In our modern world, every business needs a website, and travel agencies are no exception. But simply having a travel agency website is not enough; it must be user-friendly or it will drive customers away. In order to make that possible, the questions Why? Who? and What? must be answered.
Why do travel agencies need a website? Users from all over the world want to access their services. A well-made website connects the customers to the business.
Who is going to be using the website? This question is not as simple as it looks. Answering it requires an in-depth understanding of customers and their thoughts and desires.
What kind of website will it be? This comes from understanding the customers. Knowing who they are will tell you what they want. Understanding what they want lets you build your website to accommodate them, leading to successful sales.
The internet has become the most common research tool for travelers. No-one goes anywhere without first looking it up online. The key to accessing these customers is good website design so that when they find you they do not move on. Here are some tips for creating a user-friendly travel agency website.
1. First impressions
When a potential customer finds your website you need to retain them. This involves two things. The first is confirming they have come to the right place. Since they are looking for a travel agency, be sure to prominently display that fact. The second is to avoid overwhelming them. Too many options, strong colours and information is the opposite of user-friendly web design and will drive people away.
2. Ease of navigation
Leading on from not overwhelming customers is ease of navigation. Remember that people of every age and experience level will be using your site and you cannot assume much prior knowledge of web navigation. Figure out what the most important items are, like booking tours or packages, and make them the most prominent.
3. Maintain your brand image
Your travel agency likely has a particular style. Your offices are decorated in a particular way and you have a company logo. Reflect these colour palettes and decisions on your website. This informs loyal customers that they have come to the right place and sets them at ease.
4. Allow for queries 24/7
Unlike your physical office, your travel agency website never closes. Customers need to be able to ask questions at any time of the day. A FAQ section is a good start. But be sure to provide contact details and a form they can fill out with a promise to call or email back as soon as possible. Remember, when someone asks a question via the email form, send a confirmation email to them so that they know it is being handled.
5. Conduct usability testing
Usability testing is a vital part of good website design. Too many people think they understand what a user-friendly interface looks like when they are in fact dead wrong. This doesn’t mean asking friends and family to have a look at your website and provide opinions, either, because they are going to be biased. Instead, get feedback from a user testing agency like Askable. User testing professionals have seen it all before and will quickly correct any fundamental mistakes and point you in the right direction.
6. Continue to gather feedback
Once your website is complete and operational, let your customers continue to leave comments and feedback. Nothing is ever perfect and only time and experience will reveal areas that need improving. Keep an open mind and watch out for any new trends in website design that you can incorporate.
For your travel agency website to succeed, it needs to be user-friendly. Start by understanding your customers and their needs. Make a good first impression and provide easy access what they want most often, like holiday deals and tours. Once you think you are ready, ask a professional usability testing company to verify your design choices. Finally, leave ways for customers to give feedback so that you can continue to improve.