Barrhead unveils online tech to boost Google search rankings

Barrhead Travel agents are to have their own  online profiles, featuring reviews, videos and blogs, to help generate sales leads from Google searches.

The Agent Profiler technology has been used by Barrhead owners Travel Leaders Group since 2013, and is credited with helping its agent booking conversion rate increase by 25% in one year.

Store managers are being asked to submit their biographies in time for launch in January. Profiles can also include photos from fam trips, travel qualifications and specialisms.

Paul Whitters, head of leisure marketing and e-commerce, has been leading the project.

“Agents can add themselves to the directory and highlight their key skills,” he said. “It will be available on the Barrhead website and Google will love it because there will be a lot of rich content.”

He added: “It helped Travel Leaders get their agents to the top of Google search results.”

Whitters said agents would be able to ask customers to leave reviews, which he said would “strengthen relationships and make them more likely to come back in future”.

The technology will also be made available to Barrhead’s homeworking and Managed Service Travel Partner division, Brilliant Travel.

Barrhead’s main website is also being “modernised and simplified”, with a new homepage to launch in January.

TripAdvisor reviews will be integrated and searches will be faster and more accurate, Whitters said.

It follows a relaunch of Barrhead’s two cruise agency websites in the past two months. Whitters said both sites – The Cruise Specialists and Cruise Direct – had seen “massive upturns in performance”, with booking conversion rates doubling since their relaunch.

Whitters said both brands had spoken to customers to find out what they wanted from the new sites.

“The key pillars are giving the user an amazing experience, making it easy to use and navigate and
delivering the actions that they’re looking for,” he said.

“The most important thing is speed and I think the websites deliver all of that.”

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