Why is the front page so important
for a vacation or leisure website?
Viewers are coming to your site looking for information like they are running through an airport trying to catch a flight. This is the page visitors will go to find the information they want and decide if they need to go somewhere else to find the travel information they are looking for.
About This Website Design
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 latter 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 viewer’s interests and company products.
This is the large image under the secondary navigation menu bar.
This area and image was originally setup 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 a Genesis approved plugins to give viewer an 80% chance to see a different image linking to it’s page.
This lets the viewer see something which has changed since the last time they visited and also entice 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 it’s 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 top because during this season the website is focusing on retired and vacationers with out 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 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 their 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 is an excellent way to show your personality and how you stand out from the mega agencies.