The next step is to consider certain elements of your site’s design, including its appearance and functionality. This is where the process of actually creating your site begins, based on the decisions and research you’ve taken so far.
For a consistent online presence, it’s important that your website matches your existing brand identity. The following design elements should match up with your broader brand strategy:
- Tone of voice,
- Brand Values.
Before the work of designing your new site begins, you should prepare each of these elements, by gathering assets and information on your brand, to inform your designer.
Media, Images and Video
For tourism businesses, media like images and videos are some of the most important selling tools on a website. As tourism is an experiential industry, visual content is crucial for conveying a business’ unique selling points. To take advantage of this fact, it is necessary to have high quality images and videos which show off the benefits of your product or service, prior to website development.
If you do not have these assets already, it will be necessary to acquire them. Some web development companies can help with this process, while others will require you to source media from third-party providers.
Functionality includes any actions which users can take on your site. As such, when creating your new site, it’s important to have a clear idea of how you want your users to interact with your company. This includes features like:
- Making and altering bookings and purchases,
- Secure payment processing,
- Communicating with your staff,
- Signing up to email lists and other marketing channels,
- Viewing, downloading and consuming various kinds of marketing content.
This also applies to how your staff will interact with these functions in the back end. For example, if your staff aren’t confident with technology, it’s important to choose a booking platform which they can use easily to get the most out of it.
You’ll also likely need different functionalities which your users won’t be aware of. These relate to how you track and target your users. For example, if you’ll likely want the ability to capture audience data in order to remarket to users through social media or email marketing. Alternatively, you might need the functionality to restrict certain areas of your site, like booking management systems.
Security, Privacy and GDPR Compliance
Finally, security and privacy functionality is crucial. You should be aware of what security features your new site will have. Many of these are required by Google in order for your site to be indexed and displayed to users, including:
- HTTPS support,
- HSTS support,
- Up to date security certificates.
Having high standards of security and privacy will also make your website more effective at converting users into paying customers. Users are highly concerned with how and when their personal data will be stored and processed, especially when it comes to payment information. Providing certification that you meet common security standards will help to build trust among your users, leading to more sales. By contrast, if you don’t have the appropriate security standards and you suffer a data breach, you’ll suffer reputational damage which harms your ability to convert users, and you may even incur fines.
You should also consider implementing features which help you to manage GDPR compliance. The GDPR is a highly technical and specialised piece of legislation, with a wide number of requirements relating to:
- Data collection,
- Data storage,
- Data processing,
- Data transfers,
- Data usage.
To ensure compliance with these various requirements, it’s important to implement features by using tools and plugins which are known to be GDPR compliant. You might also choose to implement specific tools which manage elements of GDPR compliance, including cookie consent pop-ups. Once again, a GDPR breach can leave you liable for heavy fines and reputational damage, so it is best avoided.