January of 2015 I finally got to do what I’d been wanting to do for years. RLC Design was asked to update the website for Point of Rocks RV Park in Prescott, Arizona. Point of Rocks wasn’t just any old client….. The park is a place I’ve spent many years at with my Airstream.
In 2007 I actually stumbled across the town of Prescott while traveling with the Airstream. And I also stumbled across Point of Rocks. What started out as a one night visit turned into a few weeks, then months, and finally years. Between client locations, the Airstream returns to Prescott, and Prescott is the place that I think of when people ask me where I’m from. Travel is a big part of our business, but between our customer visits you’ll find the Airstream at Point of Rocks.
Why visit Point of Rocks
When I first arrived at Point of Rocks had no idea about the location, or all of the outdoor opportunities available. Their original website was a few short, non-descriptive pages with some incredibly dated images. Nowhere on the site did they mention the hiking trails, mountain biking, water sports, National Forests, or any of the other amazing features of Prescott. The web page was uninspiring, and when I first found it I only booked for one night.
When traveling to new locations, I only make 1 night reservations to start out. Parks that are run down, or on the “shady” side are littered across the country. So I always try a place for a night, and make plans based on that first night. The Point of Rocks website didn’t inspire me to plan on staying longer. The park itself is what hooked me, but their online presence failed to make an impact.
As I told family and friends where I had landed in 2007, many checked out the park’s website. And they were incredibly underwhelmed. Fortunately I had my own website, and for years I posted stunning images from the park, and from the greater Prescott area. From the moment I arrived I had wanted to help improve their online image, but it took 8 years to convince them it would help.
Your typical small private RV Park
Smaller parks across the country have poor online presence, and in some cases, no online presence at all. Like many small parks, Point of Rocks is a member of several RV clubs. And after decades of working with groups like Good Sam, Passport America, Woodall’s (now part of Good Sams), park owners believe that they’re being represented to a broad market of travelers thanks to the clubs. Sadly, many of the clubs fail to drive consumers who are searching online, and these small parks are actually wasting thousand, and in some cases tens of thousands, on advertising that isn’t driving business.
In the case of Point of Rocks, they believed they were reaching as many RV’ers as they could through their club affiliations. Sadly, the numbers tell a different story. And after nearly a full year of their new online presence, the owners are seeing the power of a well designed simple website that reaches mobile device users as well as standard computer users. They’ve had an incredibly busy year, and even in their off season their phones are ringing off the hooks with reservations for the Spring.
RV Park Website Success
So, what do we consider success? Well, prior to the redesign and overhaul of Point of Rocks website, the old site had a little over 5,000 unique visitors in 2014. The new site, from January of 2015 through today? Take a look at the graphic below and see for yourself.
More than 30,000 unique visitors for the year (that’s an average of 2,500 visitors a month to their site). Over 133,000 page views. People are not only finding their new website, they’re reading many pages when they visit. As you can see, people check out the rates pages, amenities, the campground map, and more. The owners of the park can see real time what the actual impact of their website is. Further, the staff is now directing people who call in to check out the site as well. It’s one more tool that helps guest learn more, and stay longer!
Directory service and club failure
The site also helps the park staff and owners make decisions about the future or their marketing dollars. In particular, the website’s statistics show a trend that we here at RLC Design already knew. The clubs, directory services, and the rest of the old RV Park marketing avenues are failing to deliver to their smaller park members. The graphic to the right shows the referrals to the park’s website from outside sources. Search Engines drove the bulk of the traffic. The park isn’t paying for adwords, these are organic searches based on the SEO work RLC Design did for the park.
If we total up just the first few categories a story develops. Search engines, RV Park Reviews, and Good Sam make up over 35,000 views (page views). There are more referring sources, but we’ll stick with the first 4.
- Search engines account for 86% of all refers. Free Service that relies on good Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- RV Park Reviews is responsible for 8% of all refers. Free Service
- Good Sam Club is responsible for 6% of all refers. Pay for yearly service.
Seeing this breakdown, you have to ask yourself if the clubs are worth the cost. In the case of this park, after discussing the cost of membership with the owners I have to say the returns are not worth it. I won’t share the membership listing cost, but I will say the cost of the website was less than the yearly charge they pay to the club.
As you can see in this lengthy article, modern website can do a lot for your online presence and reach. Designed properly, websites have a global reach that helps businesses grow their client base! And in the case of the mom and pop RV parks we’ve worked with over the years? We’ve saved them money by identifying failed advertising avenues, we’ve grown their businesses by helping them to reach new clients who didn’t know they existed, and we’ve given them the tools to manage their online presence going forward.
If you’d like to increase the actual traffic to your destination location, get in touch with RLC Design this month. The 2016 season is in front of us, and it’s time that you filled your park, B&B, Motor Lodge, or other cool destination spot!