As the busy season comes to a close for most campgrounds, one area you might be looking to improve is your website. After all, this is likely the first place that future campers will find out about you, and you want to make sure it looks great and has the information they need. Whether you are tech-savvy and try tackling this project yourself or plan on outsourcing the work, here are a few tips to get you started.
It passes the "grunt" test
When someone lands on your website, you typically have about 3-7 seconds to explain your business. Donald Miller suggested something called the “grunt” test. This is the idea that your headline and sub-headline are so clear even a caveman – who grunts – should be able to understand what you do. While cavemen are more likely to go backcountry camping rather than reserving a site – you get the idea. Some ideas for your headline include your campground name, an enticing line as to why people should book at your campground, some of the accommodation types you offer or your location or nearest city.
Clear Call To Action (CTA)
What is the main thing you want people to do when they come to your website? Likely it is to book a campsite. No matter how you take bookings you should make it crystal clear to your visitors. You should have at least one if not two CTA’s above the fold. The “fold” is an old term carried over from newspaper printing days. With websites it simply means the area that is visible when you first land on a site without scrolling. Commonly you see a CTA button in the top right of the header menu as well as below your headline. If you are using Let’s Camp – or heaven forbid – some other booking software we recommend that you link directly to the booking page for your campground. This will save the visitor time when trying to book.
Photos, Photos, Photos!
If the number one rule of real-estate is location, location, location the number one rule of campground websites is photos, photos, photos. Nothing is going to convince someone to stay at your campground more than enticing photos. Ideally, you should feature all of your main amenities on your website along with a few typical campsite photos. For showcasing every campsite you’ll want to use a reservation software like Let’s Camp. We have an interactive map that lets campers explore your campground and choose their ideal site.
Easy To Update
If you are building the website yourself, this will likely be less of an issue; however, if you plan on outsourcing the work, you need to make sure that it is easy to update information on your website. Whether by contacting the person who made your site or getting training on how to do it yourself, you never want to be caught with outdated information from last year.
We wish this went without saying- but after viewing hundreds of campground websites, we’re surprised how many are not a mobile-friendly experience. Think of it this way – anyone who is travelling to your campground and needs to look up last-minute info is going to be using their phone to access your site. Make it as easy as possible for them to get the info they need.
Include the Right Information
Having the right information available about your campground not only makes it easier for campers to decide if your campground is a good fit but it will also save you time from getting repeated phone calls with common questions. A good place to start is by making a list of the common questions that you get. Figure out where on your website is best to answer these so that the info is easy to find. There might also be rules or commonalities that you take for granted. Keep in mind we are seeing tons of first-time campers and campers from different regions who might not be familiar with your campground or standard camping norms.
For example, if your campground is pet friendly, does this mean that pets are allowed everywhere or do you have restrictions on the beach and shower areas? What about disposing of garbage and recycling? How does one rent paddling equipment, if available, and where are the best places to go?
No matter if you are designing your website yourself, or having someone help you out, we hope that you found these considerations valuable. If you don’t have someone who can help you, check our website design services here.
And, if you are looking to have more people find your campground online, consider Let’s Camp. By signing up for free, you’ll expose your campground to thousands of new campers. Visit join.letscamp.ca to learn more.