Welcome to the webinar, everybody. For those that will be watching later, thanks for joining then as well. We're talking about creating a RV park website that converts it's about design, content, and functionality. If we do these things, we find some good success online, and that's what we're about.
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About Rest & Relax ROI
With Rest and Relax ROI, we're exclusively partnering up with RV parks, resorts, and campgrounds. We are an ARVC member, so glad to be a part of that. We talk about the M5 a good bit. It is an RV park centric marketing system, and you can see the little graphic here. We focus on these four areas of reputation, resell, reach, and retarget. And so today's conversation really kind of goes around the reach, resell portion of your marketing.
I am your host. My name is Mark Rowan. You might have thought it was Rowan like row your boat, but you would have been mistaken, and that's okay. Heard it all my life. I grew up on a working West Virginia sheep farm campground. That was a lot of fun. I studied comms at the world's most exciting university, Liberty in Virginia, where I met my college sweetheart Jenny, and we got married in October 2000. Now we have four awesome kids Elena Kay, Cassia, Josiah, and Addie. We do have Holly who rounds out the crew. I've been personally helping companies with our online presence for more than 20 years. So it's been a fun journey. Enjoyed that for sure, and this agency we've been running for since 2014.
What You'll Leave With
Today we have some objectives that we want to leave with three areas to really enhance your website that will help you convert website visitors to RV park guests. We'll have actionable information you can leave with today. No matter what you have or don't have, I think we'll be able to take some information and improve upon. If you have any questions, obviously you can always drop them in the chat or in the comments when you're watching this at a later time, I'm glad to answer them.
Benefits of a Well-Designed Site
Let's take a look at the benefits of a well-designed site. Number one, attracting more visitors and then converting them into guests. I think that's a good benefit. Creating a positive user experience, showcasing beauty and amenities. If you've got some beauty, you want to let people know about it. The idea of having a cohesive identity that reflects your park, you want the experience. If you have a great experience in real life, you want to start that out on your website, because that's probably where the vast majority of guests will see you first. It encourages visitors to take action, and it makes it easy for them to find what they're looking for. And it's easier to access info about your park on all their devices. We'll be diving into more of this as we journey on.
Is It Broke? Fix It.
If you've ever been on one of our webinars, you've seen this little sad RV. Don't have a website that's equivalent of this little sad RV. Has anyone ever told you that your website sucks? Maybe it does, maybe it doesn't. But probably most people are not going to say that to your face. They're too nice, which is not a bad thing. Here are some common issues we encounter. High bounce rates, so that means people leave as soon as they get to your site. Poor search results, just in general, not showing up for the things that you should be.
Slow loading times, that's a problem. Inconsistent branding, if you've got different logos because you've been around for a long time, using different areas. Other things of that nature, difficult navigation, don't be confusing. And not being mobile, friendly, those are bad.
Web Design Conversion Stats
We always like to throw some stats your way just to back up what we're talking about. We are alone are not the only ones that realize that this is important, because 94% of first impressions are related to web design. That's the world we live in. People go on their smartphones to find out more about businesses, and you're no exception. It only takes 0.5 seconds to form an opinion on a website. That's not very long. A well designed user interface could raise conversion rates up to 200%. So there you go. Companies prioritizing design are 50% more likely to see higher ROI. And then 46.1% of users said web design was top criteria for deciding a company was credible or not. That's a pretty big number.
Almost 50% of the people are judging you pretty hardcore based on what your site looks like, and 38% of visitors will stop engaging with website if the content or layout is unattractive. Nearly 40% of people will just go ahead and quit if they get to your site. It's like, "Nah, I'm not feeling this." It's important.
Web Design for RV Parks
We're going to be talking about these areas, design, content and functionality. Let's jump right into the first one. Let's talk about design. So clean and attractive design. It's aesthetically pleasing. That reflects the beauty of your park. Like we talked about earlier, RV parks are all about having a good time and enjoying yourself. Make sure that that's part of it. Consistent use of color, typography and imagery. The cohesiveness is something we'll touch on a few different times.
