As the online travel industry hits its peak in a post-pandemic world, the competitiveness towards getting an online booking can get trickier daily. StratosJets estimates that 83% of US adults want to book their trips online. It's also expected that 700 million people will make a booking online by 2023.
But in the middle of so many websites and sources of content, having an appealing website could be a game changer in your distribution strategy. As 29% of bookers prefer direct travel reservations, according to Hospitalitynet, it's time to ensure you're taking advantage of great opportunities.
Thinking about helping you get the most out of your tour and activity website, here are #7 common website mistakes every tour operator should avoid and our tips on how to fix each one of them:
Mistake #1: There are no online reviews on the website
You must be aware that word of mouth is the best marketing that your company could get. So, if you are providing good service and running unique tours, you want your targeted audience to know about the great experience your customers have had with you.
The best way to prove that your company is trustworthy and that you provide great experiences is by having testimonials from past customers on your website. According to research by Four Pillar Hotels, 70% of travelers trust online consumer reviews. That's also why OTAs and social media have such an influence on travelers' choices.
So if you want to make sure that your website has the social proof that your visitors expect, make sure to have online reviews on your company's website.
But beware: only 22% of people will leave a review without being asked. It's a great idea to encourage your customers by asking for feedback during your tours or even sending an after-trip email.
Mistake #2: Your website does not look good on mobile devices
Even though research from SaleCycle shows that 64% of travelers still finish their online bookings on a desktop, travel booking is going mobile. The same study shows that the usage of mobile devices for travel bookings was 31% in 2019, 37% in 2020, 41% in 2021, and 44% of online bookings were done on a mobile device in 2022. Those numbers can get even higher when talking about last-minute and in-destination bookings.
Beyond the booking itself, it's also relevant to learn more about the customer journey before the final decision. According to StratosJets, 70% of travelers research on a mobile device.
Besides, Google has prioritized mobile-first indexing to guarantee that websites that offer a better user experience have the first positions on organic results. It's a great idea to have a mobile-friendly website that provides a great experience.
Here are some of the essential points your website must cover to be considered mobile-friendly:
- Your content appears as well on smaller mobile devices as on desktop.
- The written content is adjusted correctly, using short and straight-to-the-point sentences are you don't want your text to look too long.
- Your website's health is up to date with a responsive layout and proper website speed.
- Your website works with mobile payments like TrekkSoft's booking widget.
Mistake #3: The contact information is not easily found
The main goal is to have a clear and concise website. It incorporates content that answers your customer's questions and an effective sales process with a "book now" bottom, such as TrekkSoft's booking solution.
At the same time, you must consider that the website visitor might need help finding all the required information, have special requests, or even prefer to talk to the company before booking.
Some of the contact resources that you can add to your website are:
- Email and phone number on your website menu and/or footer.
- Contact page with further info such as contact form.
- Social Media accounts.
- Chat or WhatsApp button so the visitor can message your team right away.
Mistake #4: The description of the activities is not detailed enough
Of course, having a friendly website with a superb design, breathtaking photos, and a clear call to action is a must, but it works if you have the right content. The information on your tour page is the most powerful resource on your website.
According to TripAdvisor, 68% of travelers in Singapore and 60% in Australia said that spending time researching before booking is more important now than before the pandemic. Americans, the Brotons, and the Japanese have also agreed with that.
The key here is to anticipate the travelers' questions and master the art of storytelling. To do so, think about the main doubts you usually get and ensure your content answers them all. Make sure to add inspiring descriptions, good-quality photos and videos, and relevant certifications. It's also important to highlight why a potential customer should book with you.
Having updated information is also vital, but that requires a whole new topic.
Mistake #5: Content is not updated often enough
When planning a trip, online information can overwhelm the tourists. Even more if someone has yet to visit a particular place or do specific activities.
Since website content is the best way to get your potential client's attention, keep in mind that your audience will seek the most up-to-date information; otherwise, the competitor's website is one click away.
It goes from the current opening times and possible season-related changes to the current availability of your tours and correct details such as meeting points.
TrekkSoft's management tools allow you to automate bookings by setting up schedules and capacities so that your latest availability is synced across all channels. You can also automate booking confirmations and send further emails with further information.
Mistake #6: No guarantees are offered to potential customers
Booking online requires much trust. Walk in your customer's shoes and imagine that you're booking a tour or activity in a different country, in a company you haven't ever seen, and you don't even know if it's real. Therefore, it's a game changer if your offer guarantees to your potential customers.
Of course, having testimonials, real photos, and certifications will help with that, but in the fake news and online frauds, that might not be enough to get an actual booking. If possible, offer benefits such as flexibility to reschedule, no prepayment, and a clear cancellation policy.
Mistake #7: No web analytics are used
Analyzing your website's traffic is the most powerful takeaway from tools such as Google Analytics. It allows you to track who is visiting your website, where they are coming from, how much time they spend on your pages, and so much more. It's proven that a data-driven culture is the most effective way of making the best decisions for a company.
This type of information will help your company to understand the hits and misses of its digital marketing presence and indicate the next steps towards a more effective strategy. Once you have all of that running, it's crucial to make sure you're covering the conversion optimizations needed to increase your direct bookings.
TrekkSoft helps your tour and activity website to power its direct sales
With TrekkSoft's booking tools, your tour and activity website gets indispensable resources for online sales. Our website booking engine provides all the tools you need to convert website browsers into booked guests.
- Integrate the "book now" button into your website
- Take online payments to avoid no-shows
- Automate the booking process to offer a better experience and reduce back-office tasks
- Offer a mobile-optimized solution that allows customers to book on-the-go
- Monitor your key performance indicators with the Business Intelligence feature, and keep growing!