Business: Travel Tractions Marketing
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Starting out young in digital marketing
Matt Davison, founder of Travel Tractions, has more than a decade of experience in digital marketing. He studied human resources and marketing through the University of South Africa (Unisa) correspondence course. However, Matt credits the practical experience of helping his mother to market her websites for building up his expertise in search engine optimisation (SEO) and digital marketing.
Starting in digital marketing from a young age has given Davison an edge in a fiercely competitive market sector. After working for a marketing agency and doing some freelance consulting work, Matt decided to build a specialist digital agency of his own. Travel Tractions subsidises online courses for new employees to help them sharpen their digital skills as part of its focus of staying ahead of industry best practice.
Building a global company in a specialist niche
After working on an online travel agency’s website, Davison spotted an opportunity to create a niche digital marketing agency serving only travel and tourism companies. Launched in 2018, Travel Traction serves tourism offices, hotels, travel agencies, travel blogs, online booking sites and other tourism businesses in the UK, the US, Australia, and South Africa.
Travel Tractions sets itself apart in the market through specialisation. Because it understands its niche so well, it can offer measurable return on investment to its clients. Since the team is based in Cape Town, Travel Tractions also has a cost advantage over competitors in Europe and North America. Next year, Travel Tractions aims to grow five times as fast as this year as it did in 2018—powered by word-of-mouth referrals.
Navigating the red tape
Travel Tractions has today grown into a business with around 20 employees. Davison says that the company is built largely on the reputation and experience he developed through his 10 years in the industry. The first handful of clients came from word of mouth referrals and meetings at conferences. But a sharp SEO strategy also helped Travel Tractions to gather momentum.
Davison is especially proud of landing some big name clients that he wanted to work with. Winning these clients helped to boost Travel Tractions’ profile, bringing in yet more business from major brands in the sector. The biggest challenge to date, says Davison, is managing an internationally focused business in a country with many foreign exchange control barriers.
Powered by SEO marketing
The Travel Tractions website launched about 14 months ago, and is the marketing hub for the fast-growing business. South Africa lags other countries in adoption of ecommerce, but online buying is only going to grow, says Davison. For that reason, few companies can afford to be without a professional web presence, he adds.
Davison focused heavily on SEO marketing to drive sales because of the company’s deep expertise in this field. He took a strategic decision to focus on search rather than social media marketing because he believes that search delivers a strong and immediate return on investment. “It’s important to know what you’re good at and focus on it,” says Davison. Search-optimised website content is an important part of the formula. Scheduling tools automate much of the work in the background.
Partnering with GoDaddy
GoDaddy products and services have been part of Davison’s life since he started out in digital marketing in 2009 – he registered his first domain with GoDaddy. Today, Davison is part of the GoDaddy Pro programme and uses the Pro interface to manage multiple sites and domains, including https://traveltractions.com. “GoDaddy is such a giant name is the industry. Whenever someone asks where to register a domain, the answer is always GoDaddy,” says Davison.