Tourism Websites: 14 Mistakes to Avoid in 2021

November 12, 2020 8:26 pm

Not sure why your tourism website is struggling? 

Creating an effective and attractive tourism website is a difficult task. With so many factors and pitfalls to navigate, avoiding mistakes can be challenging. 

Whether it’s a lack of optimisation, a slow website, bad copy, no analytics, or a host of easy-to-make mistakes, tourism websites often spend so much time thinking about the experiences they’re offering that they forget to focus on the experience on their websites. 

So many tourism websites make the same mistakes, time and time again. Many of these mistakes are simple to make, but they’re also relatively simple to rectify. 

That’s why we’ve put together a list of 14 mistakes to avoid on your tourism website in 2021.  

1. Not optimising your website for mobile 

Before we go any further, stop and ask yourself one question: what year is it? If your answer is anything before 2007 (which it’s not), then why isn’t your website optimised for mobile. Having a website that runs smoothly and looks great on both desktop and mobile devices is an absolute must for your tourism website. 

Whether you like it or not, the majority of people visiting your website will be mobile users, especially if they’re landing on your website from ads you’re running on social media. If your website is impossible to navigate on mobile, how long do you think people will hang around? If your mobile site doesn’t work, people aren’t going to switch to your desktop site, unless they absolutely can’t get what you have to offer anywhere else.  

2. Not knowing your perfect customer 

In any industry, but especially tourism, competition for customers is incredibly competitive. And that’s why taking a broad approach to customer acquisition is destined to end in failure. Before you spend your entire marketing budget casting as wide a net as possible, stop and think about who, in an ideal scenario, is your perfect customer. 

3. A slow website 

For years, Google has valued speed as a determining factor when ranking and recommending websites. If your website takes forever to load, it’s pretty likely that you’ll struggle to get many visitors. 

Your website simply needs to be fast. This means it needs to be well built by someone who knows what they’re doing. Other factors to keep in mind are: the price and quality of your domain hosting and optimising images.

If you’re trying to promote amazing holiday experiences on your website but the experience of your website isn’t reflective of this, do you really think you’re going to attract visitors?   

4. Not having an SSL certificate 

SSL certificate may sound like tech jargon, but it’s incredibly important in the success and security of your tourism website. To be blunt: if your website doesn’t have an SSL certificate, get on. An SSL certificate is what allows your website to move from HTTP to HTTPS, which is more secure.  

Don’t get too caught up here. Simply speak with your webmaster or whoever runs your website. 

5. Low-quality photos 

When we talk about the quality of photos, when it comes to your website, there are two meanings. On one hand, there is the traditional idea of a low-quality photo, meaning it’s pixelated, poorly shot, out of focus, etc. On the other hand, it means your photo is too large (file size), which causes your website to suffer from seriously slow load times. 

It may sound counterintuitive to consider large photos to be low quality, as a large file size usually means a high-quality image. But we’re talking about the quality of the user experience here.   

6. No call-to-action

When someone lands on your website, what do you want them to do? What action should they take? If they fail to take that action, what’s their next move? 

Call-to-actions are incredibly important in guiding your visitors around your website, taking them to the pages you deem most valuable. Spend some time thinking about, in an ideal scenario, what is the first thing you would like a visitor to do after landing on your website. Make a list, if you need to, ranking actions from most to least valuable. For tourism brands, securing a booking is usually around the top of the list. 

Once you know what your most valuable action is, make sure it’s the first thing visitors see when they land on your website. 

7. No clear purchasing pathway 

Similar to including call-to-actions, having a clear purchasing pathway is critical to the success of your website. By the time you’ve convinced a visitor to hand over their hard-earned cash, the last thing you want to do is put more obstacles in their way. And that’s why your payment process needs to be seamless, quick, and secure. 

Your visitors shouldn’t have to go looking for ways to pay; you should do the hard work for them. Furthermore, the more trusted payment options you can accept, the better.   

8. Bad copy 

Are you a professional copywriter? If you answered no, then please don’t attempt to write all the copy for your website. 

Copy can make or break your website. Having a website filled with well-written, edited, and optimised copy is crucial in highlighting what you have to offer. You may consider yourself a bit of a wordsmith, but copy is one of those elements where it’s worth spending the money.

9. No Google Analytics 

If you aren’t using Google Analytics, why not? It’s a 100% free service that automatically collects, organises, and processes a massive amount of data from your website. 

To get started with Google Analytics, all you need to do is set up a Google Analytics and use a Google Tracking Code to connect it with your website. 

10. Bad web hosting 

When it comes to web hosting, you get what you pay for. While we know it’s tempting to go for the lowest price or that unbelievable deal, having solid, respected, and reliable web hosting is critical to the performance of your tourism website. 

Many people overlook web hosting as a necessary evil, but poor-quality hosting will have impacts on your website’s speed, performance, and security. Don’t risk it. Do you research and go for a trust and well-established service.  

11. There’s no Facebook Pixel installed 

If you want to advertise on Facebook, you need to have a Facebook Pixel installed on your website. Like Google Analytics, installing a Facebook Pixel on your website is free. It’s easy to do, and the benefits are huge.

The Facebook Pixel works by collecting user information for people who visit your website. It’s a powerful tool for creating custom audiences, running remarketing campaigns, and so much more.  

12. Not updating content on a regular basis 

So, you’ve set up your website, added a few posts, fleshed it out with some pictures, and set up a way for customers to make payments. Job done, right? Wrong. While it’s certainly extra work, running a website is just that: running it. That means you need to be updating your content regularly. 

One of the best ways to do this is by blogging. A recommendation here is to blog regularly. Blog has benefits for SEO, increasing organic traffic, and audience engagement. Plus, a great blog is a fantastic way to position your brand as a trusted thought leader in your field.

We’ve all seen it: you click on an exciting link for a great deal or holiday destination and the link doesn’t work. It’s pretty unlikely that you’re going to do any extra legwork to find that deal on that site again. Chances are, most people will simply move on and forget about it. 

Not only are broken links annoying for people visiting your website, they actually have a negative effect on your website’s ranking and usability. Dead Link Checker is a great resource to check your web site for broken links. 

14. Ignoring COVID-19 restrictions 

We can’t write an article about tourism in 2020 without addressing the elephant in the room: COVID-19. This last mistake to avoid is a relatively simple one, and it relates directly to do what’s responsible and, most importantly, legal. 

It should go without saying, but your tourism website should follow all the appropriate guidelines surrounding your tourism website, as set out by your government and approved bodies. 

Need help with your tourism website? The Coffey & Tea team can help. Reach out today