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7 Things Your Travel Agency Website Should Do

Updated January 4, 2024


Yes, you do need your own custom travel agency website.


It can't be a website provided by your host agency or created by a travel agency website builder, and for the love of Pete it shouldn't, under any circumstances, include a booking engine.


You also need to look beyond a one-page site or landing page created on a platform like ConvertKit or Canva.


While they may do as a stopgap measure while your full website is built, and both of these tools are incredibly valuable for certain things, they aren't the place to set up your main online home.


Wondering why?


It's because a website provided for free through your host agency, or even one you pay for through a travel agency website builder, will almost never bring in the type of clients you're looking to serve.


They also perform poorly for SEO (Search Engine Optimization), which means that the people looking for your services won't be able to find you.


A one-page website template, while potentially functional, also doesn't perform well for SEO because there aren't enough words on a single page to rank for keywords. Which means, again, that the people looking for your services won't be able to find you.


These websites simply can't meet the seven purposes that your travel agency website should be designed to fulfill.


Let's take a look at those seven purposes, and how a well built, custom website can help you reach your travel agency goals.


Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning I may get a small commission if you decide to make a purchase through my links, at no cost to you.


Establishing your brand


A woman looking at a travel agency website on a laptop and an iPhone.

Your travel agency brand and unique value proposition are what set you apart from every other travel agent, travel advisor, and online travel agency out there.


Everything from your business name and logo to the colors and fonts you use in your travel agency website design are a reflection of your brand and values.


When you use a travel agency website provided to you by your host agency, your website design is set. It can't be changed to reflect the things you want it to. There are incredibly limited design and page options, and you end up with a site that looks exactly like every other travel business that uses the same website template.


Most travel advisors who choose to use a host-provided website also tend to use generic, host-provided website copy. If your copy sounds like it could fit any travel advisor, how are potential customers supposed to know why they should book their next vacation through you?



Use your travel agency website to set yourself and your travel business brand apart from every other travel website out there. Potential customers will thank you because you'll make their choice easy.


Providing informative content


Once you've established your branding, the next purpose of your travel agency website is to provide informative, valuable content to your website visitors.


While some of this content can be found in the body of your website, the best place to provide a steady stream of valuable, high-quality content is on a travel agency blog. This is where a one-page website, like what you can build on ConvertKit or Canva, falls short.


By default, these websites can only be one page, so there's no place to put blog content.

While you could create a separate blog, two of the best blog platforms are Wix and Squarespace, which are also full website platforms. Since they're also two of the best website builder options, you may as well build your entire travel agency website on them.


If you do it right, when you start providing a steady stream of informative, high-quality content, your website traffic will start to grow.


By writing blog posts that rank for keywords that your audience is searching for, they can find your blog, then start exploring your website, become familiar with the services you provide, and potentially become a brand new client.


Without a steady stream of engaging, informative content (also referred to as content marketing), it's difficult for your website to rank well on search engines. That means in order to find new clients you'll need to rely on social media, paid ads, or a combination of the two.


While creating content does take a certain amount of time, it's one of the only proven ways to grow your travel agency without investing significant amounts of money or relying on unpredictable social media platforms.


Building your email list


Another prime purpose of your travel agency website is to grow your email list.


Why do you want to grow your email list?


Because email marketing gets the best customer engagement and return on investment of any marketing channel.


That means if you have an email list and you're looking for two more guests for a group cruise booking, to find a couple more clients who want to use your services to book a travel package for next summer, or want host a webinar with your favorite river cruise supplier, you have an audience who is ready to engage with you.


While a few people may sign up for your newsletter with a simple form where they can enter their email address and name, you'll get a lot more email list subscribers if you use an opt-in or lead generator.


A lead generator (also called a lead magnet) is something free that you offer a subscriber in exchange for their email address and name. It needs to be something they actually want, so understanding your audience is key when it comes to creating a good lead generator.


You'll need to make sure your website is getting enough visitors to determine if your lead generator is working. If you only get 15 website visitors per month, it's not surprising that you don't get many people downloading a lead generator.



Once your website is getting 100 or more visitors per month, you can start to tell if your lead magnet is working. With that number of visitors, you should be growing your email list by 10-15 subscribers per month. If that isn't happening, it's time to create a new lead magnet.


