Independent hotel group, Classic Lodges, has recently launched a new website that is designed to enhance the user experience, improve functionality, provide more information on each of the properties and their events, and ultimately lead to an increase in sales.

The previous website was launched four years ago and performed well during that time, but the design no longer reflected the latest trends in functionality and design.

The new design focuses on the images of each of the properties and puts them at the heart of each of the dedicated pages. In total 15 separate sites were created for the 10 owned hotels and five Partner Properties as well as two additional micro sites for the Classic Lodges cottages – White Swan Cottage and High Wood Lodge. Some 260 pages and 2,684 images and documents were created and added to the 17 sites.

Despite the volume of data, the website is able to achieve download speeds of less than a second by being hosted across multiple servers in London and Dublin. Hotels can now update events themselves in real-time to give visitors a greater visibility of what’s happening in the properties and local area. A bespoke voucher site is currently being developed to simplify the buying process.

“The new website looks fantastic and initial feedback from visitors is extremely positive,” says Richard Smith, Director of Marketing and Partnerships. “Email traffic from our seasonal promotions seems to be generating a good number of visitors that are staying on the site for longer. It is going well so far.”

Between June 3rd and August 3rd there were 643,000 page views compared to 321,500 during the same period in 2018. Page sessions were also up from 2.9 last year to 7.5 pages. Visitors to the site spent on average 2.50 minutes from 2.15 minutes, and the bounce rate has dropped from 43% to 0.27%.

Rebecca Lambton, Commercial Director at iTCHYROBOT is pleased with the results: “The Classic Lodges hotels are all beautiful properties that are now better showcased within the new design with new imagery,” she says.

“One of the main drivers was to create a site that engages and entices visitors. We have achieved this by making better use of the fantastic imagery and ensuring the customer journey is as straight forward as possible.”

Guisborough-based web design agency iTCHYROBOT worked with Classic Lodges to create the website. The e-commerce aspect of the website is soon to be launched so visitors can buy vouchers that can be redeemed by on the site immediately.

The next stage of the project will look at incorporating video content. It is planned to shoot two-minute wedding videos for each of the 10 hotels and some drone footage of Grinkle Park to give users a better idea of the magnitude of the 300-acre grounds.