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Make Your Website Work

Is your website working hard enough for you?

Whether you’re a tour company, an attraction, a hotel or some other travel provider, your website is an essential part of your brand. It’s the first place many people will go to learn about your services. If the site is poorly designed or short on info, it risks making a bad first impression.

But in today’s world, a good website isn’t just a place to display information about you — it’s also a place to dynamically interact with your customers. And that means your site needs to do more than just look nice. It also needs to offer the information customers are looking for and allow them to take action with that info.

Here are five things every travel organization website should do in 2022.

1) Capture contacts.

Every time a new person comes to your website, you have an opportunity to gather their contact information so you can continue reaching out to them after they leave. But people don’t usually give that up for nothing. So you need to offer people something of value in exchange for their contact info. This could be a downloadable guide with helpful tips, a discount on future purchases or a registration to an upcoming webinar or in-person event. Get creative and see what happens.

2) Highlight products.

You have things to sell — tours, hotel rooms, tickets, meals, etc. So why aren’t you showcasing those products on your site? Too many travel websites make vague mentions of the kinds of products and services offered, but they don’t give enough detail. You should make sure your website highlights the variety of things people can do with you. If you sell trips, that means pages or posts dedicated to specific itineraries or departures. If you sell services, you should clearly outline the different packages and options you offer to travel groups.

3) Take reservations.

Twenty years ago, only large, sophisticated companies had the tools to sell things online. Today, though, it’s incredibly easy. You already have customers coming to your website and looking at your products. If you don’t offer them a way to book those products while they’re on the site, you’re missing out on a huge percentage of your potential sales. Tour operator websites should offer ways for individuals to book tours online. And travel providers should make sure their sites offer convenient ticketing, reservations or RFP processes.

4) Send notifications.

Once people book or reserve something on your site, your system should automatically send them relevant notifications. This can include receipts or invoices for their purchases, as well as balance due notifications, reminders of their bookings or pointers on next steps they should take to ensure a smooth experience. Automating these notifications could also save your team a lot of busywork.

5) Provide data.

A good website should provide you a wealth of information. With solid site traffic reporting (like the free tools from Google Analytics), you can find out which parts of your site people spend the most time on, which products they view the most, and which pages and posts are ranking highest in search engines. Leveraging these analytics can help you optimize your site and your sales process.

There’s no shortage of other amazing things websites can do these days. But with these bases covered, you’re guaranteed to see better sales and smoother operations.

Brian Jewell

Brian Jewell is the executive editor of The Group Travel Leader. In more than a decade of travel journalism he has visited 48 states and 25 foreign countries.