AdventureTravelNews

The Importance of an Optimized Website – Western River Expeditions’ Tuned-up Site Results in a 56 Percent Revenue Increase in First 90 Days

Tune-ups are givens in our motor-driven world. But tuning up a website? Didn’t you just spend thousands of dollars awhile back to get your product positioned on your website to your satisfaction?

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Caveat. Web sites aren’t just about owner satisfaction. They’re about smart marketing that communicates products and furthers sales. Therefore, potential buyers using your website need to be satisfied as well. Website design and development could very well be the most critical element in your marketing budget.

Western River Expeditions is an adventure travel company headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah. Annually from March through October, they escort more people down rivers on professionally guided rafting trips in Utah, Idaho and Arizona than any other company. Recently they enhanced and upgraded their website with impressive results. The project was accomplished by Resmark Interactive, a division of Resmark Systems.

“Within 90 days of launching the new site we could see extensive changes in analytics compared to the same period last year,” said Brandon Lake, CMO. Revenues booked online increased by 56 percent, organic traffic increased by 26 percent, first-time visitors increased by 26 percent and the average download time decreased by 54 percent allowing pages download twice as fast after the update.

“We implemented an easy-to-use content management system through Resmark Interactive that allows staff access to content on a single site that can be updated for application to desktop or tablets or mobile devices. Resmark Interactive is really great at helping companies craft content to look great on all devices,” he added.

Western River’s experience was that 50 percent of its visitors came from desktops, with the other 50 percent on mobile devices with smartphones accounting for 36 percent and tablets, 13 percent.

“The goal is to provide a positive, pleasurable and seamless experience for the end user who can move from one device to another to find information,” said Lake.

While website redesigns can range from $10,000 upwards to $100,000, a company may afterwards experience business upticks in the millions of dollars. In addition to better organic traffic and increased conversions on the website come internal cost savings with less labor spent on updating and reduced budgets for paid search engine and on-line ads.

But it often doesn’t require a full site redesign to make an impact. “Even with $500 or $1000 you can make small tweaks so that your site loads faster. If it takes more than 3-4 seconds for a page to load, you are guaranteed to lose half of all mobile traffic. Simple tweaks can also better define the purchase path,” he said.

Chad Allen designs and develops websites for Resmark Interactive clients including Big Creek Expeditions, Inc., a rafting company in Tennessee that has subsequently doubled its social conversions, experienced 30 percent more mobile conversions and increased its page load by 50 percent. All of this affects Google’s algorithms for site rankings.

“If they see you are providing a fast loading and easy to use website, Google will rank you higher. It’s a win win for clients.” said Allen. Another rafting company, Mad River Boat Trips in Jackson, WY, after a web overhaul experienced a 50 percent faster page load time, doubled its organic web traffic and the average time a visitor spent on a page.

“We are big on looking at analytics and data on all of our web projects,” said Allen. Then performance goals are set. “We’ve had many web clients who have been put through the wringer with other web companies who don’t set goals before they conduct a face lift and in the end, have no idea if their project was successful other than new design. We look at data, at what things are broken and at what can be improved and design and the website in a scalable way. The only way a client is going to be successful is if we keep looking at how they’re doing. We look through analytics several times a year and touch bases with clients so that areas can be improved.”

“People’s expectations are very high on how a site should look, feel, and function.” Allen added. “The goal is to build a responsive website that works well on a variety of devices. How easy the website is to use reflects on how solid you are as a company. by making just a few minimal changes to a website we can make the experience better for both out clients and their customers.”

Contributing members are responsible for the accuracy of content contributed to the Member News section of AdventureTravelNews.

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