The high season is coming and you're doing all you can to secure some last minute bookings. Let's focus on your website since it's the first point of contact with most of your customers. Here are 5 critical factors you should focus on your website to make sure you get as many customers as you can.
Does your homepage clearly convey your offerings? If you run a hiking tour company, will people understand that within the first 3 seconds of looking at your homepage? Your goal here is to make sure that the user stays on your website and continues to browse through your site, learn a about your products and ultimately, make a booking with you.
Go through this checklist to make sure your homepage is in tip-top shape:
- Your company's name should be clearly displayed.
- A description of your company should be clearly visible and concise. Read it out loud to make sure it flows well.
- Use pictures to convey your company's tourism products and brand.
- Make sure links to other pages on your website are clearly visible.
- Optional: You could also integrate a TripAdvisor widget to display your recent reviews from customers. It's a great way to market your tours too.
2. Product page
"For most people travel is a true luxury, every element is a carefully considered purchase. This holds true especially for the “things you do when you get there”", Ken Frohling, VP of Business Development at Viator. People want to know as much as possible about the tour or activity they are signing up for because for them, it's once in a lifetime.
"There’s no such thing as “TMI” in travel. Providing travellers with the information they need to make informed decisions will help set their products apart from the crowd. What makes their tour special? What are the memories a traveller will take away from their experience? Set yourself apart from the crowd by painting that picture."
Use descriptive adjectives in your product descriptions, use strong visual imagery and videos to let your audience know about the experience they're booking and paying for.
Having a strong product page will do little to help boost your bookings if there are no clear calls-to-action. Just like how the Bat-signal was an obvious call for Batman to help the people in Gotham, your calls-to-action on should be a clear call to your customers to book a tour or activity with you.
Having a simple "Book now" button beside your product description is a great first step. You also need to make sure that your call-to-action is visible, clear and concise.
A company that creates strong product pages with clear calls-to-action is Tuscany on a Budget. HubSpot has also compiled a list of 30 calls-to-action that are great examples you can have a look at and get inspired.
4. Booking process
Your calls-to-action should lead your customers to the booking process, where an online booking and payment system will help you convert interested people into paying customers.
Say a customer is interested in your product, but instead of letting them book and pay you on the spot, you make them pick up a phone to call you or email you to make a booking. What if they're based overseas and the time difference makes it inconvenient to call you? What if they forget? Or they find another company that has an instant booking process with a secure payment gateway? You would have just lost a customer.
Get an online booking and payment system that works for you, ideally one with a live inventory that also shows the availability of your products on a given day, at a given time.
5. Mobile optimisation
Your website should also be optimised for mobile devices, including tablets and smartphones. More and more people, 64% of American shoppers to be exact, are using their mobile devices to browse for goods and services, and to make a purchase online. The tour and activity should take the boom of e-commerce businesses like Amazon and Alibaba as a sign that this is not a trend, but the future of business.
Having a mobile optimsed website with a mobile optimised booking and payment system is also a great way to get those last minute bookings, especially with more and more digital travellers hitting the road this summer.
Do you have any other tips on how to build a well-presented website to secure more last minute bookings?
Want more tips on how to prepare for the upcoming high season? Make this summer your most profitable one to date with our simple checklist for tour and activity operators like you.
Written by Nicole Kow
Having graduated from the UK, Nicole travelled around Europe before joining TrekkSoft's marketing team. She is now based in KL and regularly blogs about her travels at Next Train Out.