Visit Dorset Business Support Hub Making the most of your Visit Dorset membership
The Visit Dorset website continues to perform very well achieving annual web visits of over 2.77 million (January - December 2021), an increase of 17% on the previous year. Your business listing therefore has the opportunity to achieve thousands of views throughout the year, so it’s vital that you display your business in the best way possible.
All Visit Dorset members are given a unique username and password allowing you to manage your own listing on the Visit Dorset website. Here are a few simple tips to make sure you can make the most of your listing on the website and really benefit from your Visit Dorset membership.
Website - your business landing page on visit-dorset.com
Highlight your key features and selling points that will be of interest to visitors. Information on what’s nearby can also be of benefit to visitors when planning their visit so might be something to consider including.
Tell the story of your business in an authentic and engaging way to attract customers – use creative language in your description to emphasise the unique appeal of your offer. Provide as much content as possible; Google likes pages that have at least 300 words of content when ranking pages but pay special attention to the first 15 words or so, as these appear within the search results. The Visit Dorset website performs very well within a lot of key search terms, so it’s important to get your message across effectively.
This is your chance to promote your business to thousands of potential visitors. If you’d like them to visit your own website mention this within your description, create your own ‘call to action’. Use your description to highlight what makes you stand out from the rest!
Your short description should be just 20 words and when displayed next to your photo it should grab the attention of your customers.
Images and Video
Enticing images are vital if you are to catch the eye of potential customers, so make sure the images you choose show your business in the most flattering way. Research shows that decisions are made almost instantly based on the quality of images being displayed, it’s important to get this right!
Why not invest in professional images or seek out a talented local amateur, and always ask your customers to send you their best shots from their visit; many will be pleased to support your business. Also, many mobile phones now provide high quality cameras that make it even easier to achieve good results.
Make sure you utilise the full number of images available for your membership level. With the ability to update your listing yourself, why not update your images to match the time of year to provide a fresh look and feel to your product page.
Video has become a more valued tool in promotion and marketing. The Visit Dorset website has the ability to display YouTube videos within the main gallery of your listing page. This provides a great opportunity to give a real look and feel of your business to potential visitors, so should certainly be something to consider including within your product page.
Availability (accommodation only)
Availability, availability, availability!! We can’t stress enough how important this is for the success of your listing on the website. Put simply, if no availability data is provided you will not appear within ANY accommodation availability searches being carried out on the website. Accommodation that doesn’t display availability on the website sees, on average, 40% less traffic than accommodation that does.
More and more website users now expect to be able to book accommodation online and with the ever increasing use of mobile devises this is only set to continue. Making your accommodation bookable online can make your business much more appealing to potential bookers. The Visit Dorset website offers direct links with a number of the most popular online booking platforms and property management systems.
Contact a member of the Visit Dorset team if you would like further information on the options available or if you would like to implement one of the affiliated booking platforms.
Book Now (for accommodation, attraction and activity businesses)
We can now add a new Book Now button to your page allowing your customers to link directly from your page on visit-dorset.com to TXGB or to your own booking page to enable more direct bookings and an efficient user experience for visitors.
Read more about how TXGB links live availability, pricing and bookings uploaded by you into a booking system (or into TxLoad) and feeds it into a global network of distributor systems TXGB.
Classifications / Facilities / Accessibility
If you want to display all you can offer visitors it’s vital that this detail is visible within your facilities information. This could be the difference in a visitor choosing you or going somewhere else. Have you made sure that the following popular search terms are ticked within your facilities section?
- Are you dog friendly?
- Can you accept visitors with additional needs?
- Do you have a café or restaurant?
- Are you Eco Friendly?
- Electric Car Charging?
- Do you offer free WIFI?
- Are you Family Friendly?
The details that you provide within the facilities and accessibility tabs for your business within our database will also dictate which searches your establishment could feature within on the website, so don’t miss out by not including this vital detail.
