What Types of Travel Agent websites are there? Let’s find out!
The questions about travel agency websites continually surface when travel agents are considering their online presentation. Newer agents are always asking, “Where can I get a website?” or even “Do I need a website?” Unfortunately, there is no cookie cutter answer for these questions because everyone asking the question may have a unique business concept, value proposition and expectation of the results they seek from their investment.
So let’s take a look at what you should consider long before even thinking about your web presence.
What Do You Want From Your Travel Agency Website?
This is always the first question I pose when someone is asking where they can get a website. If you think about it, this is the most logical first question and virtually every time it is asked, the answer is “what do you mean?” Long before starting to look for a website provider you should clearly understand exactly what you want your website to do for your business. Here are just some examples of what a website might do for an agency.
Booking Website for Travel Agents
Most agencies feel that their specific value proposition lies in their knowledge and experience and because of this, do not wish to relegate an online contact to a booking site. The ability for an experienced travel agent to influence a consumer with their in-depth knowledge of a product, itinerary or destination is an important element for converting communications into sales. But that said, many agents want to offer their clients the opportunity to research and book their travel needs on their website making booking websites attractive to agents.
Develop an Online Presence
Many travel agencies want to have a website just to show potential and existing clients that they have an online presence and this may, or may not be a good strategy. Just having a small website with your contact information and agency profile on it will not do much to impress visitors, especially if they are online savvy. And, if you web presence website is dated or otherwise not impressive, it can possibly hurt your efforts rather than help them.
However, having a small website that connects with your social media, reviews and other online profiles can be a great way to show the depth of your online activity and strength of your business.
Special Group or Tour
If your travel agency is focused on selling special groups then creating a website focused on each specific group makes a ton of sense. Listing complete itineraries, group details, optional events, tours and activities, a social community for group members, payment tracking, group updates and many other things can make a group or tour much more satisfying for group members. This type of website can be very effective at convincing potential members to join the group because they can see just how effective your agency is at dealing with all aspects for the group.
Landing Page Website
Landing pages are great for selling items, gaining email addresses, getting subscribers to your newsletter and so on. A Landing Page website is a simple one-page site that has a very specific purpose and that is to create a lead or a sale from a click. They are usually used in PPC advertising campaigns, email marketing and direct advertising.
Travel Blog Website
Many agents want to maintain a travel blog as a way to share their knowledge and experience with potential new clients. If you have an exotic niche and love to write, consider starting a travel blog on your passion. Blogs are loved by search engines because of their unique content and keyword focus.
Keyword Niche Website
If you are looking to generate new client leads from your website then it must be keyword driven and focused on a special niche. The idea is to have your website respond to keywords that define what you do in a way that search engines will give web pages high SERPs (Search Engine Ranking Placement) so that consumers can find you using keyword searches. This is the kind of website that most agents are imagining when they ask the question “where can I get a website?”
However, building and maintaining an effective Keyword Niche website requires quite a bit of diligence and understanding of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) in order to achieve success.
While Facebook Groups is used by many agents to create discussion and social groups focused on a myriad of topics, stand alone community websites are many times a much better solution. First of all, Facebook’s reach to your group members continues to decline and there is common belief that Facebook will soon start charging a group Administrator to reach their group members much in the same way that they have started charging those with business pages to reach their followers.
Running your own social community is both inexpensive and robust. Depending on your agency’s niche and following, starting a community website might just be the way to go.
While there are many other types of websites, these are the main kinds of websites that travel agencies will use.