You would think that in this digital day and age that everyone would know how important a website is for your business. It can be one of the most powerful marketing tools available to your brand.
First, your website is important since it is most likely how people will find your business – along with your offerings and prices! These days, most people go online to research products and places before they make a purchase. If you don’t have a website, or even if you have a bad website design, you are missing out on potential business. Those people don’t purchase tickets online they are still likely to research your venue online so you want a good, responsive website so potential customers can learn about your business.
Additionally, your website helps establish credibility as a business. Often it gives the first impression to your potential patrons. If your website is outdated, not responsive for all screen sizes, slow to upload, or has bad photos and graphics then the user is likely to think that your venue may be old and outdated and that your staff is slow, especially when they compare your venue’s website to that of your competitors. If they like your competitor’s website simply because it looks more reputable and current than yours, then you very well may be losing business to them just because of your website.
For most attraction businesses a great website and a robust Point-of-Sale system are the most important investments you can make. Industry data has shown that over 80% of online searches are done using a mobile device. In early 2015, Google changed their algorithm lowering the search rank of websites that were not mobile friendly. In addition, studies have shown that website users will quickly abandon a site if it is slow or not mobile accessible (e.g., the formatting makes it difficult to read, the site crashes or freezes or has error messages, takes too long to download, etc).
And by too long – we’re talking 4 to 6 seconds. Remember, slow loading times can affect your bottom line when it comes to online sales. Page loading time is an important part of any website’s user experience. Many times a business may overlook it to accommodate aesthetic design, new nifty functionality, or add more content but website visitors tend to care more about speed than all the bells and whistles. Additionally, page loading time is becoming a more important factor when it comes to search engine rankings.
The number of steps it takes to complete a purchase can impact your online sales too. If it takes more than 3 page steps to make an online purchase, you could be losing conversions.
Also, be sure to link your website to your social media accounts. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media platforms have become an essential element to brand success in a digital world. Social media is the key to driving quality brand awareness and website visits. If your brand garners a high amount of engagement and shares from your social media activity, then there is a high probability that it will increase traffic to your website. Building a loyal, engaged following improves your ability to drive sales.
About the author: Tina Hatcher is the founder and President of 3i Advertising/PR. In her 26-year marketing career, she’s worked with entertainment attractions and destination clients, including family entertainment centers, water parks, amusement parks, hotels/resorts and sporting events.
Some of 3i Advertising most recent work with Gatemaster clients include Wild River Country and Land of Illusion.
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