How to Maintain a Travel Website


So you have built an amazing website with a modern responsive theme; with all the itineraries, photos, videos and the appropriate content on various pages. You have also accomplished on-page one-time SEO, have put Google analytics on every page, social media widgets and what not. But, if that site is not managed and updated regularly then it can have adverse effect on your business. This is especially crucial in travel business. How does it really affect when content is not updated on regular basis?

  • SEO - Search engines put higher rating over websites that have updated content. If the content is stale, the search rating for the page has adverse effect on it. There are many factors for page ranking and having a stale content may not always have adverse effect on your page ranking. But why take the risk?
  • Higher bounce rate - Your customers will frown once they see the pricing that is not valid and out dated itineraries. After all, you are investing in digital marketing to get customers on your website. When they land on your web page, they expect to see latest or current plans. Showing old/dummy itineraries and old pricing is not going to help retain customers on the site.

In Travel industry, when it comes to website maintenance and management, we need to keep on updating our pages as much as possible. If your website is dynamic, then it will take care of itself by showing live prices or content from the dynamic feed. Else, we need to do it manually by updating various aspects. Below are some of the items that we should constantly keep updating.

Content

  • Photos - Add and update as much photos as possible on various plans. Although make sure the site is not becoming slow due to lot of photos. It helps when customers see, real photos taken by you or your customers. For example, group photos of a group tour creates a visual appeal for the customers that are going to book for a group tour.
  • Itineraries/tours - Its important to keep only the itineraries and tours that your company operates in or has planned tours this season. By having all the itineraries in the world doesn't help. Also, you need to update all the tours for every season. For example, if you don't operate Europe sector in winter then it makes sense to remove those from main pages. You may still keep it in the list though as your overall offering.
  • Pricing - Prices change every season, sometimes multiple times during the season. Having correct product information and pricing displayed consistently across different marketing platforms is very crucial in maintaining integrity of the company.
  • Testimonials - Images, videos, texts - whatever format your customers provide you feedback, we need to show the latest ones to create a positive impact. We can of course retain and show the old feedback on the website that we think are important, although having latest ones on top gives people a sense of relevance. Also, speaking of relevance, it helps more when we put testimonials of related tours on their respective pages.
  • Texts - Some of the information is not required to be updated always but it has to be correct. For example, your office address doesn't change often, but if you moved recently the contact us page must be updated immediately.

    * Contact us information
    * Company information
    * Career/recruitment information

  • Blog - If your company has been advertising in print media, or you have a paid writer to write articles about your company or products etc; these make valuable content over the period and can be maintained in a blog. It also helps establish your company as a thought leader in your sector if the articles are original.

Data management

  • Customer data If your website has a registration form or booking form or some kind of enquiry form or if you are collecting customer data online then that data needs to be managed. With personal data security and privacy rules getting stringent, you need to make sure the data is protected, encrypted and safely secured. The customer data might be required to be integrated with other systems on regular basis too. All this comes under website management and digital marketing efforts.
  • Bookings information If you have an advanced website, that allows customers to do the bookings online with online payment then the system requires bookings data management, payment tracking, invoice data, refund tracking etc.
  • Integrations

    Integration with other systems and third party software requires constant support as their systems may get upgraded from time to time, requiring you to upgrade the integration part. Below are some of the integrations a website could have.

    * Integration with maps service
    * Integration with CRM
    * Third party mail server
    * Chatbots
    * Content services
    * Booking engines etc.
    * Payment gateways

    SSL Certificate

    Usually needs to be updated once a year or depending upon the term of your purchase. But failing to do so will give you that red mark in the browser address bar which says insecure website!

    Adding new features

    There are always new technologies and tools coming in the market, which can be useful to your business. For example, a payment gateway service offering lower interest rates might be worth switching to! Integrating WhatsApp Business with website is definitely handy, or a new chatbot service in the market offering quick integration at lower cost is something travel company may want to utilize.

    Server stuff

    This is mainly back-office house-keeping activity which covers areas like backup, clearing up space, session management etc which can be summed-up as availability management. If you have chosen a cloud based service, its easier to scale up and down based on the load. Whether its hosted in cloud or you have private server, you need to pay attention to what is happening under-the-hood.

    Website management and maintenance encompasses a wide range of activities including those related to digital marketing activities like SEO, analytics (which are not considered in this article). Customers understand and appreciate an updated website when they see one!