The key to your website

The key to your website

We’ve previously discussed different kinds of content that you should add to your website. We’ve also covered topics like blogging and adding content that highlights your expertise, to get you thinking about the kind of content that should be featured on your website.

On top of that, is the fact that all Agent Studio websites come filled with content. The minute your website is live, you have engaging content, that you don’t have to worry about updating. It’s what sets us apart from other website options. It is also what will set you apart from other travel agents.

The content that is featured on your website is quite valuable. World news organizations like MSN.com, are featuring content that originates on your Agent Studio website. If they see a value in this content, then you should as well.

Why do we put so much emphasizes on content? Well, here are 4 reasons why content is key.

Engagement

This is the current buzz word in marketing, and that’s because marketing has changed. Today, marketing is more than a sales pitch, especially when it comes to the internet. Your goal is to get potential customers to stop and consume your content. You want them to find the content useful and possibly share the content with others. Engaging content will help customers relate that content back to your brand and create a more impactful experience than a sales pitch. The next time the customer is thinking of travel, it is very likely you will come to mind since they found your content appealing.

Leads and Sales

Good content makes you stand out of the crowd, which generates leads and sales. How? Simple, good content is less intrusive, than an overt sales pitch or an advertorial. It helps build authentic relationships with your travel agency. once customers realize you are source of useful travel content. They won’t feel that they are being bombarded with constant sales messages which leads them to put their guard down. And gives you the opportunity to move them from content consumer to customer to brand ambassador.

Adds Value

The content that comes with your Agent Studio website will elevate your value in the eyes of your customer. It’s much more than just deals and promotions. It is content that your customers will surely find useful as well as entertaining. Articles pertaining to food and travel or top 5 places to visit in winter and even where Kim Kardashian spends her summers, don’t necessarily add direct monetary value. The value comes when your customer finds the content enlightening. If the content solves a problem, or reveals something that they never knew about travel, then its added value to your brand.

Boosts Web Traffic

This goes without saying. If your customers find your content useful and engaging, then they are going to come back for more. You can also drive traffic back to your website by sharing this content on social media or through email marketing. Your standard “business card” website with just a homepage, an about us page and a contact page will have your customer leaving your website just as quick as they arrive on it. When you give them content to interact with, then they are hanging around and browsing through your website, visiting multiple pages. This should be the goal of your website.

When you build a website, one of the first things you need to consider is content. Curating content that will make your website effective in bringing business takes time, but it is well worth it. If you’re an Agent Studio customer, then you have a head start. Your website comes with fresh and engaging content that is updated daily, which you can build on. Remember, telling your customers what you sell doesn’t cut it anymore. As you can see with the reasons we’ve explored, educating them and entertaining them through travel content is way more effective.

4 Tips to Email Targeting

4 Tips to Email Targeting

It isn’t spoken about nearly enough, but when it comes to being a small business, batch and blast just isn’t going to cut it anymore.

Batch and blast is when you take a generic email and send it to your entire database hoping that it will stick with at least one person on your list. But the age of throwing it at the wall and hoping it works out is over. As an independent travel agent, you wear a lot of hats, and one of them is being a marketer.

Don’t worry, Agent Studio’s Marketing Center is here to help. And we want to make it easier to be an expert marketer by pointing out some quick, easy to implement tips.

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  1. Make sure you’re collecting more than just an email address
    Having a name is a good start, but you shouldn’t stop there. Having a birthday is even better. When you see people in person or chat with them online, start taking notes on that person. What kind of vacation were they looking for? What kind of trip do you think they are most likely to take next? Write down all your observations and assumptions. You can enter this information right into your Marketing Center.

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  1. Break this information into actionable categories
    Think broadly first, such as age, location, trip interests, etc. But then don’t leave the niche opportunities out either. Knowing whether your customers are thrill seekers, foodies, art enthusiast, etc. can go a long way. Store all of this in categories so that you can begin building other people into them. Using these categories to segment your database within the Marketing Center is relatively easy to do.
  2. Go through your current list again
    How many people do you know? What do you know about them? What can you add to their profiles? All of this will help you better understand your customer, more importantly it will help you target them better.

    This exercise may take a bit of time, but it is going to set you up for success for every new person who signs up for your mailing list.

