To remain competitive in today’s bustling travel industry and continue to grow and evolve at the same time, businesses must digitally transform in both new and incremental ways. For new ideas, engage in a digital competitive analysis to find out how the competition is positioned in the digital ecosystem. The findings may complement your existing plans or give confidence in your current choices.
Choose three to five of your fiercest competitors in the market to keep the process focused. Lend a keen eye to your own strategies so you know where you can improve and what you need to keep doing to succeed.
Your Rivals’ Websites
Ask yourself when reviewing competitor websites: Is the website modern? Is the site mobile friendly? Is the website optimized for search?
Is the website modern?
Did you know that at least 38% of people will stop engaging with a website if the content or layout is unattractive? It is important that the site design is up to date with current trends. The images should be stunning and high quality. Review the content on the website as well – potential guests will leave if they have a bad experience with outdated information including links that go to old or broken pages, out of season content like a ‘spring sale’ in November and more.
Is the site mobile friendly?
When it comes to search results, Google prefers mobile-friendly websites. As of July 1, 2019, they announced mobile-friendly websites will be prioritized in search results. Appearing on Google Search results has a direct tie with revenue, so make sure your site is easy to use for potential guests or customers looking at your website on their phone. You can test the mobile-friendliness of your site and those of your competitors with Google’s Test My Site Tool.
Is the website optimized for search?
Audit On-Page SEO Factors
First, look at your competitor’s on-page SEO factors. The “Page Title” or “Title” of your business’s home page is one of the most important elements as it contains the primary keyword for the page. This is the main headline potential guests see in Google Search results. The meta description is the text in search results that describes the page you are going to and gives users reasons to click over to it. We’ve included an example of a page title and meta description.
Run a simple on-page SEO audit for yourself and your competitors: Is there a page title? Is the title relevant and up-to-date? Is there a meta description? Is the meta description enticing with a call-to-action? Are there descriptive headers on pages? Install tools like the MozBar browser extension or SEO Quake to easily see these elements.
It is fine if a website looks fancy with amazing videos and grandiose images, but how fast does it load? Google says 53% of mobile site visits leave a page that takes longer than three seconds to load. This is revenue you can’t afford to lose. Investigate the page speed of your site and your competitors with easy to use and free tools such as Google’s Page Speed Insights, GT Metrix, or Pingdom. These tools will provide you with different actions you can take to improve page speed.
Social Media Competitor Audit
A strong social media presence is important for the five stages of travel, (dreaming, planning, booking, the experience, and sharing moments). Research released this year says more than half of 18-65 year-olds booked their holidays based on Instagram posts.
To easily size up the social media strategies of the competition check to see: What social badges are listed on their website? (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Pinterest, etc.) Are they active on those social channels (i.e. Posting a few times a week)? How many followers do they have? Are those followers engaged, liking, and commenting on posts? After visiting the competitor website, are you now served with ads on Facebook or Instagram? This means there is a dedicated Facebook remarketing campaign.
Who is winning at reputation management?
Look at these factors to see how your business stacks up: What is the TripAdvisor ranking? What is the Google star rating? Is the competition responding to reviews on TripAdvisor and Google? Are they encouraging reviews with social badges like TripAdvisor on their site?
Does the business have a Blog?
Any business focusing on digital marketing should invest on a blog, since this is the perfect way to publicize topics related to the services it provides.
Put Your Detective Work to Action
Looking at the competition is important and a great way to stay in the know on marketing trends. As you review your initiatives and those of your competitors, keep tabs on where you can improve and put those items into action. You might discover you could really bolster your social media presence because rival businesses have a lot more engagement. On the other hand, maybe your team is awesome at responding to reviews compared to competitors, assuring your team that you are using those resources wisely.
Email us for a free Digital Competitive Analysis Template. Or if you would like us to complete a competitor audit for you, reach out to us for help!
Brooke Meyer is the managing partner of Caymera International, a Caymanian-owned hospitality and tourism consulting and advisory firm. Visit Caymera at www.caymeragroup.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org