When it comes to travel websites, the focus is often on how to boost traffic figures. Obviously, the more people that land on your site, the better; but if this traffic doesn't convert into sales, it's verging on useless. Driving traffic to your website should certainly be one of your business goals, but the key is to keep users on your site once they are there – and to entice them to make that all-important purchase. But how is this achieved?
The search function on a travel website is crucial. With general ecommerce stores, users don't always use a site search. However, with travel sites the whole premise of the potential transaction is based on it. As a result, your site search should be super speedy, accurate and intuitive. All options should be displayed clearly, with pricing being highlighted, in order for the visitor to be provided with all the information they need without having to leave the funnel.
There are many steps involved in the booking funnel of a travel site – and it's this complex booking experience that can make travellers more inclined to switch and find offline alternatives. Although it's hard to cut down on the amount of details needed during the booking process, by separating it into key steps in a progress bar you will effectively be creating "road signs" for the user, making it clear and easy to understand.
Personalisation tools are key to successful travel websites; they allow you to remember visitors' booking history so that you can provide them with relevant and timely offers the next time they land on your site. It is also a good idea to monitor their in-session activity to give you insights into their booking habits and behaviour.
They say don't judge a book by its cover, but the authenticity of your business will most certainly be judged by your website's appearance. If it has a clunky layout, shoddy design or text that is riddled with spelling mistakes, site visitors will metaphorically turn on their heels. Your website should be fresh, modern, unique and stylish – this way, it will exude trust and authenticity.
Reviews and testimonials
Reviews are important to any online business, but in the travel world they are vital. According to a study from the Worms University of Applied Sciences, 70% of travellers look at 20 reviews in the "trip planning" phase, and 93% of travellers from across the world claim their booking decisions are directly impacted by online reviews. Make sure your site offers clear and honest reviews to satisfy your customers' need for genuine feedback.
Is your travel website doing all it can to increase visitor conversion rates?