Beautiful website design can boost your Arctic tourism company February 11, 2020Experts recommend that you redesign your website every 2-3 years. Why? Because product changes, staff changes, fashion, and best practices all change rapidly in business and online. It’s also a perfect time for a new website for your arctic tourism agency because tourism is one of the few growing industries in Alaska! This means now is the perfect time for an overhaul, so you can take advantage of that growth. However, we appreciate that this can be a daunting task. We at Beacon have 20 years of experience in the marketing industry, and a proven process for website design. In this blog, we’ll show you some of the processes we use for all our clients, so you can feel confident trying it out for your arctic tourism agency. Meet with your arctic tourism team Before you get started on your website design, it’s vital to get a handle on what exactly you want to create, what you want to say about your arctic tourism business, and what your goals are. We recommend gathering all the key people in your business into one room and asking yourselves questions to determine this. A good thing to do is look at some competitors and determine what aspects of their website you like, and what you don’t like. Consider looking at companies in Iceland, Iceland has really grown its arctic tourism sector so these companies must know what they’re doing! Here are some sample questions we ask our clients when looking for what they want to create: What are the primary and secondary purposes of your website? What do you expect it to accomplish? What information do you want your customers to find quickly on your website? Of the website designs that you like the look and feel of, what features do you like? Map-out your arctic tourism website design Now that you have an idea of what your website should look like, and you have some concrete features you’ll need, you can create an outline. For our clients, we create two documents to provide a guide for the website: a site map, and a wireframe. The site map is simply a flowchart or bullet list of all the pages on your website and the order in which they will derive from one another. This then provides the foundation for the wireframe, which is a set of images in which you show the elements you want on each page and how they relate to each other. Despite the technical name, a wireframe is just a rough sketch of what you want your website to look like and where you want the elements to be. Source: SmartDraw A good wireframe will include the location of each image, header, content paragraph, buttons, or form field on each page. There are great tools available such as MockFlow which will help you create your own! Write the Content Having created the wireframe and left spaces for paragraphs, it is now time to write the content that goes into those boxes! We recommend three best practices for content writing, which will allow you to produce attention-grabbing and engaging content. 1. Keywords The design of your website is important, but it’s wasted effort if no one sees it. The best way to be seen is to rank at the top of people’s search results on Google. Here at Beacon we’re experts on SEO optimization and help all our clients to rank on Google through the use of keywords. Keywords tell google what each page of your website is about so they can show it to searchers. Importantly, keywords should not just be in your text but also in your headers. 2. Headers Speaking of headers, you should put a lot of care into creating these as well. Many people just skim over the text of a website and read the headers, looking for what they’re interested in. That’s why it’s important to create catchy headers that communicate what the various sections of your website are about. By putting keywords in them, you also help Google know what your page is about. 3. Quality content Both users and Google appreciate good quality content. People will continue reading and pay attention to what you’re saying (and selling!) when your content is well written, and this helps to rank on Google as they drop pages with a high bounce rate, i.e. people who click on your website and quickly leave again. You don’t need to be a perfect writer, you just need to write from your own unique perspective, providing value to the user that they can’t get elsewhere. It’s effective to address the reader in the second person, as “you”. It’s also useful to put yourself in the user’s shoes so you can write in a way that makes it clear why your product is so good for them. The best sell is to make it clear how your products add value to someone’s life. At the end of each web page, you should include a call-to-action. This is a request for the user to take action on what they have just read, such as: “Call (123) 456-7890 now for a free inquiry!”. Develop your arctic tourism website The site map, wireframe, and content are all going to come together in the final web design. The first step in developing your website is deciding which software to use to build it. At Beacon, we use WordPress for all of our arctic tourism clients. This has many tiers of package to choose from, so you can purchase a cheap package to begin with, and add functionality if necessary. You should choose a package that best fits your needs, taking into consideration your site map, wireframe, content, and list of concrete features and specifications that you came up with in your initial meeting. After you have chosen your package and created an account with WordPress, the intuitive software will help you build your site. When building your website, be sure to stick to your brand guidelines! A well managed, and cohesive brand is vital for a good-looking website. Learn more about branding for arctic tourism businesses, here! Go live! Once your website is ready to go, its time to publish and set it live! Prior to this, you should make sure you’re ready. We have a checklist we go through with all our arctic tourism clients, here some examples from that list: Go page-by-page throughout the website and click on all the links to make sure they will send users where they are supposed to. Try out your contact form if you have one, submitting a “test” entry to make sure it delivers to the appropriate email address. Enter the URL for your website in all the popular browsers including Chrome, Firefox, and Safari to make sure it looks good. Visit your website on mobile as well to make sure it is properly mobile optimized. With WordPress, you can point the domain name from your old website to your brand new one. At that point, your new website is fully functioning and ready for visitors! — Is your arctic tourism business ready for a new website? We hope that you’ve found this glimpse into our work helpful, but if you feel like you want to hire us to take care of the whole process for you, you can book a free consultation, here!