Advantage 2017: Partnership audits agents’ websites

Advantage 2017: Partnership audits agents’ websites

Advantage Travel Partnership has carried out a secret audit of every members’ website in a bid to improve agents’ online performance.

The consortium has paid a specialist external company to assess each site, checking for malware, mobile friendliness, website speed and SEO.

The results are being assessed and reports will be shared with members in the coming weeks.

Members can then take their report to a technical support partner or use Advantage’s resources to address their site’s weaknesses, according to group commercial director Paula Lacey.

She said the website audit was just one element of a wider strategy to transform Advantage from a buying group to a leading technology and marketing business. Lacey said: “If you can get the technology and marketing right, the commercials will follow.”

Commenting on Advantage’s marketing to date, she added: “A lot of it has been about retention – using direct-mail and mail drops to existing customers and databases etc. We need to do more of that, of course, but we also need to focus on recruiting new customers too.

“This exercise is about supporting every member with the different help they need.

“We want the advice to be really bespoke. It’s not a case of them taking package A, B or C. There will be a whole menu of options for them to select from to fully optimise their site.”

Lacey has recruited David Forder, who previously worked for Wanderlust Travel Media and Flight Centre, to drive the project and the overall marketing and technology strategy.

Forder sent letters to all members this week informing them of the website audit.

He said: “We are addressing the need for members to be more digital marketing-focused. I also want to start concentrating our marketing efforts on our members’ individual customers.”

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