Suggestions to improve a travel website

One of my favourite business sites, Bnet has an interesting case study of a site that offers bespoke or customised trips in China. The site is not doing as well as the owners expected.

The article asks the question “Why doesn’t this website draw more visitors” and there is an outline of the situation with the issues and readers are invited to comment. I tried to add my comments but as has happened before, I couldn’t add them so I am including them below.

The look and feel of the site is drab and reminds me of websites from 10 years ago. The content is too ‘traditional’ and rather predicatable.

If they are not happy with the number of visitors, then SEO is obviously an issue. So many companies spend a fortune designing a site and then sit back and wait for the orders to flow in. If only it were so easy…

So what would I do to make things happen?

They need to improve the writing. Although this won’t improve traffic to the site, it’ll keep visitors on the site once they are there.

I’d talk to existing customers and ask them what improvements they would like to see. I’d also talk to prospects that have visited the site and made enquiries but have not booked and identify why they didn’t book.

Before that, they need to invest more in driving traffic to the website, especially if as stated, 10% of the marketing budget generates 70% of enquiries. I’d also investigate and measure the number of leads generated from those 1,650 page views, source of visits, conversion rates from all channels, lost prospects and retention rates.

Other thoughts
1) The target market doesn’t have time to wait for flash to load. Furthermore, many of them are probably accessing from smartphones between appointments or via laptops whilst at airport lounges with poor internet speeds. Keep the information simple and bin the flash. Also you need a mobile version of the site.

2) So many companies think a website will make sales for them. It won’t, it is nothing more than a brochure to generate interest. Once an enquiry comes in, start building a one on one relationship with those prospects.

3) The form is too long. The target market is the wealthy but the wealthy are careful about sharing information, especially at the prospecting stage. If I buy you can have that data but not yet. Let’s stick to email communications for now. And maybe twitter.

4) Social Media initiatives aren’t engaging enough and there is too much broadcasting. Moreover there appear to be comments by readers/fans to which there hasn’t been a response.

5) Although I didn’t read the Blog articles, the headlines on the home page would suggest they are press releases not blog posts.

The key in any customer facing exercise is to put yourself in the shoes of the people you are looking to communicate with. And the best way of doing this is to talk to the people that visit your site, those that do business with you as well as those that don’t.

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3 thoughts on “Suggestions to improve a travel website

  1. I really like your blog.. very nice colors & theme.
    Did you create this website yourself or did you
    hire someone to do it for you? Plz respond as I’m looking to construct my own blog and would like to know where u got this from. appreciate it

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