Making online travel content for users in micro-moments

Google’s cleverly devised notion of ‘micro-moments’ poses interesting challenges for travel agents who want to continue to drive new customers to their websites.

NB: This is a viewpoint from Amo Sokhi, account director at Polaris.

Don’t know what a micro moment is? Here is Google’s definition:

“intent-driven moments of decision-making and preference-shaping that occur throughout the entire consumer journey”

Whilst travel agents have existing client databases, ensuring brand awareness and fresh customers is a must to keep business continuity, which means micro-moments need to be considered.

With one-in-three people now having a smartphone, mobile internet is now firmly becoming the choice of access for many users, whether on the go or stationary.

Typical needs of buyers today

Today, buyers will (in an instant secondary action) load a web page on their mobile device, seek inspiration, quickly search, avidly absorb and then carry on doing what they were primarily doing away from their device.

Some buyers will even use voice search to vocally query a request and then have OK Google return the relevant information.

This is a very different experience compared to that of the early 2000s, the era when print brochures were still in circulation and webpages were visited either at a work or home desk.

Typical micro-moment searches for travel buyers

Whilst on the go, buyers will search using a variety of phrases, all with a new, common format:

  • Dreaming – “what is the weather like in Paris in July”
  • Planning – “Best restaurants in Paris”
  • Buying – “Hotels in Paris”
  • Experiencing – “Restaurants near me”

Conducting some searches in Google, the usual travel websites such as Tripadvisor return results for these types of queries but, how do travel agents also gain exposure for these moments and gain traffic from potential buyers?

Focus your efforts on gaining buyers at the research phase

Looking at the four stages of completing a travel booking, travel agents must decide where it’s most appropriate to position content to gain targeted, engaged visitors that will turn into potential buyers later on in their journey.

Remodelling your destination guides – what should they look like now?

Traditionally, travel agents have invested heavily in ensuring destination guides have lots of rich content covering things to do, places to eat etc., as a part of a comprehensive guide for users to research and engage with. Whilst the nature of content will remain the same, the format of this content needs to adapt so that it can be quickly consumed “on the go”.

Whilst destination guides will still need to be unique and cover a vast array of information, the wording, layout and signals used to shape the guides will need to be reviewed to ensure they fulfil the needs of today’s mobile users.

  • Ensure you think about mobile users first, considering key search queries using the “dreaming, planning, buying, experiencing” stages as a guide
  • Ensure key points are covered in easily consumable bullet points
  • Ensure your website has tap targets within page designs to ensure easy navigation
  • Ensure graphics and destination images are optimised, so that pages load quickly on mobile devices (we all hate checking the connection bar and scrutinising 4G when it might not be its fault!)

From a technical SEO perspective, you should ensure you utilise rich snippets schema tagging so that your content is displayed directly within Search Engine Results Pages (SERPS) for search queries. These results are also automatically read out by OK Google/Siri for users conducting searches through voice search.

How do you quantify an investment into research traffic during the micro moments phase?

Now, traditionally, business owners have always wanted to position budget against direct sales, however budgets now have to be segmented into two areas:

  • Brand awareness and development (beginning of the funnel channels – display, content marketing, etc.
  • Customer acquisition and sales (PPC, Affiliate Marketing etc.)

Considering budgets in this fashion, metrics must be identified per channel and per touchpoint to model a user’s progress through your sales process, and return on investment through attribution modelling.

In an ideal world, you will be able to measure engagement at each stage of your sales funnel and also if tracking correctly the cost of a sale, across multiple devices and channels.

This level of tracking and integration requires some work, but is well worth the investment if you want a fully-rounded picture of how your marketing spend is being positioned for success.

NB: This is a viewpoint from Amo Sokhi, account director at Polaris.


Those Google stages of travel applied to mobile

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About the Writer :: Viewpoints

A founding principle of tnooz was a diversity of viewpoints from across the spectrum. Viewpoints are articles by guest contributors from around the travel and hospitality industries. The views expressed are those of the author. and do not necessarily reflect those of the author's employer, or tnooz and its partners.



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