Don't go overboard with too many colors, too many fonts, which is the typography. The imagery needs to be consistent as far as the quality, as well. This is a design thing, and I studied design and all that back in the day when I was a young man, and this is always a thing that we need to pay attention to effectively using white space. Don't try to cram too much stuff in. That helps your readability and the ability to draw people eyes to the really important stuff on your site.
We all know that phones are a big deal. Most people have them within not just arm's reach like literally mine's like six inches away from me and I'm sure most people's are. So it is very important. We all know this. 63% of Google searches are on a mobile device. There's a lots of data that talks about how much people are on their phone. In general it's a lot responsive design that adapts to different screen sizes and resolutions. That's all about the mobile friendly. You see this graphic here, you get the same type of design on any device but it is formatted appropriately for that device. That's important.
The fast loading times to enhance user experience. It will also help with search engine results. So it's all tied together. Google for instance, who's pretty much the one that's dictating the majority of search engine usage. They're going to look at how fast your site is and of course the user experience is very dictated by if it takes too long to see what they want to see. That's the whole bounce rate that we talked about before. It's going to affect that.
Intuitive navigation that's allowing your users and visitors to easily find what they're looking for. You want to have clear concise labels for menus and links. We want to stay away from crazy fonts. Sometimes we want to get creative with how we do things and creativity is good, but not at the expense of people being able to understand what's happening. We've probably all seen some font usage in our lifetime that made it more difficult to understand what was going on. You can see this example that we added here for this RV Park. The menu is easy to read.
Bread crumbs helped users navigate back to previous pages. If you're not familiar with that term, of course we all know what that means in the story of Hansel and Gretel, helping you find your way back home. That's usually found below the menu and the header part of your website and above the content. That's a good thing to help usability on your site, especially if you have pages that are a parent page and below that child pages. The more pages you have, the more important this is.
High Quality Imagery
The imagery is important. People want to know what you have to offer so make sure those photos are of good quality. Once again we're going to showcase the beauty and amenities and all the different things that you have to offer. Make it beautiful. The consistent use of imagery, we kind of referenced that earlier. This idea of cohesiveness is all part of a good design. Don't have some photos that are super professional, then other ones that like my granny would always cut someone's head off whenever she took a picture of a group of people. We want to have the same quality no matter what images you have. I wouldn't say you want the same quality of crappy photos, but let's go on the high end. Let's try to do better.
The file size that's important too. You got to find that happy medium of getting good quality but not having huge files so they can improve your loading times on your website. Once again, it's going to affect your SERPs, which is search engine result pages that's what SERP is. There's plenty of programs now allow you to resize and optimize your photo sizes.
Happy Traveler here has a couple of call to action buttons. As you can see, you want them to be clear and prominent. Of those CTA, call-to-action buttons. Use persuasive language to encourage users to take actions. The idea is don't make your visitors wonder what they should do next. You want to be directing how they should be traversing your website. What's the main thing you want them to do? You want to highlight that there's I'm sure a lot of great things that you want to share about your park. That's one reason why we're not a big fan of the sliders. It changes. It used to be very common on websites like this picture you see in this example. Then it would slide to another thing, another thing. The reality is people don't necessarily wait around to watch all your slides.
Pick something that's great and of course you can swap it out. And then make it very clear what you want them to do when they come to your site. This above the fold content as we call it here in the hero section, as you can see where it has a big image and it's the main part of your site that's the best and the most important real estate online for you. Because number one, we talk about Google and there's other things you can put your website on which we recommend, but at the end of the day, you own your website. This is yours. So you need to make sure it is optimized to produce the results you're looking for.
Once again, consistency and design and the placement of call to action throughout the website. We talked about colors being consistent, not using too many. Make it easy to recognize, hey, we're going to use this color. Of course, you can see they're using a blue color and it matches their branding. A lot of times the red or orange is people that are drawn to those colors and you want to make sure people are noticing those things and don't switch it up for every different part of the site.
