6 Ways to drive more traffic to your Viking Bookings widget

This blog post is written by guest author Alice Writes Copy

Use your off-season down time to level up your business for the year ahead

As most of us find ourselves in the off-season, it’s a play between getting some well-earned time off versus getting all the little admin jobs done that you didn’t get round to doing during the mad summer season.

“What you do in the off-season determines how well you do during the season.” — To kick things off, here’s some astute advice from old school American football coaching legend, George Allen. We can use the same approach in business: the more preparation you do when your water-side home is a ghost-town, the more impact you’ll have when it counts.

So there’s one big question that’s usually in the minds of most watersports centre owners. It’s the same question that keeps arising, year after year. January hits, the water will start warming up soon, Easter holidays should be your first big rush of clients, so the question is: “How can we get more people through the door for this coming season and knock last year’s numbers out the park?”

Getting more eyes on your booking widget is the aim of the game.

Out with the eye-watering short-lived promo strategies. In with simple long-term solutions.

But how do you go about it? Which strategies should you use?

Do you set aside a marketing budget for ads? Do you invest in a pro videographer to come and create some new promo content?

The answer could be much simpler. Chances are, you already have all the ingredients you need to get more eyes on your bookings page, with no need to implement loads of expensive new tech or fancy marketing strategies.

It’s a case of creating a more effortless experience for your customers on their route to your pop-up Viking widget.

This article is going to walk you through 6 of the most impactful strategies I’ve used with my own clients (and seen other successful adventure sport businesses use) to get more eyes on your booking widget.

And you can utilise all 6 of these strategies I’m about to show you using just your website and your social media. No new fiddly tech or costly marketing campaigns needed.

The biggest barrier I’ve seen for the adventure-sports enthusiast-come-business-owner is…

You have the gift of the gab while you’re in the water or teaching people on the beach. But when it comes to talking about yourself online, it can feel a bit insincere.

When people arrive at your training centre/shack on the beach, your customers are welcomed with open arms. But trying to persuade people to book an experience before you’ve ever met them in person, when there might be miles (and a cold, glass laptop screen) separating the two of you, is a little trickier.

Your customers’ experience — once they arrive — is effortless and engaging. When you’re able to chat to people in person, their nerves disappear. Trepidation dissolves.

But it’s hard to translate that care-free, attentive, empathetic experience into your online channels of communication before they show up at your door.

These digital touchpoints are your opportunities to:

  • Get your future customers to prick up their ears when they hear about you for the first time
  • Show them your sport is worth trying and worth getting out of their comfort zone for
  • Prove that you’re a better choice than your competitors
  • Start building a trusting relationship so they are excited to book with you (and ideally become repeat customers who recommend you to all their mates!)

You’ve got to do all of this before they show up. The number of bookings you’re going to get this coming season is determined by how competently you can master these above 4 factors.

You’re a people person (when you’re face to face with someone) but maybe not when you’ve only got a keyboard in front of you.

So what I want to show you today is a load of new techniques to make your customers’ journey to your bookings widget as smooth and simple as possible.

1. Build your business by building relationships

2. Get ahead of your competitors by winning at Google

3. Harness the power of your blogs to get more bookings

And you’ll have to stick around for Part Two to get the other three techniques…

Any hiccups or roadblocks encountered on your website will deter people from getting as far as typing in their credit card details. So we need to slicken up your online communications. And give your future customers a taste for how easy it is to work with you before they’ve even got their wetsuit on. Here we go.

1. Build your business by building relationships. Time to slide into the DMs of your future customers…

Most sports company owners’ first port of call is social media. A lot of us are drawn to social media to reach more potential customers as there’s such fast feedback. Content is quick to create. And we see engagement in a matter of moments.

But Instagram, in particular, is becoming a rather busy place these days. In fact, it’s grown from a reported 25 million business accounts in 2019 to more than 200 million business accounts in 2023.

That’s growth of 8x in 4 short years. Now there’s 8x more noise. It’s x8 harder to get engagement. It’s x8 harder to reach new people. All in the same amount of time for the rugby world cup to come back around. Or to put it another way, the exact number of years of time it took Kelly to win his first title on tour.

