Highlights With Vizlly
Reduced Time Managing Online Presence
Average Daily Rate During Peak Season
Boosted Ancillary Revenue
Events, Spa, Restaurant
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How Vizlly Boosted Revenue and Guest Engagement while Decreasing Time Spent on Marketing
Saratoga Springs is a unique city: it has a population of just over 25,000 residents, but with all of its offerings, it has a big city feel. As Susanne Simpson, the General Manger of Pavilion Grand Hotel in downtown Saratoga Springs puts it: “the center of downtown is about 600 steps from our door; great eating, dining and entertainment in the heart of the city.”
For guests looking to stay at the center of it all—close to Boston, New York City, and Montreal—Saratoga Springs is a modern chic destination where a long history of horse racing and spas has attracted arts, culture, and food. This means that lodging in Saratoga Springs is competitive and the clientele expect something special. An upscale property has to provide accommodations with a level of service that goes beyond the ordinary, and their online presence has to reflect that.
Consistently delivering a boutique experience for every guest takes time—time that was being taken up managing their web presence. To thrive and keep revenue growing, Pavilion Grand Hotel was creating seasonal packages, promoting new information, and trying to keep their web presence fresh, all on their own.
“In a given week, I was spending a minimum of three to five hours managing this digital presence,” says Susanne.
When she and her team didn’t have the time, the website simply wasn’t updated. Their website provider had set them up with a website optimized to SEO best practices when it was first created, but maintenance, research, and updates were left to them.
What’s more, digital marketing best practices change over time. Key factors, like mobile optimization, were not kept up-to-date after that initial launch. Mobile visitors had difficulty navigating the site, meaning they’d be less likely to book directly.
As an independent property, with an independently owned spa and restaurant located inside the hotel, the hotel’s small team has to manage all of their digital marketing themselves.
On top of all that, the small team at Pavilion Grand Hotel knew that keeping guests engaged was essential to their strategy going forward. Saratoga Springs is a destination for both business and leisure travel, and guest engagement and loyalty is essential to their success. With a brand-new luxury hotel opening in the area, the ability to keep their website up-to-date with new packages, promotions, information about events and ancillary services, as well as making simply making it easy for guests to book, was essential going into 2018.
Pavilion Grand Hotel purchased Vizlly + SEO to relaunch their website with a focus on guest engagement and driving direct bookings. Their new site showcases individual room types on feature-rich pages that list the room’s amenities and details alongside a large gallery of photos. They are able to focus on what matters: showing off their modern aesthetic while continuously driving home all the reasons to stay with them.
The site also includes focused landing pages for the services Pavilion Grand Hotel needs to promote. Their spa, restaurants, and event spaces now target specific local keyword that bring in qualified traffic. As a full-service event destination, their website reflects all their service offerings and related promotions.
In addition to the website itself, Susanne’s team works with their Success Coach, Daniel, on all things related to their digital marketing web presence. “Now I can call Daniel and say, ‘here’s what we’re thinking,’ and his team writes the copy, finds an image if necessary, helps us make sure we are watching the analytics, and keeps us informed on what’s working and what’s not. He really has become part of our team,” says Susanne.
The three to five hours a week that Susanne was spending on her website are now reduced to a few hours a month. Armed with the performance reports she receives on a monthly basis, Susanne can make analytics-based decisions on what’s doing well, which pages are seeing views, and where they can do better. Updates are quickly taken care of, and her regularly scheduled check-ins with Daniel ensures that’s she always has an idea of how the website is performing.
“Vizlly saves time, and takes away pressure and stress.”
In terms of performance: everything is looking great. During the summer months, Pavilion Grand’s busiest season during the annual Saratoga Racing Meet, the hotel saw a 29% average increase in direct revenue year over year from their independent booking engine, enjoying an 18% increase over the last six months.
Key markets that the website’s SEO strategy was designed to attract have increased, including in individual leisure travelers and transient travelers. The number of rooms booked has also increased year over year by 21% during the summer season. The new website’s targeted events pages has drawn in an increased number of inquiries for social and corporate events.
Their updated website launched a new corporate travel loyalty program, with its own landing page and sign-up form. With their Vizlly site, Pavilion has seen a steady influx of sign-ups and interest, helping them grow into the corporate travel market and providing a platform to capture guest engagement.
“To be able to get the reach that we are now getting is huge,” says Susanne. As a boutique independent property, signing up with Vizlly has added a digital consultant to their team, which means they can make quick changes, and receive the latest news and guidance from their Success Coach and the Vizllyteam.
Pavilion Grand Hotel receives many repeat guests who are familiar with their property. What has she heard from guests about the new look of her hotel website? “We have received a lot of positive feedback about the overall look, with the high quality images, the ease of navigation and the ability to get so much information from it.”