch. You can get creative with this: a discount, gift, or free added extra if they book now. And ultimately what you want is for the tourist to choose your destination. And that's that. Just stick to the workflow outlined above and you're golden.
We run your tourism communication on the Belgian market
Tourism Marketing Group runs your communication on the Belgian market in Dutch and/or French. From writing a dedicated website on the Belgian market, to your e-mailing campaigns, social media and/or Google AdWords.
Contact us on +32 9 329 02 73, firstname.lastname@example.org or via the contact form.