A travel agency website is an important marketing tool that can keep your clients up to date, and introduce new viewers to your business.
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Connect with your Clients and Future Clients
Websites are now an intricate part of a company’s interaction with customers, showing professionalism, and introducing new customers to products and services.
For a travel agency, it is also about introducing new destinations and of course the travel agents.
A smart website layout will let the agents not only have a strong agent profile but let the agents have their own section to talk about what they love, their travels and favorite suppliers.
What A Travel Agency Website Should Include
- Front Page the most important page. This leads to other pages, features promotions, and contact information.
- A Contact Page ~ This page should include phone numbers and a form that takes requests from viewers.
- Location Page(s) ~ If you have more than one location, each office should have its own page.
- Agent Profile Pages ~ Each agent, manager, and the owner should have their own page. Most importantly, are the pages for the agents, this is where they can show their skills
- A form to gather email addresses for a newsletter and updates.
Web Design For Vacation Leisure Websites
Who are your Viewers?
Whether you are redesigning your site or creating a new site, keep your viewers in mind. The design for business travelers, weddings-romantic getaways, retired travelers will be very different from a younger demographic.
Retired travelers will want to know how easy their time will be and how many different experiences they will have.
If you plan travel weddings you will need to show how well you are at logistics and making last-minute changes.
Business travelers don’t like to travel for vacation but if it’s for the family or wife then this will be the time to use those air miles.
On Your Website
No matter who your main clients are there are several things you will want your website to include.
Large images that promote emotions. You remember the old saying that an image is worth a thousand words. Well, it also produces emotions and stimulates the imagination in a fraction of a second that will affect the viewer when it comes time to make a decision.
More and more people are using their smartphone for purchases and managing emails so make sure your site and emails are mobile-friendly.
Your website should load fast. Speed is very important today and there are many caching services. Currently, I am using a caching service that works on the server that looks to be faster than ones on the website.
As you are planning your new site contact your favorite suppliers and vendors and ask how the can help. You will be surprised ar how many suggestions and products including images and plugins they will have available.
As helpful as many will be, make sure you will not be losing clients or sales.
Make Your Front Page Stands Out
This is your most important page.
Your front-page should be well planned out mixing together
your products and services with the needs of your viewers.
This site is custom designed with the Lifestyle Pro theme by Genesis. It’s over 11 years old, and still works well on mobile devices.
This is a magazine-style WordPress theme by Genesis, Lifestyle Pro. The front page is set up to link deep into the site with images and text introductions to their corresponding pages.
This website was built for Williamsburg Travel Leaders with the Lifestyle Pro Theme by Genesis-Studiopress around 2005 and the theme was upgraded to a responsive framework several years later and more than 2 years before Google required it. This is a Newspaper Style Theme and custom-designed to be more attractive and easy on the eyes by changing the colors and styling with curves.
Above the Fold
The Top or Header
This is an important area where you announce who you are with your logo, Cruise and Vacation Experts and what you want the viewers to do with a call to action; Let Us Design your next vacation.
Here we have 2 navigation menus, one over the logo and the other under the logo and under the call to action.
The one over the logo, or brand, pertains to the company including the about, offices, and contact pages.
The second menu bar, located under the brand logo and call to action, is highlighted in a friendly dark aqua color with curved corners that meets accessibility standards. These links are to a combination of the viewer’s interests and company products.
This is the large image under the secondary navigation menu bar.
This area and image were originally set up to be a rotating or slider gallery that would change images and links every few seconds. Currently, this presentation is out of favor with the general public.
I’ve customized this area using Genesis approved plugins to give viewers an 80% chance to see a different image linking to its page.
This lets the viewer see something which has changed since the last time they visited and also entices the viewer to research further.
On the front page, we have all the Best Vacation Deals Of The Week. These are a list of promotions provided by our favorite suppliers and what the travel agents like to sell.
As we go into the website you will see the list focusing on its own category or the supplier’s specific promotions.
In the middle area I’m using the main reasons our clients like to travel, family vacations and romantic getaways. Williamsburg Travel Leaders business is about an 88% business travel so our travelers are younger and not retired yet.
The front page is set up so the viewers can see right off the bat
- Who we are, Cruise and Vacation Experts and Travel Leaders branding
- How to contact us by phone for a call to action or a contact page with a form to start planing a vacation
- Links to our offices
- About Us page
- Navigation menu to viewers interest and company products
Beautiful images are very important and should enhance emotions.
Main Body of the Website
The 2 columns will list our favorite suppliers in their category
- River Cruises in Europe
- Luxury Cruises
- Alaska Cruise and Land Tours
In the image above Luxury Cruises and River Cruises are at the top because during this season the website is focusing on retired and vacationers with our children.
As the Holidays roll around, Thanksgiving through New Years the focus is on family vacations because this is usually the time when families plan their vacations.
The Sidebar is showing a drop down menu of all the offices and phone numbers and under that are travel videos by our favorite travel suppliers.
Note: Sometimes the supplier videos are also shown on their featured pages.
This is the bottom area at the end of each page so you want to give your viewers an option to contact you, find more information or ways to stay connected.
This footer offers the headquarters contact information including phone numbers and address, Latest additions or updates, and a simple easy form to receive email updates.
Also, there is a list linking to our major social networks, RSS feed, and sitemap so visitors can follow updates to the website.
