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April 30, 2020
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Your Park Website. Is it Delivering?

Your website is one of the most important marketing tools you have. It is your representation on the Internet! Is it doing for you what it should do, delivering more customers to your park, or has it ‘aged and lost its spark? How does your website stack up?

Is your website working for you?

The dramatic increased usage of the internet, search functionality and instant access means your website must stay up to date and relevant to your audience. It is an important marketing tool to improve your exposure.  Sadly many caravan park websites fail to deliver results. They are, in fact, old or aging having been prepared many years ago and have not undergone any upgrades or improvements. This is a window on your park and, as such, needs to remain dynamic and relevant.

There are many reasons why websites succeed and create that ‘Wow’ factor.

Know your audience?

Your website should represent the audience you want to attract. For example, if you are on the Murray River, fishing, boating and swimming will be key recreational activities. Your park should reflect these attributes. You may even establish a page just for fishermen – with local tips and guidelines. Consider the needs of your guests, focus on what you can offer to add value to their stay and encourage. Create a link between what you can offer and what your audience need to maximise your impact.

Make yourself known!

Our industry is strongly focussed on relationships. Guests are using your park as a home from home, so make them feel welcome. Profiling you as hosts of your park is a critical element of a website. Travellers love engaging with people they can get to know. So be welcoming. A strong indicator of a welcoming park is a website that introduces the hosts – by name, preferably with photos – including staff. The team do a great job in bringing a pleasurable experience to your guests. Let the guests know who you are.

When last did you invite your guests to visit your website? That is when they are in the park, not before they get there!

Promoting your website to your guests?

Your website can be a great resource for your guests. It is not just there for people finding you. Your website can become an extension of yourself right into the cabin or caravan of your guests staying in your park. You want your guests to stay longer so give them a reason to stay. Let them find out more of your offerings in the comfort of their van or cabin. Invite your guests to access a page named – Information for our guests – or something similar providing information on such things as:

  • Resources: Map of Park, Town, Region
  • Contact details of Hospital, Dr Pharmacy etc.
  • Pubs, Cafe’s, Restaurants & Offers
  • Supermarket, Bottle Shop, Petrol Stations
  • Park Rules
  • Pet Guidelines
  • Park info: Cleaning time of Amenities, Laundry times, gas, dump point etc
  • Where to next - suggested parks on routes away from your park
  • Local Events & activities
  • Things to do:
    • 3 Day or 5 Day Plan
    • Drives, Photographic Sites
  • Activities
    • Sport: Golf, Bowls etc
    • Museums, Historic Sites
  • Connectivity: TV coverage, Mobile Phone access, Internet
  • Website links to local sites

What other content should you have on your website

In recent research undertaken by Kui Parks we have identified specific content that is of value to customers. The purpose is to ensure your information should focus on delivering value to your guests. This will keep them in the site and encourage further searching. Above all keep the content easy to access and read. Frustration comes from not finding what one is looking for.

Your website should at least provide the following:

  • Introduction to park, town and region
  • Things to do in the Area
  • Park Information for Guests
  • Accommodation offered
  • Contact Details
  • Host Details
  • Tourist Information
  • Contact & Park Review opportunities
  • Rates
  • Social Media Link
  • Maps for park, Town and Region
  • Photo Gallery of Park and Sites in Area
  • People focussed
  • Booking & Tourist links

Your Home Page is your calling card and should visually be a powerful and an appealing introduction to your site. Using local scenery rivers, mountains, dams etc can be very useful. Minimize the text on your site where possible, or create a ….Read on… invitation at the end of a paragraph.

Share your site with your guests

Invite guests to go onto your site to check out all you have to offer. Invite them to join your Facebook page. Encourage your guests to complete a park review to provide feedback to you on how you are tracking and what you can do to refine the quality of your service.  Give guests a business card with a link to your site.

How often do you refresh your website?

A website should be refreshed at least every 2-3 years. As technology and the quality of website presentation improves, it is important to stay ahead of the game. When last did you update your website and your visual presentation? Besides the importance of word of mouth, your website is the most important message medium to your guests and so needs your commitment in terms of resource and attention.

Getting a new website

Website development has changed so much over the years. Is your website set up so that you can update content and pictures yourself? If not, change your website provider. Your website should be a dynamic tool where you can regularly update content, news, updates, pictures and any other changes you would like to make. Stay up to date. Schedule a monthly refresh time to see what you can do to update your site

Your visual presentation

Regular updates of photos is an excellent idea. This can be done by rotating pictures on your home page or providing a collage of photos. Use high resolution quality pictures. Photos taken in the early morning or evening, just before sunset are great for richness in colour and light. Avoid showing an empty park or facilities. A BBQ, laundry or kitchen is more appealing with people enjoying these facilities. People enjoying themselves gives a sense of activity – and a good place to be. Avoid taking photos on grey, dreary and rainy days. Winter is also not the best time for photos (except if you have snow and you get a sunny day), while autumn and spring give a great perspective of colour and variety. Photos of wildlife – farm animals, birds or kangaroos etc. in the area creates a bush feeling – use them. Step outside the park and take photos of your park from the outside, drone photographs, town and region. These give a perspective to the guest of what they can expect when they get to your park.

Social media and videos

The website can also provide an easy link to your Facebook or Instagram page and should you have videos, these too can be published on your site. These are generally viewed first. You can even prepare a number of photos in a video slide show for your website.

Is it time for a new website?

A new website can make a difference to your representation on the web

  • Developed from the ground up to work with all types of devices such as mobiles, tablets, laptops and desktops.
  • Fully compliant with the latest web standards, ensuring better Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
  • Better reach through better ranking in Google
  • Designed to easily navigate with a visible top menu
  • Designed with your audience in mind - a Caravan Park framework meeting needs of your audience.
  • Clean modern design that gets out of the way to let your content really shine.
  • No distractions or flashing graphics so the user can focus on what they came for
  • No more need to pay the high prices asked for a website.
  • Manage your content yourself and save ongoing costs of site maintenance.

Kui Parks has a ready to use framework available for parks, allowing a cost effective, professional website that will appeal to your customers. If you would like to know more, please feel free to contact Kui Parks at info@kuiparks.com.au

So where are you at with your website? Is it time for a Refresh or a Renew? Is it delivering?

Why not take some time to critically consider refining the quality of your site to better represent what your park offers your guests.

If you have any questions or thoughts, I would love to hear from you.

 

Bert van Spronsen, Founder, Managing Director Kui Parks & Fellow Traveller

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