Creating the Best User Experiences for Your Travel Website.

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By providing robust tools that greatly simplify user experience, a travel website will give customers an easy user experience and journey when they are using your site, making them more likely to book through you in the future. Here are some of the best user experiences, which you can provide for your end user.

Be the best in customer satisfaction

Do all that you can to provide the ultimate customer satisfaction and that can include website layout and the booking process. Just recently, Journey Latin America (JLA)won an Best Travel Digital Experience awardfor their new website that ‘more thoroughly represented the brand, was a more engaging customer experience and increased levels of enquiry, sales and customer service.’

Thematic search functionality

The best travel websites allow you to search for travel accommodation by theme, which could be based on locations or amenities like beach and spa hotels, while others are tailored to specific groups of travellers like family and business hotels. Additional search criteria, including specific dates and hotel ratings, can be added to speed up the process of finding the perfect place to stay.

Cross Device Browsing

Make sure that your customers account can be viewed on any device, be it computer, tablet, and/or smartphone. For example a customer may be in the middle of looking at hotels online when they have to go out – if they can sign in their account on an app/mobile version and click on recent searches they can quickly return to what they were looking at without having to re-enter the search criteria.

Make Payment Easy

Allow payment information to be stored and accessed across all devices can ensure that customers can make a reservation quickly. New technologies also allow you to enter pre-saved credit or debit card details from the users device, which can increase conversions and ensure a smooth path to purchase.

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Special offers for members

Provide ‘Special Offers’ and loyalty discounts brand advocates or members of your social community. These might be offers on hotels, flights or other travel accommodation and only available for a short time, and only with an offer code which your members have access to. You can send these offers out in emails, which the consumers received, based on their favourite destinations.

Virtual reality tours

The travel industry is realising that consumers need to be able to go on a visual journey. Travel is the ideal space for the technology to make an impact; it provides a visual medium to showcase destinations and experiences and is far more vivid and experiential than static imagery. There are so many travel websites out there and that are competing for business; it’s hard to believe that most of these websites are still showing static content.Contikiis a great example of a brand that is using VR to truly immerse its customers and prospects into its brand! http://www.contiki.com/virtually-unlimited

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Reviews

Make sure your website provides reviews from other consumers. This allows trust to be gained. 63% of consumers more likely to buy from a site that has user reviews.

Personalisation

What is Personalisation? Well it’s something which roughly only 45% of companies currently do and it means that ‘if’ a website user visits ‘this piece of content’ ‘then when they come back’ the website will show ‘this piece of relevant content’. Personalisation allows travel websites to deliver relevant content to their visitors based on where they’ve clicked and who they are. Websites can be structured around the behaviour of the visitors, helping to create a natural conversation and relationship between the traveller and website. Travel websites now can guide consumers with personalised messages based on various data rules including search terms, referring site, geographic location, and visit, and visit frequency, to assist travellers in buying their trips.

From a consumer view, it’s like the old experience with a travel agent who has been used many times being put to use online, and it’s time for travel websites to put this information to use, so that the consumer will use your website time and time again.

The consumer will expect the travel company to ‘know who I am, where I’ve been, and what my preferences are.’ Over time you will get to know the places that the consumer is interested in travelling to as more information becomes available, and the website then provides the relevant information that needed to help the consumer make their decision.

There is a great opportunity for travel sites to engage their visitors right away, and create a relevant and personalised experience for their consumers. If it’s done well, travel websites will turn more browsers into buyers – faster.

At Sagittarius we specialise in travel and tourism marketing and have expertise in all aspects covered in today's blog. If you would like to learn more, get in touch via email at hello@sagittarius.agency or call 01233 467800

This article was originally published via The Drum on 23rd August 2017.

Whatever your business, be it a regional or global brand, the content you produce plays a vital role in your success. You know that… hence you’re reading this.

A well formulated and executed content strategy not only drives more traffic, at the core, it defines what your business is and helps build a strong connection between you and your audiences.

