The world of travel is always changing, and what you once thought was evergreen content can become outdated in the blink of an eye. If you or your brand produces or commissions travel content, it’s vital to regularly take stock of what you’ve already got, what you still need, and what can be retired. This will help keep things neat, fresh and relevant. And if you are going to do some content spring cleaning, well, surely there’s no better time than spring?
(Particularly this spring, when coronavirus’ knock-on events might leave you with a little more time on your hands).
If your website is home to a travel blog, destination guides, tour itineraries or any other types of travel content, we have some top tips for sprucing it up (and all just in time for the big pre-summer booking rush). Read on for more…
Check your facts
The first step to assessing your content is making sure it’s factually correct. Inaccurate or irrelevant content isn’t just a waste of space; it actively diminishes the credibility of your brand. So if you know you have content promoting an attraction that’s closed down, or offering up practical travel advice that is no longer true, you’ve already found some deadwood to cut out.
Crunch some numbers
Next on the agenda is a deep-dive into your analytics. Try to take into account as many different angles here as possible. You might have, say, a city guide that hasn’t resulted in many click-throughs to the ecommerce section of your site. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t doing its job; immediate conversions aren’t the only measure of success. The same guide may have performed well on social media in the past and could do again, raising awareness of your brand in a way that might eventually lead to more sales.
However, if the figures for a piece of content are dismal across the board, you’ll need to look at what other functions it’s fulfilling – and whether it’s really earned its place on your website.
Look beyond the stats
Some content might not be pulling in the crowds or generating much revenue at the moment. However, it may still serve an important purpose in terms of defining your brand’s character or highlighting a particular product or service. If that’s the case, consider what you can do to make it more effective, rather than just ditching it. It could be that you haven’t promoted it enough yet on social media. Or perhaps it isn’t very prominent on your site, and could be moved to a more obvious place on the menu, or even onto the homepage.
Maybe it’s not working as hard as it could in SEO terms. Tactics you could try here include revising the meta description to be more attention-grabbing and keyword-rich. Breaking the copy up into shorter sections, with subheadings that include logical keywords, could also give your content a boost.
Staying on top of the latest trends in the world of travel is a must when it comes to producing engaging content. Some trends develop slowly over time, but some can pop up all of a sudden, often driven by content produced by a highly visible brand. The end and start of each year, in particular, see new trends come into focus as national newspapers and big names in travel publishing put out lists of must-visit destinations for the year to come.
When you’re assessing your existing content, consider the places the likes of Lonely Planet have been promoting this year. If you already have on-trend content that’s languishing in a forgotten corner of your site, now is the time to really push it to your visitors and followers.
Fill in the gaps
As well as casting a critical eye over the content you’ve already got, take the time to think about what you haven’t got. In looking back at what you’ve published so far in the year, it’s possible some gaps will become apparent to you. Some services you offer or popular trends may not have received enough attention from your brand, but a few months into the year you still have plenty of time to rectify that.
The old adage that good writing involves killing your darlings applies to travel content just as much as it does to fiction. Getting attached to certain pieces of content for personal reasons isn’t uncommon. It could be because you wrote the copy yourself, or because it centres on a destination you love. But seeing beyond your own biases and fairly assessing every page of copy you have is necessary for an effective spring clean. If you have content that isn’t serving your brand, take a deep breath… and say goodbye to it.
If you would like to read more great advice on travel content writing, take a look at this section of our blog. It is bursting with expert tips and tricks. We also practice what we preach, as you can see on our projects page.
A version of this blog was originally published in March 2019 on the World Words site. Read the original article.