What site does my travel agency need? What are the functions of the site, and how to properly integrate it into the work of a travel agent? How to approach the creation of the site so that the costs of it paid off as soon as possible? We will answer these and other questions in this article. We will not teach you how to create websites, but we will tell you how to manage the process of its creation.
After 15 years, as the Internet is in every home, and several years as the Internet is in every phone, still not every travel agency has its own website. Although the situation in tourism is subjective, somewhat better than in many other industries. Do I need a small travel agency site? Is it worth spending tens or even hundreds of thousands of hryvnias on its creation? And what do you get in return?
I have been leading the development of websites for travel companies for many years, and I regret to see that most of the clients come to us without understanding why they need a website. Most believe that he must lead customers. But a small site will not perform this function. Everyone wants the site to be beautiful and presentable, while evaluating the beauty of the same principles that are used to repair the apartment or the choice of clothing.
Budget site for travel agency
If you are a small company,
and limited in finance, so you need budget site, which the:
- Will answer the questions «Where is your company?» And «How do you call?»
- It will tell you what your company does and how it differs from others.
- Thanks to the site, Google learns about you: location, phone numbers and work time.
The address of such a site you can proudly print on business cards or any promotional materials. Thanks to a small site, you will find old customers who have lost your phone or forgot the exact address. If you have the original name and the corresponding domain, the site will allow you to protect your name for some time without registering a trademark. But do not expect that such a site will lead you to new customers. Google loves big sites with a huge amount of content, so it’s unlikely that you will “pop up” in Google for at least one request other than your name.
For a small travel agency site is important:
- Look beautiful on your mobile phone. Not only fit in the width of the mobile screen. Fonts must not be very small, and links, buttons and menu items should not be located very close to each other. The number of mobile users has long exceeded the number of those who watch the site from a computer. For example, 55% of visitors of the largest tourist site of Ukraine Otpusk.com read it from a mobile.
- The site should load quickly. The difference between fast and slow downloads may not be noticeable with fast Internet, but on mobile it can significantly worsen the user’s experience.
- To be multilingual. The legislation of Ukraine does not yet obligate to have a Ukrainian version of the travel agency site, but outbreaks of legislative activity of deputies quite often generate strong magnetic storms on this issue in the information space of Ukraine.
But think about the users. About 15% of Google search queries are done in Ukrainian. So, you can not only attract 15% more people to the site, but also get a big “plus in karma” from patriotic customers.
- Friendly to Google. In other words, the site should be freely indexed by the main search engine of the Internet. That is, the text on the site should be text, not pictures. Headings, paragraphs and lists on the page should be correctly marked.
One of the popular options for a small site is “landing”. Landing is a site consisting of one long page, which as it consists of several separate pages, located one after another. Usually 5-7 separate pages that are not replete with textual information can be combined in this way. Landing advantages are ease of navigation by scrolling the page (instead of switching through the menu), visual saturation, retention of the user’s attention, which leads to a good conversion. A landing page may have its own menu, but it does not open new pages, but quickly moves the page to the right place, and its value is small.
Medium site for travel agency
The next approach is – average travel agency website. The average site already does not fit in one page, and is more expensive, but before it you can set new powerful goals:
- Be a landing page for advertising. By placing ads on Google, on Otpusk.com or on Facebook, you must provide the tourist with a decent welcome on your website. And this means that for each direction of tourism, for popular resorts, and even better for hotels, you need a friendly page on the website of your travel agency.
- The site can help in sales to your managers. A search of tours, containing actual prices, descriptions of hotels, reviews and filters will help the cautious tourist to choose the hotel himself, or to make sure that the advice received from the travel agency manager is correct. When using the CRM system MyTourists, travel agency managers can send collections of hotels to customers, with links to your website. Thus, the tourist does not need to walk on the Internet in search of reviews, descriptions and photographs of hotels. The whole cycle closes the site of your travel agency.
To be a landing page for these functions, the structure of an average site should include a tour search module and a catalog of countries, with pages about countries, resorts and preferably hotels. The site may also have a news and promotions section, but only if you are ready to embed its content into the daily work of a travel agency. There may be pages describing the additional services of your company, memos and lists of documents for tourists. You can add a review section. But remember that in itself it will not be filled, and its filling will become the daily task of managers who work with tourists. The order form of the tour, feedback form, online chat and other plugins will help to increase the conversion of the site, if it will have attendance.
To be a good landing page for advertising, the average site for a travel agency should be:
- Beautiful, credible.
- Live, with current prices (news or reviews, if any).
- Landing pages for each direction of tourism and for each of your services.
- Conversion. Many different ways to contact the manager. Tactics of retention and user involvement.
- If you are going to use Facebook, then the site should be convenient for publishing materials or tariffs in order to link to them from Facebook.
