How Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) Can Improve MagicalKenya.com As It Plans To Advertise On CNN
I love travelling in Kenya on holiday or business whenever I get the chance. There is so much to see and so much to do that its almost a little bewildering? Kenya is truly blessed in every sense of the word from a tourism perspective. Therefore, I was a little more than perplexed the other day when I came across a newspaper article in the Business Daily that proudly proclaimed that the Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) planned to make a big splash with ads on CNN in the coming month(s).
I think, for the most part, after all the negative things that have affected tourism in Kenya over the past few years this is actually a good thing. However, it made me wonder if the tactic of hinging so much on CNN ads to promote tourism is really the best way forward for Kenya tourism? I mean, CNN is one of the world’s leading integrated marketing platforms where one is guaranteed to reach a global audience. However, in the digital age, there are lower cost and higher impact ways in which KTB can improve Kenya’s ‘digital cachet’ in the global tourism industry.
Let me expound. When it comes to tourism, the majority of tourists globally begin their search for holidays via the Internet. Invariably, this means sites like Google Search, Booking.com and TripAdvisor act as the ‘first ports of call’ where they can find their ideal holiday destinations and eventually make their bookings – online or offline. From this perspective, therefore, we must assume that tourists considering a holiday to Kenya may(?) land on MagicalKenya.com, the official Kenya tourism destination website.
At first glance, MagicalKenya.com does seem like a decent website? The photography is really good and the design is acceptable, if not exceptional. It is also ‘mobile responsive’ which basically means that it conforms to the current ‘latest and greatest’ best practice for website design where a website can be viewed across different screen sizes and is still rendered perfectly irrespective.
However, on closer inspection, things are not quite in order. For one thing, the content throughout the website is largely static? You do not get a sense of the latest news and events or current activities prominently featured. This is not ideal since Google these days rewards websites that post high quality, regularly updated, and relevant content. For context, take a look at the South Africa Tourism website to get a sense of what I mean here.
On a lark, since its normally the convention, I took a closer look at MagicalKenya.com and found that the site does indeed have a blog at MagicalKenya.com/blog. However, this blog is NOT linked to the homepage nor the inner pages of MagicalKenya.com. Worst of all, the blog has NOT been updated since 2009 and yet is still active? This certainly paints a picture of negligence or complacency where KTB is concerned. Blogs have become essential for tourism marketing as seen on the South Africa Tourism website as this more or less ensures better search engine optimisation (SEO) for Google.
Going forward, it would be safe to say that KTB needs to invest much more heavily in improving its own MagicalKenya website from top to bottom to bring it on par with the best globally? This would enable KTB to take full advantage of expensive integrated marketing campaigns such as will most certainly be the case on CNN’s platforms by having a website that functions as well as the best in all respects (i.e. content, design, user experience or UX, etc etc).
In addition, regularly updated and relevant Kenyan tourism content will yield better search engine visibility for generic and specific search phrases that tourists will use to identify their preferred holiday destination. Lastly, better integration of KTB’s social media profiles with MagicalKenya.com will increase the overall performance of the website through ‘social signals’ that Google uses these days for better search engine rankings.