March 21, 2008
I was reading the Bangkok Post about a week ago and noticed a half page advert from Asiana Airlines - 2 direct flights per day from Bangkok to Seoul. I have wanted to go to South Korea (and the north) for a long time now, so I made a mental image of Asiana Airlines.
Last night myself and my girlfriend started discussing our holiday plans for this year. My girlfriend voted for skiing in Japan, as she has never seen snow before whilst I voted for South Korea. We agreed that we would look into the costs involved with each and use the costs as the deciding factor on where to go.
So, with my fingers crossed I typed “Asiana Airlines” into Google and I got the following search results:
Now, from an SEO/M and end user perspective, this is poor on-page SEO. What link do I choose? Not one of the ten title descriptions or description tells me where I should click to book a ticket.
Anyway, I decided to check out the “Asiana Global Sites” link. Guess what? They don’t have a link for Thailand. Damn, what do I do now?
Hmmmm, I know, I’ll go back to the search results in Google. Even though the asiana.co.kr link says “For foreigners residing in Korea” I think this must be the corporate Asiana web site (with the .co.kr domain format). Hopefully I can find a link to where I can buy or find out a price for a ticket. This is what I got…
What link would you select?
I choose “International” above the bookings. I went to select the departure city and there was only one option - Korea.
Above I noticed a “Site Map” link - Hopefully this would direct me to the right place.
NOTE: If your site has more than 20 pages of content, I highly recommend generating a site map. If visitors are having difficulty finding what they are looking for, a site map will instantly point them to the right page. Check out Google Webmaster Tools to learn more.
On the site map they had a link “Reservations and ticketing - International” This took me to the page I was just at. Back to the site map. Next page “reservation search”, I got this message:
“For the security purposes for the user, it is impossible to change the reservation…..”
What is that all about?
Okay, by now I would have given up, but by this time I had already thought about writing this post so I wanted to continue (for your benefit ). At this stage, I honestly didn’t know where to click next. So, back to the site map. I selected “Worldwide Offices” which was under the “About Asiana” rather than “Reservations and ticketing. Wooo Hooo! I eventually get a number for Asiana in Bangkok. I called and asked them if they accepted online bookings, they said no.
Now the question is, why pay for advertising in national newspapers when you can’t get your internet marketing sorted out? Also, why are they not accepting online bookings, why not invest the print advertising budget in an online booking system? It’s not like they can’t afford it, they own multi-million dollar aircraft! I wonder how many other airlines don’t offer online bookings, I hope I’m right in guessing not many.
I also wonder how much business they have lost due to this? I would think a lot.
Asiana Airlines, if you are reading this - we offer a usability report that covers all the aspects I fount frustrating with your site, only small changes are needed for a huge improvement with communicating with potential customers online. Stop damaging your brand!