Site Launch

A Renewed Website for Renewal of Body and Spirit

Evensong Spa is a spa retreat located in Green Lake, Wisconsin at Heidel House Resort and Spa. We redesigned and launched the hotel and spa websites in tandem. Just as we did with the resort website, we optimized the spa website to organically garner traffic for keyword phrases that do not contain the spa or resort name. Our goal was to have users looking for spa services, retreats and packages in Wisconsin or the Midwest find Evensong Spa without having to know the name or the location.

Green Lake’s Hidden Gem

So, how did we fare in helping new users find Evensong Spa organically through search? Well, the site is now ranking for terms such as, “spa destination Wisconsin,” “spa package Wisconsin,” “spa resorts in Wisconsin,” “spa Wisconsin,” “spas in WI,” “best overnight spa in Wisconsin,” “couples spa packages Wisconsin,” and “couples day spa packages in Wisconsin.” Traffic via organic search is up across all three of the largest search engines: Google, Bing and Yahoo. Google traffic has seen the largest increase at 86.9% with 66.76% of that traffic being new users to the website. Yahoo traffic is up 75% and Bing traffic is up 26.23%.

Where Are These Spa-Goers Coming From?

When we see an increase in traffic to the site we want to look at where the users are coming from geographically. This information is useful in other areas of the marketing strategy as well as in fine tuning our SEO strategy. One goal in developing the new website was to increase traffic from Illinois, Milwaukee and Madison. We have achieved just that along with a little growth in other areas throughout Wisconsin as well. Additionally, a significant spike in traffic has come from from Texas, which is attributed to a wedding scheduled in December with some Texans!  Read more


Organically-Grown Web Traffic for a Wisconsin Lakeside Retreat

We launched a new website for Heidel House Resort and Spa on October 28th (Happy Birthday Danielle!) so we will be taking a look at the numbers for the site’s one month birthday in comparison to the same period of the previous year. We will do this same analysis again for the site’s three month birthday.

Get Out of Town, Chicago!

During the discovery phase of the website build we did a search engine optimization (SEO) analysis. Based on these results the property wanted to focus some of their SEO efforts on becoming a leading competitor for guests from Illinois/Chicago who are looking for a Wisconsin/Midwest getaway. So far, the site is faring well with an overall increase in sessions as well as sessions specifically from Illinois as well as Wisconsin.  Read more


How Did Kil@Wat’s Customers Respond to Their New Responsive Website?

We reviewed Kil@Wat’s Google Analytics to to get a feel for how their new responsive website was performing in terms of user behavior and search engine optimization. We found the results to be consistent with a responsive design:

The goal is to get more locals into the hotel restaurant!

Responsive design has been recommended by Google as a best practice. That, combined with a strategic SEO strategy during the build out of the website, have significantly increased the number of local visitors to the site. A big challenge we sought to overcome for Kil@Wat as a hotel restaurant that does not have a street level entrance is to draw locals in to dine along with hotel guests. Our SEO initiative increased the number of local visitors dramatically:

Visitors from Milwaukee: Up 12.54%

Visitors from Chicago: Up 49.29% (44.61% of these are brand new visitors)

Visitors from Wauwatosa: Up 35,200%

Visitors from Waukesha: Up 73.01%

Visitors from New Berlin: Up 152.08%

Visitors from Brookfield: Up 85.6%

Visitors from Madison: Up 73.11%

Visitors from Mequon: Up 132.91%

Visitors from Menonomee Falls: Up 79.59%

Visitors from Oak Creek: Up 74.49%

The list of local Wisconsin towns showing an increase in visitors goes on. The percentage of visitors to the site is up a total of 43.64%.

How do we know this is due to our SEO efforts as opposed to some other factor?

Website traffic yielding from organic search is up 943.83%. Holy cow! Let’s look at the breakdown based on the big three search engines:

Traffic from Google: 91.66% (95. 66% of these were new visitors and the time each visitor spent on the site increased by 16%)

Traffic from Yahoo: 33.21%

Traffic from Bing: 17.85%

What does responsive design have to do with this?

We gauged the site visitors reaction to the responsive design based on what device they visited us on, how long they spent on each page and how many unique page view there were. We found that the number of visitors to the website on a mobile device went up by 94.81% and the number of visitors on a tablet device went up by 69.26%. So, they are coming to our site on a variety of devices, but are they enjoying what they see? Yes! The average time users spent per page increased by 122.6% while the unique page views went up by 54.48%.

