When Jay and Kathy asked us to redesign their site, we took a look at the site they had going. The Seaside Cottages homepage has great, relevant information, but the images were not a prominent feature. We came in to give the page a bit of a virtual facelift, and design it to work harder for Jay and Kathy.
One of our goals was to give users powerful visuals to correspond with the information on the website. Visitors usually want to get a lay of the land before spending a vacation anywhere, and the new Seaside Cottages website delivers. The majority of content is now images, which are large and high quality. Users can also now “pin” images they like, since we integrated Pinterest on the site. Due to the emphasis on imagery, Pinterest made the most sense as a social media choice. (Just because Jay and Kathy don’t use social media themselves, doesn’t mean their target demographic isn’t using social media to plan their next Maine vacation!)
We put a lot of time into generating the footer, which is a hard working tool. For instance, the Seaside Spring icon leads visitors to a page that features spring-related content. Maine is blessed with four distinct seasons, and we thought it would be nice to share images of this with potential customers. We also wrote all original content for these seasonal pages.
Like any business, Seaside Cottages relies on customer satisfaction, so the footer also features a “visual guestbook.” This particular page is a source of pride for Kathy and Jay, as it uses notes people have left them on scraps of paper after a stay in one of the cottages. This is a creative way to incorporate testimonials into the website, and allows Seaside Cottages to showcase their reviews. It also acts as a ‘trust’ symbol- potential customers can view these notes and know that they are in good hands at Seaside Cottages.
In terms of the more nitty-gritty technical changes, the new Seaside Cottages site has a responsive design, which is great in terms of accessibility and functionality. Responsive design means no matter what type of device people are using (phone, tablet, PC, etc.), the site automatically adjusts so that they can view and access all the features.
The new site also has custom forms for each rental. This form does the heavy lifting in terms of booking, and makes it easier for Kathy to follow up with people. A form makes the booking process easier for customers as well- rather than sending an open-ended e-mail, they can now simply fill in the information requested on the form and feel that they’ve taken action towards booking that vacation.
Best of luck to Jay and Kathy with their new site, and we hope that they get a record number of bookings in the upcoming season!