- Google Analytics should be installed on all pages. You also need a person who understands anything in it. Always analyze mobile and desktop users separately, they are very different.
- Emphasize your positioning if your travel agency has one. For example, how did FlyMe:
To average travel agency website helped you in sales:
- Trust your site. Place on it a Vacation Search module with current prices, and feel free to send tourists there. By asking the price and choosing hotel options, they will be better prepared for your consultation and subsequent purchase. Prices in the modules are relevant.
- Search for tours must meet the following criteria:
- It makes the tourist understand what he is looking for in all tour operators.
- Powerful filters so that you can choose a hotel by services, by rating, by category, food, etc.
- It contains descriptions of hotels, photos and reviews so that the tourist does not leave your site.
- Combine your website and CRM to
- Send collections with a link to your own site.
- Receive site orders directly to CRM.
- To receive calls from the site via IP telephony and see them in CRM.
The most direct and reliable way to make an average website is:
- Use WordPress, with a unique, credible design.
- Otpuska modules, because they fit perfectly into any design and meet all the criteria listed above.
- Use IP telephony (for example, Binotel).
- Turn on LiveJourt online chat at least for the time of advertising campaigns.
- CRM MyTourists easily integrates with the site and modules on it.
- Perform a separate work on the site loading speed.
- Order a mobile design and layout with the desktop version from the very beginning.
Keep a reliable connection with those who made you a site. Even if everything functions as expected, the site is your growing asset. It is important that experts are there when you want to add a section or page, replace a picture or expand the menu.
What can not the average site? By itself, the average travel agency site, built on the basis of modules, does not lead customers. SEO of this site can be done, but on a small scale. For example, you can try to get the first places in Google for queries related to the name of your area, street or subway station. Big SEO – the lot of large sites, which will be discussed later. Do not expect that people will return to your average site from memory or be bookmarked. For this, the site must offer unique services, constantly updated content, or contain a huge amount of useful information for the traveler.
Great site for travel agency
Large travel sites are not only unique positioning, but also solid research work, years of development and accumulation of SEO potential, large marketing costs. Large sites are difficult to classify, because many of them are unique, at least across Ukraine. But still let’s try.
1. Sites aimed at great SEO traffic. For example, attendance at hottours.in.ua amounts to more than 10 thousand people per day during the summer months. And about 80% come from search engines, and the remaining channels do not play a significant role. The site contains dozens or even hundreds of thousands of pages optimized for search engines. Obviously, many people have been filling the site for many years. The major sites of this type include xo.ua, ola.ua, apltravel.ua, itour.ua. Some of them may have other sources, but the basis of attendance is Google, and sites are filled with editors. It is quite logical and appropriate development direction for an average travel agency site.
2. Sites booking tours. Similar projects have recently appeared in Ukraine. The largest player is currently misto.travel, the site offers booking tours of all major operators online with a payment card. Tripsee.com and farvater.travel work in a similar way. I believe that in the near future we will see some more similar projects. All these projects are laborious in development. And the main costs will go to programmers, about the high salaries of which they now make up jokes. But if the costs do not frighten you, then the construction of such a project will be a reliable and predictable investment.
3. Low fare blogs — are aimed at a permanent audience that is price oriented. The editors of the resource daily monitor discounts on tours, tickets, or combinations of tickets with hotels and post them on public display. For example, the project mandruy.com has a large Facebook group and other channels of information dissemination. The audience comes from social networks, comes directly to the site, as well as from e-mail newsletters and search engines. Such a uniform distribution of sources indicates a great age of the site and its stability. Among other things, «Mandruy deshevshe» It is also a travel agency where you can buy tours combined by company managers. But the blogs lowcostavia.com.ua and www.mandria.ua are not travel agents and earn on advertising.
4. There are and other major sites, which is difficult to put in any classification. For example, own sites of tour operators. They also have a large attendance, but are not the main engine of the business. Or site reviews www.turpravda.ua which is filled with tourists.
If you are thinking of joining a big game, then consider the following:
- Flexibility to manage and fill a large site. This almost always means that the site can not be «made and forgotten», it requires support and development.
- Filling budget. Get ready to contain one or more content managers, and maybe the whole edition. For review sites you will need moderators and community managers. Competent SEO and SMM specialists can ensure the success of the project.
- Budget for advertising. It all depends on your ambitions, and the degree of monetization of the site.
- Conversion of large sites usually ranges from 0.1% to 1%.
- To develop you will need a competent team of professionals: designer, layout designer, front-end developer, backend developer, system administrator. You can outsource all these specialists, for example, in our odev.io.
As you understand, developing a website for a travel agency is not an easy task. I have given sufficient ground for reflection, but do not let this information plunge you into shock and gloom. In life, not the one who makes mistakes loses, but the one who does nothing.