To stand out in a fiercely competitive digital landscape, the best travel websites demand highly optimized, user friendly landing pages to attract and retain users. Even a few small, quick optimizations to your site’s most heavily trafficked landing pages can have a significant impact on your conversion rates, UX, and engagement metrics.
Here are some of the most impactful, yet fairly simple, optimizations you can make to your site’s landing pages in order to see the best results:
Optimize your CTAs
Your CTA should be placed prominently on the page, use simple action words, and define clear benefits to the users. Consider, for example, how Hilton manages its CTA for the Honors Club:
The language is active ("Join Hilton Honors"), but immediately shows how the users benefit ("get instant benefits"). It's followed up with another nudge ("JOIN NOW"). Clicking on the CTA results in a form with seven text boxes and a drop-down list. Compare this simple process to un-optimized travel websites that instead opt for heavy verbiage or confusing messaging. Or worse, some sites even use a bait-and-switch tactic when calling their users to action where, where the user clicks on the CTA thinking they will join a rewards program and is instead whacked with a "special offer." Make sure all of your CTAs are clear, prominent, and deliver on what the user’s expect to receive when they click.
Design to engage
Getting your users to engage deeply and as long as possible with your travel website is critical to increasing conversions. The Content Marketing Institute found that interactive content, like gamified content, videos, images, infographics or calculators, is a powerful way to snag user attention and persuade them to engage with your site. Travel websites, perhaps more than any other industry, require visually stunning content to attract users and encourage them to “dream” throughout their travel planning journey.
For example, Royal Caribbean International does a great job of capturing user attention immediately on the homepage with enticing, stunning photos of alluring destinations:
In fact, our own testing and experimentation with optimizing travel website homepages like this one reveals even higher conversion rates when the images or creatives are optimized for seasonality. For example, this image of a Caribbean destination may be especially effective for users who are located in colder climates, enticing them to escape the winter chill with an ocean cruise or island getaway.
If it's broken, fix it
Every site can experience broken links. Address this problem by making your own custom 404 redirect page. This page should include a brief blurb about the failure to link. It should also include a link for the users to get to another page on your site, such as your homepage.
Disney solves the problem with a little humor. Its 404 redirect page has a startled Mickey with a few brief statements. Disney goes one step further by providing a search box so users can pick out another topic on the site.
It's all about the users
While a strong majority of companies love the idea of personalization, they find it challenging to actually do it. An easy way to start down the road of personalization and boost conversions is with a product recommendation engine. When a user clicks on a product on a page, closely related products appear under the larger image of the original item. This can work for services, too, such as tours or cruises. Airbnb uses this type of approach to ensure that customers have a number of options. After clicking on a potential place to stay, the company includes reviews and other information, followed by a short list of other places you may like based on your initial choice:
Give them what they want
Giving users what they want quickly will support your conversion rate and improve your site's performance. You may need to run some tests to see exactly what works for your users. For example, using a game on your site may grab the attention of younger customers, but older users may prefer an interactive book or infographic. Make your site as user-friendly and informative as possible to help it stand apart from the competition.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org for help optimizing your website and see the results we've had for our travel clients.