• 171 on High Motel

  • Client Profile

  • CONTACT: Donna Whakatihi
    PHONE: 03 579 5098
    BUSINESS: 4 Star+ Motel

  • PROJECT: Website Redesign
    WEBSITE: www.171onHighMotel.co.nz

  • Project Background

    171 on High Motel is a Qualmark-rated 4 Star+ accommodation provider in the heart of Blenheim, Marlborough NZ. It is currently owned and operated by Donna and Paul Whakatihi. They acquired the business in July 2015.

    We (Alla and Dale) met Donna about a year earlier while we were working with her sister Nina of Pataka the Foodstore on a Custom Mini-Website. At that time, Donna was helping Nina realise her dream of having her own business. In time, Donna was ready to embark on her own business adventure. That led her and her husband Paul to becoming owners and hosts of 171 on High Motel.

    Alla would stop by the motel from time to time between other appointments to have a cup of coffee and to catch up with Donna. On more than one occasion, Donna expressed her frustration with the state of the motel's website (see below).

    It was outdated. The photos were too small. The descriptions were not painting a realistic picture of the rooms. In short, the image being projected by the website was not in line with the reality of the business. Donna knew that something needed to be done about the website but there were other matters that took precedence. So she put it off for a later date.

  • Finally, towards the end of June 2016, Donna was ready to discuss with Alla the possibility of having the motel's website redesigned by iBeFound. After an initial overview of what we do, Alla made arrangements to meet with both Donna and Paul to do a full presentation. By the end of that presentation, they were eager to get started!

  • Advertising Issues Come to Light

    In our initial discussions with Donna, we learned that she had been paying for a Google Adwords campaign through a Auckland-based company of online marketing experts. She asked us to take a look at the latest report she had received from them and give her our feedback.

    It did not take us long to see that she was wasting her money on this venture. Using Google Adwords or other PPC (pay-per-click) advertising can have a great ROI (return on investment) when done properly:

    • have a good selection of buyer keywords / keyphrases.
    • send the traffic to a conversion-driven landing page.
    • capitalise on the traffic that arrives on that landing page by capturing their contact details for future marketing.

    In addition, PPC advertising is meant to be used to attract NEW customers to you!

    Donna's campaign was lacking in ALL these areas. More appalling than the fact that the traffic was being sent directly to her outdated website, was the choice of keywords/keyphrases she was paying for!

    For example, one keyphrase was "171 on high motel" (see below). Now, if someone is actually typing "171 on high motel" in Google, they are NOT a new customer. They already know the motel and are probably looking for the motel's website or directions to the motel. The motel's website is already #1 on Google for its name, so there was absolutely NO good reason for Donna to be paying for that keyphrase!

    The other keyphrases weren't much better - "central motels blenheim", "motels high street blenheim", and "4 star motels blenheim" have very low Impression rates (meaning very few people are using those search terms). The last one, "motels blenheim" is a popular search term but we would NOT have recommended it for 2 reasons - too competitive and not a buyer keyphrase.

    So, we explained our findings to Donna and recommended that she stop wasting her money on that campaign! It would be in her best interests to wait until after the launch of her new (well-optimised) website to revisit this matter of using online PPC advertising.

  • Website Reimagined and Rebuilt

    We got started on the new Marketing Website for 171 on High Motel on 4th July, 2016 with the goal of completing the redesign in about 3 weeks. There was a tremendous amount of work to be done in a short time frame.

    The initial phase of this project involved gathering information about the business from available sources - current website, listings on various hospitality websites, printed collateral, etc. In addition, extensive research into the accommodation industry and competitor analysis were conducted.

    One of the things we saw a need for was better naming of the various units. We presented our recommendations to Donna. She was a little unsure initially but after some careful consideration, she could see the value of making these changes and gave us the go ahead to implement them.

    After attempting to take photos of the rooms herself, Donna concluded that it was better to have that professionally done. We were able to get our resident photographer, Alex, to fit this into his schedule on short notice.

    To ensure a cohesive connection between the website and the booking page, we also took on the task of updating our client's booking engine. We renamed the rooms with the new titles, updated their descriptions, and replaced the old photos with new ones. During this process, we communicated directly with the support staff at STAAH on behalf of our client.

    As with all our Marketing Websites, this website is built on the WordPress platform, designed to be very user-friendly and well-optimised to be found by the various search engines. Our copywriters seek to understand the potential visitors of a client's website and then provide the information that those visitors would be looking for in an engaging manner.

    The result is what you see below. It went live on 2nd August, 2016!

  • Post Launch Report

    One day after the launch of the new website, 171 on High Motel received their first booking via the redesigned website for one of their suites! The customer followed up by email to confirm that she had booked the correct room, identifying it by its new name.

    We submitted the website's XML sitemap to Google a couple days after the launch date and within 12 hours ALL of the new pages and some of the new images had been indexed by Google. It took a couple more days for ALL the new images to begin showing up in Google's Image Search.


    UPDATE: March 2017
    It's been a little over six months since the redesigned website hit the Internet and we've been monitoring its movement in Google SERPs.

    Despite being in a highly competitive niche and without any additional off-site SEO, the website has made it to the first page of Google for at least 25 of the local keywords we are monitoring. These include:

    • business motel blenheim
    • business traveller motel marlborough
    • motel suite marlborough
    • studio unit marlborough
    • motel blenheim 1 bedroom

    Our client (Donna) is very pleased with the results! We continue to work with her on various aspects of marketing her business.

  • To mark our first anniversary in motel we comissioned iBeFound to create a fitting website. Throughout the process we have been guided, supported and asked for information as required. It has been a very positive experience & we have very much enjoyed working with them.

    Alex took professional photographs to an exceptionally high standard & was able to incorporate into photos what the whole space offered.

    With no stone left unturned Alla, Dale & their team have worked tirelessly to create a "into the future, VERY powerful marketing tool"

    Donna Whakatihi