Digital Redefined was approached by Best Beach Getaways for a complete site redesign including implementing our WordPress Solution for Escapia Customers.
Their previous site was struggling SEO wise because of their previous Direct Booking solution and performance mostly on the part of their hosting service.
Vision and Goals
Best Beach Getaways wanted to take advantage of the best practices that we’ve been putting to use on previous implementations.
For the design, we wanted to use BBG’s branding that they established over the last few years but introduce a more modern website design.
Easy to maintain
The previous direct booking solution required editing unit information in 2 places for each unit. They wanted to streamline this process. Our WordPress for Escapia Customers solution not only provides a single point to edit unit information, but it can also be used hands-off by activating the global synchronization feature.
Improve ranking for location-specific keywords
While we’re 4 months into the implementation the site is already seeing improvements in overall page ranking. Through weekly monitoring, we have insight into which keywords are working and which need attention through SEO adjustments and additional content creation.
Decrease page load time
This was accomplished through a combination of
- New hosting service
- Optimized Images
- Site layout best practices
The home page needed to have a search form front and center that would start the visitor’s search.
We included the primary attributes that visitors use on the search page. Submitting from the home page sends them to the search page for results.
The home page also includes
Search by Community
BBG chose their top communities to highlight on the home page
Search by Amenity
As with communities, Best Beach Getaways chose their most requested amenities to include on their home page.
Fun Fact: Pets Welcome and Golf Carts are amongst the fastest growing amenities requested for all of our clients.
Because of the wide area and number of units in Florida managed by Best Beach Getaways, they wanted to provide a way for site visitors to learn more about the different locations.
The Our Areas section of the site drills down to regions, neighborhoods, and unit types for display along with additional information.
While visitors can locate units using the search feature, breaking out this information provides two additional benefits.
We created WordPress short codes that give BBG the freedom to display their units by type(house, condo) for a specific neighborhood as well as displaying units by resort.
Provide More Information On Stay Location
The additional information helps visitors decide where they would like to stay.
This is especially useful for guests who want to stay at a resort and are want to see all the options in an area.
SEO and Keyword Optimization
A primary goal of the Best Beach Getaway site is to improve its rankings in search of vacation rentals in the individual neighborhoods and regions.
Breaking out the units in this way is a great way to improve organic rankings. Breaking out the neighborhoods and regions into cornerstone pages improves the chance of ranking when visitors start their search at Google(or other search engines) for Vacation Rentals in those specific areas.
To help their guests plan their vacation, Best Beach Getaways wanted a way to highlight their evergreen posts of the best dining, activities, and places to visit during their stay.
We created an area called “Best Things” that includes posts assigned to related categories. When posts are created and assigned a related category, the post will show up in the Best Things area along with their blog.
The search page includes all the elements of our recommended best practices with additional filters for Area and Resort.
Best Beach Getaways wanted to keep the page clean and include just the essential information so units returned include just an image, the unit name, number of bedrooms, bathrooms, and max occupancy.
The unit details page sticks with our recommended best practices plus some enhancements.
Gallery and availability calendar front and center
Unit Type, Max Occupancy, Beds, and Baths were moved from the sidebar to below the unit name. We at Digital Redefined decided to add this change to our default best practices layout.
The BBG Site is the first to utilize our redesigned availability check which no longer reloads the page. This speeds up the check time and eliminates repeated page load wait time
The site also uses the Escapia.NET discount code feature to give guests the opportunity to apply a discount to their stay total amount.
We wrapped up the Direct Booking feature with the booking page. While the page was designed overall with our best practices, we used Best Beach Getaways design language and added options for
To keep in compliance with localized occupancy policies, the site will not allow for booking more than the max occupancy set for the unit.
Gives guests the ability to choose an additional cancellation insurance option.
Apply Discount Code
If the guest didn’t apply a discount code on the unit detail page, they have a chance to apply one here as well.
While 2020 has thrown any use of year over year analytics out the window, Best Beach Getaways is already seeing a significant increase in direct bookings compared to their previous site.
Mario Dacosta from Best Beach Getaways provided some feedback on the new site
Our rental company uses Escapia to manage over 400 rental units. Our previous website worked “Ok” with a previous Escapia WP Plugin, but our website was doomed with a few other upgrades that made it unstable and hard to manage. The Escapia WP Plugin was average and did the job, but was not exactly what we wanted, and to customize anything on it, not only was difficult but expensive ($100/hr).
After much research, we found Jim McDermott of Digital Redefined. He set up a test site using our Escapia API credentials so we could really see how the plugin and the new site redesign worked. Due to COVID, we were delayed in implementing the website, but during that time we continually worked on customizing the Plugin and the Website.
We implemented the new WordPress with the Digital Redefined (DR) Solution for Escapia Customers and immediately prospective owners noticed the upgrade and improvement.
The new website is much faster and user friendly. The biggest improvement was on the mobile user experience. Previously our old site performed very poorly in the Mobile displays. \
Also, our booking page is much more user-friendly and informative which has helped guests making that final decision to book.
The best part about working with Jim at Digital Redefined has been his willingness to take all suggestions to improve the plugin and implement them.
The DR WordPress solution for Escapia Customers works flawlessly with Escapia and the best part is that Jim is reachable at a moment’s notice if anything is not working correctly. Usually, the issues are human error when entering data in Escapia, but nonetheless, Jim always got a solution.
We also moved our website to a new server and Jim was instrumental in helping us with the move to minimize any downtime. Due to the new server and the new website using the DR Escapia Solution our site is working faster than ever without any caching plugins.
Jim also helped us with our Google Analytics so we can track conversions for our reservations.
We are super happy with the services and continue to work with Jim on a regular basis to implement new features.Mario Dacosta