Travel marketing websites are as diverse as the destinations they serve. Some feature seductive images of beautiful people in alluring locations. Some are all about the transaction; helping users find the best deal and book their vacations online. Others are all facts and figures: number of rooms, restaurants, pools, floor plans, lists of services. Still others present a swirling environment of multimedia, virtual tours, streaming video and flashing buttons. But of all these different approaches, which is the most effective travel website design for tourism and destination brands?
Effective Travel / Tourism Website Design
The truth is that, upon closer inspection, very few travel websites actually do what the web does best. The Internet is an extremely effective medium for two travel marketing missions:
- Delivering a variety of content that supports the consumers’ interests; and
- Moving prospects through the buying process to become customers.
The few successful travel websites deliver content that answers the consumer’s need for information and motivates them to take action. This doesn’t happen by accident – it’s the result of a strategic approach to web content and the travel website design.
Best Practices of Travel Websites
After studying travel and tourism websites and industry best practices for more than a decade, the Wanderlust team has developed a unique web design process that is founded on the web content strategy. A solid content strategy helps us plan, create and leverage web content that inspires your consumers, increases your destination travel website traffic and converts shoppers into buyers.
Delivering the Resort Internet Marketing Message
Like no other medium, the Web 2.0 Internet facilitates an exchange of information and ideas – words, pictures, video, data, feedback and reviews – in other words, web content. If you’ve done your homework and created a destination brand that is both desirable and differentiated, your travel website content provides an opportunity to communicate exactly what your brand is all about, to make your brand more desirable to consumers searching for travel options.
Directing Traffic Your Way
Unlike print and broadcast communications created for and served to a very specific group of people, your travel website design – as well as your web content– must serve two audiences: people and search engines. Fortunately for us, both audiences are looking for the same thing – relevance. Robotic search engines sift through content to identify, index and rank its relevance so inquiring humans can find exactly what they’re looking for. By designing a "crawler-friendly" travel website, and identifying the common ground shared by your audience and your brand – where their interests overlap your offerings – you will have a resort, destination or tourism website design that will deliver the right content and anticipates their requests. Suddenly, your travel and destination brand appears at the top of their search results, and your well-crafted content begins to draw consumers to your site.
Closing The Sale
Our web content strategy helps us deliver content appropriate to the consumer’s current stage in the purchase decision. At an early stage, consumers are seeking high order emotional benefits and inspiration. That means story telling, vivid mental imagery and romance. Later in the decision process, it becomes more functional: deciding on dates, accommodations and travel logistics. And in the final stages, it’s doing whatever it takes to close the sale, booking reservations and transacting business. Your travel website design and content are key to to all of these. At its very best, web content will inspire your audience and propel them toward the next step of the purchase decision.
Wanderlust’s travel and tourism website design services and content strategies bring together all the best features of the Web 2.0 Internet with compelling content and a clear call to action. The result is an engaging online experience that inspires visitors and drives sales.