That is a lot of numbers. But, in the end they show that the responsive design works for our guests on all of their devices and that we are acquiring more of the local audience through organic search. These were two of our big goals with the new responsive Kil@Wat site and we couldn’t be more proud! Visit the site by clicking on the beautiful screenshot below.

kilawatcuisine

Numbers are based on a two month period prior to design launch in comparison to a two month period occurring three months after the site launch. 


“Newly-launched” Bliss for MarcusWeddings.com

I think it’s beautiful.  Very well done.  Easy to navigate. – Debra, Premier Bride

screen-wedding

The end of October brought a new website for Marcus Weddings, which serves as the wedding business hub for three Milwaukee area hotels: The Pfister Hotel, Hilton Milwaukee and InterContinental Milwaukee. The site was launched in anticipation of the busy planning season through the colder months in preparation for the busy wedding season over summer in Wisconsin.

It’s not about the number of visitors. It’s about the right visitors.

The site has been live for just two weeks, but we couldn’t wait to see what the differences would be in website analytics in comparison to the same two weeks of the previous year. We have found that the new website is keeping visitors for a much longer time period – up 110.50% – that is up from just over two minutes to over four and a half minutes! With the more strategic and targeted SEO we have implemented on the new website we can gather that the we are getting the right visitors who are truly interested in exploring our services. How else do we know that? Our bounce rate (the number of visitors who come to the site and leave without navigating around) is down by 40.70%.

We are there for customers when they need us.

What do we mean by that? MarcusWeddings.com is now tablet and mobile friendly. Customers are able to access the site on the device of their choosing without having to compromise their experience. This has contributed to the drastic decrease in bounce rate, increase in page views and increase in site visit duration that we are seeing in analytics. With the old website (born before the age of tablet and mobile) the mobile experience was horrendous and the tablet experience was frustrating. This caused customers to abandon the site when visiting on devices other than a desktop.

We are excited to see such positive changes in the site’s analytics. We will continue to hone our SEO strategy for the site and hopefully see some more exciting differences throughout the site’s first year!


Why Redesign Your Website Every At Least Every 5 Years?

There is nothing permanent except change. – Heraclitu, Greek Philosopher

Web technologies are ever changing, just as your business is. Think, just five years ago a mobile website was on the leading edge and iPhone had only been released for about a year. Tablets were almost nonexistent, especially to your average customer. Now, most new website builds are responsive from PC to tablet at the very least, if not responsive down to mobile depending on the target customer and their needs. Five years ago Apple was at the very beginning stages of killing Flash use on the web.  Social media has greatly altered the sales funnel over the last five years  as well. Remember how much Facebook for businesses changed, Pinterest and InstaGram did not exist, Twitter was only a year old?

The aforementioned are just changes in the way your customer accesses and uses your website. Think of how quickly say, the technology behind your television or computer, is outdated. Website code is not any different. Search engines are not any different. Everything from the folder structure of a website to the actual code used is constantly maturing. It is just the nature of technology. If your website is more than five years old chances are you are missing out on the potential to give your users an enhanced experience and you are missing opportunities to fully leverage your search engine potential.

A Case Study: Grand Geneva Resort and Spa

Grand Geneva Resort and Spa was seeing an excellent number of online bookings from their website, their engagement on social media was outstanding and their search engine ranking was high. There were no obvious signals that the website could be performing better. However, it was time for a branding update. So, we started with the team at the hotel down the path of creating a brand new website to give them the opportunity to further improve on all their metrics, even though they were already performing well. The new website has been live for about a month now. And, yes, it is gorgeous. And, it does some fancy things for user experience that were not possible five years ago when the old website was built. Take a look at it on GrandGeneva.com.

The Numbers Don’t Lie

Over the past month that the new website has been live Grand Geneva is up in most Google Analytics segments compared to this time last year.

The new website is up about 1,800 visitors this month already. 42.53% of visitors have not visited the website before. This number is likely to grow over the next few months as the search engines have more time to crawl and re-crawl more pages on the website.

Even more impressively, page views are up 100.33% and the average site visit duration is up 341.16%. This means that the users, new and otherwise, are spending more time on the website. The new content is more interesting, the new site is more user-friendly and it is more engaging.

The bounce rate is down 71.10%. This means users are finding the information they need where they expect to find it. This is a nod to both usability in navigation and search engine optimization. Grand Geneva is showing up in search engines for users who are actively looking for some aspect of their products and services.

Congratulations Grand Geneva! We are excited to watch the analytics morph over the busy summer season and through the holidays!

If you are quickly approaching that five year mark get in touch with the development team to get started on your new website. Select “New Development Project Request” from the drop down menu.

Update: Grand Geneva’s New Website Won an Award. Read More…