I’ve been working with Jeff on the web site side of his marketing program since 2013, when I convinced him to move away from the resort’s old HTML site with its background of beach stones and overlapping boxes of content that was so time-consuming and confusing to work with and was not generating nearly enough traffic or bookings for a resort with 12 accommodation options, an RV Park and a busy marina.
I decided to go a totally different route with Pender Harbour Resort & Marina, and coordinated a photo shoot with a professional photographer who captured a really solid overview of the accommodations, activities and general feel of the resort, which was a mix of family-friendly features like a sports field and outdoor swimming pool and beautiful cottages and chalet on the edge of the waterfront, with a few motel rooms, yurts and camping spots thrown in for good measure.
I researched hundreds of themes to find Castello from Hermes Themes. This theme goes BIG on photography, with a unique layout that instantly took PHRM from 70’s throwback to the ‘Modern Version of the Family Getaway’. Bookings shot up by 25% in the first year alone, but that wasn’t the end of the project.
The site is gorgeous on tablets and desktops, but either we would have to completely corrupt the design to get something that was ‘responsive’ on handheld devices or we needed to do something completely different to maintain the quality while giving mobile users what they needed, which was much different: a stripped down, information focused site that showed the basics and gave quick access to new bookings, modifying existing bookings, and contacting the resort quickly or locating it on a map while driving.
We used a service called DudaMobile. Duda’s proprietary software takes a connection from the main site and transfers all the data from it – pictures, text, links etc – and pulls it into a specially designed version of the site made just for mobile devices. When a user comes to the main site on a mobile device they are auto-redirected to the mobile site, but can always choose the ‘classic’ version at any time to return to the Castello themed site.
Reservations shot up again.
Jeff also worked with a local drone photography company to get some stellar signature images for the resort which we incorporated into both versions of the site.
Over the last two years I also created newsletters for Pender Harbour Resort, using templates I created to match the web site look & feel, working from the reservation system to identify gaps in the availability calendar and promote them to over 2000 newsletter subscribers. For the last newsletter we ran in the spring, PHRM received six big bookings within 20 minutes of the newsletter’s send. They are now so busy they’ve asked me to stop doing the quarterly marketing and move to an on-demand service model for them because they are booked solid.