What Are The Top Four Ways To Attract Visitors?

5 April 2023

Thoughts by our Managing Director, Simon Jones

With nearly 35 years in this industry, I’ve seen many changes first-hand in the marketing landscape. 

The last few years have been some of the most challenging times we have experienced, and this year is setting up to follow in the same vein. It feels like challenging and uncertain times are what we need to expect moving forward.

The cost of living crisis will impact across the board, and we are already seeing some of this. Rising costs for operators will put pressure on all budgets and will also have an impact on available disposable income for potential visitors.

What can we do about this?

Well, in times like these, it is important to make sure that you are getting the basics right. It is about making sure that every decision you make works hard for you and that you are capitalising on all opportunities that come your way. It wasn’t that long ago that the main concern was converting your local network. You started by being as visible to a local audience as possible through leaflets, posters, billboards and if you had more of a budget, you’d be looking at radio and then TV. 

When I worked in a Science Centre in the South West of England, we were lucky enough to have a building facing the main city centre. Thousands of eyes would pass daily, so we would promote new exhibitions and new films to those in the immediate vicinity.

There are now many more options available to us. 40 years ago, your basics were probably the same as 20 years ago; it's only recently we’ve had this dramatic period of change, and it’s about making the most of your best options at any given moment, so your basics will always be changing.

So within this changing environment, what should you begin considering as the basics?

1. Convert intent

This is making sure you are starting with the low-hanging fruit. For those searching for you or something to do in your area, there is already an intent to do something, and it is about making sure you are influencing them to come to you.

You need to consider both organic and paid search. Consider what terms people are searching for and where you are ranking for these terms, if you rank well organically, great, if not supplement with paid search so that you make the most of that intent.

Google is clearly number one in terms of traffic volumes, but other search engines are easy to set up and can deliver conversions as well, so don’t miss out on anyone actively searching.

Another thing to consider in search is Google Ads Grant.

If you are a charitable attraction, you could be eligible for a Google Ads Grant, which provides up to $10,000 per month to help reach audiences, educating and driving people to your site without the element of media spend. From our experience, most people are not using their grant effectively, and it should provide a greater impact than it does.

2. Drive inspiration

This is about inspiring visits from those who know you already but are not actively thinking about you and those who don’t know about you but should have an interest. Social media is perfect for this.

Social media channels enable you to create fantastic content, communicate with your own audience, target new audiences that are similar to your existing audiences and reach brand new audiences. You can then track responses to see what is working and what isn't.

Channels are busy, so you need to get your message across creatively to stand out from the crowd, quickly grab attention and make it easy to get people where you want them.Don’t give them a reason to leave without taking the action you want.

Meta (Facebook and Instagram) are an obvious choice but do think about who you want to reach and which channels they are likely to be active on.

It’s important to inspire them with the right content. For us here at Navigate, the more creative the content, the higher the click through rate and conversion rate have always been. So be inspiring but quick, and stand out.

Don’t forget your existing supporters as well. Many of us have large email databases and social media audiences; make sure you are making the most of these. Inspire people who already know and love you with great content through email and boosted content, giving them a reason to come and visit.

3. Convince interest

For those who have shown interest but have not yet booked, ensure you are doing all you can to convince them. Retargeting is a very effective way to get those who you have piqued an interest with over the line. Make sure you have all the relevant tracking in place; a well-timed and relevant message can often be enough to remind people and get them to take that final action and book.

4. Conversion Tracking

Finally, something to check, are you converting people as well as you should? We have seen many cases where attractions do a great job of inspiring people and driving high-quality traffic to their website, only to be let down at the last hurdle.

Your website is a vital part of the process. Make sure your website looks good, is quick, mobile friendly, easy to use and has a simple booking journey.

There is little point in spending time and money driving people to your website if you are losing them when they arrive. If you’re not converting people, why not? How can you tweak your process so you’re not wasting time and money? 

Whilst there are many more things that can and should be done, it is important to make sure that you get the basics right so that you are making the most of the opportunities available to you and not wasting valuable time and budget.


1. Convert intent

Make sure you can be discovered; your SEO, organic and paid searches are your first basic building blocks in 2023.

2. Be inspirational

To reach new audiences through social media, creative content is the only option in the age of short attention spans.

3. Convince interest

Convince those who are inspired by you, if they have expressed interest by getting to you, provide a little reminder to book.

4. Ease of booking

This is all about getting the best results. We use an iterative process to create, test and revise our strategies. And employ managing and analysis reporting to track and measure success. 

If you want us to take a look at your marketing efforts, or want a free paid media audit from our expert team to check if you've got the basics right, why not get in touch?

Simon Jones, Navigate MD

Introducing Simon Jones, our Managing Director, and a true expert in the world of marketing. With over 35 years of industry experience, Simon has seen it all, and his expertise is second to none. 

Born and bred in the dynamic city of Bristol, Simon's professional journey has taken him from the client side to the agency side, providing him with an unparalleled perspective on the industry. His extensive experience and insights have helped him develop successful marketing strategies for hundreds of global brands.