Which trip gets reserved is influenced by the website's photography, writing and navigation. More so than most industries, web design is absolutely crucial to the travel business.
Here are a few of the key elements for travel website design:
Text can only go so far in describing a travel experience. Pictures make all the difference because showing is better than telling. A great travel site has easy to use photo galleries with big, beautiful pictures.
Getting your best photography onto the site and keeping those galleries up-to-date doesn’t have to be a big job. We typically integrate Flickr galleries right on web pages which makes it easy to add and change photos. Photoshop is not necessary.
People looking to travel are going to start with an idea. Some may be browsing for a specific type of trip (river cruise, kayaking, etc.) while others may be looking at specific dates (i.e. February). Still others are considering going to a specific destination such as the Grand Canyon, but all of these visitors are goal-oriented. This type of visitor is frustrated by not finding thle right information easily. This is why travel web design must offer several ways to navigate such as by date, location, activity, cost, etc.
Austin-Lehman’s travel website gives visitors lots of navigation options. Visitors can explore the site in several ways. Whether it is by destination or by date, a person can quickly find relevant information and make a decision about a trip. The site is inviting and conveys a sense of adventure as if the trip has already begun.
There are millions of terrible travel sites so design is a chance to quickly set your business apart. The design should be easy to use for visitors, look fantastic and be easy to update and maintain. Additionally the overall design should match the theme and tone of the travel experience.
Will it be romantic, adventurous or family-friendly? In the first split second a visitor will start forming an opinion about the site based mostly on the design. The design is a chance to convey the actual vacation experience to the visitor. A great travel web design has personality.
For example if you love to fish, you’re going to love www.GreatAlaska.com. You know that you’re in the right place, because the design relays that message to you. Next you’re getting pulled into the photos. You’re browsing deeper and deeper on the site. Soon you find you’re not just looking at Alaska, you’re thinking about Costa Rica. You’re going wherever the fish are biting.
Once a site has done a good job of building up interest, the next step is absolutely critical: convert the visitors into leads and the leads into customers.
The site needs to make it very easy to take action and book online. At a minimum, the site should convert the visitor into a qualified lead and then you can call to discuss the details. Consequently your site should be ready to take the reservation the instant a person is ready to click submit. If there is any “friction” between the visitor and the final confirmation receipt page, the visitor may abandon the site entirely.
Sports Traveler helps sports fan go anywhere in the world to see a game. There are hundreds of pages of up-to-date information for sporting events worldwide. Once the visitor’s questions are answered and the research is done, then the site expertly funnels the visitor into booking the trip online. The site even connects automatically to inventory systems to ensure the process is efficient and accurate. This type of experience means their visitors are guaranteed to be on time for kick-off.
Visitors to travel websites have high expectations and this type of demand means constantly evolving travel sites. So be ready to adapt, but don’t make changes without good information. Make sure analytics are set up to track where you’re getting site traffic. Evaluate what kinds of visitors are turning into leads. Investigate if visitors are having problems with the booking process. Add more information to the popular pages of the site and promote (or consider changing) the less popular areas.
In short, people who are planning a vacation are excited and looking forward to going on a trip. The time spent researching and booking the trip should be an easy decision and not an adventure.
For more information about travel website design, contact Orbit »
Interested? We would be happy to share with you our experiences and help you understand the potential opportunities involved in achieving your goals.
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