So let's quickly look at why developing a coherent content strategy is important and how setting clear goals and understanding your audience will elevate your online performance. 

What is a Content Strategy?

It's basic right? Content is at the core of how you define the way your business presents itself and an effective strategy should look to ensure that tone of voice, messaging and the core values are surfaced across all channels, from service or product pages on your website, to blog posts, through social media updates blah blah blah.

But let's keep it simple - your content strategy should be a clear roadmap that connects your marketing activities to your business goals. Align to your customer’s wants and needs and engage them at every interaction point and boom, you're in business. 

Who are my Audience?

You likely start all your projects with this chalked on the wall because your business knows “exactly” who its customers are right? Sounds obvious but we often find its not been done forensically enough (not based on data), is too old (more than 12 months ago - forget it) or its a spin off from some brand work that was legitimately aspirational but doesn’t face the reality of who you your business is actually engaging today.

So start (or circle back) with audience research, building out those personas to understand their ambitions, their lifestyle, their pain points or concerns, and crucially their wants and needs - in your context. 

Do I need to tailor content?

As part of your research find out where your audiences spend their time online and how they interact with content: Some may spend time thoroughly researching a product or service, whereas other audiences may want their content to be quick, snappy or easily digestible in the form of a video, infographic or short blog posts.

 

Ultimately, the key is to produce a strategy that creates the type of content your customers want to see:

  • What are the problems that your product or service will help them solve?

  • Who are they most influenced by?

  • What voices influence their behaviour?

  • What type of content do they consume?

  • Where do they consume content and engage with brands?

Different Content, Different Objectives

 All content is not born equal: When producing your strategy, it is important that the objectives for each individual piece are defined, that these fulfil your marketing objectives and tie to the overarching goals for your business.

There are various content frameworks that exist to aid content development in this way, but one that is popular and effective is Google’s hero, hub and hygiene method: It provides a framework on developing content to achieve different goals and gives guidance on the effort needed to create each type of content.

Hero Content

Hero content is essentially campaign content, it is big splash ideas designed to appeal to a large audience with the aim of telling your brand’s story at scale. 

Ways of measuring hero include the amount of PR mentions or links from authoritative domains plus social interactions and mentions of your brand across all channels. 

Considering the scale of hero campaigns, this content is not regularly produced and is reserved for peak promotional times where it’s important for a business to stand out from their competitors.

Hub Content

Hub content is the stuff that keeps your audience engaged, it expands on the themes of product or service level content, educates users and helps create a connection between themselves and your brand.

Hygiene Content

Hygiene content is the bread and butter of any website, it is the BAU content for products and services, it is SEO focused and targets important keywords at a product, service or guide level.

How do I manage all this?

Content development is only one part of the ongoing work needed when working with an effective content strategy. We call it “feeding the beast” because it really is the fuel in your brand vehicle and once you start you really can’t stop (if it’s delivering results) but that’s where performance measurement comes in.

Your greatest gift in managing the outputs from your hero/hub/hygiene style efforts is to understand If your content is working. To truly deliver results your business must first understand the objectives and goals of each piece of content to effectively measure its success. That as a guiding light from day 1 will let you slow down, speed up, stop or start new content briefs and projects.

Remember - content strategies are not set in stone. They are living breathing things and should adapt and pivot as insights become available and your brand naturally evolves.

If ever you want to chat content and explore new initiatives we’re always here to help.

want to speak to one of our experts?

 
Paul Stephen
Paul Stephen
Co-Founder & Joint CEO
With over 25 years in marketing, Paul is one of the UK's leading experts on digital marketing. He oversees the agency and often lectures and consults within the industry on digital and marketing related subjects and has a particular interest and skills in the travel and tourism sectors.

Paul operates nationally and internationally, helping brands to think outside the traditional horizontal and vertical channels and transform their business with creative multi-channel marketing and digital re-invention.
Paul Stephen

Paul Stephen

31 Aug 2017 - 7 minute read
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