We make digital things

~ 6 min read

Web Design For A Travel Agency

By Gavin Kilgallon on Tuesday, 29 May 2018

Web design for the travel agency industry is a market segment that ID Studio Web Agency is starting to gain a great reputation.  One of the enjoyable aspects of travel agency web design is the ability to immerse and capture your site visitors with emotive photography.  Having recently developed a website for Uncover Columbia, Bunzen, Flight Finders and an internal sales learning website for Trafalgar Travel, we thought we could share some of the insights and tips we have learned along the way.

Showcase your Travel Agency niches and specialisms

If you are a specialty travel agent, then your branding and web design will need to reflect this throughout the site. The homepage needs to enforce your core services, incorporating professional photography on a carousel, subtly changing from one emotive image to another (the importance of professional photography for travel agents is outlined later in this blog). You need to showcase your industry knowledge and expertise, creating confidence in your travel agency through strong, targeted design and direction.

Cover all your site visitors needs and wants

By analysing and understanding your target market, this will help you better serve your site visitors. Your design needs to target your visitor demographics, creating a user experience that embraces their needs and desires. If thirty percent of your clients are retirees, then your online user experience needs to consider the characteristics associated with this age group. As this blog is about web design for travel agents, this subject has been covered in a previous article. For more information on UX design and how to create a great user experience for your site visors, click on the link provided.

The importance of Photography is paramount

The importance of effective, relevant photography cannot be underestimated for the overall success of your travel agent website. Many travel agents fail in this area, incorporating low-quality, irrelevant and uninspiring imagery. The whole purpose of your website is to create enquiries that convert visitors into paying customers. The layout and design of your website are to direct visitors to achieve your online goals, through the use of persuasive and emotive photography, you can compel people to complete the desired action such as getting in touch. The travel industry has a huge opportunity when it comes to the use of imagery, and this opportunity needs to be lapped up.  Make sure to use high-quality photography that compliments your content. If you have access to excellent imagery then supply them to your web design company, alternatively, ask them to source relevant photography for you.

Tell your site visitors what they need to know

If you are looking for a specific holiday type or traveling to a specific destination, then there will be core information that people will want to know. This needs to be included in your website, by excluding important information people will search for it elsewhere and leave your website. It is important that you clearly provide all vital information, however, this needs to be balanced with making sure you do not create information overload.  Remember, you can always provide branded documents that people can download if you need to provide additional supporting documentation.

Areas of information that you might want to include:

  • Destination information
  • Weather / seasonal information
  • Travel times including distance from the airport
  • Customs information and visas
  • Insurance information and potential health issues
  • What to bring and not to bring
  • Safety and security information
  • Important local laws and customs
  • Money / local currency
  • General tips

The Importance of Content Management System (CMS)

Travel Agent websites need to be continuously updated due to the nature of the industry they are in. With a CMS, this will provide the agent with the ability to update locations, prices, travel information and any alerts in real-time.  Not only will this provide you with the ability to make immediate vital updates, it will also save you money by completing the updates in-house without the expense of a third party.  A great modular open source CMS we often work with is ProcessWire, click through to the blog for more information.

Concise and clear writing

Information overkill must be avoided unless you like a high bounce rate with few conversions :-) You need to provide information that people want in an orderly and concise manner.  Make use of bullets and numbered lists, incorporate headings and subheadings, keeping your text clear, simple and relevant.  The main objective is to focus on what is important for your site visitor and travel agency. For more information and tips on the importance of copywriting use the link provided.

Clear Call to Actions

As with any website selling a service, there needs to be clear call to action triggers funneling visitors down a set path. For example, people interested in cruises need to be quickly directed to that section, people looking for family theme parks to Orlando or Paris etc.  Call-to-action triggers need to be planned during the wireframing process, then continuously tailored and improved using website analytics and any customer feedback.  As this is an article for travel agency web design, I will create a blog specifically about call to actions and add a link from here once completed.

Having call to actions is just one part of the jigsaw, a lot of businesses neglect to respond effectively to them. You need to have a system in place that streamlines the response process. If you take too long to respond you are likely to lose that potential customer to a rival travel agency. There are a number of techniques that you can incorporate into your website functionality to improve this process.

  • Setup an auto-response email as soon as the enquiry comes through
  • Have preset emails and templates so that you can tailor these quickly
  • Incorporate customer service software to help automate this process
  • Tag emails with a timer if they have not been responded to within a set time
  • This may sound obvious but prioritise your emails. Have folders for urgent, semi-urgent and non-urgent.

Search Engine Optimisation and Promotion

Make sure that your selected specialist travel web design agency has a tangible record of building websites that are search engines opmtimised. A good starting point is to audit their own website and recent examples.  If you are unsure how to check the backend code, there are numerous free SEO audit websites that can do this for you. Please bear in mind that they are not always 100% accurate, so do manually check as well.

By having a travel website designed for SEO you will have a higher chance of ranking well on the major search engines. The positives that come from this we all know too well.

Testimonials and Case Studies showcasing Holidays

Using real-life examples is an excellent way to build trust and help convert your site visitors into paying customers.  Your travel website needs to positively showcase locations, enforcing preconceptions people often associate with holidays such as sunshine, health, relaxation, tropics, oceans, family time, rest, fun, luxury, no worries, romance etc.

Create trust in your Travel Agency

Due to a number of unscrupulous online travel agents, there can be some mistrust associated with the travel market industry. It is important that your website immediately commands trust in the services you offer in a completely transparent way. Trust can be gained through a number of different methods, some of these are outlined below.

  • Showcase any organisations your travel agency is associated with such as ABTA
  • Add past client testimonials
  • If you have been trading for a long time highlight this fact
  • Be open with your terms and conditions, do not hide key information
  • Having a professional and modern website this will create a positive impression
  • Sell your expertise and industry knowledge
  • Showcase the number of holidays your business has sold

If you would like to discuss your travel industry web design needs or have any additional questions, feel free to contact Michael on 020 8948 5808 or complete our contact form.

Travel agency web design examples

Below are a few examples of travel agency websites that we have recently designed.