  3. Start getting a little more personal in your marketing emails
    The majority of your database might be interested in one type of trip, but look at your second biggest pool of people- what are they interested in? Use your segments to send email messages that are much more relevant.

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    Open and click through rates increase astronomically when something feels personal. You can use the email analytics your Marketing Center provides to track your open and click through rates. Long gone are the days when it was enough to put their first name in the subject line. You have to be ahead of the curve now. Use email as your way to say, “Hey, I know EXACTLY what you’re looking for” and then provide it. Once you know what your customer is looking for, your Marketing Center has all of the content you need to cater to them.

Organizing your database for better email targeting is going to help in other areas too such as social media. You might even be surprised by some of the correlations you may find- there might be a much larger pool of your customers who are interested in something you didn’t expect. It’s time to start marketing to them.

So, take your lists, organize them, and your Agent Studio Marketing Center will make it easier to segment and send better email communications to your customers. They want to hear from you!

SEO is a drag

SEO is a drag

We get it, there’s not really a way to make SEO (Search Engine Optimization) exciting and fun. But the truth is, the Automated Email Marketing tools Agent Studio offers will help drive traffic to your website, but SEO will increase the volume.

I know we keep harping on about SEO, but we want you to understand it, especially if your goal is to grow your travel business. And the key to SEO is understanding how we use Google.

It’s lunchtime and you want to go out and grab something. So, you go to Google and search “Food near me.” Simple enough. Google provides results based on your location.

But what if you have a question? Most people don’t type the entire question, but rather fragments of it. “Movie times regal philly” or “Actor movie about dogs imdb.” Don’t believe me? Go to Google and lookup your search history- you’ll be surprised by the way you search for things.

Now put yourself in the shoes of somebody looking to book a vacation. You might use searches such as “Jamaica vacation planning” or “Cruiselines Florida.” How many times on travel searches do you think “Travel Agent” is coming up- because right now, you’ve got that written all over your page, but it might not be what people are searching for.

This is not to say it isn’t essential for you to have this information on your website. If somebody is searching for a travel agent near them explicitly, you should be on the first page of results. Better yet, you should be in the top three. This is done through strategic wording and lots of it across your website.

But what about the other forms of search people are participating in? What can you do to show up when people are searching fragments of thoughts to get their questions answered?

First, you need to identify the kind of things you would ask Google if you were to end up on your website. Take the content of your website and break it down into questions. Maybe the question is “Where can I easily book a River Cruise getaway?” Now you need to take it a step further. Maybe the search is actually “river cruises” or “river cruise near me” or “river cruise London” or “boat river London.” These are just a few options but there are countless others.

Once you’ve done the breakdown, you need to start integrating these types of words and phrases into your web pages as well as your Meta titles and descriptions. Plugging every single page of your website with relevant word searches is going to help get you on that first page on Google’s search.

This is the free way to get more traffic…but taking it a step farther never hurts. Once you’ve mastered the art of finding those more specific searches, you can start looking into using Google AdWords to snag that one spot. The key is to find where there’s the least competition but the highest search. “River cruises” alone is going to be competitive. But “River cruises London book now” might be easier. It’s all about striking the right balance.

Agent Studio’s Automated Email Marketing is a great help to building traffic to your website. However, SEO, when done right, will definitely take you to the next level.

Struggling with SEO? Tell us about your travel agency below and let’s start a discussion about how to implement SEO into your Agent Studio website.

How-To: Building Custom Slideshows

Users are now able to create and managed their own custom homepage slideshows. In this article we well guide you through the process of building and publishing a custom slideshow.

To get started, make sure you’re logged into your Agent Studio control panel. If you’re not, make sure to sign in.

Step 1: Click the “Site Customization” drop down in the control panel navigation, the menu block will expand to show more options.

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How-To: Export Contacts from Google

You may not have known, but exporting contacts from Google in order to import them into the Agent Studio: Marketing Center is pretty simple. To bring everyone up to speed, we have created this step-by-step guide to get you up and running.

To export contacts from Google in a format Marketing Center can import, follow these steps:

Click on the Gmail link just below the Google logo, this will bring up a drop down. Then select the Contacts link:

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