In such a competitive space, the engagement you DO get — well, that’s gold dust.

So how can you encourage more of your followers to stop scrolling on a platform that is designed to keep people scrolling for longer than they might like to?

How do you get more of your prospective customers to your bookings page via a platform that is supersaturated, with a million and one other accounts all vying for their attention too?


Through personal connections.

“With 34% of consumers finding too much self-promotion a turnoff [...] brands are advised to be more relatable on social media, emphasizing transparency and human connection.

In the coming year, personal convos and relationship-building are going to be huge .

Start using more emoji reactions, polls and quizzes in your Instagram Stories. And if you’re already using them, start paying attention to who engages, all those the clickers and voters. These features should be used as tools to start a real connection with your prospective customers

You can engage with them by DM-ing them. Then you will turn from a faceless and busy brand into a real human, who cares about their customers.

The people who receive responses from you will feel special. DMs break down the barrier of fear: the hesitation to get in touch with you, especially if they’re a newbie and embarrassed they might make a tit of themselves.

Don’t send a link to your booking widget in the first message you send to them as it feels cold and salesy. Instead, ask them a question. Be friendly. Set up a rapport. Once the conversation is under way, after a bit of back-and-forth, only then should you send them through your bookings link (if you feel they’re a good fit for your experiences).

If it’s the off-season, or they’re not yet ready to commit, send them a link to your mailing list sign-up page instead so they can keep up to date with you and learn more about you, so when they are ready to commit, you’re already in their inbox, with a friendly message, ready to get them in your diary.

Or you could send them one of your blog posts that can help them be more prepared to say ‘yes’ to you when the time’s right.

These messages can be automated inside Instagram. Or if you want to semi-personalise them, you could have them saved in your iPhone Notes app, ready to copy and paste the most relevant response when you’re engaging with people on the socials.

2. Get ahead of your competitors by winning at Google: Savvy SEO and mega meta descriptions

One of the most obvious places to find new traffic is Google. Or Bing or Yahoo or whichever search engine you want to get more visibility here — no judgements here. This is where you implement the technique of search engine optimisation (SEO).

By strategically positioning words and phrases related to your business or brand across your website, you are more likely to be visible on search engines. These are called keywords.

So imagine one of your ideal customers searches for a certain term on Google, something like ‘surf school Cornwall’ for example. Your website is more likely to show up in the results for that search if those words are repeated enough times on your website. But there’s still the problem of all your competitors: they will likely all want to show up for the same search terms you do. Again, you’ve got everyone else vying for their attention as well.

So how do you stand out amidst the noise? How can you encourage more prospective customers to click through to your website and not your competitors’?


Clarity is the best way to drive traffic to your website through a search engine results page.

The little grey page description on Google that sits underneath the blue page title (usually about two sentences/200 characters) is called a meta description.

I know this sounds pretty dull — and it’s not the most exciting thing to write. Too many people don’t even bother, but you can use that to your advantage.

In Ahrefs’ research (2020), they discovered that 74.98% of top-ranking pages did have a unique meta description. This shows us that when you don’t having a meta description, you’re much less likely to show in the top few search results on Google (or whichever search engine your future customers are using).

By writing a unique meta description for your bookings page (which includes your chosen keyword/search term for that page), you’ll start creeping above your competitors in the results page rankings, right away. Sounds nice, right?

To entice someone onto your website, your meta description should clearly and concisely describe what the contents of that page is and then promise something extra or a valuable solution.

Bonus points if you can state why you’re better than your competitors in your meta description (without naming names).

Double bonus points if you can add a call-to-action as the final sentence of your meta description. Instead of saying: “Click here to book now”, tie the action to something that is desirable to a prospective customer. So for a family surf lessons page, your meta description could end with something along the lines of: “Click here to prove to your kids you haven't passed your best yet.”

Take a look at this Google results page for an emotional health studio I worked with last year. You’ll see the term from the search bar repeated in the meta description AND the page title. Also notice the ‘Click here to…’, that links the call-to-action to something desirable that’s on the other side, if only they click through. It’s intriguing and inviting to the person scrolling Google.