What Each Footer Should Contain
- Contact Information and if possible all the information should include Schema information for online databases.
- Social Icons to the companies pages. If a viewer has a favorite social network they can follow you.
- Email Sign Up Form or an automatic email update form when pages are available like Special Deals.
- Copy Rights should be included at the bottom of each page.
Also consider in the Footer Area
For a Small Company
This is a great place for a small company to increase its brand awareness by including
- A company’s abbreviated mission statement or elevator pitch.
- A company video.
- Travel photos or, mini gallery with links to corresponding pages.
- Above the footer consider adding a list of travel associations, awards, and certifications.
The footer, or the end of the page, is a unique opportunity to give your viewers an understanding of who you are and several different ways to stay connected.
For a small to medium size travel company, the front page is an excellent way to show your personality and how you stand out from the mega agencies.
- The brand logo is clear & direct.
- At the top right there is a call to action with a phone number.
- The top navigation bar above the brand logo connects the viewer with the company.
- The Navigation bar below the logo, highlights, and links to the company and viewers favorite products.
- The Main large image set up to rotate every time the page is visited. That way when a viewer comes back there is only a 20% chance they will see the same image so it will appear the website has changed.
- High-quality images must be included.
- All the images have been enhanced so they pop off the page, travel is very visual.
- And don’t forget the site should work seamlessly with handheld devices like smartphones and iPads.
How to write your travel agent profile
You’re not the only travel agent who cringes at the task of filling out their travel profile. It looks like the form is asking for more information than you know what to give.
Don’t worry, after reading this tutorial, you’ll be asking for more space to connect with your viewers.
Your travel agency or hosting company now provides a travel agent profile page for each agent. This is a great opportunity to insert your self into the company roster and show off your expertise.
Let’s keep it simple and take it one step at a time.
Before Starting Understand
- Where and how you will be listed
- Examine where you will be:
Having your own web page will be different than your vendors or consortium’s profile page. By taking your time and taking full advantage of all these pages have to offer will pay off many times in the future.
Go to travelleader.com and click on “find a Travel Agent”, at the top.
See how others are listed: What do you like? What do you dislike?
Now click on “Travel Specials” and what’s listed, cruises.
Optimizing your profile for Humans
Imagine meeting a stranger on the street, How do you explain your passion and what do you want them to walk away with?
Think about who is going to read your profile and what professional points you want them to walk away with.
- Connect with viewers who wants to fix a problem
- Understand the form fields and how to make the most of them
Create Your Best Profile Image
Viewers will be
Attracted to your smile
and connect with your eyes.
Remember this is the first place the viewer’s eye will land. It’s a good idea to wear solid colors and have the background out of focus or not sharp.
Men should always show full shoulders, women either way. Women can include dogs or family as long as you still connect with viewers with your eyes.
If you really want your profile photo to stand out have it professionally done or go to your photography store and ask for someone to take a profile photo for you, you’ll be surprised how eager photographers will be to help out.
Introduction Elevator Pitch
The first sentence should connect with the viewers’ problem and include a feel-good solution.
Example: Relax while I create a memorable cruise vacation for your family and friends.
This is the first line of text and should compliment your Specialties and Destinations. So if you include European River Cruises in your title (and Specialties) then include European countries in your destinations.
Keep the content easy on the eyes; keep your paragraphs to 3 sentences or less.
Include “problems and your solutions”.
There is already “a Call to Action” “Contact me” so include some support like Let me show you how to…”
Talk about your best problem-solving experience.
Everyone knows you wrote this piece so don’t talk about yourself in the third person.
Remember the first 3 positions in your Specialties and Destinations are the most important.
Website Display Title
I’ve saved the best for last:
Once you have the bio and teaser text, the information for the title will fall right into place.
Certifications & Specializations
Some travel company websites offer a place to list your certifications and specialties and sometimes linking them together.
When viewers already have a destination or type of travel in mind your profile will show up on a list in their search. This is a chance to show off your certifications for countries and suppliers. Try not to list more than 5 in each category.
Be specific. As an example, if your passion is river cruises, you, of course, will list river cruises, but not Europe it’s too general and that search list will be very long. Include your certifications for those countries you want to sell.
If you hone your Specialties and Destinations to cruises (or the specials) you will be chosen in the TravelLeaders search engine. When you use these Specialties and Destinations in your Website Display Title you will connect with your viewers.
Adding Extra Travel Photos
This is a great place to show where you have been and the type of travel you do.
Do not add generic or someone else’s photos. This is where you can shine. Even if they are not the best quality images, viewers are not expecting you to be a travel photographer, they want to know your expertise and familiarization.
Do not make these up. I can’t stress this enough, the last thing you want is being known for making up your own testimonials. I think it would OK to ask a friend who has used you before or your favorite client.
Your Travel Profile or Social Network About Page
Each profile page or social network about page will be a little different and some listing services will have several pages requesting information, and it is important to fill out every field or at least as much as possible.
A note: If you try to be a do everything travel specialist make sure it does not sound generic.
Write about your passion!
Every area of the website has its own important way to interact and connect with your clients and viewers.
The front page leads with your special promotions, links deep into the site, and provides contact information that works seamlessly with handheld devices.
Office location(s) can work with business and social media.
Travel agents can build their own profile page as well as use the blog section of the website to show off their last trip, travel specialties, and skills.
Contact and form pages can be used by business and leisure departments.