Web-visibility - Maximizing your potential

Earlier this week I attended a seminar on marketing in the Tourism and Hospitality Industry – hosted by the Sri Lanka Institute of Marketing. The first session was conducted by Mr Dileep Mudadeniya, the onetime Managing Director of the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotions Bureau.

This is a summary of tips he gave when discussing how to increase web-visibility of one’s website – whether it is for travel agencies or hotels that I thought I would share.

- Have a blog – increasingly it has been shown, that a blog maintained by companies reaches out in a much more personal manner than most other methods of marketing, and this personal touch is important in the tourism and hospitality industry. You can include testimonials from your customers, detailed updates etc. Keep the updates regular and makes sure there is passion and personality in the writing.

- Social Media is one of the most important areas in which you need to build a strong online presence. Twitter and Facebook are the most used sites when it comes to this – again updates need to be regular. Reply to posts and engage your visitors so that they feel connected to you.

- Google Alerts is a strong tool in helping you measure what is being said about your brand on the intewebz as well as keeping in touch with what your customers see when they Google you.

- Make your website or blog smart phone user friendly. Studies show that increasingly people opt to upgrade their smart phone over other devices such as laptops. This means that you may have a fabulous website, but if it isn’t smart phone friendly - you may be losing a large audience.

Finally – engage your customers. Start discussions, reply to their comments. Thank them for compliments, apologize and try to solve complaints. Some of the most popular brands are those that engage their customers and build a personal connection with them.

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