6 Best Practices for Optimizing Your Travel Website

Travel is a fun and engaging experience. Travel websites should be no different.

Consumers want to enjoy the experience of traveling from the moment they start researching their trip, to the moment they’re snoozing on a return flight home. Your travel website should help them do that.

A 2014 Google report notes that one in five leisure travelers downloaded a travel-related app due to poor mobile site experiences. Travelers frequently use their mobile devices while on-the-go. We, as marketers, must recognize this and optimize for mobile experiences in a way that keeps our consumers happy and engaged.

To provide what travelers are looking for, travel sites should focus on providing enjoyable engagement and allowing the consumer to stay connected with the brand throughout the duration of their trip.

Here are six ways to optimize the consumer experience with your travel brand, with a focus on making the process enjoyable, and inspiring travelers to come back for more.

  1. Balance content with actions. Balance content on your homepage between informing visitors of trip options (think big, colorful pictures with enticing descriptions), and a direct path to booking a trip. Test various search result page layouts for the highest conversion rates.
  2. Optimize for speed. Let the traveler complete their purchase as quickly as possible — mitigate frustration by using a process status bar, minimize timeout opportunities through fewer steps, and provide express checkout options.
  3. Harness spare moments. Create return-paths (for example, options for saving research, emailing travel information, and creating alerts) and re-engage visitors with email offers based on their search and site visit activity.
  4. Show them you remember. Customize site content based on past behavior for repeat customer bookings; display past destination searches for quick reference.
  5. Garner loyalty with benefits. Make it easy to join your rewards program by optimizing the location of the sign-up link on your website; integrate it into the click path. The key is to make the rewards program accessible, without crowding the booking process.
  6. Expand travel opportunities with local offerings. Try offering local businesses and attractions content based on proximity capabilities.
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