Qualities of an excellent fishing charter website

Let’s face it, the internet has revolutionized the way we live our lives today. The web keeps us connected with people from different parts of the globe at any time. Communicating, getting information, and shopping for goods and services are all possible without leaving the comforts of our home. In fact, with just a few strokes on the keyboard, we can buy almost anything we want from basic needs to luxuries.

As more people become digitally-savvy, it’s important to establish an online presence to drive your business in the millennium and there’s no better way to start than to build a company website with all the right components.

If you’re in the fishing charter business, here are some key ingredients to consider when building a digital platform where potential customers can learn more about your fishing trips and engage in them.

Your website has to be visually appealing

First impressions always matter! Many people say, “do not judge a book by its cover” but in reality, we often make snap judgments based on outer appearance. The same thing applies to an online site; a visually appealing website can catch the attention of the visitor and ultimately convince them to book a charter.

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Check out these simple tips that might help you come up with a visually attractive website:

Choice of color scheme – Lack of color can be boring but using too much can be a distraction. The rule of thumb is to choose two or three primary colors (preferably from your company logo) that go well and refrain from using extremely vibrant hues that can make your fishing charter website look tacky and appear unprofessional. Remember, your target market is anglers and not children, so don’t overdo the use of colors to save it from looking childish.

Avoid flashing images, auto-playing multimedia, or anything distracting – Animations, blinking or flashing graphics, auto-playing music or videos, and pop-ups (also called interstitials) are not only annoying but they can disrupt the reading experience and drive an individual to leave the site. Imagine a user trying to browse quietly through your website in a cafe, only to be shocked by the loud sounds from an auto-playing video. Shattering the calm and peaceful atmosphere is embarrassing enough but being unable to locate the mute button can make matters worse! Keeping this tip in mind can save users from experiencing such an awkward moment.

Utilize relevant images or graphics – The right images or graphics can bring vitality to a boring site and turn it into a powerful platform for your business. For a fishing charter, you can capture the interest of your target market by putting photos of your location, boats, and clients holding their catches.

Aside from selecting relevant photos, you should also pay attention to the file size and resolution to optimize the use of graphics. Selecting low-quality and pixelated images may be considered poor taste and give your fishing charter website an unprofessional touch while high-quality photos more than the recommended size might slow it down. A web designer recommends adding no more than five images or graphics (1MB or less) per page.

Post only images of the actual charter boats, equipment, and amenities to prevent potential clients from making uninformed purchasing decisions. Misguiding users, whether intentionally or not, with impressive photos that are not yours and far from what you offer in reality may lead to complaints, negative reviews, and loss of customers.

gaviotas
Gaviotas features photos of its charter fleet on their website.

Use appropriate text and font – The standard black text on white background is a safe combination and commonly used in many websites but that doesn’t mean that it’s a mistake to use other color combinations. You may do so, provided that the colors you choose are pleasing to the eyes. When it comes to font types, use those that are easy to read and commonly available on most computers. Whimsical fonts are cute but they may not be appropriate for your audience so it’s better to stick with the more classic types. Good font size for paragraph text may range between 10 to 12 pts.

Have a simple and easy navigation

Navigation is just like a compass; if you’re going on a forest trail, it’s wise to carry one to lead you to the right path. Otherwise, you might get hopelessly lost in the dense vegetation. The same concept may be applied to a website because the navigation system helps web users find their way through the different pages.

A good website should have a simple, clear, comprehensive, and structured navigation system that people can easily understand. The visitor should have no difficulty going around the website and finding the information that he/she needs with a minimal number of clicks.

The menu tabs should be ideally positioned on the top of the site or on either side where they can easily be seen. For better user experience, limit the tabs between 5 and 7 and cut down the number of clicks required before acquiring the information needed.

phantom website
The menu tabs of Phantom Fishing are strategically placed on top where they can easily be spotted by readers.

Nobody likes a slow website

In this Internet-driven world where instant gratification is highly favored, many individuals have somehow developed short attention spans. As a result, more online users expect fast loading websites and have little patience when it comes to web pages that take more than three seconds to load. Individuals are easily frustrated by turtle-pace websites and are likely to abandon their browsing activities in search of similar but faster loading online sites. Fishing charters that want favorable conversation rates should ensure that their websites have acceptable loading speed to sustain the interest of potential clients. In addition, websites with fast load time are rewarded by Google with excellent positioning in its search engine results pages.