The more appealing your meta descriptions are (ie. the more you can incorporate the desires of your prospective customers into this short 200-character), the more likely someone is to pick you over your competitors when all those different options ping up on a search engine results page.

You can write meta descriptions for more than just your bookings page. It is well worth utilising them for both standard website pages (like your home page, about page, contact page, etc) as well as each of your blog posts. Just make sure that each is unique. And you aren’t using the same keyword on multiple pages: you don’t want Google to think you’re duplicating content by duplicating keywords.

Then if you want to drive more traffic from your blog to your bookings page as well…

3. Harness the power of your blogs to get more bookings by heeding the call (to action)

By writing educational blog posts, you’re actually priming your future customers to book with you. You’re actively moving them closer to committing their hard-earned cash to your hard-working pocket.

We can easily influence where passive scrollers go and what they read on your website. By providing clear and logical next steps at the end of every page, they are more likely to take that one step closer to reaching your website goals (ie. booking a private or group session with you guys).

If a website user gets to the bottom of a page on your website and it doesn’t naturally lead them onto more content, there’s a good chance they may not think there is anything else interesting or useful to read. It is likely they’ll then hit the dreaded backwards button and head back to Google (and potentially onto a competitor's website) or they’ll give up searching online altogether and close down the browser window. That’s just how we’ve been conditioned to behave on the internet.

What’s the best technique to actively encourage your prospects to complete the buyer’s journey? How can you use your website navigation to intentionally funnel more people towards your bookings page?


This is the time to actively instate your control over where website visitors go and what they do on your site: so make sure there is a next step for them at the end of each blog post. In the marketing world, this is known as a ‘Call to Action’, and this is what funnels scrollers towards completing your end goal as it is the logical next move for them once they’ve finished reading a page. By doing this you’ll see an increase in page views per session (which is also fabulous for your SEO score).

As you will have guessed by now, the call to action might be to head to your bookings page. But, equally, it might be a link to another of your blog posts that will help you build more trust with your readers (and therefore get them comfortable enough to book with you) or prove your expertise (and therefore show them you’re the better option than your neighbour).

These blog posts don’t need to be long.

Back in the day, I wrote a couple of blog posts for Kingsurf Surf School, who are based in North Cornwall (and who happen to use Viking for their own surf school booking system as well!!). It’s quite unsurprising to see that Kingsurf’s home page brings in the highest volume of traffic from Google. But it’s this blog post that I wrote 6 years ago. that came second. (Naturally, you’ll see the final call to action is asking the reader to head to their lessons page.)

Despite it only having 800 words, it has been a really powerful asset to bringing in totally new potential customers who had never heard of Kingsurf before.

Your website might just be the greatest tool you have for making this your best year in business yet

Ultimately, the success of your business depends on you being able to get enough people through your doors to make things work. By using these tips to bring more people to your website from external sources (Google, Instagram, etc.), you are able to cast your net infinitely wider and reach a whole new world of potential customers who might never even have heard of you before.

That’s a huge market that you can tap into, allowing you to grow your business and stay ahead of the competition, simply by being savvy about your website. And you can do it for free, from the comfort of your own home (or beach shack, you do you).

In Part Two of this blog series (coming soon!) we will dive deeply into the next three key ways to drive more traffic to your website via your Viking booking widget. We’ll be exploring how you can remove the friction points from your existing web traffic to create a seamless experience for your future customers. We’ll also cover how to use a range of conversion copywriting techniques to make the journey through to your bookings widget more fluid.

Got any questions on how to work smarter (not harder) by getting the most from your website? Get in touch with Alice Writes Copy.

Hey, I'm Alice. I'm super passionate about being outdoors. It keeps me sane, for sure. 

I want others to benefit from the power of the outdoors too, which I do by exploring the friction points and psychological barriers that hold some people back from getting outside their comfort zone and trying something that will ultimately impact their wellbeing. 

I've worked in the outdoors and adventure sports industry for 15 years and now run a copywriting and website optimisation business from Cornwall, England.

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