We can't overstate the importance of a well-designed, user-friendly website. It's the centrepiece of your marketing efforts; prospects often decide whether or not to give you some of their hard-earned cash based on whether or not your website gives the impression of a professional and trustworthy organisation.

If you're a travel agency, for example, it's especially important that you convince travellers that you are a reputable business, as you're often asking them to part with hundreds, sometimes thousands of pounds worth of cash. So you better make sure your website is up to scratch.

With that in mind, here are four quick and easy ways to improve your website, without having to go the whole hog of conducting a redesign:

1. Incorporate unique imagery

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As marketing gurus HubSpot note, stock images are a great way for budget-tight businesses to add some visuals to their website – but they don't always make the right impression with customers. They point to a study from last year which suggests using stock photography can decrease trust and also stand out as generic and non-unique. In the travel industry we are spoilt for choice when it comes to picture opportunities, so make the most of them.

1. Set up a reviews sections within your website

Up to a few years ago, we'd be telling you to create a testimonials page, but in the era of social media, that idea seems a little outdated. Customers now want to see honest, unbiased reviews on third-party sites, not carefully curated quotes on your website. The good news is you can make that work too, by creating a section within your website that contains external links to trusted third party sites. After all, personal recommendation (trusted to some degree by 81% of UK respondents) remains the most trusted form of advertising or communication, according to Nielsen's latest biennial 'Global Survey of Trust in Advertising'.

3. Start a blog

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Every travel firm worth their salt now has a blog, and not just for SEO reasons. The travel industry is extremely active online with travellers, tourism boards, tour operators, accommodations and other key industry members constantly exchanging travel ideas and advice via blogging. If you're prepared to put time into carving out your voice as a helpful and trustworthy one, you can expect a positive ROI for inbound marketing, suggests a Hubspot survey. That's because customers will be making some healthy associations with your brand.

4. Ensure everything's consistent

Consistency breeds confidence. That's true of brand websites too, with customers taking assurance in your diligence to ensure that everything matches. Inconsistencies, on the other hand, will cause users to feel lost and confused, and to lose trust in your site. It might sound like a simple thing to take care of – matching the headline sizes, font choices, design element, etc. – but it can have a surprising impact on your users. It's often the simple things we get wrong, of course.

Visit Digital Trip and let us do all this for you!