Rural Stay

Standard website

 The new banner for the Rural Stay website showing the highlands of the New England Tablelands.

Rural Stay promotes bed & breakfast and farm stay accommodation options on the New England Tablelands of NSW. Site Content has had the pleasure of upgrading their five-year-old website.

The Rural Stay properties are part of the New England Bed & Breakfast and Farm Stay Association. They accepted the suggestion to build their new site in Squarespace. The old Wix site was a one-page list of properties providing accommodation in Armidale, Ben Lomond, Glen Innes, Guyra, Uralla and Walcha.

AdWords didn't work

Even though the New England Bed & Breakfast and Farm Stay Association was paying a lot of money annually on AdWords, business generated from the website was waning. The old site’s organic SEO power was zero. A search in Google for ‘bed and breakfast accommodation Armidale’ did not yield an organic result within the first 10 pages. Something was evidently wrong with old site.

Presumably people clicking on the old Rural Stay site did not find the content helpful.  Search engines take notice of user behaviour, penalising a site if visitors repeatedly jump off the site soon after clicking on it.

Clearly, the cost of Adwords isn't worth it if the website doesn't have the content to engage and deliver what visitors are look for.

What was wrong with the SEO?

Content SEO was clearly an issue. The old website’s content was well written but didn’t take the opportunity to integrate keywords like ‘accommodation’, ‘B&B’, ‘bed and breakfast’.

The old one-page website lacked necessary content to be truly competitive in SEO strength.

New content SEO improvements

The new website integrates additional information:

  • Places of interest on the New England Tablelands offering visitors to the site further engagement and value so they might actually stay on the site longer

  • Each town location with listed accommodation properties now has its own page

  • Google maps for each property provides location information

  • More images of each property have been added

  • A list of property features has been added.

Audience usability improvements

Phone numbers are now hyperlinked (they weren’t linked on the old site) so people on mobile devices can easily make a call — an important feature for people looking for accommodation options while travelling.

The new website has webpages for each town where accommodation properties are listed. Clear headings have been integrated listing features and contact information. Visitors to the site now have an easier time locating the accommodation they're looking for.

Google Maps for each accommodation listing offers further helpful information (lacking from the old website). 

SSL Certificate

Have you stumbled onto a site only to find an alarming 'insecure site, enter at your own peril' notice? Of course this turns people away. It's only a matter of time before a fearsome notice like this presents on sites without SSL certificates.

The new Rural Stay site now has an SSL certificate. 

Site authority

Because ruralstay.com domain name has been live for a few years, and because there are numerous back links to the site, the domain has gained considerable site authority over the years.

This site authority, along with the new design and content development, has resulted in the new website  gaining considerable ground in organic results in Google within days of going live. But the work doesn't stop there: I am determined to get the site on page one for most search queries for short stay accommodation in the areas listed on the site!

Platform: Squarespace