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Ballynahinch Castle Hotel Grows Direct Online Business by 85%

Profile: Luxury 4 Star Castle Hotel set within 450 acres of woodland in Connemara, Ireland.

Size: 48 Rooms

Online Turnover: 26% of room revenue is generated online.

Services: Business strategy, digital marketing, website design & AróSuite CMS, email marketing, Google PPC advertising.

The Brief

To design a fully responsive website that presents the quiet luxury of the castle interiors and the tranquillity of the surrounding country estate, while developing a digital strategy that focuses on driving direct bookings and online revenue generation.

The Result

  • 85% increase in online revenue in two years.
  • Online revenue increased 23% in the first six months after the launch of the website.
  • Special offer bookings were increased by 27% in 2016.
  • Organic sessions now drive 48% of the online business, due to compelling website design and a high standard of SEO practice.
  • 54% of online business is now achieved through mobile and tablet, due to the new responsive website and responsive booking engine upgrade.
  • There was a 16% improvement on the per sessions value in one year.
  • PPC Return on Investment was 26:1 in 2016 across international brand campaigns.

The Approach

Ballynahinch Castle Hotel first became a client in 2008, using all elements of Aró’s products, including website design, email marketing and the booking engine. A strong collaboration on digital marketing and digital strategy has been long-established. In June 2014, Ballynahinch Castle Hotel moved to a fully responsive website, incorporating responsive email marketing campaigns and targeted PPC campaigns.

The website design focused on the warm and unique ambiance of the historic castle and its stunning surroundings of Connemara, along with introducing key reasons to book direct beside the large booking widget and directing users to the booking engine with clear call to actions on each page.

With the key conversion components in place, a strategy to maximise on direct bookings was necessary. A major part of the success in driving direct revenue was the client’s dedication to prioritising availability and rates on the hotel’s website over Online Travel Agencies (OTAs). Another contributing factor was a highly optimised brand PPC campaign. Bidding on the Ballynahinch Castle brand increased visibility and ensured their website was above OTA paid search results. Regularly optimised, the campaign continues to deliver good click through rates and revenue, while correct management of the account has also reduced the cost-per-click over time.

Read More: Brand PPC: Your Weapon in the Fight Against OTAs