In our latest blog article, we will present 7 ways to help your travel website succeed!
It is the year 2014 and the majority of your customer base will own a smartphone, right? Does your website provide them with the same easy booking experience on a mobile device as it does the desktop version? No? it could be costing you. The rate at which customers are both researching and booking their holidays using a mobile device is growing year on year.
“Our customers want the same, simple and seamless booking experience that we developed for the desktop on all their devices—and we’re making sure they get it,” says CEO Darren Huston, Booking.com
As the technology moves forward so do the customers’ demands as new features and enhancements become the norm, having a responsive, mobile friendly website is becoming the standard, try not to get left behind.
Is your website several years old? It probably looks like it. Reviewing the design of your website can be a very cost effective way of modernising your look and having a positive impact on your potential customer’s perception of you. Re-visiting the design of the website also opens other doors for you, designing the website with mobile devices in mind and also provides you with the opportunity incorporate customer feedback from your old web.
Does your website do everything your customers’ needs or does it make the process of booking a holiday or researching potential destinations difficult. Does your website provide you with a platform to boast about your services and offers? Creating a new website allows you to think about and invest in new technologies that may provide solutions to these problems. Making your website online bookable allows customers to book their holiday without being forced to deal with your sales team, of course your team are on hand to answer any questions but filling our long contact forms just to get a quote and then arrange payment over the phone isn’t everybody’s idea of fun and booking a holiday should be fun. Do you have control over the content on your website? Can you create new landing pages to enhance your marketing email you just sent? Content management systems provide a solution to this.
So your website is new and cool, it looks great and mobiles and your enquiries are through the roof. It is of great importance that this experience is maintained from the customer’s point of view. Company stationery should also be revisited when you update your website so any customer invoices and receipts match the branding from the website. This level of detail will promote your brand's reputation and increase the chance of repeat business.
Blogging provides a means to keep your website updated with fresh content on a daily basis. You can use your websites blog to keep your customers updated with the latest industry and company news, your views on relevant topics or provide useful, travel related information. This ensures that your website doesn’t go stagnant, improves SEO and creates conversation on social media websites.
Social Media goes beyond having a facebook page. There are a growing number of social media websites and each of them have their place, but how are they useful to your and more importantly how can they drive traffic to your travel website. Below is a list of some of the main social media sites and how you can use them. An added benefit to the list below is that you can push and share content from one to the other, keeping your social media portfolio updated easily.
Facebook allows you to create a company page which then allows you to publish content to your ‘wall’. This provides a way for you to push your latest offers and news to potential customers who ‘like’ you on Facebook. Like is a term used by Facebook to determine whether a user has shown an interest or recommends your company. Facebook also allows you engage with your customers through comments providing an additional layer of customer service.
Twitter allows you to use hashtags to create or join conversations, discuss topics. It allows you to respond directly to customers, providing an extra level of customer service. You can use twitter to let your followers know about your new offers and in turn allows your followers to share this information with their followers. #TOTT is a popular twitter tag that the travel industry use to discuss different topics each week.
Pinterest allows you to pin other users images and links as well as publish your own. How can this help promote your travel website? Pinterest is a great marketing tool to share inspiration content that can help promote your holidays, your image and get your customers talking. Offering a holiday to the Canary Islands? ‘Pinning’ inspirational and relevant content can help sell your offer.
Like Pinterest, Instagram is a much more visual means of social media. Users can take pictures using their smartphones and then add hashtags which they can then share with their friends. You can share photos with your customers that may inspire them when they are looking to book a travel destination or like pinterest use relevant tags to compliment your offer. Customers can also use #yourcompanyname to send you pictures whilst they are on holiday providing another way of promoting your brand.
Using hashtags to tag content has become a method adopted by a number of social media websites as mentioned previously and Vine is no different. Vine again concentrates on the visual but instead of images it allows you and your customers to share videos, sharing a video of a hotel suite or view from the balcony can be used as additional marketing material to promote your offer and brand but else emphasises your involvement in social media.
When a potential customer types ‘Cheap Holidays’ ‘Paris City Break’ or ‘Orlando Family Deals’ is your website even an option for them or are you hidden down on page 20+ of google? How do we improve this? SEO means search engine optimisation and is a term applied to the process of improving the different elements of your website which search engines like google deem important. Google uses complex algorithms to determine what your page rank should be, which you don’t need to understand but here are a few things you can do to boost your SEO ranking.
Tagging – Adding tags to your pages of content which users can then search on creates additional pages of content under separate URLs. All of our latest systems offer this functionality.
Quality of Content – Writing quality and relevant content is essential, making sure all of your content is unique, images are optimized and all have relevant attributes.
URL Structure – Having a short, concise and relevant URL is beneficial and helps google determine the relevance of the page to the search term a potential customers has entered. www.company.co.uk/holidays/spain/canary-islands/los-cristianos/hotel holds less weight than www.companyname/holidays/canary-islands/hotel for example
HTML – This would be the hardest one to achieve if you do not have control over the content through a content management system. It is essential that the website is built properly with SEO in mind, wrapping relevant information in specific tags and making sure all images have alt attributes and links have titles increases googles perception of your website.