Are you thinking of redeveloping your travel website or building a new one? There is a lot to consider including which theme to use, how to structure your content, which features to build, SEO, Security are just among the few. Below we will look at few of these that make important part of initial stage of building a travel website.
Choosing the right theme/design
Most travel agents would choose a ready theme/template and create their website, which is practical and economical as creating your own design from scratch is quite expensive and there are so many beautifully desinged fully-responsive travel templates out there, it just makes sense to use a ready one. However, choosing a right theme requires answering few questions about the underlying business itself?
* Are you building a corporate website?
* Is it going to be an online booking portal, or will it have such capabilities in the future?
* Are you an outbound travel agent or inbound?
* Do you sell a particular destination or set of destinations? or an entire region?
* What travel services to you provide? land arrangement? vehicle rentals? travel insurance?
Answering these questions will automatically make your list of suitable themes shorter and you will have most apt theme for your website.
Minimum content to go-live
We know building content is painful and requires travel agents to put in a lot of hard work. So, when developing a website, ask yourself and decide which content you would like to put in order to launch the site? Some might focus only on the current offers or upcoming tours or some may prefer to just put the tour highlights and fill in the details later. Answer to this question should come from your business goals and short term and long term digital marketing plan. Your website is your main digital marketing tool and whatever you do with it should be aligned with your overall marketing plan and business goals.
Get basic facts right
When launching a site make sure your site has the basic information correctly defined as we have come across many companies that put dummy email addresses or phone numbers to begin with and later just forget to update that information. This is very dangerous for your business as many potential clients would bounce off to incorrect coordinates.
If you are having an online payment facility then having a SSL certificate installed from trusted authority is a must, as it shows the secure mark in the browser address bar which makes your customers feel safe. If customers are not going to input any sensitive information anywhere on the site or if the website is view only then SSL is not really required. Another security aspect is to implement CAPTCHA which is required on input forms to confirm the data is being submitted by actual humans. There are few other aspects that you can implement on your website, however these are not in scope for this article.
Having multiple websites?
It is common for travel companies to build more than one website. They have a corporate or general website, then they might build a booking portal website and some may also start another concept and create a new brand and launch a new site for that brand. Although having multiple websites is not really recommended for various reasons; if you must have multiple sites, then the cross linking among websites, branding, ownership should be carefully planned. After all, you do not want to confuse your audience with multiple websites and brands. If you must have different websites then the audience should understand that through design/branding and smooth navigation.
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