A strong online presence is key to attract new clients and when marketing existing ones. Nevertheless, we understand that creating a website isn’t as easy as waving a wand — creating an award-winning website takes time and effort!
There is a lot of work that goes into a website, but it doesn’t have to be hard! In this article, we will break down everything to consider when building a new website or enhancing an existing one to help you shine.
Should You Have a Website?
First, you should ask the question of how important a website is for your business. A website can help grow your online presence and marketing so that new and existing clients can easily find you, learn more about what services you can provide them, and give them an easy solution to connect with you.
Depending on your skill set, building a website from scratch might not be as efficient for you and maybe hiring someone to create a website for you is the better solution. Perhaps you just need an easy website builder for simple templates to add high-level information like contact information, an “about me” page, etc. It’s up to you how advanced you want to make your website but knowing what’s out there first will help you determine what works best for you. This article will focus on your website needs, purchasing a domain name, options for website builders, branding, and ideas on what to include on your website.
A great place to start is to make a list of what you would like your website to include and what is essential for clients to be able to access and view online.
Some sample questions or areas to explore are:
- What would showcase my expertise or areas of knowledge?
- How does a prospective client contact me?
- What is the key action I want someone to take on my website?
As you can quickly tell there are a lot of different directions your website can provide for you and your business so it’s important to make a list of the essential content items you want to provide on your website.
Once you have a clear understanding of what your website MUST include, you can determine the next steps whether that be hiring a professional to build your website, use a website builder your host agency provides, or build it on your own with simple or more complex website software tools.
Pro Tip: Need inspiration? Check out other travel agent websites to get an idea of what you are wanting to create.
Purchasing a Domain Name:
An obvious and very important branding step is the domain! You can always choose free or low-cost solutions to create a website that might have limited domain customization available, however, purchasing a domain can be easier and cheaper than it seems. According to Domain.com, on average a domain costs around $10-$15/annually.
Once you know the domain name you would like to use you can search for it to make sure no one else has this domain. You can use the website Domain.com to search if your domain is available or not. If you’re in the clear to use that domain, use a domain provider like GoDaddy, Bluehost, HostGator, or others.
Pro Tip: The “.com” part of the URL is called the TLD (top level domain) and there are various TLDs to choose from including .net, .biz, .co, .us, etc. This is helpful to know because if your desired domain has already been claimed you can consider purchasing it using a different TLD. However, .com is the most common TLD.
Finding a Website Builder:
When it comes to finding a website builder you have a wide range of options from easy, do-it-yourself website builders to more advanced website builders that could include software coding. Possibly your host agency even supports a website for you so you can use their system!
The best thing to do is to take a look at your website must-have list that you created and be sure that the website builder you choose can check off each must-have on your list.
Below is a list of popular general website builders to help get you started in your website builder search:
Pro Tip: Website builders will come with templates available for you to use but many will also provide the option to purchase themes or templates to use directly on your website. Be sure to take a look at themes/templates while researching so you can find the perfect website look for you.
To further explore the last pro tip of finding a pre-built template or theme to use in your website builder, one of the fun parts of creating a website is creating the “look” and branding that you want your clients to see.
Find inspiration in other websites and keep tabs on what you like. Think about the colors you want to use and the type of vibe you want to portray. Do you want to keep it simplistic and polished or bright and fun or maybe even a combination of both?
An easy way to not feel overwhelmed with the website branding process is to look through templates and themes that are available for you to download or purchase from the website builder you choose to work with. For examples of templates, check out Wix’s templates here. Mostly all website builders will have a place like this for you to search through ideas as well.
Website Content Ideas:
There are so many different variants you can have on your website, below you will find some of the most popular ones.
Having a blog is a great space to share any news, travel news, personal travel stories, and more. A blog is also good for SEO so that you can help pull people to your website simply by the keywords and content you post.
To learn more about SEO, check out this Travefy Academy webinar where we discuss SEO strategies with Polyana de Oliveira.
One of the most valuable parts of a website is allowing the client to know who you are and what you can help them with. Create a page dedicated to introducing yourself and your company. Tell your website visitor how you got started and what your business means to you. Be sure to include a photo and maybe share quick facts like your favorite place to travel to and any fun travel stories.
A good review doesn’t have to be limited to Facebook or Google reviews, be sure to include it on your website as well! Section off a special place on your website dedicated to testimonials from your clients.
Services You Offer
This is an especially important piece of your website if you offer various services like itinerary planning, weddings, cruises, etc.
Contact / Appointment Scheduling
Make it easy for someone to get in touch with you by making a page just for contact information or a simple form they can fill out to connect further. You can even embed different software tools so that people can schedule appointments right on your website! Examples of this type of tool you can use are Calendly and Acuity.
Don’t be afraid to show off your trip planning skills! You can always share itinerary examples or if you are planning a group trip, you can post the itinerary to your website. You can even use Travefy to embed trips to your website!
You’re the expert so you should share resources with your website audience! A website doesn’t have to be limited to the basics, you can make it a place that travelers can come to and gain more travel knowledge. It’s also nice to include helpful guides like passport and embassy information that your travelers can quickly locate by going to your website.