Ideas & knowhow

Have you included these essential pages on your website

essential web pages

Earlier this year I helped to judge the VisitEngland Awards for Excellence accommodation categories. Going through the entries is always interesting. It’s a good way to see the latest trends.

This year two web pages were seen as particularly important.

Some businesses performed well, with excellent entries, but if they lacked these two pages we scored them much lower.

Why? Because the world has changed and we all need to keep up with customer expectations.

You’ll be asking which pages


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Don't start in the middle

Don't start in the middle

Does all your marketing work perfectly? 

Do you feel all your investment of time, energy and money is worthwhile? 

If you sometimes puzzle over why not all your marketing works, or just feel over-whelmed about how much there is to do, there could be a simple reason. 

It's not your fault

We're all constantly bombarded with information about different marketing tools - such as all the social media tools, mailing, advertising, PR... There are so many different ways to reach your potential visit…

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Harnessing that Back to School feeling

Back to school feeling

New pens, notepad, clean desk. Good intentions. Freshly scrubbed face, newly cut hair.

Actually my hair isn't even properly brushed today. But the thought is there: that 'back to school' feeling is in the air.

Is there a way you can use this to strengthen your tourism business? 

It's many years since I went to school and quite a few since my daughter was there, but I still get the back-to-school feeling. It's a good excuse for some new stationery, but it also galvanises me into action plannin…

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The must-have photo you might be ignoring

one photo

Last week a friend who is a psychologist asked for my help. She was getting lots of visits to her website but few bookings. 

I took an initial look: there was nothing actually wrong with it - it had all the right information but potential clients were just not getting in touch. Sarah's website just felt 'flat', not very warm. 

You may be wondering what this has to do with you and your tourism business? 

You and psychologist Sarah make people feel better, directly or indirectly. 

You both nee…

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Have they forgotten all about you?

There's a really good restaurant near where I live. It's great value and serves excellent food. We don't go there very often. Partly because we forget about it, partly because there are other places, partly because we like to cook.

Every now and then when they have availability, the restaurant owner emails with a discount offer to pick up some last minute bookings. 

We almost always book. 

The discount is nice but it's good value anyway. The mailings are just a good reminder of how much w…

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Rain can't ruin...

rain can't ruin

It’s raining. Again.

It might not be raining all the time, but the idea of a rainy summer can deter potential visitors. It dampens (sorry!) the spirits of those who do visit too, so referrals may be lower than usual.

What can you do?

Obviously you can’t stop the rain, but you can change perceptions.

Here are a couple of suggestions that work:

1. Don’t moan, especially on social media. Everyone knows the weather isn’t great. You don’t need to add to the misery

2. Don’t deny that it’s a litt…

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Why aren't they visiting?

Not visiting

I've heard from many businesses who're worried they're not getting the bookings or visitors they normally get. 

What can you do? 

There's a huge amount of uncertainty in the economy at the moment. Some people aren't coming to your business because they simply can't afford it. Some have been lured abroad by cheap deals. Others just don't know about you. Some just haven't got round to it. 

When you're not getting the visitors you'd expect to get, there are some simple things you can do to impro…

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Click, click, click - why you need to take more photos


How does your business and local area look at the moment?

Everywhere I look I see beautiful (mainly blue) skies, blooming gardens, lush green trees, fresh produce and happy visitors.

Now’s a good time to take photos.

Not just now and then, not just a few but of everything, everywhere, whenever you can!

I'll suggest how you can use these images in a moment. 

First of all though, I really want to stress: any spare moment, when you’re taking a quick break, when you see something beautiful, wh…

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Marketing even when you're busy

Marketing when busy

You may be too busy with guests to do any marketing now, but it’s a great time to lay some simple foundations for the future.

Here are five things it’s worth doing to help promote your business, especially when busy.

1. Don’t forget to ask for reviews or testimonials. Write down any lovely things people say, and keep them someone safe to use in your marketing later.

2. Make a note of all the questions people ask, before and during visits. What do people not know, that you’d expect them to kno…

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A lesson from Rolls Royce about offering value for money

Rolls Royce

What’s selling a Rolls Royce got to do with promoting your small business?

I’ll explain in a moment.

I’ve no idea whether this story is true or not, but it’s a great illustration that could help you show potential visitors that you offer exceptional value for money - whether you charge a little or a lot. 

The story goes that Rolls Royce decided to stop exhibiting at car shows and to take a stand at private jet shows instead. As advertising supremo, Rory Sutherland said, “when you’ve been look…

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