7 Ways to Make Your Travel Website Stand Out
Roughly 90% of people research their next holiday online, and more than half book online, too. But with plenty of competition out there for those customers, how do you make your travel website the one they choose? And how do you make sure they find you in the first place?
1. Find your niche
Don’t make the mistake of trying to be all things to all people. If you’re a bespoke, luxury holiday company, your customers aren’t the ones searching for cheap last-minute deals. If you offer tailor-made adventure holidays or tours, your customers aren’t looking for the traditional bucket and spade trip.
When you define your niche, you can profile your ideal customer. Which puts you in a better position to attract those customers. If you know what they’re looking for, you can identify the keywords they’ll be using when they search. And then you can make it easy for them to find exactly what they’re looking for.
2. Optimise your content
Optimising your content to what your potential customers want is a big part of SEO – that’s what they’ll be typing into the search engine, after all. So you need to make sure your copy contains the right keywords. There are lots of tools online to help you identify more keywords based on what you already know.
Don’t stuff your content full of keywords, however. You should always make sure they sit naturally within your copy – write for people, not search engines.
Copy optimisation is only one area that you need to think about. If you want your travel website to get found online, you should be doing all sorts of other SEO as well.
Make sure your meta descriptions are populated and match what you’re selling. They may not have much influence on search engine rankings anymore, but when someone sees your site in a list of search results, you want your content to appeal to them and get that click.
Don’t forget to include text descriptions of your images – that helps them pop up in image searches, but also caters to people who use text-to-speech web browsers for accessibility reasons.
Make sure your pages follow the right format – that you’re using the right header tags in the right places, so that when search engines look at your site, they can follow the flow of each page and understand what it’s all about.
3. Match your content to your customers
Your content should be optimised to match what your potential customers are searching for, not just for SEO, but from a user experience perspective, too.
When that visitor lands on your site, you want them to recognise immediately that you offer what they’re looking for. If they want a skiing holiday, your headline should make it clear that that’s exactly what they’ll find. If they want a luxury holiday, your words and images should stand out as offering exactly that.
Look at these two examples – if you were looking for an adventurous climbing holiday, which site grabs your attention the most?
By using the right image, with a direct and to-the-point headline, the first example is clear and concise. The second image might be right for a different site, or used in an inspirational blog post, but it’s not designed to grab the attention of a climber looking for an exciting challenge.
4. Understand the travel buying process
Your website needs to cater to two main types of visitor within your ideal client base – those who’re ready to book, and those who’re looking for information or inspiration.
Plenty of people know the type of holiday they want before they decide on the destination. So you’ve got the opportunity to inspire them with the range of options you offer. That’s where your imagery and aspirational content comes in. A combination of destination content, blog posts, reviews and recommendations, all easily found, is what these customers need.
Then you’ve got the customers who know where they want to go and when. They want to know as quickly as possible that you can take them there, so your website navigation needs to be simple and direct, with all the information they need to make that booking. Don’t hide prices, that’s one of the biggest frustrations for online travellers.
5. Understand what conversion looks like
When your customer is ready to book, how are they most likely to do that? Will they book online or do they need to contact you?
Often, for luxury and adventure travel, customers need to speak directly to you, either over the phone or in person. For hoteliers and travel operators in the hospitality sector, online bookings make more sense.
Make it as easy as possible for you visitors to take the right action on your website. Your CTAs (calls to action) should be clear and easy. If you want people to get in touch, make sure there are plenty of contact forms on your pages. If you prefer online bookings, make sure prices, dates and availability are all clearly visible, along with your ‘book now’ buttons.
When your site is optimised for how your customers will buy, you can track the right conversion statistics, whether those are contacts or bookings. Using the right data means you can accurately tell if your website is working.
6. Consider pay-per-click advertising
If you want to get your website in front of more people quickly, pay-per-click advertising (or PPC), is the way to do it. You’ve already figured out your ideal customer, and you know the keywords they’re searching for.
PPC isn’t just Google Adwords, although that’s one of the major players and definitely somewhere you’ll want to try. You can also advertise on all the major social media platforms. Facebook and Instagram are filled with people who love to travel and get inspiration from amazing imagery. You can boost your posts to reach more people, or set up specific ads to target different customers. In fact, the targeting on social media means you can deliver your ads to highly specific demographics.
7. Get help
If all this sounds like a lot to think about, or if you just fancy getting the experts in to help get your SEO up to scratch and your PPC advertising underway, check out our Digital Marketing for Travel page and get in touch.