Use of Video
We're doing video right now and this will be up on our YouTube channel later. You want to leverage that as much as possible. You want to showcase what you have to offer. That's always a great idea. High quality, once again, that showcases your beauty in the surroundings that are not only on your part but off site. Tell people if they're not familiar what you have to offer in your area. Then you're talking about like this particular example with Campbell Cove: it's a virtual tour of the park is always a great idea, and there's several providers that can do that for you. You may have run across some of them out there in the wild, so to speak.
Testimonials from some of your best RVers. If you can get somebody that has consistently come to your park and you have a great relationship with them and they're willing to jump in front of the cameras and talk about what you have to offer, that's always huge. That would be a great get. High quality video doesn't mean you necessarily have to hire a video production company because just like we said, we got our phone close to us at all times. Now they are basically the equivalent of having a video production quality right in your pocket. You can leverage that. We said the surrounding attractions. You could go out there, maybe you have some good relationships with some of the attractions that are nearby and they may have a video they'll let you use. Those would be great additions.
This is important to consider as well. For people that have disabilities, you want to make it easy for them. Using alt text for images and videos to provide descriptions for users who are visually impaired, for instance. Alt text is not something that you would normally see just on a website, but it is in the code. We've talked about in other webinars as it relates to SEO and how that's effective for that.
There's another use for it here. Of course, high contrast colors, easy to read fonts for people that have low vision, even if it's not an accessibility issue, that's a good design practice to follow. Here's a couple providers that you can utilize on your site: UserWay or WP Accessibility can help you do that so you don't have to start from the ground up. Check those out.
Branding is a big part of the design. You want to be consistent throughout the site to create that cohesive idea that we've been talking about. The longer you've been around, the more likely you might have an old version of your logo hanging out. Be aware that you want to update everything that you have online, not only on your site, but other places as well.
Establish your unique selling proposition or the USP for your RV park. Connect your branding to who you are wanting to communicate with. In that vein, consider the target audience when creating branding elements. If you're in the market for a new logo, think about what that's going to look like and who are you trying to attract.
RV Park Website Content
We're on to the second section and this is all about content. We just mentioned the unique value proposition, so that's what we want to do with your content, right? Clearly define what that is for your park. Every park is unique in itself, so you want to communicate that as effectively as possible. Highlight what sets you apart from other ones. The competitors is kind of a funny term. I don't think most people think in that vein in this space, but just other options that people have. You want to make sure that you're communicating how you are different. Why would someone come to your space as opposed to the ones on the other part of town? Communicate those benefits of staying with you.
Compelling Headlines & Subheadings
You'll want to have compelling headlines and subheadings. We've got the old Yogi Bear example over here. "Camping will never be the same." Well, that's a pretty compelling headline to put out before us. You want to use those type of things where you're grabbing the attention for the headline and subheadings to really draw people into what you want them to do. You can see here they got this fun promise of how you won't ever be the same because you camp with them and then right below it says "Book Now." They've got this design and brand inconsistency with the colors and their call to action for "Book Now" is a good example of how to do that.
You're going to incorporate keywords to improve search engine optimization within SEO so you can use the town you're in or attractions and things of that nature in your headlines that will help you be found easier. Concise clear messaging that conveys the benefits of staying at the park.
Use engaging persuasive language to describe RV parks, amenities and activities. Don't just write it to get it done. Think about how you can effectively get people excited and get some emotion out of what you have to offer. This is a fun thing that people are doing when they visit you. Once again, highlighting the park's unique features and offerings, addressing common questions. Big right? We'll talk a little bit more about this and the concerns that may arise.
Think about telling unique stories that are particular for you and your part. Whether you want to tell the story of your history, maybe get some campers insight and perspective. Once again, you could go to the surrounding areas and attractions and maybe get some of their story that you can share about. Don't just be putting just the basic bullet points all the time. Some things bullet points are great for, but when you're really trying to engage the visitor to help them understand why you're a great place to visit, you can go to that next level of telling stories as opposed to just putting words on the website.
