Top Tips For a Higher Converting Tourism Website [Video Series]

Brian Nicholson

Your website’s ability to convert is a crucial element of any direct bookings strategy. In the final video of our 7-part Direct Bookings Video Series, we’ll provide a checklist—and show examples—of many of our top tips that we’ve seen make a real difference in conversion rates for tour, activity, and attraction websites.

We’ve included the checklist below, with some supporting notes; but this is intended only as a supplement to the video.

Tactics For Improving Your Tourism Website’s Conversion Rate

Invest in compelling images and videos. See Great Photography Creates More Bookings.

  • Use a photographer and videographer with experience shooting your type of tour or activity. Avoid the temptation to hire your cousin’s nephew who shot your sister’s wedding.
  • Consider including some audio from guides (story or joke) and guests (screaming on the zipline or laughing with friends on a raft)

Create policies that give people confidence rather than make them think twice

  • Create the best cancellation policy that your finances and operations allow. Compare to the competition, including Tripadvisor.
  • Use a well-placed book with confidence messaging
  • Use positive policy wording

Build trust

  • Show some information about how many customers you’ve served or how long you’ve been in business
  • Leverage the voice of customers in a multi-layered way
    • Aggregated star ratings
    • Reviews
    • Top quote

Get calls to action right

  • Make them easy to find
    • Sticky booking bar
    • Don’t count on non-traditional next steps; make sure a button is clear so people don’t have to hunt.
  • Use the right wording. “Reserve” or “check availability” might work better than “book now”

Use a tiered writing format for progressive scannability

  • Card layouts with images
  • Tiered headlines
  • Headings and bold text
  • Collapsible sections for longer content

Write for your users

  • Address your reader (“you” and “your” language) rather than talking about yourself (“we” and “our” language)
  • Address questions and objections
    • Not only through FAQs. Think about your core customer. What questions or objections might they normally have?
    • When writing FAQs, make them contextual, and think through how to consolidate them. Avoid long, non-searchable FAQ lists.
    • If a question is asked frequently, consider addressing the topic more prominently.
  • Think about who they are, where they are, and what they’re hoping for. Get ideas from reviews of happy customers, and echo back the benefits, emotions, etc. in your copy.
  • Personalize when possible. Example: use geo-targeted versions of your pages where it makes sense

Make pricing clear

Don’t make customers hunt for pricing.

Select a booking engine with good usability

  • Intuitive date and ticket selections
  • Modern payment methods
  • Reasonable number of fields

Easily accessed discount codes

  • Have your developers implement click-to-copy for any coupon codes you display on the site.

Work on site speed

Prevent dead ends, but don’t overwhelm with choices.

  • Provide adequate cross-linking and cross-promotion (such as related tours that might be a good fit for the visitor), but not so much that you detract significantly from the primary call to action. The tricky balance is: have I done everything I can to stay out of the way of a conversion, AND is there an escape hatch for someone who decides to not book this tour, but might still be convinced to book something with us?
  • Watch for actual dead ends (dead clicks) with Microsoft Clarity (free).

Design for the realities of mobile browsing

  • Consider horizontal “swipers” (carousels) so that people can scroll vertically past sections they’re not interested in.
  • Try multi-column layouts when the content allows.

Primary Principle: Empathize.

When you empathize with your users, you’ll automatically make decisions and take actions that will serve them well, such as:

  • Write copy that is focused on the customer, rather than you
    • Policy wording will be friendly and positive and will be useful to customers, rather than designed to protect the company. 
    • You’ll be speaking about them rather than about yourself.
  • Address their desires and concerns early and clearly.
    • What about bad weather?
    • Is this too intense for my kids?
    • What if I need to cancel?
  • Test the website yourself to make sure it works smoothly
  • See how people are using the site, to find out what’s working for them and what’s not. 

Watch All The Videos In The Series

Part 1: Why Direct Bookings Fail and How to Change That

Part 2: Building a Search Marketing Plan Grounded in Real Data

Part 3: How to Use Search Marketing to Maximize Your Direct Booking Revenue

Part 4: Building a Plan to Optimize Your Social Media Presence for Direct Bookings 

Part 5: Executing Your Social Media Direct Bookings Strategy

Part 6: Uncovering Opportunities on Your Website to Drive More Direct Bookings

Part 7: Top Tips For a Higher Converting Website

See all of the Growing Revenue Through Direct Bookings series here. 

Are you looking to increase your direct bookings and reduce your dependence on OTAs and other channels? Let’s chat.

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About The Author

Brian Nicholson

Brian is a partner at Blend Marketing. He focuses on brand strategy, positioning, and analytics for the tourism industry.

Email Brian

About The Author

Brian Nicholson

Brian is a partner at Blend Marketing. He focuses on brand strategy, positioning, and analytics for the tourism industry.