Is your travel website making you money?
Is it constantly working to bring travelers to your business? It should be.
Your website is more than just a placeholder for your business online. With a few simple changes, your business can become an active part of your sales and marketing process and a key part of growing your business.
Check out these 5 tips for travel websites to transform your website and start seeing results.
1. Focus on your target traveler
A lot of businesses, travel industry included, make the mistake of focusing on attracting as many people as possible instead of focusing on their target market. If you try to appeal to everyone, odds are you’ll end up appealing to no one and providing a confusing experience to your potential customers. To start focusing on your target traveler, you need to determine who that is. What kind of budget does your perfect customer have? What age are they; are they millennial solo travelers, families, or retirees? What activities do they enjoy? Get as specific as possible. Once you have an idea nailed down, see if you can do some research and find out even more about them.
Once you know who your target traveler is, you need to modify your website to attract them to your business or destination. This can be done through the language, images, or even colors used on your website.
For example, if you’re a hotel whose target traveler is a 50 year old female who values relaxation and luxury when they travel, you wouldn’t talk about how cheap your rates are on your website. You would want to use rich, relaxing colors and highlight the spa packages your hotel offers. You would show pictures of people that fit the profile of your target traveler having the time of their life ordering room service and lounging in your most expensive rooms.
By focusing on your ideal customer, you’re going to end up excluding some other types of travelers. Budget travelers, for example, will be turned off by a destination travel website that only promotes the most expensive activities available. That’s okay. You’ll be so dialed in to your target traveler that they’ll be flocking to your destination and you won’t have time to miss the travelers you turned off.
2. Offer a seamless experience across all devices
With over 85% of travelers using mobile devices to book travel, mobile is the number one resource travelers use for booking and research. If you don’t currently have a responsive travel website design, you are essentially turning away customers (and money). Your website needs to offer a seamless experience across all devices.
If you’re unsure if your website is currently mobile-friendly, head over to Google’s Test My Site Tool and enter your URL. It will evaluate your site and give you changes you can make so that your website is easily accessible, no matter what device travelers are using.
If your website resizes to fit the screen of an iPhone but the layout doesn’t change, your website is not responsive. Users need to be able to easily view content and navigate throughout your website without zooming in. This can involve rearranging your website’s overall structure, resizing images, adding a mobile menu button, and ensuring that your website loads quickly.
In addition to creating a better experience for your potential customers, a mobile responsive travel website also ranks higher in search engines, which is essential to bringing in traffic to your website.
3. Use calls to action
What action do you want users to take when they visit your website?
If you’re not using calls to action to control the flow of users throughout your website, you’re missing an opportunity. A call to action (CTA) is a link or line of text that asks or tells users to take action (Sign up today! Call now!).
Start by narrowing down the overall goal of your website. What do you ultimately want users to do? This can be something as direct as making a reservation or calling your business, or as simple as signing up for your email list.
Once you have your goal nailed down, think of the steps you want users to take in order to reach that goal. Every page should have a call to action that relates to your goal. On your homepage, your CTA should be one of the first things a user sees. This can be achieved by placing it above the fold (towards the top of the page so they don’t have to scroll) or in a popup.
Check out these examples of how to effectively use calls to action on your website!
4. Tell a story with images
Imagery is a huge part of what inspires travelers to plan a trip, book a ticket, and go. Travelers are often very visual people. What kinds of imagery are you using to attract travelers to your business or destination?
Travel website design should be largely image-based. These images need to be focused around your target market and tell a story about what you are trying to promote. Your potential customers need to be able to picture themselves in the shoes of previous travelers who have stayed in your hotel, gone on your tour, or visited your destination. The main images on your website need to be high quality and taken by a professional. Blurry iPhone pictures have no place here, and will ultimately cheapen the look and experience of your website.
A good professional photographer will know exactly how to take and edit the images so that they align with your brand, effectively reach your target market, and tell your story. A few high quality images will make all the difference and are an irreplaceable part of your online strategy.
5. Make it easy for travelers to contact you
Too many websites make the user hunt for contact information. Your website needs an easy-to-find contact page that includes a contact form as well as an email address and phone number they can reach you at. It should also include a map that shows exactly where your business is at, and possibly even directions from the airport (if applicable). Your email address, phone number, and location should also be in your website’s footer.
On mobile, your phone number needs to be a link so that they can call you simple by clicking on the number or “Call Now” button. Including a call now link in your navigation is also an effective way to increase calls from your website.
Essentially, you need to make it as easy as possible for your potential customers to contact you.
Are you ready to start getting more travel bookings through your website? Sign up for the Travel Website Workshop Email Course!