You meticulously craft a tour, painstakingly researching the best stops and the ideal route, piecing together an overarching narrative and collecting smaller stories to impart along the way. And then you slap together a write-up of the tour, toss it up online, and don't understand why visitors to your site aren't biting.
Hint: it's probably your tour description.
One of the biggest mistakes tour operators can make is failing to put as much effort into the sales narrative of the tour as they do into the actual narrative of the tour. The reality is that you need to put as much effort into getting people through the door as you do ensuring they have a great time once they're in.
You should never underestimate the power of a well-written product description. This goes for any industry and any product, really:
If you don't provide your visitors with a great product description, you're going to lost them.
- Marketing Insider Group, 2017
You don’t have to be great with words to write a strong product description. Here are 10 easy-to-follow tips for writing a tour description that sells:
1. Know what makes your experience unique and different from other tours in the same destination.
To use sales terms, these are the "unique selling points" or "benefits" of your product. Write them all down and make sure they all fit in to the description somewhere.
2. Capture your highlights.
What will customers consider 'the highlight of their tour'? Is it the hidden (yet spectacular) viewpoint? Or the guided tapas tasting? Figure them out and write them out in bullet point format.
3. Write a brief summary of the tour.
Want people to read three paragraphs? Good luck. They'll only do that if you capture their attention right off the bat. Do that by writing a brief summary (we're talking three sentences) of the tour. Think unique selling points, highlights, travel speak, and sales copy rolled into one.
4. Use keywords to boost your SEO value.
This will help pull people in who are searching for something very similar to (if not exactly) what you're offering.
5. Avoid the use of cliched "atmospheric" adjectives.
We tend to joke about the overused travel adjectives: the bustling market, the atmospheric town square, the crystal-clear lake, the mouth-watering food, the tantalizing beverages...pretty sure you could add a dozen more to this list. Sometimes they're unavoidable, but do your best to avoid the clichés because they make you sound just like every other tour out there (and you aren't, are you?!).
6. Tell a story.
If you're a tour operator, you're probably also a story-teller. After all, the best tours are the ones that tell a story along the way. Do your tour justice and utilise storytelling tactics while writing your tour description. Don't go overboard, though - keep it to a few paragraphs at the most. You have all the time on the tour to tell the full story!
7. Don't give away the farm.
As we mentioned above, keep it concise - you don't want to give away all your trade secrets up-front! This is particularly important for food or beverage tours. Customers will often visit food / beer tour sites to glean the locations of the stops and go there themselves. Of course their experience won't be as fun as being on tour with you, but nonetheless, if you've got your exact itinerary online, you're basically giving away your hard work for free. Instead, opt to say things like "a popular local micro-brewery that specialises in IPAs" or "a local seafood snack bar started by two former executive chefs looking to get more creative".
8. Walk the fine line between making the tour stand out and over-promising without the ability to meet expectations.
This is pretty self-explanatory. You obviously want to sell this puppy up, but the last thing you want to do is make the tour sound better than it really is. Although it's a quick way to get sales, it's a quicker way to get terrible TripAdvisor reviews.
9. Be clear and concise with inclusions and exclusions.
Make sure people know whether or not food and beverages are included (and if so, how much). Same goes for water, transit fare, tips, etc.
10. Check your spelling and grammar, please, please, please!
This may sound pedantic, but if your description is poorly written, people will get the impression that you're sloppy, lazy, and lack attention to detail. That doesn't really inspire confidence to book with you, does it? If spelling and grammar aren't your strong suit, simply ask someone else to take a quick read over your description when it's done.
Follow these ten tips to write a brand new kick-ass tour description or to improve your current ones, and you'll be impressed with how much better your conversion rate is.
Don't want to DIY? We can DIFY! (Ahem, that's 'do it for you').
Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org with what you're looking for and we'll discuss!