Client: Chalet Grumer Suites & Spa, a unique luxury boutique hotel in South Tyrol, Italy
Industry: Tourism, Hospitality
Objectives: Relaunch the website, connect the property management system ASA, connect the booking management system Simple Booking, and improve search engine visibility (SEO)
B-works role: UX Design, front-end development, back-end development, storytelling, marketing, SEO, SEM, Analytics
Technology: CMS Drupal 8
Project size: 100+ man days, over 5 team members at B-works
Chalet Grumer Suites & Spa was founded in 2011 and in 2017 wanted to relaunch its outdated website to reflect the chalet’s values, as well as its main features as a luxury destination in South Tyrol. Located in one of the world’s most competitive tourism markets they wanted to lower their cost per conversion to under 30 € per booking, as well as to improve their search engine ranking to be within the top 5 results for relevant customer segments. B-works delivered this project within 4 months through 5 team members, by defining customer personas to develop a user-friendly design which would reflect the guests’ needs and preferences. Following an extensive keyword research of 2 weeks in German, Italian and English, the website was developed from Sketch design files using the content management system Drupal 8. The website was also connected to the property management system ASA, as well as to the booking and channel manager Simple Booking.
The cost per conversion goal, as well as the SEO goal have been achieved and are being optimized on an ongoing basis by tracking Analytics data. Top search engine ranking and relevance is maintained by following a content marketing plan, which includes writing about weekly news, events and activities in and around the Chalet.
About the client:
Chalet Grumer has established itself as a reference for a remote luxury retreat in South Tyrol, including five unique suites with Jacuzzi, indoor and outdoor Spa, as well as fine dining in a panorama restaurant facing the Italian UNESCO World Heritage of the Dolomites. Chalet Grumer wanted to relaunch its website to reflect its values, including the deep respect for nature, the local traditions and their honest hospitality. Further they wanted to sharpen the focus on guests who would seek this kind of remote holiday experience, away from the busy city.
Chalet Grumer wanted to increase its conversion rate and to lower the cost per conversion by focusing on guests who would actively seek its special features: remoteness, closeness to nature, generous suites, Spa and fine dining. To achieve this, the objective was to clearly define and understand the customer personas, before creating a new UX design and developing the new website, which would reflect the respective persona’s needs in terms of website Content, Design and Functionality. A further objective was to connect the new website to the Chalet’s property management system (ASA), as well as the booking engine and channel manager (Simple Booking). The final objective was a top 5 SEO ranking for the defined customer segment and the relevant keywords, to lower reliance on booking portals (Booking.com) and to lower advertising spending on paid channels (AdWords, Facebook).
The objectives of the project included:
- Increase conversion rate and lower cost per conversion to under 30 € per booking
- Develop a user-centric design targeted to the ideal guest segments
- Implement an easy to use content management system (CMS)
- Connect the website to property management system (PMS) ASA
- Connect the website to booking and channel manager Simple Booking
- Relaunch the website within 4 months
- Site loading speed under 5 seconds without videos
- Top 5 search engine ranking for defined short- and long-tail keywords
Process and tools:
Key for successful and on-time delivery of this project were the following factors:
- Kick-off meeting to define project goals and KPIs to be achieved, including: Conversion rate under 30€ per booking, cost per conversion and profitability per conversion
- Setting up a team of 5, consisting of a senior designer, two senior developers, a marketing specialist and a product owner
- Developing 6 customer personas for the target client typology, which resulted in UX requirements for Content, Design and Functionality of the website
- Creating a responsive design with Sketch in close communication with the developers to ensure feasibility
- Researching short-tail and long-tail keywords for the respective customer personas in German, Italian and English
- Prioritizing technical requirements and features based on business value and technical implementation feasibility
- Weekly sprints with sprint review, retrospective and planning with Jira
- Front-end and back-end development with Drupal 8
- Setting up a multi-language Content Management System (CMS) using Drupal 8
- Connecting the ASA property management system and Simple Booking booking and channel manager
- Monthly time reporting using Jira
- Agile testing by testers and parallel bugfixing by developers
- Setting up goals and events in Google Analytics to track conversions and revenues
- Monthly SEO ranking report outlining changes in search engine ranking for different keywords
- Setting up and managing AdWords and Social Media Marketing on Instagram, Facebook and Linkedin
- Setting up e-mail and content marketing
- Drupal 8 content management system (CMS)
- Drupal 8 front-end and back-end development
Benefit to the client:
The main challenge in this project was the highly competitive tourism market, which makes top search engine ranking, as well as low cost per conversion a challenge. The market competitiveness is determined by incumbent portals such as Booking.com and Expedia, as well as a myriad of hotels in a region, which has more overnight bookings than all of Switzerland.
The key learning for this project relating to SEO was that an extensive and exhaustive keyword research, including monthly search volume, as well as keyword difficulty of the search term is required. To properly plan and lay out the SEO strategy it is important to create a well-structured sitemap that clusters topics around the main keywords and its synonyms. This was done in all three target languages German, Italian and English over a period of 2 weeks. A further learning was that the website needs to be conceived as a content hub to accommodate landing pages and website-clusters for the different topics which the target guest will be looking for when planning and booking a holiday. The various pages need to reflect the user requirements defined when developing the customer personas.
Finally to maintain a high SEO ranking, i.e. relevance, it was clear that a content strategy and plan is needed throughout the year. This resulted in a content plan which publishes news, activities and events in and around the Chalet for relevant seasonal topics.
Key benefits for the client:
- Delivery within budget and deadline, 4 months after project start
- Reduced cost per conversion to below target goal
- User friendly CMS with Drupal 8 where the client can add and change content himself
- Seamless integration with booking and channel manager
- Ongoing storytelling through website and e-mail content to inform about relevant news, events and activities
Potential for further development:
The experience from this ambitious project was helpful in transferring knowledge to a new B-works project www.jtcamp.ch, a Swiss summer and language camp for children, which had the aim of making the summer camp known to a world-wide audience of children, parents and travel agents.
B-works product owner
For further contact:
Phone: +41 (0)44 500 2615