Top tips to engage travellers through your website

In the ever-changing, fast-paced world of online travel, it's essential to stay abreast of the latest trends in technology; deciding on what deserves your attention and what doesn't. It's no good simply having a website - you need to make sure that it is future-proof and is constantly adapting to provide your customers with what they want. Even if the traffic is pouring in, you shouldn't rest on your laurels. According to an article on Hotel News Now, there are several 'best practices' to follow to ensure you keep ahead of your game.

Images

Photography, the article says, is one of the best things you can spend your money on, claiming it is "the absolute, No 1 best ROI you can get." Essentially, it is putting your "best face forward everywhere."

Video

Video has come on leaps and bounds in recent years, and the costs have come down dramatically. Videos can now be streamed quicker, too. That's lucky, because two-thirds of UK online customers claim that slowness is the number one reason to abandon a purchase.

Target audience

When considering video and images for your site, always keep your target audience in mind. Give them content – both written and visual – that will meet their needs and desires. In order to do this, you need to experiment, test and iterate.

Third-party validation

Has your travel company won any awards? If so, show them off! Endorsements from recognised brands in the form of awards can really make a difference to visitors' perceptions.

Design

New visitors will be immediately turned-off by a badly-designed travel site. While they say "don't judge a book by its cover", this doesn't ring true when it comes to websites; users will quickly look to a competitors.

Fresh content

Did you last update your website's copy in 2013? To keep visitors on your website, you need to constantly add fresh content for them to read. This content should be engaging, informative and unique. As well as engaging users, it will seriously boost your SEO, too.

Usability

The article claims that "the most important consumer commodity is time." As a result, your website should be quick and easy to use – otherwise users will become frustrated and look elsewhere. Simple steps can make a big difference; copy should be in a contrasting font to its background and published in a readable size.

What is your travel business doing to ensure your website continues to evolve?