For just about any type of business, having a great website is now a must. That is certainly true for companies in the events and activities industries, in which it's vital to immediately capture a visitor's attention, getting them excited about the idea of joining in on the activity or experience your company offers. Ideally, businesses should have a website that is not only appealing from a design standpoint, but also offers useful information for customers (or prospective customers).
Still not convinced about the importance of a great website? Consider these statistics:
Visitors to your site form an opinion within .05 seconds. (Kinesis Inc.)
Internet travel booking revenue has grown by more than 73% over the past 5 years. (Statistic Brain)
72 percent of U.S. consumers shop online at least monthly. (PWC)
See what elements of the following 10 tour and activity websites we like, and how you can emulate.
Why we like it: Anyone contemplating a skydiving experience will immediately get a bird's eye view of what it's like. These images make you feel as if you're already there, and that's an exciting feeling that's hard to resist. More importantly, the "Book Online" call-to-action is prominently displayed on the home page. (This is important, as statistics clearly show that an effective call-to-action can have a significant impact on conversions and sales. A host of case studies have found that companies increased conversions considerably—in some cases by 80 percent or more—simply by optimizing their calls to action.)
Acton tip: If your business involves an activity that offers visually exciting moments, capitalize on that by using it in your website imagery. Also, make the call-to-action button prominent, with simple and direct text.
Why we like it: The blog is beautiful and engaging, and makes visitors really want to join in on the activities. Videos from actual trips give visitors a sense of what they can expect from a trip.
Action tip: Videos are a great tool to give visitors a sense of what they would be missing if they don't join in on the activity.
Why we like it: This site has vibrant, eye-catching images and a colorful and visually exciting design. The call to actions, "Order online now!" and "Come fly with us!" are prominent on the home page.
Action tip: Use color strategically. Research shows that dark colors like green, blue, and purple are preferred to light colors and result in a 2-percent growth from more traffic, page views, and visitor time on the site. Make sure your call to actions are easy to read and prominent.
Why we like it: Testimonials and links to online reviews are front and center on the homepage. A study found that up to 90 percent of people said testimonials and positive online reviews influenced buying decisions. Action-filled images on the site also help visitors get a sense of excitement.
Action tip: Encourage previous participants to leave feedback about their experience, and add tools on your site that make it easy for them to do so.
Why we like it: Awards and honors from high-profile sources are very visible on the homepage. They also emphasize the family fun aspect.
Action tip: If you want to target families, be sure to craft your content accordingly. You can do this through text—using wording such as "bring the kids" or "fun for the whole family"—as well as by using photos that feature families with people of all ages.
Why we like it: This resort obviously has a lot to offer, so there's a lot of information on the site. But it is organized in an easy-to-read way so visitors can quickly spot exactly what they need, thanks to the clearly-defined categories listed in the navigation menu ("golf," "weddings," "summer activities," etc.).
Action tip: When your business offers a wide variety of options, make it easy for visitors to zero in on specific choices.
Why we like it: This site features a well-branded design that incorporates its theme into all elements. Visitors truly get the sense of being immersed in another world.
Action tip: Analyze all areas of your website and related content to look for ways that you can incorporate images, design elements and other cues that reinforce the feeling of your brand.
Why we like it: Tour options are easy to see at a quick glance. The site also has lots of interactive elements, like the ability for participants to post photos.
Action tip: Use creative and fun icons or visual elements that make navigation simple and help visitors easily figure out where they should go.
Why we like it: The activities are divided into useful categories by fitness level and skills.
Action tip: Put careful thought into your navigation menu, and devise category options that will be most useful to visitors.
Why we like it: This is a fairly basic site with a clean design that wisely uses prime real estate to spotlight high-profile media mentions.
Action tip: If you have limited content or resources, put the most valuable options available in the spotlight.