One thing that has made a big comeback in recent months is travel websites. Now more than ever, we have people that document their travels in new and exciting ways. Perhaps the lockdown due to the recent pandemic has rekindled in all of us the desire to travel. And those who can't afford to do so can at least enjoy the content that professional travellers provide.
So, if you plan on running a travel website in 2023, you'll have your work cut out. Luckily, we are here to help you by outlining the must-have features for travel websites.
It won't take more than a simple Google search to see how varying travel websites can be. Travel websites can have a few things in common depending on the content they host and their target audience. But, with the ongoing trends, we feel that there are certain aspects that all travel websites should have.
If you feel your website is the exception, go ahead. But, at least get a complete understanding of why we feel the following features are a must-have.
If you are just now starting to get into online marketing, you should be aware that a big part of your audience will use mobile devices as their primary platform. This is regardless of age, gender or education. While estimates can differ, they all point out that over half of online users will choose their phone as their primary device. So, if you plan on making a travel website, it is paramount to keep this in mind.
Mobile-friendly web design entails that your website is easily accessible and readable on a phone screen. This usually includes a complete overhaul. You need to make your content suitable for smaller, vertically oriented screens. Also, seeing that you should focus on your homepage first, ensure that all essential aspects are easily visible. The fact that the user is limited by the small screen shouldn't hinder their experience.
Social media platforms should be easily accessible from your website.
When it comes to must-have features for travel websites, we'd be hard-pressed, not to mention social media integration. Namely, if your website is going to have any reasonable following, it needs to be well-connected with social media platforms. As the website owner, you need to fully use Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok. Ideally, if you create videos, you will also use YouTube.
All your content on these media platforms should be easily accessible from your website. And, once people visit your profile on these platforms, they should be able to naturally navigate to your website. Understand that modern marketing is inconceivable without social media. And the sooner you integrate it with your website, the better.
Your travel website aims to help your audience become a community. Once the audience feels a natural connection with you, it will be far easier to communicate with it and provide the right content. As such, you need to use your website as a platform where your audience can talk. And the best way to do so is to host a review board.
If your audience can discuss your content and see that you respond to their comments, they will be far more inclined to follow you. And if you wish to be responsible with your content, it is paramount that you follow audience input.
You can also do so by actively managing your social media platforms and conversing with your audience. But you shouldn't shy away from having a discussion board on your website where your audience can talk freely.
Having an accessible gallery is a must have feature for your travel website.
Almost all travel websites are based on visual content. Perhaps you focus more on live videos. Perhaps you are more committed to photographs. But, at the end of the day, you must have some visual content to showcase your travels. So, if you are just getting around to creating a website, know that you need to have an accessible gallery.
By "accessible" we mean that the gallery should be responsive and easy to navigate. If a person wishes to view an old video or photo, they should be able to easily find it. Having tags that connect the place and the time the content was created can aid greatly. Also, it is paramount that your content loads quickly. So avoid having high-resolution content that takes more to load.
However, it would be best to offer such an option as well. Then users will have the freedom to view the content in the resolution they want and not be limited by speed. By default, website users should be able to load your gallery quickly and navigate it even faster. Know that a poorly managed gallery will turn off interested viewers, regardless of how good your content is.
Incorporate an integrated map with visual aids for your travel website.
Another aspect of incorporating is an integrated map. People who explore your travels would like a good idea of where you were. While you may feel that your explanations are enough, know that visual aids can be quite beneficial.
So, we recommend that you have an integrated, easily accessible map. On it, you can outline where you were when you were there and what content you've created. That way, your audience can easily explore your travels and give you ideas on what to visit in the future ones.
The last aspect we will mention is that you need to have a blog. Having a blog is beneficial in many ways:
● You will have an easier time managing your SEO.
● You will be able to provide new content for your viewers. Your blogs shouldn't be a regurgitation of your visual content. Instead, they should provide something inquiry you haven't covered with videos or photos.
● Blogs give more topics for your audience to be interested in and discuss.
A blog is still one of the must-have features for travel websites.
What we've outlined so far are the must-have features for travel websites. If your website is more specialized in a specific domain, you might look to add more features. For instance, if you run an online store, you'd be wise to integrate it with your brand as soon as possible. But regardless of how you design your website, try to keep the features we've outlined in mind.