Making sure that your prices are correct on the website is so important, there is nothing more frustrating than thinking you’ve found the perfect place to stay or fun day out only to get there and find the prices are incorrect. Price and value for money is so important to visitors when researching online, so make sure that this is correct within your listing.
Whether it’s a special promotion, shoulder season deals, or set menu specials; our website visitors love a great deal. Think about how you might be able to entice visitors and set up a special offer on our website.
The special offers section enjoys some great traffic throughout the year so make sure your business is featured. It’s absolutely free to list your special offers and provides another fantastic opportunity to raise the profile of your business while enticing new customers.
Do you have additional strands to your business? A restaurant? Retail outlet? Exciting activity?
We have website packages available for accommodation, attractions, activities, shopping, eating out and transport and we are pleased to be able to offer discounts when purchasing multiple packages together. Building a complete presence for your business online will enable you to increase your exposure and highlight to visitors everything you are able to offer.
We offer a number of banner advertising opportunities on the Visit Dorset website that provide you the chance to stand out from the crowd. Spaces are available throughout the year allowing you to plan your marketing activity to yield the best return. To book your space or find out more details contact a member of the Visit Dorset team. Read more about Visit Dorset Banner Ads.
We send monthly e-newsletters to our growing database to encourage and inspire potential visitors to book their holiday or short break in Dorset and highlight the great things to do, special events, competitions and more.
Space within these e-newsletters is available to our Visit Dorset members and can be a cost effective way to help raise your business profile. Read more about E-newsletter advertising.
Other digital marketing
Social Media is an incredibly powerful tool that can help spread your message far and wide. Make sure that you are tagging us in your social media activity and use #VisitDorset – we love to share success stories, special events and customer offers with our followers.
The Visit Dorset membership consists of hundreds of businesses across Dorset, so take the time to follow and share the content of other Visit Dorset members. Together with members sharing Visit Dorset content and members sharing each other’s content we can create a very powerful joint message for Dorset. If we can get the hashtag #VisitDorset trending more regularly this will help.
Make sure you’re following the Visit Dorset social media channels (below) and don’t forget #VisitDorset
Keep up to date with all industry news, research and training opportunities by following our business twitter account. Twitter – @VisitDorsetBiz
Visit Dorset Videos
Over the past few of years we’ve created a number of promotional videos to highlight all of the great things to see and do in Dorset and we’re happy for you to embed these videos within your own website. You can find our selection of videos on the Visit Dorset YouTube channel. If you require help in embedding any of the videos contact a member of the Visit Dorset team for assistance.
YouTube – www.youtube.com/user/OfficialVisitDorset
Visit Dorset Branding Toolkit
We encourage all members to include our Visit Dorset branding in an effort to increase awareness of the Visit Dorset website and its members. The logos can be displayed on our member websites, email signatures and marketing material.
New for 2022
We've invested in a new image library management system so that we can share images of Dorset with our members to help you promote Dorset on your websites and social media.
Competitions and Promotions
We’re always keen to work with our members with special promotions and competitions. Want to give your business a boost? Have a new development you’d like to shout about? Whatever it is let us know!
Competitions promoted via the Visit Dorset website and our Social Media channels are always very well received by visitors with many gaining thousands of entrants. A competition could provide that extra bit of coverage to help your business reach new customers.
We run member events providing engaging content that our members can incorporate within their businesses. Whether its exciting developments within the industry or new legislation that businesses will need to consider, we make sure topics are useful for all of the businesses we support.
These events are also great way to meet other Visit Dorset members and provide a fabulous opportunity to network and create collaborative working opportunities. Working together with other members can be a brilliant way to create joint offers for visitors to enjoy. Face-To-Face events are cancelled during the pandemic, however we continue to let you know about fantastic online webinars, networking groups and training sessions.
Arrange an account chat or visit
We try to speak to or visit as many of our members as possible to get a better understanding of your business and provide us with the opportunity to discuss in detail how you can benefit from your Visit Dorset membership and help to answer any questions that you may have.
Contact us to book a time when we can look at your landing page together, hear about your new developments and chat about any improvement or ideas we may have to help you.