The more visitors your website gets, the more people will download your lead generator and end up on your email list. That's why creating content comes before growing your email list.


Collecting and converting leads


Most travel advisors assume that the first thing their travel agency website will do is collect and convert leads, creating a steady stream of potential clients who are ready to book a vacation using your travel services.


But that's actually not what tends to happen. If your website isn't getting visitors, there's no way for your website to generate and convert those leads.


If you want to find 10 new clients, but your website only gets 10 visitors per month on average, you'd need to convert 100% of those visitors into new clients. That's pretty much impossible.


Once you're getting at least 100 visitors per month, it's time to start focusing on lead collection and conversion. Until that point, your focus needs to be on getting more visitors to your site.



There are several ways to convert website visitors into leads, but the easiest is to use a button in the top right corner that lets people schedule a free consultation. That button can link to a scheduling tool like Acuity, Wix Bookings, or Calendly to let people schedule their free consultation at a time that works for both of you.


Creating community


If you have a Facebook group for your travel company, consider using your website to help people find and join your community.


The one thing to keep in mind is not to drive people to a Facebook group or other online community at the expense of growing your email list.


You don't own Facebook or the community you build there. If you spend a lot of time in your Facebook group and get a lot of engagement and new clients there, that's great!


But keep in mind that you're building that community on rented land. You don't own or control Facebook, and a Facebook group can easily be shut down or restricted. If that happens, there's very little you can do about it.


Your email list, on the other hand, is yours. You own it.


When you send an email, your entire list gets it at the same time. You're not subject to a social media algorithm and left hoping that your audience actually saw what you sent.


You can also consider building an online community on another network outside of traditional social media. Platforms like Mighty Networks and Discourse are created specifically to host communities, and can work well alongside your travel agency website without the potential downsides of a Facebook group.


Showcasing social proof


Have you received great feedback from a traveler or client that you've booked travel experience and vacation packages for?


Use your travel agency website to highlight that feedback and turn it into social proof!


Think of social proof, like those glowing customer testimonials, as your digital word-of-mouth. They're not just nice words. They give potential customers the nudge they need, assuring them they're making a smart choice by choosing you.


Social proof transforms your site from just an online presence to a warm, inviting hub of trusted traveler endorsements. It reinforces your credibility and trustworthiness, making it more likely that potential clients will take the step to schedule a free consultation.


Monetization


With a good travel agency website and blog, another potential purpose of your website can be monetization, or making a profit directly from your website.


While I never recommend including a booking engine where someone can make their own car rental or flight booking, that doesn't mean there isn't a way to monetize your website and travel agency blog.


If you write blog posts that recommend a specific hotel or tour, consider becoming an affiliate of TripAdvisor, Booking.com or GetYourGuide. These services all include affiliate marketing tools that let you create a link to specific hotels, tours or tour operators that you recommend.


When someone makes a tour or hotel booking after following an affiliate link from your website, you get credit and commission from the sale.


You won't make the same amount of commission that you would if you created the booking yourself, but it allows you to monetize your website by providing some resources for DIY travelers.


Let's face it, if someone is going to book a hotel off of a blog post, they probably aren't your ideal client anyway. People who want to engage your travel services will reach out, and the DIY traveler has a way to book on their own based off of your trusted advice and reviews.


The difference between an affiliate link to a specific hotel or tour and a full booking engine is the value you're providing through the blog post that you include the link in.


You're not putting a booking engine on your website and giving the message that booking with you is exactly the same a booking with the biggest or best online travel agency.


Instead, you're providing potential travelers with a great user experience by providing guidance and advice, steering a reader toward the hotels and travel experiences your ideal client would enjoy.


Advertising is also another way to monetize your website, but a small to medium sized website won't bring in much from advertising. The advertising route works best if you have at least 50,000 visitors per month coming to your site.


The bottom line: Your travel agency website


When it comes to creating the best travel agency website, it's vital to consider the purpose of your website.


Remember, your travel agency website is much more than a digital billboard. It's a dynamic platform where your brand's personality, expertise, and values come to life.


Here's to creating a travel agency website with purpose – a portal to the world that invites, informs, and inspires. 🥂


For more information about creating an amazing website, check out our other travel agency website posts.

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