View all posts: Websites
Last year we flagged a breakthrough study on the role and impact of destination websites in driving visitation and spending in destinations (Blog post: Destination Websites that Drive Travel). With the support and facilitation of DMA West and its Foundation, and conducted by Destination Analysts, Miles was the sole sponsor of the largest-ever multi-destination website study into what drives travel to destinations. Almost 380,000 website users were surveyed over this full-year study. Since an estimated 36% of U.S. leisure travelers access destination websites in their trip planning (State of the American Traveler, July 2017), this study has given us a far better understanding of an influential part of trip planning resources used by travelers.
Last year, based on hearing from so many DMOs that organic search traffic to their websites was struggling year over year, Miles conducted a review of 26 destinations’ website traffic data. Though a limited sample size, the results indicated that there has been a downward trend in growth of organic website traffic since 2014.
Since then, we continue to hear a mix of success stories and concerns surrounding organic search traffic. Since we love a good mystery, we expanded last year’s review to include 36 destinations and added full data from 2016 and the first six months of 2017.
While I wish that the results provided an “ah-ha” moment to share with you – a clear trend or a solid answer – the data came out like this...
“Travelers don’t understand travel industry labels.”
We recently heard this feedback during initial user research done by Destination Analysts prior to launching a new travel website.
As the creative minds marketing destinations to potential visitors, we start our web development process by putting ourselves in site users’ shoes to ensure we give them the best user experience possible—without giving them guesswork in determining what it is we are suggesting they do in whatever destination we are marketing to them.
As storytelling experts, it is our job to tell a destination’s stories to inspire travel, not to confuse potential visitors or lose their interest by leading them off path with unfamiliar verbiage and dead-end design solutions.
Today’s site users expect intuitive...
Ahh, An Event Apart. It’s been about a month since five of my colleagues and I were in Austin, Texas, for a two-day web design conference (plus a full day’s workshop on multi-device design), and I’m still digesting all I took in. In total, we sat through a dozen sessions with 12 different cewebrities speaking on topics ranging from using style tiles to drive responsive design (something we at Miles have been doing for more than a year now; we gave ourselves a pat on the back for that one) to creating content strategies which focus on quality over quantity.
Three things we kept seeing over and over again:
- Flame transitions
- Cat GIFs (everyone knows it’s hard to go wrong with a cat...
We are all familiar with the travel planning funnel. Except….
Much like Billy from Family Circus, consumers don’t take the straight path – they do a lot of exploring along the way. The broad and winding route to travel purchase was recently tracked by Expedia Media Solutions and Millward Brown Digital in the study The Traveler’s Path to Purchase, conducted by Compete. This research documents the online consumption habits of the average U.S. vacation package booker during the 45-day period leading up to a vacation package booking online – specifically those who visited an OTA and a DMO (destination marketing organization) in the process.
By way of example, the report contains the 45-day saga of the...