We are honored that Web Marketing Association named the Blue Magnet Interactive-designed The Residences at Biltmore responsive site as an Outstanding Website in the Hotel and Lodging category for 2014.
It is a privilege to be recognized for our team’s hard work and continued commitment to providing top-quality digital marketing services for our hotel partners. The Web Award program is now in its 17th year and is “the longest running annual website award competition dedicated to naming the best Web sites in 96 industries while setting the standard of excellence for all website development.”
Redesigning The Residences at Biltmore site was no small feat, but we jumped at the opportunity. We are proud to share the exciting journey and excellent results with you below.
Prior to partnering with Blue Magnet Interactive, The Residences at Biltmore’s website was aesthetically uninspired, was not properly optimized for search, and delivered a poor user-experience. The site was extremely text-heavy, lacking high-res imagery, and dominated by a dull green background. The site was also difficult for users to navigate and littered with broken links. Since it was not mobile-friendly, users were forced to pinch and scroll on their tablets or smart phones to obtain more information or attempt to book a room.
Overall, the site was not selling the luxury Asheville experience. The Residences at Biltmore is an independent hotel and their website is their primary source for online bookings, so not having a fully functional site was highly problematic.
Our development team rolled up their sleeves, eager to take on the challenge and transform the lackluster site into a functional and beautiful booking tool. They began an extensive discovery phase to get a solid understanding of the local Asheville area, competitors’ strategies, target demographics, and the hotel’s unique selling points. Since the hotel already had a website, the Blue Magnet team worked with the hotel to uncover any technical issues that could pose a challenge later on such as domain or hosting problems.
Then, they set forth to conceptualize a visually appealing site that would allow the hotel to better market their luxurious and modern all-suite accommodations and sell more value-add packages. Asheville is quickly becoming a leading tourist destination for U.S. leisure travelers, so they made sure that the redesigned site highlights the area’s captivating scenery and appeals to guests looking for a balance of outdoor adventure and blissful relaxation. The redesigned site was also built responsively, so that shoppers can easily navigate and explore, regardless of browser choice or device.
And, on top of all that, the team revised the site architecture to ensure that it is more intuitive than the previous site, which had a very confusing sitemap. A user can now easily travel through the site and find all the information they are looking for in just a few clicks. Before launching the finished product, our account management team conducted a thorough keyword analysis to ensure the site’s meta content and on-page copy was fully optimized and provided relevant information.
The Mobile Transformation:
The below results are from Google Analytics and compare data from Jan 1 – Aug 31, 2014 to data from the same time period in 2013. The new site launched end of August 2013, in between these two comparison periods.
Bounce Rate decreased 25% YOY, demonstrating an improved user-experience. Users are finding the hotel’s website based on relevant search queries and are not bouncing off the page after unintentionally landing on it. As the site is now responsive, users are also able to read the content and navigate the site much more quickly on mobile devices and do not have to pinch and scroll excessively. Therefore, they are less likely to exit the site or switch devices to continue shopping.
Mobile Traffic increased 23% YOY, showing increased visibility and usability for mobile shoppers. Prior to development, our design team customized mobile versions of each desktop comp to ensure that the mobile site would contain only information deemed necessary for mobile shoppers. When the site breaks down from desktop to mobile, various high-res images are stripped down or cut out altogether and certain elements transform into mobile-friendly buttons. This creates a faster page load time on mobile and improves the ovearll mobile shopping experience.
Does your hotel’s website need a renovation? Contact us to learn how our award-winning web design team can help transform your hotel’s outdated website into a user-friendly, informative, and successful online booking platform.