Even as a tour provider, the digital world is still a part of the gig.
Researching and booking travel online is officially the new norm, meaning businesses in the travel industry are all but required to look to the web when it comes to growing their customer base.
The sureness of this is actually a great thing. It gives you, as the business owner, the advantage of knowing exactly what information the majority of customers will see prior to making their final decision. Now, the challenge comes in delivering this information in a way that guides the customer towards your mutual goal—a booking!
To help you master the art, we turned to our local website experts: the FareHarbor Sites team. Together, they’ve built over 1000 sites, each and every one of them for tour, activity or attraction companies. Safe to say they’ve learned a thing or two about what it takes to create a site that converts visitors into paying customers.
From our team to yours, here are the five most important features of a successful tourism website:
“High-quality images that provide a glimpse into your tours and services can go a long way in enticing potential customers to make a booking. Don’t underestimate the power of professional imagery in creating feelings of trust for your site’s visitors.”
-Shay Knolle, Senior Web Content Specialist at FareHarbor
Trust and credibility are two of the most important drivers behind purchasing decisions. Your online visitors want to know that they’re choosing a solid company that will provide an awesome experience from start to finish.
Photos help customers visualize the experience, giving them confidence in what they’re booking. High-quality photos deliver this assurance in a beautiful way and make a statement about the professionalism of the company.
“Treat your website as a tool to guide the customer towards the tour they are most likely to book. Aim to minimize the number of clicks and not overwhelm them with too many choices at each step. Use tools such as colorful badges, taxonomies and categorization to lead your customer to a decision.”
-Dan Johnson, Web Content Specialist at FareHarbor
Every aspect of your website, from content to design, should lead online visitors to a booking. It’s about predicting what information they need along the path to purchase and delivering it to them in the most succinct, helpful way possible.
If a visitor lands on your site looking to book an activity, is there a short, defined path to purchase? Are all of their pre-booking questions answered along this path? Ask these questions as you move through your site.
“Always put a call-to-action above the fold. The goal is to start driving conversions as soon as someone visits your site.”
-Taryn Parsons, Web Content Specialist at FareHarbor
A call-to-action (CTA) is a button or hyperlink that tells the user to perform a certain action or next step. For a tour, activity or attraction company, the most effective CTA is a ‘Book Now’ button.
Placing your CTA “above the fold” means making the ‘Book Now’ button clearly visible immediately upon landing on your webpage. No scrolling necessary. This way, visitors are pushed into your booking funnel without first having to click around your site.
“Mobile is everything. The amount of people browsing and booking on mobile sites is about equal and soon to overtake desktop users. Google even ranks based on the page load speed of your mobile site. The better your mobile experience, the more people are likely to purchase a ticket on the fly.”
-Sommer Shearer, Senior Web Content Specialist at FareHarbor
This will hardly come as a surprise but you simply have to think beyond desktop these days. Mobile devices are quickly becoming the new normal for both Google and your customers.
Improving your mobile experience is a quick way to boost both your search engine ranking and your conversion rate. A bonus? A mobile-friendly experience also speaks to the trust and credibility of your site by letting visitors know that your business is modern and up-to-date.
“You have roughly 3 seconds to tell visitors what your site has to offer. Our team strives to cause action, gain trust, and provide a clear path to your booking flow.”
-Blake Kenney, Senior Web Content Specialist at FareHarbor
With all the information available on the web, it can be challenging to keep a user’s attention. In fact, most visitors will only give a site a few seconds of their time before they bounce to the next one.
Capture their attention quickly with a site that caters to everything they’re looking for. In this industry, that’s trust, credibility and ease of booking.
The best sites are the ones that anticipate the visitor’s needs and meets them. Keep this and the above tips in mind as you update your site—or if you’re a FareHarbor client, just let us know that you’re interested in working with the Sites team.
Not yet a FareHarbor client but want help with your website? A site from our team is completely free when you partner with FareHarbor! Get in touch with us!