As the travel industry keeps booming and fresh travel trends emerge, everyone seems to be starting a new travel website these days. However, what separates the wheat from the chaff is the performance of these sites. If you find your travel portal underperforming or not showing any positive results at all, you need some strategic considerations to increase ROI.
The return on investment (ROI) of your website depends not only on the traffic that you attract but also on the actual conversions you make. After a potential customer has landed on your travel site, you will need to work hard to turn him/her into a client. We present you 6 vital ideas that will significantly increase the ROI on your new travel website.
1. Design your Travel Website to be User-Centered
In the times we live in, there are thousands of travel websites vying for attention, eagerly hoping to convert the visitor on their site into a loyal client. To cut through the competition, your website should have a user-centered design (UCD). This is a web development process where the user and his needs are the focus in each phase of the design.
User-Centric design is important for SEO results. To stand out from the crowd of other travel websites on search engines, you must not neglect search engine optimization. How a user finds you on the web is just as important as how she/he behaves while browsing through your webpages.
Take the example of the tourism website, Visit Philadelphia. Its blog posts are not only informative to the readers but also helpful and user-focused in their navigable design. You need specialized technology and professional expertise to understand your potential users and shape your travel website accordingly, as shown in this example:
2. Increase ROI with a Mobile-Responsive Design
The importance of a mobile-responsive design for the website of your travel website agency or related business can’t be emphasized enough. Statistics show that an increasing number of people surf the internet exclusively through their mobile devices. If your site is not adaptive enough to change its layout based on the device being used (desktop to cell phone to tab to smartphone to smart TV), you’ll risk missing out on a big chunk of your potential customer pie.
For travel businesses, it is very complicated to design a mobile-responsive website from scratch. It is best to consider using a pre-built technology solution which will let you build your own layers on top of it via APIs. Professional technology that comes with mobile-compatibility already built into it, will partner with you and allow you to conveniently interface with it and design your own features over it. Companies like Arrivedo have a backend already built which you can use.
A great way to set the travel trends is to grab opportunities to delight your readers through interesting features (such as touch, VR and interactive maps) unique to each devicer (before your competitors do the same) through a website that is optimized for smartphones, digital wearable devices, and most other screen-sizes.
3. Test the Usability of your New Travel Website
Before you plunge into the deep, it is best to test the waters. In the case of a travel website, it is a good strategy to conduct usability tests before the official launch. Even if you already have an up-and-running site, a usability test will help you determine what minor enhancements or major overhauls you might need to make your travel portal more user-friendly.
If your travel website is new, usability tests should be performed for both the mobile and desktop editions. Customer engagement will increase only after you have removed the irritants and made it thoroughly easy and enjoyable to navigate your site. The best usability tests are iterative as improvements are made to the website after each iteration. User satisfaction can give you triple-digit growth figures in terms of ROI.
4. Create Insightful Travel Content Before you Sell
In most relationships, give-and-take works better when you give first and take later. When you wish to sell your travel products or services, be sure to offer your customers insightful and high-quality content before you ask them to make a purchase. When you help your potential consumers, you come across as a genuine brand, eager to add value and not just to make money.
Creating helpful travel content is not as easy as you might think. In an age of information overload and keyword stuffing, Google has become smarter. It factors in the user engagement on a website to rank it. To keep readers interested in your travel business, your articles must have both deep local insights and a superior quality of writing.
This can be achieved by hiring freelance travel writers who are knowledgeable about the area you wish to make a presence in. In most cases, this is either very expensive or hard to find such writers. The shortcut to this dilemma is to pair a good quality travel writer with your team which has all the local knowledge.
If you create comprehensive editorial brand guidelines and train the writers to interview locals and your staff for that authentic flavor, the writers will be able to uncover destination gems to produce high-quality content. This way, you will have better chances of ranking higher on Google compared to when you published generic content.
5. Use Photos, Videos & Map Routes
Most of the best-written content out there on the web is often overlooked in favor of articles that have a lot of attractive photos or engaging videos. Once you have mastered the craft of generating great travel content for your site, you will need eye-catching media to keep your viewers interested for longer. For a travel website, it is very important to use vibrant, high-resolution images.
In addition to photos, keep your articles interesting with meaningful videos and interactive map routes. Travelers find it more convenient to follow a dynamic map on their mobile devices as opposed to carrying a physical map.
Easy-to-understand map routes make your brand come across as tech-savvy and caring, enabling you to enhance your brand image and build a strong reputation with the modern customer. Also, good quality cover images help draw visitors to your website when you share your web links on social media. This, in turn, raises the chances of increasing the ROI on your travel website. As shown in this example.
6. Monitor Traffic & Conversions to Optimize your Site
After you’ve implemented all the strategies we’ve listed above, you must continuously monitor the online traffic to your travel website. Use tools such as Google Analytics to see where your visitors come from, which pages they see and how much time they spend on your site. You should also track the rate of conversions from all the traffic, as that is what will ultimately determine the ROI.
It is not enough to measure the traffic and conversion rate though. You will need to use the information you’ve gleaned to analyze your website’s performance and optimize it for better results. Make an effort to improve the SEO of the pages that don’t get much traffic and work on the content quality of the pages with good views but low conversions.
When you get serious about increasing the ROI of your travel website, the positive results will eventually start showing. As you put the needs of your users at the core of your design, you will see the numbers improving.
If you want more tips on boosting your influence and setting travel trends, download here our FREE ebook: Digital Content Transformation for Travel and Tourism.