Testimonials and Reviews
These are huge. We've talked about these in other webinars and how this is just a great thing to have. I think everybody understands this. It's providing social proof and builds trust with the potential guests that are coming in. Incorporate those that highlight that USP once again. If you have some great reviews on other sites like TripAdvisor, Google, you can also incorporate those. I recommend doing that as much as possible.
Try to find ways to consistently develop those reviews. As far as getting them coming in, that's just going to help, obviously more and more. It's a good signal for Google, especially if you're doing Google reviews to help your search engine results, as well.
People are going to want to know about that and you want to clearly outline it. Different packages you may have to offer, whatever pricing they have or whether it's staying a night or other things that you offer you to provide detailed information about included, and then just make sure it's simple and easy to understand, just like the rest of your site.
We talked a little bit about answering people's questions. The common concerns that people might have, just have that FAQ page. We've all seen it on many different sites. Anticipate what those might be and provide some great answers on that. Integrating the keywords for SEO purposes is great because those are probably what the people are looking for anyway. SEO is just not gaming the system. These are things that people search for and because they're searching for them and you're answering those questions, it's going to help your website be more relevant.
Location & Directions
If you don't know where your location is, neither will the people that are coming. Make sure you've got that clear and concise directions to the park includes landmarks and attractions, points of interest. Use a map to make it easy for visitors to find the park. It's pretty easy nowadays. Most sites have the ability to just put your address in and then it pulls up like a Google map and that sort of thing. At the very least you could do that. Of course, maps are a big deal for most RV parks. You guys have them printed out and things of that nature. You should be able to have a digital version of that. You can use as well that is specific to your park. If you haven't done it, check it out.
Up to Date Information
For anything online, you want to make sure that it's being updated, it's accurate. Maybe if you change a phone number, it's possible that your address changed. It's not quite as common as other businesses moving around, but anything that may change, if it's changing for whatever reason, you change it on the site. You also want to make sure that information is updated on business listings that are not on your website and be regular about what's going on with your activities, your amenities, the events that are around. There's going to be people that are very interested in knowing what's available, not only on the park, but maybe in the area. You can use your blog to do that and any kind of news that you want to keep your visitor informed about. Whether it's in your park or around your park.
RV Park Website Functionality
The last section we're going to talk about is the functionality. Maybe a little bit more technical in some areas.
Online Reservation System
Okay, everybody knows about this these days. I don't know what the percentage is now, but there are still people out there that are not doing it. That's why there's so many options. You want to make it as easy as possible for people to come stay with you. This is the thing that people are being trained to expect, is to be able to get things done online. Make sure that you have that availability as well.
You want to make it easy to use and there's lots of different people out there with options to do this. Of course, Rover Pass is shown in this example. CampSpot -- you probably heard of that. CampLife --shout out to Tyler. We know those guys over there. Of course, Park, Reserved by Park with Rylan. He's a friend. He's been on our podcast. These are some great options. It really depends on what your particular needs are and whether or not you're going to need all the different things they have. Some of them cost you money, some of them don't.
Interactive Map and Virtual Tours
Talked about maps earlier, navigating your park location, minute campsites features, all that. You can see right here what I was referring to earlier as an example of the photo here: customized map. That's huge. The virtual tour we talked about with that in the video section, giving previews of what to expect when they arrive. I think that's become very popular in recent years, of course. We recommend that that's something you add when it is the right time for you.
Weather and Local Information
Weather is a big deal for people that would be traveling and that sort of thing. If you can add that, that would be great. It helps them plan. You can provide up to date weather forecasts for the area in the surrounding park. You can include local attractions, restaurants, events and the like. That's really good for people, especially if you're a destination place and it's not necessarily like a stopover. People are going to want to know what they can do while they're in your area.
