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Dare to Be Different: Creating a Travel Agency Website That Stands Out

You know what I see a lot of travel advisors do with their websites?


Playing it safe. Trying to talk to everyone who may be interested in booking a vacation.


They use the same fonts, the same types of photos, and, most importantly, the same words that every other travel agency website uses.


The result: There's nothing to make them stand out in a very crowded marketplace.

Want to know how you stand out?


You get specific. Specific about what you do, who it's for, and who it's not for.


Let's come right out and say it. Your travel planning services aren't for just anyone. Not everyone will be the perfect client for the type of travel experience you create.


You want to work with specific types of people, and your travel agency website needs to make it crystal clear who they are.


How to make your travel agency website more specific


It doesn't matter if you use the same website builder or website template that thousands of other travel agencies use. It's not about your travel agent website design.


Specificity is all about your website copy. The words you use to tell potential clients that you're the travel advisor they want to work with to create their travel package.


These words need to appeal to a very specific person. The exact potential customers you most want to work with. In marketing terms, we call that potential customer an ideal client.


If you're not writing to a specific ideal client, you're being too vague. By trying to make your travel agency appeal to any potential clients who find it, you're actually doing the opposite.


Travel agency websites that move people to action, prompting them to keep reading and ultimately click a button that leads to a booking, are specific.


I recommend that you have one very specific person that you always write to. Whether you're writing an email, a social media post, a blog post, or new travel website copy, keep that person in mind.


Give them a face, a name, an occupation, an income level, likes and dislikes, etc. It's called creating an ideal client avatar. If you've never created an ideal client avatar, or it's time to refresh the one you have, download this simple ICA template to get started.


How specific should your travel agency website be?


One word. Very.


Let's take a look at specificity in action.


The Viking Atla river cruise boat sailing past houses along the bank of a river in Europe

I recently got a brochure from Viking in the mail. I always like seeing what companies in the travel industry are doing with their marketing, so I opened it and started reading.


What I found was one of the best examples of specific marketing copy I've ever seen from a travel company.


A few pages in, I came across the heading “What Viking is not”.


“We do not try to be all things to all people. In addition to being known for all that we do, Viking stands apart for all that we do not do.”


They they go on to list all the things they don't do. Each bullet point starts with “No”, which most marketers would tell you is bad. It's a negative, and you should never lead with a negative.


But in this case, it's genius. From “No art auctions” to “No formal nights, butlers or white gloves", they cover so many aspects of cruises that many people don't like. They even specifically list “No umbrella drinks”.


Instead of saying that beer and wine are included at lunch and dinner, they list it as “No charge for beer & wine at lunch & dinner”.


In just a few bullet points, they've made something clear. Everything has been designed to cater to a specific type of guest, with certain desires and expectations.


The following page seems like they've changed the topic a bit, but they really haven't. The next page is all about their attention to detail.


In one paragraph they include details that they pay attention to, like making sure their chairs have square backs so you can easily hang jackets and purses. Waste baskets are square so when you toss something in you aren't trying to fish it out from the corner where it fell.


They make sure staterooms have plenty of outlets and USB ports, and their TV remotes only include simple, essential buttons.


What this tells me is that they've talked extensively to people who fit their ideal client avatar, and they've paid attention to what those people say.


They've heard specific words that guests or potential guests repeat over and over. Things like “my purse always ends up on the floor” and “I don't like trying to figure out how the shower works”.


They've taken that information, pulled out the details, incorporated them into the way they serve their guests, and then called attention to it.


Would you ever notice that a chair has a square back? Probably not, but you'd notice if it didn't and your purse or jacket fell on the floor. They let you know they paid attention to that detail, and now you'll notice it too.


Each tiny point they make builds on the last, creating a picture of an experience that their ideal guest is looking for.


Let me tell you, it works. I have family members who are an ideal Viking customer, but they've cruised with other lines in the past. The cruises have been fine overall, but not their ideal experience.


So I showed them Viking's copy, and the response from every single person was “That's exactly what I'm looking for!”


Specificity sells.


Speaking directly to your ideal client


It doesn't matter if you use the best template or have the best website builder if your travel website copy doesn't speak directly to your ideal client.


You need to speak their language, and try to understand why they value the services you provide.


A luxury client isn't going to be attracted to words like budget or cheap, so if your ideal client is someone who wants to spend six figures on custom travel arrangements, you need to use the words that will resonate with them.


On the other hand, if you want to try and compete with every large online travel agency and deal in high quantity at a low cost, those words work.


The best travel agency website for you will look different from what's best for every other advisor.


Which is exactly the way it should be, because your travel services shouldn't look exactly like any other travel business.

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