Times change as quickly as the weather and the same can be said about website design technology. Website design technology vastly improves each year (and each month for that matter), leading to better guest engagement, increased functionality, and improved conversion rates. If your website is more than 3 or 4 years old, you are most likely losing out to your competition. If your current website design is the same one that you had when any of the these events happened, the following 10 11 reasons illustrate why you should consider a new one.
“Web 2.0” becomes a staple in our vernacular (2006)
Issue: Your website is not converting guests (poor conversion rate) – Your conversion rate is the percentage of website visitors that book versus those who do not. If 5 out of 100 visitors “buy”, your conversion rate is 5%. The purpose of your website is to close the deal. Good website designs have low bounce rates (see below) and high conversion rates. If you want to make money with your website, be sure that you are able to monitor and track these two critically important visitor behavior statistics. If either metric is not favorable, you should consider a new design. New designs that lower bounce rates and raise conversion rates pay for themselves in short order!
Mad Men premiers on AMC (2007)
Issue: You’ve changed your brand positioning or messaging – Things change. Whether it’s your branding, staff, inventory, business model etc… When change happens, change your website. Keep things fresh and current. If you cannot do it on a weekly or monthly basis, have a plan for one big change (updated design, photos, content) every 18-24 months. Even the best websites wear out over time. Be sure to understand this and have a plan to address it. As mentioned earlier, new websites pay for themselves.
CSI Miami is the 7th most popular program on television (2008)
Issue: It’s slow –There are many tools to help you speed up your website load time. Image optimization, caching tools, and better content management are just a few. Your guests expect pages to load quickly and will see an alternate website if they do not. In recent months, Google has also added load time as a factor in its placement algorithm. That means, all things being equal, faster websites will get better placement in Google than slower websites. There is no excuse for a slow loading website. This is exactly why Google does not tolerate them!
Tiger Woods wins the U.S. Open, his last Major title (2008)
Issue: High bounce rate – Your bounce rate is the percentage of website visitors that leave after having just arrived on your website – usually your homepage. If this number is low, great! That means that your website design is doing its job and keeping visitors on your website. If your bounce rate is high, you have a problem. This means that people do not like what they are seeing. This can be for any reason or, in most cases, multiple reasons. This is a very troubling situation because you have done everything right to get a potential customers to your website only to squander the opportunity by presenting a website that does not meet the needs of your visitor. If you have a high bounce rate, correcting that should be your #1 priority!
Captain Chesley (Sully) Sullenberger successfully lands a US Airways Airbus A320 he was piloting on the Hudson River in New York City, saving the lives of all 155 passengers and crew (2009)
Issue: User complaints – Yes, negative comments can be obnoxious and uncalled for at times. However, those same complaints about how long it took to find your contact info or how frustrating the online booking process is are clear signals that the time to redesign your website is NOW. Listen to feedback from your users. These are potential guests and repeat guests, so put their experience first and you will win!Who knew tilling a field could be so addictive?
Facebook launches FarmVille (2009)
Issue: You can’t easily make content updates – A Content Management System (CMS) will allow you to very easily add, edit and update your website with very little experience. With over 60 million installations, WordPress is by far the most common CMS. The original blogging platform has evolved into the most widely used system in the world. Because of the sheer numbers, WordPress is also inexpensive to use and maintain. Some advantages are; open source, many low cost designers/developers in community, use of plugins to extend functionality, thousands of professionally designed themes available. WordPress is also “Google-friendly” system that tends to outperform non-wordpress websites from an Search Engine Optimization standpoint.
Conan is host of the Tonight Show (2010)
Issue: It’s not mobile-friendly –Regardless of your position on mobile usage, it is here to stay and growing rapidly. The easiest solution is to address it with a responsive design. A responsive website design is one that uses a format that automatically adjusts the screen size based on the device and screen resolution being use to render the website. The easiest way to address bounce rates, conversion rates and mobile formatting is with a new design that is built using Responsive technology. It’s like killing 3 birds with one stone.