Social Media Integration
Social media is a huge part of today's online experience. You want to integrate that to connect with visitors. You want to include the links to your profiles on the website. I've seen this a lot of times. People have the logos at the bottom of their page or wherever and they don't link to anything. Make sure if you've got those profiles set up or if you don't. That's the other problem. Some people just, oh, we have the icons, we put them up there and they just don't go anywhere because they haven't set them up. Well, that just causes confusion. If you have them, make sure they're linked. If you don't have them, don't add the logos.
You can have the feed directly on your site, whether that's Twitter or Instagram, definitely Instagram is a good one to do. It updates automatically the recent posts you've done, and people can keep up with that when they visit your site.
Contact Forms and Live Chat
I think everybody's familiar with what a contact form is and it's going to make it easier for people to ask their questions, get inquiries taken care of. You're going to provide a clear, easy to use contact form that visitors can use to get in touch with, right? But don't ask for too much info just because you don't want to put too many barriers up, right?
Live chat, it's that real time support and assistance of visitors. As you can see this stat here, there's 73% of the people surveyed preferred live chat over email or phone support. People have been trained to use online reservations or use their phones. Live chats have become a big tool that is used on a regular basis. People are used to it and definitely recommend integrating that on your site.
Analytics and Tracking
This is good to know what to do to maybe improve things or change things going to measure the success of your site. You can check out metrics like traffic, and we mentioned bounce rate and conversion rate. Conversion rate is the ability to see how many people come on your site. Maybe you're running ads on Google and then you're able to see how many of those ads turn into actual bookings.
Those are important numbers to know, to figure out whether or not what you're doing is effective. Using that data to make informed decisions about the site design and content. If you're running these ad campaigns or just in general, just trying to figure out what's going on when people visit your site, this is a big part of making sure that what you're doing is working. Or if it's not working, now we need to tweak something. We need to update this, we need to change something. This is a big part of having a successful site.
Site Security and Maintenance
It doesn't sound like super exciting, but it's important. You want to have these measures in place to protect not only your site, but the people that are on it and their data. Regular maintenance and updates will help your site be running smoothly. If you have somebody that set up your site like two years ago and it's never been touched, that's just not a great practice to be following.
You want to have secure hosting and SSL encryption. That's the little lockbox at the top of the site that you see in the browser, at the top of the browser there. Protecting customer information and it gives people peace of mind. It's another one of those things that search engines are paying attention to whether or not you're secure.
Integration with CRMs and Email Marketing
Making sure that you're integrating those kind of things. Customer relationship management to manage your leads and your customer info, some of these online reservation systems offer this as part of it. Also email marketing, being able to communicate with not only potential guests, but also your existing guests as well. You can integrate with email marketing tools like maybe Mailchimp or Constant Contact or Rest & Relax ROI M5 system, which does those very things in email marketing and just keeping in contact with people. Those are huge things. If you didn't know, we'll talk a little bit more about it in a second with the email marketing.
What we covered today: design, content and functionality. Next time we are going to be talking about email marketing specifically. We're so glad that you were able to come along. I'm going to check to see if we have any questions today.
We've got a little someone saying Bobby is talking about Fire Fly Reservations is his company. Okay, so Bobby does reservations. Very cool. And it's simple. Most of our parks are live within 72 hours.
Oh, good to know Bobby. That's another solution that's out there for those that might be watching this a later time. If you have any questions, be sure to put those in the comments as well.
Connect With Us
You can always connect with us on social media. You can look up, @restrelaxroi. You can find us on Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube. We're all over the place. Next month we're going to be talking about harnessing the power of email marketing, talking about building lists, and campaigns and how to improve open rates. All those kind of things are going to be on next month's webinar. Typically, we are broadcasting our live webinars the last Thursday of the month, so keep that in mind.
If nobody else has any questions this time around, we will catch you all next time. If you have any more questions and you think of at a later date, we'd love to chat with you, and you can do that at https://book.restrelaxroi.com.
We're glad that you showed up, and if there's anything that we can help you out with in the future, let us know. And for everybody else, until next time, happy trails!