Thursday, November 13, 2014

8:49 PM

4 Things Every Tour Website Needs

You’re in charge of designing or maintaining the website for a tour company, and that’s a big job with endless maintenance issues. It’s different than any other type of website niche, and one wrong move could destroy an entire itinerary. Fortunately, there are some best practices to keep in mind with this type of websites. If you’re the owner of the company, don’t try to DIY; this is a job best left to the professionals.

Whether it’s a website for a fantastic New York bus tour company or a travel agency specializing in African destinations, there are still common rules to abide by. Don’t assume that “best practices” for websites in general will all apply to this niche. Here're a few necessities your site needs in order to be competitive:

Killer search engine optimization (SEO)

Not only do you need to stay on top of your SEO game, you also need to incorporate impressive local SEO depending on destinations, sightseeing attractions and neighborhoods. Check out the beginner’s guide to SEO from Moz if this is new territory for you and set up Google Alerts so you’re aware of any updates and changes. Without SEO, your site will get lost in the shuffle.

Pro-level photography

Your clients want to know what’s in store for them, and this means professional-grade photography and videos from your destinations. However, you don’t want to give everything away so think of it like creating a “trailer” for your company. Research pro photo tips from the likes of Makezine if you don’t have it in the budget to hire a professional photographer or (better yet) ask your past clients to share their photos for credit or a discount on a future tour.

Extreme user friendliness

Your clients should be able to map out an itinerary, book it and ask questions intuitively. Remember that if a page loads too slowly or if it’s too difficult to figure out navigation, your customers will have no problem taking their business elsewhere. A good web designer prioritizes intuitive design and tactics for fast page loads even on mobile devices.

Mobile readiness

Mobile readiness is here, and most of your clients are going to try to book on a mobile device or at least research that way first. Make sure your site is mobile ready, which may include a mobile version of the site, an app or both. Give the people what they want, and they’ll return the favor with their business.