When researching online for travel destinations, transport, accommodation and tourism activities travellers have to sift through a huge amount of information. Chances are before they book with you they have looked at several other competitor websites in your area plus many more in other destinations.
Making your website stand out and avoid a negative first impression therefore comes down to some key areas:
- Ensure it is an easy website to use. Clear easy to use and consistent navigation is vital with easy to read, brief content for each page and subsection. Solid professional website design will go a long way to achieve this.
- Provide comprehensive but succinct information about what you offer AND your destination without making your site cluttered. Include transport options and maps. Long-winded flowery marketing content doesn’t work so well online.
- For travel, quality photos and a good selection are vital – make them easy to view using slideshows and options to view enlarged versions.
- Offer online bookings – preferably with the ability to check real-time availability, secure payment and instant confirmation. See Online Booking Strategy for Tourism.
- If using email booking enquiries then make sure you respond quickly.
- Promote previous customer endorsements of your business, see how to Make Traveller Reviews part of your Marketing Strategy.
- Keep your website updated with fresh content – there’s nothing worse than out of date information. Having your own content management system will go a long way to do this. Also having a blog page can give you a quick and easy way to adding new information and news.
Checkout this summary of Content and User Experience in Online Travel 2009 – a global online traveller research study conducted by Frommers Unlimited which gives a lot of detail about the process travellers go through with online research, what they are looking for and what annoys them – very information reading.