When Shoreline OBX noticed a decrease in website conversions, the company knew they needed to make a change in their marketing.
That’s why they partnered with Q4Launch and invested in an integrated approach to hospitality marketing that includes hospitality SEO, email marketing, blogging, and social media. As that relationship evolved, Shoreline learned their abandonment rate was increasing due to slow page load speeds. They took the additional steps of adding lead generation and updating their website to create a meaningful turnaround in annual bookings.
In just five months with Q4Launch, Shoreline’s overall website traffic increased by 58% and organic traffic increased by 110%, as compared to the same five month period the previous year. Revenue from organic traffic also increased by 20%. This was achieved through:
- Designing a blog strategy that’s an extension of Shoreline’s SEO strategy
- Implementing multiple lead generation tools on their website
- Improving the speed of their website
Read on as we walk you through the changes, the rationale, and the results.
Hospitality Marketing Employs A Blogging Strategy
Increasing organic traffic to your website takes time, and starts with your product as a company.
Shoreline OBX does a fantastic job of taking care of their guests. Attention to detail and great customer service is the foundation of everything they do. Read about one of our team members’ experience staying at Shoreline OBX here.
Once you have an experience to be proud of, then is the time to expand your online presence.
The strategy to grow organic traffic that worked best for Shoreline OBX included blogging as an extension of their SEO strategy. Each blog post focused on a long tail keyword that receives strong search traffic. For example, we know that travelers with furbabies search for the keyword “pet friendly vacation rentals with a fenced yard”. So, Shoreline published a blog titled, “Need Pet Friendly Vacation Rentals with a Fenced Yard?” This blog post now ranks #2 in a Google search for that long tail keyword. Thanks to a compelling article and a smartly-designed blog page, a person who wasn’t considering a trip to the Outer Banks could be drawn to Shoreline’s website and ultimately book a vacation rental.
When it comes to blogging, the proof is in the pudding. In 2014, Shoreline’s website had 49,244 visits; for the same time period in 2015, their organic traffic increased 28% to 63,139 visits. As an added bonus, the online conversions tracked from that organic traffic increased by 149%! But the growth didn’t stop there. In 2016, organic traffic grew another 90% and website visits skyrocketed to 119,847. Once again, the corresponding eCommerce conversion increased by 75%.
If you are interested in taking your blogging skills up a level, read this quick post.
Insider Tip: The beauty of a blog strategy like this is that it never stops working for you. When you blog consistently, Google begins to see your website as a local authority for travelers – bringing you new visitors (and new bookings!) on a daily basis. Plus, posts written three years ago can still rank, which means they can still drive traffic to your website.
In addition to blogging, Shoreline OBX used lead generation as a tool for turning unknown visitors into known visitors. How? By creating compelling content that only costs the reader their email address.
Shoreline has a carefully curated Free Outer Banks Vacation Guide on their website that’s protected by a form. This form submission kicks off a marketing automation sequence designed to excite the reader and bring them closer to booking. And it works! Over the past two years, Shoreline OBX has received 1,622 new leads, an average of 58 leads per month. This lead generation tool has helped fill last-minute bookings and even improved shoulder season/off-season bookings. A hospitality marketing plan that includes lead generation is a smart way to become less reliant on OTA’s.
To get more leads, Shoreline OBX optimized their homepage and blog page with free offers that don’t require a credit card. Those offers were for “last minute bookings” and “request a quote”. While not every website visit results in a booking, Shoreline has been able to grow their email database for continued lead nurturing.
Vacation Rental Website Design
Most people don’t understand how much page load time impacts website conversion. In a recent study from Kissmetrics, we learned that 19% of people will abandon a website if a page takes more than 5 seconds to load. That’s a huge percentage! There are a lot of factors that contribute to page load time, including size of images and forms in the footer. When Shoreline OBX optimized their website for speed, they saw conversions increase.
Vacation rental management companies also have to consider property owners. They should feel like the website is intuitive, easy to use, and, of course, quick to load. After launching their new website, Shoreline’s property owners mentioned how much better the online experience was for them. Learn more about how Q4Launch designs websites for Vacation Rental Management companies.
The success of Shoreline OBX can be attributed to lots of hard work, research, and data. We looked at what was happening with their website, and our research revealed the answer! From there, we worked the problem and saw great results. Hospitality Marketing works and you can see it in the data. Check out some of the impressive numbers below.
Organic Traffic Year/Year:
2014 – 2015
- 2014 – 49,244 organic visits
- 2015 – 63,139 organic visits
- 28% increase
- eCommerce Conversion rate from organic traffic increased by 149%
2015 – 2016
- 2015 – 63,139 organic visits
- 2016 – 119,847 organic visits
- 90% increase
- Jan. 1 – July 31, 2017 has increased by 75% compared to the same period in 2016.
March 1, 2015 – July 31, 2017:
- 695 Vacation Guide downloads
- 583 Requested Last Minute Deals
- 344 Requested a Quote
- 1,622 total leads in 28 months (average 58 leads/month)