The first generation of the iPad is unveiled (2010)
Issue: Your search engine rankings are low – Search engine algorithms have changed quite a bit over the years, so if your organic search engine rankings are low, it could mean it’s time for an update. At one time, the key to SEO was to plug your content with as many keywords as possible. Thanks to Google’s recent Hummingbird update, it’s now all about having original, high-quality content on your website. This is one reason why websites with blogs (WordPress websites) perform so well. If the content on your website wasn’t written with current SEO trends in mind, or it’s buried within Flash elements or images, it may be time for an update. Creating your website with SEO in mind will ensure that potential customers can find you online. With planning and foresight, a website redesign can help your website place higher in the search engines.
LeBron plays his last game for the Cleveland Cavaliers (2010)
Issue: It just looks outdated and untrustworthy – How many times have you come upon a website that just plain looks unprofessional? What do you do? If you are like most people, you hit the back button and begin look for a better option. Fair or not, your business is judged by the quality of your website. If you appear unprofessional, your website visitors will not trust that you are able to handle an online transaction in a professional and safe manner. No trust = no credit card = no booking. It’s as simple as that. Does your competition have a professional website presentation with an intuitive and trustworthy booking path? I wonder who will get that credit card number.
Simon Cowell is still a cantankerous judge on American Idol (2010)
Issue: You’re embarrassed to give out your URL – Your website should, first and foremost, perform well. If your website performs well, it probably already looks good and is something that you can and should be proud of. If that is the case, get it out there with any and every marketing means at your disposal. If you are not proud of your website, you are probably not alone. Your website should be a source of information, revenue and pride. If not, it is time for a new one.
Your website survived the end of the world TWICE…Judgment Day and the Rapture (2011)
Bonus: A redesign is cheaper than repairs – Whew! If you read this far you are probably thinking that you need a new website and are wondering what to do next. Let the experts at Gueststream guide you through the design process. It’s quick, easy, and painless. Below are some examples of websites designs that you can use to compare to your own. See how you stack up. You will also find some technical information about what components make a great website.
WordPress Theme Examples
To help get started and guide you through the development of your new website, we provide a seamless process from beginning (Discovery phase) to end (Deploy phase).
WordPress Design Features
The following are just a few features that can be incorporated into your new design:
- Responsive (mobile-friendly)
- Content Management System
- XML Sitemap
- Static Sitemap
- Clean URL’s
- Google Analytics
- Google Webmaster Tools
- Google Maps
- Google Translate
- Google Site Search
- Quick Search Integration with Booking Engine
- Photo Gallery with Slideshow
- Homepage Slideshow
- WordPress Training
- Social Media Integration
- 301 Redirects + Custom 404 Error Pages
- Events Calendar
- Email Marketing Signup
- ‘Live’ Chat Integration
- Weather Report
- Ski Report
- Area Attractions Map
- Unique Photo Headers
- MLS Integration for Real Estate
- Breadcrumb Navigation
- Contact Form
- Multi-Browser & Multi-Device Testing
- Banner Ads and Icons
- Other Features Available
Pricing will vary depending on how many pages will be created, what features are to be included, and what other Gueststream products and services you’d like to bundle. The more you bundle, the more you can save!
Websites are a vital part of doing business and communicating your brand, so doing it right is vital to the health of your bottom line. With Gueststream with you, what once had been a daunting task, redesigning your website isn’t considered a chore anymore. With so many questions and elements that need to be considered, contact Gueststream today and let us help you get started on a new tomorrow.
About Gueststream, Inc.
The mission of Gueststream is to provide comprehensive and advanced Internet marketing solutions that generate online revenue for our clients. Our primary focus is the hospitality market and more specifically, lodging properties. Our highest priority is client results and the delivery of superior customer service to ensure client satisfaction and retention. Learn more about us and how we can help you:
- Web Development – Responsive, WordPress designs with content management system
- Hosting & Maintenance – Fast, reliable, and secure solution with expert maintenance and management
- Booking Engine Integration – Seamless integration with many of the leading vacation rental property management software (PMS)
- Internet Marketing Services – Increase presence, traffic, ROI, and revenue
- The Welcome App – The newest guest experience app for vacation rental managers
- Inquiry Response Manager – 24/7 custom, branded auto responder