Use Your Alaskan Website Design to Attracts Tourism
Let your Alaskan website design do the work
Almost every Alaskan tourist will spend a lot of time researching and planning before choosing the right company. Most of this research means exploreing your website and making judgements. Alaskan website design is the single most important factor in determining what kind of judgements are made, for better or worse. Period.
Every tourist researcher goes through a pretty similar, and similarly critical, journey when searching for the right company. It looks like this:
Simple right? Well, amazingly, In my experience as a web developer and avid traveler all over world, I have found that maybe 1 in 5 companies address these points with any level of competence. And I know for a fact that the companies who do:
- Does this company look legitimate/good? (i.e. content types, web design)
- What kinds of services do they offer?
- Can I afford them (i.e. price ranges)?
- Are reviews good?
- What do their trips look like (i.e. blog, image/videos, guide(s))?
- What do I need for this trip/what should I expect?
- Steps, how to, and guidelines for reservations.
The way we all tend to view websites is like this: if they are willing to put the time and effort into a good website, and use that website to answer my questions, chances are they will make the same effort to provide me with a great experience. Here are 5 ways to use your Alaskan website design for attracting tourism.
- Attract a lot of business
- Generally provide great services
1 -Alaskan websites need beautiful images
The first and most important rule is that: Alaska is beautiful - so use big, bold imagery to convey your type of trekking adventure.
Not to pick on anyone, but I am surprised at how often I see adventure trekking sites like this that assault me with text, and include images that are small and convey nothing about what type of experience I will have. People want to SEE your experience before they get into the nitty gritty of what's included. So keep content as economical and purposeful as possible.
Text should be as simple and straightforward as possible. Apples website is a great demonstration of this – they only start to use full sentences when they really need to give info. Even then, only two or three sentences at most.
Alaskan tourism is about sightseeing and adventure. Images and video should do all the talking.
2 - Make prices VISIBLE and easy to find on your website!
Somewhere along the way, someone had the bright idea – they may have learned it from university websites – that hiding pricing in an obscure hole on your site, or not evening listing it, is a great way force visitors to inquire further and contact. Actually it’s a great way to annoy people and invite them to look elsewhere.
People don’t like being forced to search for your pricing. Once a customer is interested in your services, whether or not they can afford you is always their first concern. Visibility is one of the primary goals of website design. So make price ranges very visible – ideally next to the trip offerings. Your prices probably vary quite a bit depending on the offering, just give people a ball park range.
- A great way to attack this is to segment your offerings by
- Trip type (backpacking, kayaking, rafting, photo tours)
- Time frame (i.e. one day, three day, five day, etc.)
- And common combination trips (backpacking + photo tours)
3 -Websites in Alaska need an image trip gallery
Having an trip gallery full of images and/or videos on your website is without question the best way to SHOW people what to expect from your business. These images should always focus on:
Again, don’t blast people with text. In this case, text should only be used briefly for descriptions. The rest should be video and pictures. A trip gallery should be segmented by trip/event. This gives a chance for customers to see the trends and consistent type of service you offer, as well as the particular "flavor" of each event. Invite people to send you their own pictures to you to upload, or include a space for them to upload pictures themselves.
- The scenery (indoor or outdoor)
- The fun
- The adventure
- The apparel (what are people wearing?)
4 - Cater your website information towards custom services
If you are a company who specialized in adventure services (trekking, hunting, kayaking, etc.), don’t segment treks by “beginner, intermediate, advanced.” All this does is detract from a sense of customization, and make it look like you have limited options.
This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t have your trips categorized like that for your own internal use. Your website should communicate that each adventure is built for the customer – that your trips are custom fit. This is a perfect invitation for people to inquire further.
When talking to them, you will obviously get a feel for their “level” and expectations with a couple of simple questions. Then you can provide some “best fit” options, and the potential customer doesn’t end up feeling like they are choosing which brand of toothpaste to buy.
5 - Website images and writing should answer practical questions about what to expect
Another thing that surprises me is how often I have to dig around to see:
The questions that may seem so obvious to locals are probably a mystery to newcomers. Pages that answers questions, like above, are extraordinary helpful.
- What equipment do you provide?
- What equipment do people need to bring?
- What kind of clothing should they wear?
- What food do you provide?
- What experience with wildlife should be expected?
- What will the temperature be like?
They also show that your set-up is well organized and thought out (and therefore safer).