A website is an important aspect of marketing your tour company and securing bookings, but a poorly designed website could be doing more harm than good! You want customers landing on your website to be able to easily identify what it is you do, find their way around, and book their dream trip.
So how do you improve your tour operator website and get more bookings? We’ve laid out 14 things to consider in your travel website design and what you should be changing to make the most from your company site!
Have a responsive website
Firstly, having a responsive website design is crucial. People are looking at your website on a variety of devices, from a computer screen to smartphone, and if the website doesn’t adjust properly to the size, ie. isn’t responsive, then it’s going to be a turnoff.
Nowadays, many website themes or designs are responsive but make sure that yours definitely is, and it if isn’t then you might need to consider a redesign or finding a way to make it responsive, for example through a WordPress Plugin.
Potential customers should be able to easily find your website menu and then know exactly what each item means. A website menu is not the place to get creative with categories and titles! Consider the most important things and have them in the menu bar, while there may be other things you could move to the footer or another space on your website.
Think about guiding a potential customer through the buying process, and whether it’s easy for them to find what they want to know about the tours you offer.
There are pros and cons to having a search box. On one hand, your content should be organised in a way that makes it easy for customers to find out what they need to know without it, but on the other some people like to use a search function as a way to navigate a website, or find a specific piece of content if you have a lot going on.
Use white space
Sometimes less is more, and that’s true when it comes to website design. Take a look at some of your favorite brand’s websites and you’ll often find that the ones that look the most professional are less cluttered and display the information clearly.
Don’t feel like you need to cram everything possible onto the same page. Think about the most important things you need to convey, and consider extra pages for extra info.
When a potential customer reaches a page on your website do they immediately know what it’s about? Check the clarity of the headings on all your pages, but also the info on them. A big block of text is easy to ignore, but if you add in a few important headings to direct the user to the information they need to know, then it can really make a difference.
Blurry, pixelated, and boring should not be words associated with the images on your tour operator website! Potential customers should be wowed by the images of your tours and want to be able to envision themselves in them. If you’re not good at taking photographs yourself, you might want to pay a professional photographer to go along on some of your tours to produce high-quality imagery for your site.
Book now buttons
When customers are ready to book, make it easy for them. Have a clear call to action to encourage sales and so that there are no problems finding how to book the tour. It sounds like an obvious thing to miss, but we’ve seen it happen!
Check out our tutorials on how to add a ‘Book Now’ button to your website.
It can be a good idea to include some reviews of your tours on your company website. If a potential customer has never heard of your organization they might be seeking clarification that you can deliver what you’re promising. While they can search elsewhere for reviews it’s a good idea to either integrate some into your website or select some to display so they don’t necessarily need to look somewhere else.
Videos are a great way to showcase exactly what your tour company can do, and can make a fantastic addition to a website if they’re used in the right way. Some companies use video on their homepage, or for specific tours. Remember the same rules apply to video as for photography, it should be high quality!
Show contact details
Your company contact details should be easy to find for both potential customers and actual customers who may need to contact you. Some customers prefer email, and others prefer the phone. You might even consider alternative contact methods like Skype or WhatsApp, whatever works for your company and customers.
Tour and package display and clarity
Are your tour packages easily laid out and explained? It might seem like another simple thing, but sometimes we need to take a step back and look at what we’re offering through the lens of someone who hasn’t seen it before. Is each part clear and does it answer all the questions you would have, or do you have a way for them to find answers to those questions?
Trust is huge in marketing right now, as people seek to understand and know who they’re giving their money too, rather than being happy to hand it over to a faceless organization. Having a space where you explain what your tour company does and why can really have an impact on how people see your brand. Tell your story!
Link to social media
Your tour operator website should link to your social media, which is another important marketing tool and another option for potential customers to interact with your brand. Often they want to check out your social profiles as another way to evaluate your company, so it’s important they’re easy to find.
Check reporting and success
Your website should be set up with tools that help you measure performance and success. Google Analytics can help you measure how many people are viewing your website, their demographics, how they’re finding the pages, and what pages are the most popular. All of these things can help you to make improvements to your website and your marketing in general.
Tools like heatmap allow you to see how people are navigating your website, and whether you can do anything to improve that.
You should be regularly reviewing your reports and adjusting as necessary!
Use an online booking system
If you don’t have an online booking system already then it’s well past the time that you should have implemented one! Having the ability to book online is a huge drawcard for customers, and can even result in you losing sales if you don’t offer such a service. Some tour operators hold off from online booking because of the expense or difficulty in managing a system, however, with a company like WeTravel that has built an online payment platform aimed at travel companies, it couldn’t get any easier.
WeTravel allows you to set up a tour booking page on their website that you can link to from your own, or you can use a pop-up box on your own website to take bookings. You’re then able to manage customer details and make forward payments if necessary. You can find out more about how it works here or get in touch.
As a tour operator, your focus is on creating the best tours possible for your customers, but having a professional tour company website is an important part of working in the tour industry today. Make sure yours is at it’s best!