They may just be words on your website, but having quality and effective content on your website can either help a customer make a booking or make them go back to the search engines. Website copy should be persuasive, fun, and informative to increase those online bookings!
Copywriting is all about your customer. A good guiding principle when laying out your content:
It’s all about the customer. Use your copy to show how awesome life will be with your product, not to show how awesome your product itself is.
Here’s a quick rundown of some best practices and common mistakes we’ve seen on tourism and activity websites and some easy fixes.
When a customer lands on your site, do they have all the basic information they need to feel comfortable with their online booking? Think about the 5Ws – Who, what, when, where, and why.
Each activity page should answer:
- Who is this activity appropriate for? Are only adults able to book it or are children allowed, and if so what ages do they need to be?
- What are they doing? And what is it going to cost?
- When is this activity available? Every day? Only on specific days and times? Only in specific seasons?
- Where is this activity located? How do they get there? Is the activity done in one specific place?
- Why should they book with you? What do you offer that other tour operators don’t?
Are your Calls To Action (CTAs) or booking buttons different? If website visitors keep seeing “Book Now” all over the website, they tune it out or ignore it. It’s okay to spice up your CTA verbiage.
Have your customers:
- Discover Our Tours
- Explore All Tours
- Plan a Kayaking Adventure
- Experience a Sunset Cruise
- Ride A Segway With Us
- Take A Helicopter Ride
- Rent A SUP Board
- Reserve A Tour
Does each page of your website have a specific keyword or targeted term included in the content? Not only should you have activity-based keywords in the content, you’ll also want to include location-based terms and your brand name.
For example, you offer snorkel tours at Poipu Beach on Kauai and your company is Hawaii Snorkel Excursions. Our primary keyword phrase is: snorkel tours Poipu Beach.
Our landing page content could look like:
Plan the ultimate underwater adventure with one of our guided snorkel tours at Poipu Beach. We want to make sure your snorkel tour with Hawaii Snorkel Excursions is the highlight of your Kauai trip!
Your snorkel tour starts at Poipu Beach, not only one of Kauai’s most popular beaches – but also named a top 10 “best” beach in America – with a quick safety lesson before we get out into the cool, turquoise waters to see the vibrant marine life, including Hawaiian honu (green sea turtles), in their natural playground. Add the popular Poipu Beach snorkel tour to your Hawaii itinerary now!
Another SEO element that can hurt or improve your ranking in Google, Bing, and Yahoo! is duplicate content. We know how easy it is to copy and paste the same activity description when the activity or tour varies only slightly, but the search engines hate it. They do not want to see duplicate content on your site.
Take the time to add in different keyword phrases, rearrange the structure, or phrase the details of the tour differently to avoid having duplicate content on your site.
Humans now have an attention span shorter than a goldfish’s and don’t want to see a wall of text on a landing page. Group your site’s content into scannable blocks and have about one to three sentences per paragraph.
You could also use bullet points to make your content easier on the eyes.
Scannable paragraphs example:
Bullet points example:
Paint a vivid picture for your potential customer of what they can expect with this activity or tour. Weave in the 5Ws and important details as you walk them through exactly what the activity is.
Write your content in present tense so it reads like it’s happening now. It helps readers connect with and put themselves into the experience and makes you sound like the professional you are. Most writers default to future tense as it is something that will happen in the future, but present tense is much more exciting!
Example of future tense: Maui Adventures will take you on the adventure of a lifetime! With our three-hour Haleakala bike tour, you will enjoy stunning panoramic views of the sunrise and then you will bike your way back down on this guided excursion. You’ll learn about the history of this National Park, the rare species that call it home, and you will travel along the unique volcanic landscape.
Example of present tense: Maui Adventures takes you on the adventure of a lifetime! Enjoy stunning panoramic views of the sunrise before biking your way back down on this guided three-hour bike tour. Learn about the history of this National Park, the rare species that call it home, and travel along the unique volcanic landscape.
Essentially, remove any instance of “will” from the sentence unless it’s absolutely necessary.
Write in second-person point of view to make it more engaging for the reader. Second-person uses “you” and “your” in the content to talk about the activity and the company. It also makes the content more informal and friendly.
Example: At Maui Adventures, we provide you with exceptional helicopter tours and we pride ourselves in our first-rate customer service. We take care of every detail for you to make sure your Maui helicopter tour is exactly how you dreamed it.
Third-person is commonly used in business writing as it tends to be more formal. The company will refer to itself as the company name and will refer to customers in a broad sense.
Example: Maui Adventures provides exceptional helicopter tours to a variety of travelers. Customers will be delighted with the level of customer service that Maui Adventures provides by taking care of every detail of a Maui helicopter tour.
Common mistakes and corrections
Plurals & Possession
- Plurals do not need apostrophes (On this tour we’ll see dolphins and whales. Please read our FAQs if you have any questions. We have bikes for every ability level.)
- Possessives require apostrophes (Stop by the gift shop to get one of Jane’s world-famous cookies. We visit one of Hawaii’s most famous beaches on our tour. The bike’s safety features ensure a smooth ride. We stop at Denver’s most historical sites on this tour.)
- When you have a plural that is showing possession, the apostrophe goes after the last ‘s’ in the word (Maui Adventure Tours’ snorkel gear is brand new.)
- Weather does not need an apostrophe (30s, high 50s)
- Decades (without the century) have an apostrophe in front (Back in the ’80s, we held our first guided foodie tour of New York City. By the 1990s, we were the number one walking tour in the city.)
Similar sounding words, different meanings
Affect vs. effect: Affect is a verb and is doing the action, and an effect is the result of that action.
- The weather affected the players’ ability on the field.
- The weather had a negative effect on the game’s outcome.
Your and you’re: Your shows possession and you’re is a contraction of you are.
- Your reservation is complete.
- You’re an excellent tour guide!
There, their, and they’re: There denotes a location, their shows possession, and they’re is a contraction of they are.
- We’ll have our meeting over there.
- They left their computers at their desks.
- They’re going on a great tour.
Its and it’s: Its shows possession and is one exemption for using an apostrophe to show it, and it’s is a contraction of it is.
- The company released its revenue figures today.
- It’s really sunny out today.
To, too, and two: To shows a direction, too means also, and two is the number.
- I’m going to Hawaii this summer.
- I’d like to try that kayaking excursion too.
- For the last two years, this has been our most popular tour!
Then and than: Then shows time or continuation whereas than indicates preference.
- I’m wrapping up this project, then I’m going to lunch.
- I like this stock photo more than the other one.
Complementary or complimentary: Complementary means to enhance or go well together, and complimentary is praise or something that’s free or included.
- Their site colors are complementary and look good together.
- As you wait to board the bus for your tour, make use of our complimentary Wi-Fi.