How to Double Reservations by Upgrading your Website
Competition between campground resorts in the outdoor hospitalities industry is more competitive than it has ever been. There are more ways than ever for customers to find out about campgrounds in any specific area that they are planning on visiting. In the “good old days” the prospective client would only be able to find out about the campground through yellow pages, brochure ads, vacation literature, word of mouth or billboards and signs in their desired place of vacationing. Nowadays campground resort owners are forced to participate in the newest marketing methods in order to stay afloat. The marketing that had kept the campground resorts successful and in business for many years are just not working anymore. The biggest change, as we all know, is the fact that everyone is using the internet to locate the campground resort that they will stay at on their next vacation. Not only are people using the internet to locate their campground, they are also using it to go ahead and book their stay. This makes it very easy on the customer. This ease of access is really what drives the modern era of technology; the good news is that the internet can actually make things much easier for the resort owners as well.
With the World Wide Web, people are connected directly to a vast amount of choices where they can search for amenities and options that fit their vacation expectations right from their desktop and laptop computers or even their mobile phones. In most cases it is as simple as them typing “Parks Near” or “Campgrounds in” along with whatever city/state area they are planning on visiting and they will be given a handful of options. The trick for campground resort owners is to get their name into those search results, capture the searcher’s attention, and then make it easy for them to create a reservation.
In order to stay competitive and catch the interest of online searchers, there are 5 keys to successful online website marketing that I will cover.
5 Keys to a Successful Website for Campground Resorts
1. Up-to-date Web-design
Don’t miss out on internet traffic because you don’t have a website at all, or because your website is outdated and unresponsive for mobile devices as well as tablets and computers. According to web analytics that we have done here at Southeast Publications, on average more than two-thirds of all online searching is done from a mobile device; so if your website is not optimized for mobile devices, your potential customers will get quickly turned away as soon as they try to access your website and see that there is no clear way of viewing all of the information available on the website. This is the most common problem that we are seeing: campground resorts have a website that was set up 10 years ago that is not designed to handle mobile devices and tablets.
2. Excellent Web Presence
Along with keeping your website up-to-date, you will need to make sure that the content on your website creates excellent web presence. This includes adding plenty of content that describes the resort such as an about page, an amenities page, local attractions page, and a resort guide page. The more content you have that adequately explains your campground, the more your online visitors form a connection with the campground and all of that information will go into Google’s search algorithm so that it even shows up in results when someone searches for something specific like “Campgrounds with 50 AMP RV hookups”. You will also want to make sure that you have plenty of resort images and even video to keep your website visitor’s attention while getting them excited about setting up a vacation at your resort.
3. Web Forms and Online Reservations
Now that you have caught your website visitor’s attention with a gorgeous website and great content, you will want to direct them with a call of action to go ahead and make their reservation today. This process should feel easy for your customer. Here you are getting some personal information and solidifying a big piece of your customer’s vacation plans so it needs to be as friendly and non-invasive as possible. There are two ways of taking reservations online that have the most success. One is by having a simple reservation form where the customer inputs their reservation information and submits it to the resort. The other way is to have an entire reservation system where the customer can search through all of the resort’s sites with available dates and choose one for themselves. This second method makes it easier on the resort owners and the customers get to choose which site they stay.
4. Great Use of Keywords
Be sure that your website includes many of the keywords that you would prefer search engines to attribute to your campground resort. The page titles and menu items, as well as the campground resort description, need to focus on your campground resort’s keywords. For example, in the tag line meta description for a campground that has a golf course, fishing ponds, and caters to RV drivers, the resort would want to add a phrase that includes those keywords; “Golf Course”, “RV”, and “Fishing”. Campground resort owners can dive further into the use of keywords by using a platform, such as Google Adwords, to direct traffic to their website based off of specific keywords.
5. Use Social Media Platforms to Backlink
By using social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, as well as trip searching websites like MobileRVing to create a page for your resort, you will get an added dimension to your web presence. For example, you can create your resort profile on MobileRVing.com where you can include a resort description and a list of amenities as well as your address, images, local area attractions and even a link that will take a user to your website! To enhance your online presence it is highly recommended that you create pages and posts that link users directly to your website. This is called back-linking and is a key component to any SEO operations.
Would you think that a resort in Alaska gets reservations made from China?
Well, the truth is that yes, there are reservations made from people in China who found out about the resort is Alaska specifically by searching the web. There are people all throughout the world using the internet to make vacation plans. It is time for resort owners to work online to reach out to all of them or they will certainly lose out on business. One of our Southeast Publications clients, BaysideRV.com in Valdez, Alaska was very excited when they practically doubled their reservations in 2017 compared to 2016 by following the 5 keys mentioned above. The beginning of this upward trend for BaysideRV.com was getting a new website and then marketing to get online users to visit the website. According to Rich, the owner of Bayside RV Park, “The new website along with web-marketing and a new reservation form has nearly doubled our reservations and made things a lot easier for us with auto emails and all.”
If you would like to learn more about how we at Southeast Publications can help build a great new website for you please visit our webpage at southeastpublications.com/newwebsite/ or give us a call at 1-800-832-3292