Your website is one of the most important places you communicate with potential customers. As a travel company or hotel, the copywriting on your website can have a powerful effect on consumer behavour.
Good travel copywriting can create desire. It has the ability to demonstrate expertise and fire the imagination. It's able to sweep people away on vivid mental journeys while they sit in the comfort of an armchair.
In short, it can help win customers and boost bookings. So with that in mind, here are 5 tips to help the copy on your website work harder, punch through the clutter and ultimately help boost bookings.
1. Stir Emotion
We all like to think our behaviour is largely driven by logic. But in reality, many of the decisions we make are based upon instinct and feeling, including our buying decisions.
Emotions have a huge impact on what we buy and studies reveal many of our purchases are based on instant pangs of desire rather than periods of careful consideration.
Booking a holiday, perhaps more than any other purchase, is an emotionally-driven process. People want to feel blissful relaxation, or exhilarated by a new adventure, or feel that sense of escapism that comes from being thousands of miles from home.
So it makes absolute sense that the copywriting on your website taps into this instinctively human trait – and sells your experiences on an emotional level. How can you do this? Well, if you’re a tour operator trying to describe the attractions of let’s say, Rio de Janeiro, you could invite people to imagine how it might feel to sit on Copacabana beach.
But you’ll need to get specific. So instead of simply saying the beach is stunning, paint a picture of what it feels like to be there. Describe how you can spend lazy days stretched out on Copacabana’s sugar-white sands, as Christ the Redeemer watches over the city from the lush hilltop of Corcavado.
Of course, you’re not writing a travel novel, so you don’t want to overdo these kind of descriptions. But where possible, use language that sparks the imagination of your audience and creates a desire to take up the experience you’re describing.
2. Speak your customers’ language
A clear understanding of your target audience needs to be baked into your website. You obviously need to signpost the kind of features and benefits that are going to be most appealing to this audience, but you also need to tailor a specific tone of voice that they’ll most likely relate to.
Start by considering what sort of language your target audience uses and the way they like to be spoken to. Would they respond more to familiar, snappy, conversational style? Or is a descriptive, formal approach more appropriate?
For instance, say you’re describing how fantastic the service is at a specific hotel. The way you describe this exact same service could be done in two very different ways. As a simple example, saying:
“Expect to be treated like a Hollywood A-lister from the second you check-in,”
feels very different to:
“Your every wish and whim will be attended to from the moment you arrive.”
Both essentially make the same point: ‘the service here is pretty awesome.’ But the language speaks to very different audiences.
A recent example of a travel company really striking out to sound and feel different is Booking.com. Last year, they created a series of TV adverts that had a really quirky, bold comedic style. No one could accuse their messaging of being middle-of-the-road.
And that's the key. Avoid the temptation to adopt what feels like a safe, one-size-fits-all tone of voice. By trying to appeal to everyone you can actually end up appealing to no one at all. Be brave. Pick a style that demonstrates you’re totally on your audiences’ wavelength and they’ll feel far more engaged with you.
3. Be consistent
Once you’ve nailed that tone of voice, it should filter through into every single page of your website. But don’t stop there. Social media updates, customer emails, newsletters and marketing campaigns – the copywriting you use should always have the same tone of voice, giving customers a consistent experience wherever they meet you on their digital journey (which as we know, is a pretty well-travelled one.)
Rather than just being another travel company on someone’s radar, you’ll become a recognisable brand that is readily identifiable. You’ll also build credibility as customers recognize attributes like attention to detail with higher levels of professionalism.
When you religiously target all of your messaging with the end-user in mind across every media channel, you’ll begin to create a powerful brand that cuts through the clutter and distinguishes you from the rest of the competing voices.
4. Give customers the information they’re looking for
While evoking an emotional response is a crucial part of copywriting, there comes a point when it needs to give over hard information. How far is the hotel from town? Are there good local restaurants nearby? Is that trip best for families or better suited to independent travellers?
Good travel copywriting gives the kind of details customers really want. While it might sound obvious, including the most important information, and making it prominent and easy to find on your site, will make that buying decision all the more easy to make.
If potential customers have to leave your website to find the information they need, they might not come back. The key is finding a balance, though. You don’t need to express every little detail, but make sure you provide the essential facts that will help people decide whether a hotel, restaurant or trip is really the right one for them.
5. Define why you’re different
Customers do a lot of shopping around before they book a holiday. In fact, the average traveller visits 22 travel-related websites when they’re planning a trip and spends 5 hours researching.
No question, the modern traveller is savvy and well-informed. They take the time to survey the market. So with that in mind, it’s really important to convey why people should choose you over your competitors.
Your web copy should define a point of difference – a powerful reason that explains why you’re the preferred choice. You can’t be better at everything, but what you can do is shout to the rooftops about the fact you have an intimate knowledge of a certain region, only use local guides or have more eco-friendly hotels on your books than anyone else.
Give potential customers a specific and compelling reason to book their holiday with you. While your competitors are trying to be all things to all people, you’ll stand out in the marketplace by the very fact you’re offering something unique and memorable.
Powerful web content
If you're looking for help to produce powerful travel copywriting that increases engagement with your customers and helps boost bookings, just get in touch.