Just how important is it to have an impressive website? How many potential customers do you lose because your website looks like crap? Have you ever asked yourself this question before?
I found myself on the other end of that last night. I’ve been thinking of planning a fun family vacation for this summer and was looking for some resort properties near an amusement park not terribly far from my home. My first choice is Silver Dollar City in Branson, MO, because its just a few hours away and we could likely put season tickets to use at other times during the year.
Last night, I was searching for a resort property that we could use for a big family vacation for about a week this summer. Instead of finding one, I simply became a bit flustered at the atrocious websites I encountered in my search!
Perhaps because I am a webdesigner, I simply look poorly upon any business that has an awful website. Some of these sites look like an elementary student put them together or like they hadn’t been updated in 10 years. Is it really that hard to have a good website?
The majority of these sites were obviously hosted on a free platform because they had random and very prominent advertising for other locations. They also had teeny tiny pictures of their properties, and few were of anything other than some landscaping or a general shot of Table Rock Lake.
A few had some Silver Dollar City or Branson show packages, but still most had no detailed information or good pictures of their properties. I mean, really? They would do better having JUST a Facebook page! And I didn’t find more than a couple of those either!
Really, the only good websites belonged to major hotel chains or resorts on the other side of Branson, which are not what I am looking for! I want a nice little cabin or condo in a resort that is relaxing, has a balcony or deck, kitchen, activities for the kids, shuttle service to the amusement park, and would feel like a home away from home. I KNOW they exist! But I sure couldn’t find any good information on them.
You would think in a place like Branson, that is lately dubbed one of the top vacation destinations in the US, that people would put a bit of money into internet marketing. I guess I’m wrong on that point!
But let’s look at it. At the very least, you can have a functioning attractive WordPress site for less than $10 a month in hosting. There are tons of ready-made templates that are free and that can be installed with just a click of a button. They are no more difficult to add content to than using the various software that any business owner is familiar with. They are very user-friendly and good for those who have no tech skills at all.
Or a business owner could step it up a little and get a customized WordPress site professionally done for anywhere in the ballpark of $100 to $1000. That would be a one-time expense, at least one-time every few years when the design gets outdated. Maybe a few hours of tutoring, or simply finding a good WordPress tutorial, and then the ongoing cost would still be just that $10 a month in hosting! Or they could even hire someone to manage their content, most likely at a cost of less than $50 a week. So for an investment of less than $2000 any of these resorts could have an amazing website, optimized to be found by vacation seekers, and with all of the information that these vacationers need! I would imagine that would pay for itself in a week once spring gets here.
So I ask myself again, is it really that hard to have a website where I can figure out if I want to stay at your resort?? Maybe I need to send some of my own marketing materials their way…