Some tips on creating a travel website that drives bookings

Some tips on creating a travel website that drives bookings

Your tour and activity website is more than just a distribution channel that allows you to accept direct bookings. It’s the face of your brand in an age where your online presence is everything. Your website needs to be strategically planned and executed, not only to drive bookings but also to engage motivated travelers and reward past customers. These tips on creating a travel website that drives bookings:

Establish goals for your website

In order to design a website that helps you improve your brand identity and increase your bookings, you need to identify goals for your website. These should not be vague or subjective goals, such as creating a website that makes the user feel good about your brand. They need to be data-based goals that are measurable through metrics and analytics. For example, you need to identify how many unique site visitors you want to see per month or how many conversions you need. Once you have established your goals, you can create a website design that allows you to reach them.

Write down a concrete web plan

With goals established, you need to begin the process of writing a website plan for your tour and activity brand. It sounds archaic, but writing this plan down will make it easier for you to visualize the process of meeting your goals and also will help you hold yourself accountable. The website plan needs to include:

  • Concept — How you are going to link your brand and its purpose to your target market segments.
  • Content — The plan for engaging and informing your site visitors.
  • Navigation — The website layout you will use to encourage site visitors to move forward with their online booking journey.
  • Design — The visual plan for your website, including mobile features.
  • Marketing — The promotional plan for generating buzz about your website.

Consider the user experience

Once you have a plan in place, you need to make sure it’s going to appeal to your target audience. An increasing number of travelers are relying on mobile devices — not only for travel research but also for travel booking. Your website needs to be fast, secure, simplistic and responsive. It must adapt to the experience of the individual user.

Identify the elements necessary to increase engagement

Prior to implementing your website plan, verify that your tour and activity website includes all of the elements necessary for engaging the most motivated travelers. Short, yet informative content, videos, live feeds and online reviews are all important to travelers who are gathering information during their online booking journey. A diverse content plan will ensure that each website visitor finds something that both entertains and informs them while they are browsing your website.

Your website is one of your most important assets as a tour and activity operator, and it plays a pivotal role in your brand identity online. It’s imperative that you take the time necessary to plan for a successful website. This is not the time to be spontaneous and hope that it pays off. When a prospective tourist lands on your website, they will quickly generate a first impression of your brand. You need to have a plan in place to make sure it’s a positive lasting impression.

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Image credit: Clem Onojeghuo

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