As you all know we here at Tourism Marketing SA just love sharing new and exciting information regarding the online marketing world, providing tips for improving your online presence and just lending a helping hand wherever we can in all matters tourism and marketing.

Throughout the year we’ve looked at quite a few different, important topics, one of them being the importance of an updated, mobile friendly website. We’ve compiled a check list of the most important elements all websites should have to have it function at its best and achieve the best results on search engines and provide the best experience for visitors.

  • Navigation – The design of the site in general should be easy to navigate and the menu items should be accessible from all pages. The visitor should always know exactly where they are on the website at any given time and should find where they would like to go easily. There is a fine line between an interactive, yet simple menu and an over complicated one. Functionality is the key!
  • Visual design – Internet users today are very visually orientated, so great images and graphics is a good way to make your website more appealing. It is however important not to go overboard. Scrolling text, animation and flash intros should be used sparingly, if at all, only for emphasis on certain areas.
  • Content – This is the absolute backbone of your website! Not only does content play a major role in your search engine placement, it is the reason most visitors are seeking for your website in the first place. Your website text should be informative, easy to read, and concise. Well thought out web content and copy will do more than anything else to make design engaging, effective and popular.
  • Web and Mobile Friendly – No matter how informative, beautiful, and easy to use your website design is, it’s useless unless it’s web-friendly. It is important that your web designers know the keys to making your website work on all the major browsers and devices and that they are very well versed in Search Engine Optimization (SEO). In other words, make sure your web designers know their stuff!
  • Interaction – A truly effective website design engages your visitors immediately and continues to hold their attention through EVERY page, as well as influence them to contact you. This is called ‘conversion’, and is probably your website’s ultimate goal.
  • Information Accessibility – Not all visitors to your website are interested in, or have the time to peruse the entire site. They may need to access only a phone number or address, or just a certain bit of info. For this reason it’s important to place key information in plain sight, in an area that’s easily accessible.
  • Intuitiveness – A great website anticipates what your visitor is thinking and caters directly to their needs, and has elements arranged in a way that makes sense. Remember, the shortest distance between two points is a straight line!
  • Branding – Your website should be a direct reflection of your business and your brand. Your visitor should immediately make a visual connection between your logo, print material, and brick-and-mortar location. A website that does this not only contributes to the memorableness of your branding, but adds a level of credibility and enhanced image of that of your overall business.
  • Turnaround time – A website that isn’t on the web and isn’t working properly isn’t going to bring you any business!
  • Conversion – Your website can be the most important guest generator your establishment can have, and must place the primary emphasis on bringing in new guests and making additional services available to existing guests and clients through increased awareness of all the services you offer. Providing them with the tools they need to do business with you in an easy and enjoyable way will increase your website conversion and bring you the kind of success you seek.

Technology and design styles change quickly and so too can the focus of your business. It is important that your website remains current with these changes and that your business is getting the most out of the new online opportunities that are available.