In our previous article, we touched on the subject of functionality and usability as the main UX options for the travel website. This time, let’s pay attention to travel site content from the UX point of view. Since there is a growing tendency for betting on not only professional texts, images, or videos, but on what is called user-generated content as well, we will refer to both of them.
Professional Perspective: Pique Imagination
High-quality content adds value from both client attraction and SEO points of view. It makes your website look professional and trustworthy. And this is a huge buying decision factor. As all elements of your website, content should be not only persuasive and functional but user-friendly. Let’s see what it means.
Copy. Good copy adds value. It’s good to think of your website as offering a continuous experience rather than isolated pages of content. Organize content so that pages naturally lead to one another, encouraging users to continue exploring or clicking. But don’t make the site too text-heavy. Leave space to dream and visualize. Short blocks with condensed information and inspiring call to action work best. Here’s how Outlines does it:
Photos. Users’ craving for new experiences is enhanced by pleasing imagery. But photos don’t only please — they help the users to find what they look for faster and more easily. Here are some tips to remember when incorporating photos into your website. Customers prefer large, high-quality pictures, like those on Airbnb or Kayak sites. Not necessarily these should the worn-out images of traditional tourist spots like Eiffel Tower in Paris or Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro. Use unexpected analogies and create the special atmosphere, like Bouteco or Secret Escapes:
Video. Professional videos also add value to your travel website. Some sites, like Geobeats.com even use videos as the main source of information about travel destinations. From the latest trends, 360-degree videos are the most impressive. You may check how splendidly Visit Idaho uses both 360-degree and traditional videos to attract customers:
User-generated Content: Social Proof
Just think of the figures: 95% of consumers report reading reviews before booking a tour. People spend more than half of an hour on reading reviews and read up to 20 of them in the planning phase of their trip. Comments and reviews increase trust and help people fight uncertainty and frustration when facing a costly decision. It proves how important reviews are for your travel agency website.
Summarized Reviews. Studies have revealed that people prefer to see first summarized reviews rather than full plaintexts. It helps to get all necessary information quickly just at one glance. The trend is even stronger for mobiles due to the limited space. Filtering by reviews is an additional advantage which brings in transparency, on one hand, and creates healthy competition, on the other. Here, Tripadvisor and Booking.com are undisputed leaders among the internet users:
Consider carefully the form for reviews to get them structured from the very beginning an to engage users who don’t like to write long texts:
Use multiple-choice answers to obtain value without bothering your clients with answering your questions too much:
Third-party Reviews Integration. Use APIs (e.g., TripAdvisor’s one) to integrate third-party reviews on your website. For example, Hotels.com not only integrated TripAdvisor reviews with their own customer reviews but also highlighted listings that were favored by other users:
Users’ Photos and Videos. Remember that reviews don’t necessarily have to be textual. 89% of travelers report watching travel videos while 45% of leisure travelers and 72% of business travelers said they were prompted to book trips after watching videos. Especially when it goes about the younger generation, people tend to rely more on images and videos rather than text. TripAdvisor uses this trend by actively adding high-quality user-generated images to their website. Apart from building confidence, it welcomes users into the brand as active participants, which is the best way to form brand loyalty. And such sites as FivePointFive even make emphasis on video reviews when encouraging people to weigh anchor:
Content organization is an important constituent of the travel website UX. Both professional and user-generated content is worth your attention and purposeful filling. Well-structured, high-quality, and meaningful texts, pictures, and videos appeal to people with different types of perception and help them to make the decision about a travel option they are likely to buy on your website.
Need more professional advice on how to make your travel agency website more user-friendly? Contact us — and we will be happy to place our expertise in travel and hospitality IT development at your disposal.