General Lewis Inn and Restaurant
The General Lewis Inn, an existing promotion customer, had struggled for some time with their old web site design. In 2004, they came to Blizzard wanting all web site services under one roof, including creation of a new website design. Their website at that time was framed (which hurt them in the search engines) and needed an updated and contemporary look. We started the design after materials were received mid-November 2004, and the new design was approved and ready to go live on February 9, 2005.
We had several goals in developing the website for our customer. These included creating a more appealing design, optimizing the website for search engines (de-framing the website), and adding new features to the site, like area attraction pages. Website optimization is important for elevating page rank in search engines, ultimately to drive more traffic to the website.
After de-framing the website, our designer concentrated on giving the site a richer, more appealing look by using similar colors yet replacing the starch white background with a warm and inviting appearance. You can see the huge difference in the before and after views, below. Next, we worked with the client to create much more descriptive and keyword-rich content throughout the website. This, too, helps search engines find the site for organic searches. Their old navigation was all text link oriented, so a new graphical navigation system was implemented – very appealing and easy to use! Another recommendation given to the client was for new and highly upgraded photos. The old website contained older, grainy looking photos that definitely need to be updated. Take a look at the nice photos presented in a Flash slideshow as a visitor first views the new home page for this Lewisburg, West Virginia Inn.
The graph below shows us a clear picture of just what a redesign can do for site traffic. "Visitors" represents the unique visitors. Not only is traffic up, but link popularity has increased by 60% as well.
The most popular page after the home page is the "Rooms & Rates" page; this is the trend we look for. In addition, the new "Area Attractions" pages are receiving an excellent amount of traffic, thereby encouraging potential guests to book with the Inn.
It’s fairly early to start counting the number of increased bookings at this point. But Innkeeper, Jim Morgan, is eagerly looking forward to a successful new season with Blizzard’s creativity and continued promotion participation. Jim comments, "We believe that the internet exposure is the largest single source of guests. Our old site was much less visible to search engines, and once there, the new visitor had a limited sense of who we are. Blizzard is working hard to correct our exposure. See for yourself! The online "contact us" brings us 2 or 3 enquiries daily, and it’s still the off season."
After the design phase was completed in February 2005, Jim decided to upgrade his Custom Promotion Plan for added assurance for a great upcoming season. Blizzard is confident that the new website design and an aggressive Internet marketing plan will help him meet his goals. View the complete design for General Lewis Inn at www.generallewisinn.com and find out more about Blizzard Internet Marketing, Inc. at www.blizzardinternet.com.
Heather Austin, Blizzard Internet Marketing, Inc.