You might wonder, how fast should a website load? Maile Ohye from Google says:

“2 seconds is the threshold for e-commerce website acceptability. At Google, we aim for under a half second.”

Pingdom and PageSpeed Insights are examples of tools used for testing website load speed. Below are actual Pingdom Website Speed Test and PageSpeed Insights performed for one of our clients, Phantom Fishing.

speed test
As you can see, Solmar Sportfishing has a loading time of 1.12 seconds which meets the ideal standards.

Your website needs to have informative content

Content is the body and soul of the website and a quality one should have original and engaging content.

For a fishing charter business, the goal of having a website is to convince visitors that you have everything that they are looking for in a fishing charter. Here are some essential pages recommended by a web specialist:

About Us page – This section is dedicated to the charter company’s history or background, mission and vision, and information about the owner, captain and the other team members. This is where you can share the biggest and best fish you’ve caught on your charter and fishing tournaments that you’ve won. Make it more interesting for potential customers by sharing stories and showing some photos. This page may also include specifications of your fishing vessel (the type of boat, model, engine, speed, capacity, etc.), electronics, equipment, and amenities. Showcase the best photos of the boat in different angles to convince customers that your charter is worth their time and money.

Fishing trip information and pricing – Describe your fishing trips by telling your customers what they can expect including duration, package inclusions and exclusions, and related fees. Always provide accurate pricing and avoid surprising your guests with unexpected fees like gas surcharges and tips after they arrive at your boat. This page should have a visible “Book now” button that customers can click to allow them to easily book reservations on your website and conveniently pay online using a credit card or debit card.

Fishing calendar – Let anglers know when it is the best time to go fishing on your charter by including a fishing calendar that illustrates the types of fish that can be caught by month.

Photo gallery – Designate a photo gallery section where you can share some of your recent catches, best catches, and captions of success stories. You may also post videos of real-time fishing action to motivate anglers to book your charter.

Social media links – Boost your targeted audience’s interest in booking your boat by including active social media links on your website such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Other links – You can link TripAdvisor reviews and ratings to boost your reputation as a good and reliable fishing charter company.

FAQs – By addressing frequently asked questions about your business, you can save time answering phone calls and email inquiries about the same questions and concerns. A well-developed FAQ page can also be a way to communicate the terms and conditions of your fishing trips and manage customer expectations from the beginning.

Contact information – Your contact page should include an email address, contact number, and a Google Map. Ideally, you should answer emails within 24 hours.

Live chat that’s available 24/7

Customer service is an integral component of a fishing charter business and in today’s fast-paced world where people expect instant support, it may be a good time to give your website an edge by featuring a live chat. This is an opportunity to interact with potential customers in real-time and get to know their various fishing needs and concerns and provide them with real-time answers and solutions. A website live chat is a great way to build customer confidence and improve conversation rates. Examples of live chat software are Zendesk, Intercom, LiveChat, LiveAgent, Talk Desk, and Chat io.

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Fish Hunter Charters uses the Zendesk live chat software.

Website security

As people become more reliant on technology, the call for better website security has increased. Discerning consumers are more aware of the threats of engaging in an unsecured website such as the risk of customer data and credit card information theft.

Here are some tips that may help protect both your fishing charter business and customers from hackers, phishing attempts, and malware attacks:

1. Keep your website’s software, security, and scripts up to date.
2. Use security software or plugins.
3. Order an SSL certificate from your Domain Provider (examples: Siteground, Bluehost, and GoDaddy). Then install the SSL certificate to activate the padlock and the https protocol and provide secure connections between your server and a user’s browser.
4. Create secure passwords and encrypt passwords.
5. Prevent users from uploading files that may be infected by a virus or malware.

In modern times like this, a website with all the right components can be a key tool for growth and burgeoning opportunities with the potential to boost customer awareness, improve your credibility, give your business a global reach, and increase your bookings.

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