Online reservations are critical for campgrounds. Have you ever searched for something on your cell phone, found it, but the page either took too long to load or did not load at all? Well, if you anything like me you might consider that the initial impression of this business is that it just doesn’t care about the details. What does that mean for property upkeep? In hospitality, these digital poor practices are a real reservation killer.
If I was a competing campground to the example listed above for online reservations, and I knew their website had poor load speed or overall poor user experience, I would advertise my campground using their campground’s name as my keyword. Inevitably, the person that wants to stay with them will end up backing out while your site is still loading and move back to the search results where my ad will await them. When they click on it, they will be able to quickly navigate to my reservation system’s check out page.
Load speed is super important when consider online reservations because over 65% of all online searches occur on mobile devices. If you want to increase your campground’s online reservations, you also need to thoughtfully place the right content in the right places. For example, the home page is no place to put your rates, rules, or policies. Those should have a page all their own outside of the home page. The home page will be the most visited page on your website hands down. This page needs to WOW the visitor and it can be done with crisp images; pixelated images is a major turn off.
The right images are equally important to trigger an increase in online reservations. You don’t want a picture full of empty RV sites or cloudy groggy days. If possible, and with permission of those individuals involved, include people enjoying amenities or interacting. If possible, having a video above the fold on your homepage is preferable. People are big on videos hence the rise in Tik Tok, YouTube, etc.
Another mistake I often see on the homepage is that some can get too wordy. Most people will not read more than just a few sentences. Don’t get me wrong, you need some text to help Google decipher what your website is about and how to determine relevance when a user performs a search. What I mean is that a long, about us, or listing of every single amenity on site might not be the best strategy. Users on cell phones will most likely tire of continually scrolling through all of it and it does little to create curiosity about the other pages of your website.
Search engines like Google know how deep into a website users will go on average. The more pages a user views, the more Google assumes the content is meaningful. Websites with more page views usually will outrank those that have a high bounce rate. A bounce rate is a measurement that tells a search engine how many people view only one page of a website before the user leaves. The goal is to have that bounce rate as low as possible, so the home page needs to build curiosity, so people want to click around the website.
Finally, how well your online reservations system integrates with your campground’s website is critical. The thing I like about MYSites Reservations System. is that the system will allow users to load an I-Frame within the website. An I-Frame is basically a window into the reservations system. Most campers these days like to choose their own camping site and MYSites will have the interactive map within the I-Frame so users can decide where they want to be when they stay with you. This is very useful because the camper can look around for availability before leaving your website to check out.
There are many other online reservations system providers that will transfer your guest from your website before they make the decision to stay with you. Using an I-Frame is ideal because it also adds time on site. This is another metric search engines will look for to determine if the users of your website are having a good experience. Higher time on site averages mean better domain authority which places your website, above those that have less average user time on site websites.
With MYSites Reservations System, we know what good web design means because we create websites for our customers. All MYSites customers receive 50% design prices for a start of the art website. Call 800-832-3292 for more details about becoming a MYSites customer.