If you've got it, flaunt it on your home page

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If you want a steady stream of online bookings, you need to have an emotive and a compelling home page that loads quickly.

The emotive aspect is the "wow" factor that immediately transforms the guest to the fantasy of experiencing your tourism product. The compelling aspects are what give them the confidence to book. Flaunt both of these features and you are lined up for success.

How do you create both an emotive and compelling home page? Here are the four key aspects to flaunt:

1. High quality photos - one of the best ways to get a message across quickly is pictures. Spend the money on getting professional photos taken. It will make all the difference to your marketing efforts. Think of a website that you like - I would venture to guess that they have clear, crisp and emotive photos that immediately capture you. Great photos sell your product, mediocre photos do the opposite.

2. Referrals - word of mouth is the largest influencer. If your friend tells you a restaurant is fabulous you trust them over any advertisement. WOM or Word of Mouth is what drives many of our decisions so put your Trip Advisor widget with feed on the front page. Yes, adding testimonials to your website is sufficient but we all know that these have been hand-picked. Trip Advisor is straight from the guests' mouth and a more powerful influencer.

3. Accreditations & Awards - Love them or hate them - Qualmark and Tourism Awards give a point of reference and confidence to potential guests. Do you belong to any marketing groups? Put their logos on your front page too.

4. Check Availability - It is 2011, you simply must have an online booking system. You need to offer the ability to book easily, clearly showing on every page, especially your home page. A clear and easy call to action is what the guest wants, we are all busy. Having a real-time booking system is also another way to give them confidence that you are a professional business.

Combining these four features will capture a client and give them confidence to book.

So if you've got it, flaunt it!

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